AGSFP 2nd Xl visited Countesswells to play Gordonians on May 2nd, and there were five new faces from last week- Rory High, Paul Norwood, Roland Knudson, Jim Lee and Hemal Chovatiya. Captain Devendran lost the toss and FPs were asked to bat. After last week, it was good to play with a dry ball, without a gale force wind and in a semi-tropical 9 degree heat.
McKay bowled beautifully for Gordonians, extracting pace and movement from the slow pitch. With only 1 on the board, Norwood was bowled by an unplayable delivery. Knudson joined debutant High, whose class almost outshone that of his senior partner. The pair put on 47 before Knudson was bowled by another cracker for 14. Thanganami was unlucky to receive a fast straight one first ball. Karthick had batted very well last week and it was disappointing when he went LBW. Eagles and (mainly) High then put on 43, before the Drinks Break Jinx resulted in both batsmen departing in quick succession after the orange juice, leaving FPs on 104 for 6. High had made an excellent 63. Whyte, Devendran and Lee all contributed a bit without making double figures and the innings finished on 146. Notwithstanding the slow track and outfield, this was probably 30 runs too few.
Gordonians’ run chase started positively until it was interrupted by a brilliant diving catch by Norwood at square leg off a well disguised slow full toss from Whyte. Kathyap and Pandit then steadily consolidated until the former was pinned LBW by an Eagles faster ball at around 30mph. McKay then came in to play a decisively aggressive knock. Pandit continued tenaciously and the pair had put on 63 until he was also deceived by a Whyte slower ball. Manogna had bowled very well without luck but fortunes changed when he had Mathi caught down the leg side by wicketkeeper High. McKay continued to play aggressively, benefitting from three dropped catches and was finally out for 59 with Gordonians within a few runs of victory, getting over the line for the loss of 5 wickets.
Man of the match was clearly McKay with 4 for 22 and a half century. For FPs, High made a great debut with 63, a catch behind the wicket and only 1 solitary bye. Apart from him, the batting looked a little fragile. The bowling, however, was better than last week. Manogna was probably the pick of the bowlers, finishing with 2 for 28 from his 9 overs. Chovatiya and Knudson bowled good spells with not much luck and Gordonians needed 41 overs to get the runs required. While 4 catches were held, 5 were dropped and this might have made all the difference to the result. The bowlers, however, could not complain all that much, since three of the drops were potential caught and bowled victims. Let us hope that FPs maintain the slow improvement from this cold early part of the season.