FPs slipped to a 22 run defeat against Knightriders in a game remarkably similar to many that have gone before. Slack catching and fielding allowed Knitriders to make 185 all out, and although more than they should have chased, FPs should have been capable of chasing it. Some good disciplined bowling and fielding meant FPs were always behind the rate and despite some late hitting from Hameed (29), with 9 posted on the boundary for the last 20 overs, boundaries were hard to come by and Knightriders closed out the win, Somu in particular impressing with the ball.
FPs continued to be afflicted by poor 1st team availability, food for thought for a number of players and called in Roland Knudson and promoted John Eagles and in form Chris Clelland from the 2nd team. They lined up Morrison, Clelland, Tenneti, Swiergon, Senthil, Mapplebeck, Vijapur, Challa, Hameed, Eagles and Knudson. On winning the toss, FPs chose to bowl on an overcast today.
It looked a good choice as Knightriders were soon 10 for 3, Mapplebeck bowling particularly well and swinging the ball sharply. He bowled Kumarasamy for 2 and Vaduganathan for a duck and in-between times Vijapur had Mallireddy caught at the wicket for 4 by Clelland atoning for Morrison’s simple miss at 1st slip 2 balls earlier. Vijapur soon had a 2nd wicket as he pinned Ballal bang in front for 8 as Knightriders slid to 36 for 4 in 12 overs.
It brought Rengarajv and Palamyandi together and they played sensibly to add 73 together taking advantage of a few drops by FPs, but hitting the bad balls for 4 and running intelligently. Having just reached 50 Palamyandi had a luckily escape when a seeming under edge was superb caught by Clelland but went undetected by the umpire. It was to be pivotal as Palamyandi was to go on to make a match winning century, batting with real purpose and farming the strike well. He was helped by Fps dropping him four times and it was telling that FPs held no outfield catches.
Rengarajv was eventually out for 39, expertly stumped by Clelland off Eagles, the square leg umpire correctly raising the finger on a very tight call. The fair approach shown by Knightriders continued as Bala was LBW to Knudson for 4 and a 3rd LBW followed soon after, Annamaladi also LBW to the off spinner for 3. A 4th LBW came the way of Vijapur, Kodur out for 4 and shortly afterwards Chockalingam was run out by Swiergon for 1. The centurion Palamyandi eventually was last out for 109, Clelland catching him at the wicket to give Hameed a wicket.
185 represented a par score, which was probably a few more than FPs wished to chase given their start. The catching and fielding let them down and despite some good bowling at times, there was too much wide bowling on offer. Palamyandi batted well for his century and credit must be paid to Knightriders for their extremely fair and honest umpiring throughout. Bowling wise the figures were Vijapur 12-2-40-3, Mapplebeck 8-1-36-2, Hameed 5.4-1-33-1, Eagles 10-0-36-1, Challa 2-0-17-0 and Knudson 7-1-21-2.
Morrison and Clelland began the chase but progress was slow, if untroubled. Somu and Mallireddy bowled very well at the top of the innings, restricting FPs to just 32 in the 1st 16 overs. Morrison broke his bat (Swiergon’s bat) in making his 16 and had seemed untroubled until he guided Vadgu’s 1st ball straight to fly slip. Clelland followed in a similar manner to Pallaniandi for 10 and FPs were 33 for 2. Tenneti and Swiergon added some impetus to proceedings and looked well set when Swiergon hit one straight to cover to fall for 33. Tenneti soon followed bowled for 16 by Ballal. Mapplebeck came and went 1st ball caught at the wicket to give Pallaniandi another wicket.
Senthil struck a huge six and looked in good form but was bowled for 22 and Challa made just one before he was caught at 3rd man off Pallaniandi. Vijapur struck a boundary but fell for 16 as FPs efforts to up the run rate failed and they were 138 for 8 in 40 overs still needing 48 in 26 balls. Hameed did his best smashing 29 in quick time including one flat 6, and the runs required were 33 from 3. Just 2 from the 43rd over left FPs all but beaten and when Hameed and Knudson were bowled off successive balls it was all over as Knightriders won by 23 runs.
It was yet another game FPs could have won, but didn’t which is a consistent theme. Somu both bowled and captained Knightriders superbly and he ensured his team played the game in the correct spirit. Knigtriders have been criticised by some for their approach, but FPs can remember few games with no umpires that have been played so fairly and in such an excellent spirit. All decisions were accepted without complaint and appealing was always reasonable. Hopefully more games can be played in such a spirit, where both teams are trying to win, but both are doing it fairly and in a friendly manner. Next up for FPs is a home game against a stong Mannofield side.