There was a grand total of two players available from the team which played in the previous 3rd XI match, the Johnston Rose Bowl cup thriller against Grampian CC, who were selected to play in the Grade 4 match at Sheddocksley, also against Grampian CC.
The survivors, Johnston and Lee were joined by debutant Alan Bruce, first game for 4 years Mike Blues, schoolboys Leston D’Costa, Raaja Monnapillai and Jason Alexander, with Sarav Rathinam, Naresh Kumar, Sandeep Dhanamani completing the 10 player line up.
The soft pitch had the usual motor bike tyre mark at one end, on a length, (the bike owner obviously not a batsman, if CIS Sheddocksley are stuck for clues) and the boundary on one side was very short.
Once again the toss was won by a Blatter free FP’s, Grampian asked to bat first, and once again there was a howling gale blowing across the wicket which would prove tricky for the bowlers. It also proved tricky for the FP’s wind breaker and Grampians tented pavilion which both suffered damage and Young D’Costa had to be roped to Monnapillai during a particularly windy spell.
Monnapillai and Blues bowled first for FP’s with Monnapillai claiming the first wicket in the 6th over bowled by Blues when he brilliantly ran out Rohin for 1 with a direct hit, (well left by keeper Lee) Grampian 20 – 1. Maybe the ear muffs worn by the batsmen made communication difficult. Monnapillai then claimed the second wicket by having Johnson Snr caught behind by Lee for 11 (1 x 6, 1 x 4), Grampian 39 – 2. Monnapillai had to thank Alexander for his next victim, Seby, out to a great reflex catch at square leg for 18 (2 x 6, 1 x 4), Grampian 42 – 3 off 10.4 overs.
Blues then saw Bruce take a sharp catch at slip to dismiss Grampian skipper Noby for 2, and D’Costa struck in his second over with Vaisakh caught behind by Lee at the second attempt for 7, Grampian 50 – 5. FP’s looked to be on top when D’Costa had Sonu caught by Alexander for 18 (2 x 6, 1 x 4) Grampian 89 – 6 off 21 overs.
But as FP’s had seen during the cup match, the Grampian players are prone to counter attack, this time with a rapid stand of 59 runs, before Bijil was well caught by D’Costa off Monnapillai for 44 (2 x 6, 5 x 4), Grampian 148 – 7. D’Costa soon had Saju lob an easy catch to Johnston, score 160 – 8 off 33.2 overs.
Any hopes of a quick end to the innings was dashed by Johnson Jnr and Jibson who plundered 66 runs in 8 overs as the bowlers fed the short boundary shots with some short bowling. The Grampian declaration came when D’Costa bowled Jibson for 22 (1 x 6, 4 x 4) with Johnson Jnr 42 n.o. (3 x 6) Grampian 226 – 9 off 41 overs.
Wicket takers for FP’s – L. D’Costa 12 – 3 – 53 – 4, R. Monnapillai 12 – 2 – 73 – 3, M. Blues 12 – 2 – 51 – 2.
The wind at times played its part in making life difficult for the bowlers who in turn, at times, played their part in making life difficult for the fielders by bowling too short. The FP’s fielding was generally good, highlighted by a run out and a couple of great catches, but a couple of easy catches which were missed proved costly.
The FP’s new batting opening partnership was Lee and volunteer D’Costa, our youngest opener for some time.
Unfortunately D’Costa was out for a duck, cruelly given lbw by the only umpire in the team. The one positive to emerge from this dastardly action was that several players rushed to volunteer to become an umpire when that umpire had to bat.
Lee and Bruce batted well and added a quick 23 runs until Lee was out caught and bowled by Saju for 16 (3 x 4), FP’s 27 – 2. The next six wickets fell for six runs. Bruce, out for 11 (1 x 4), was the only other batsman in double figures, Naresh next with 8. The 8th wicket added 13 runs but FP’s were all out for 46 in 17.2 overs. Wicket takers for Grampian – Noby 8 – 1 – 24 – 4, Saju 9 – 1 – 20 – 5.
A comprehensive defeat for an admittedly under strength FP’s. The dismissal comparison of the teams tells it’s own story, Grampian having 8 batsmen out caught, FP’s having 7 batsmen out bowled, 1 lbw, 1 c&b. At least the FP’s wind breaker out performed the tent.
Man of the Match – Leston D’Costa – took 4 wickets, a good catch, brave enough to open the batting. (would have claimed at least 5 wickets but for 3 dropped catches, presented with match ball as compensation)
Champagne Moment – Raaja Monnapillai’s brilliant throw for run out just beat the catches by Alexander and Bruce