It was a dreich day and the forecast was pessimistic as Grammar FP 2nds gathered at Rubislaw to take on Queens Cross-Stoneywood Dyce. What a pleasure it will be, sometime this season we hope, to play cricket when it is not cold and/or windy and the ball is not wet. The Grammar team comprised Devendran (c), Barker, Manogna, Hegde, Clelland, Russell, Thangamani, John Lord, Mohanan, Whyte and Eagles. Devendran again won the toss and invited QC-SD to bat first.
Partnered by Akhtar, Butt opened with a profusion of stonking, powerful shots for the visitors who raced to 52 within the first 8 overs. At this point, Butt, by now on 30, skied one many miles up into the drizzling sky while Hegde ran in from deep extra cover to calmly take an excellent catch off Manogna’s bowling. Two balls later, Rodgers gloved an attempted hook and was beautifully caught by wicket keeper Clelland. Akhtar had been accumulating runs steadily but charged down the pitch in Eagles’ second over to be bowled leg stump- 52 for none had become 53 for 3. A partnership then developed between Choudry and Ashfield, taking the score to 86 before Eagles caught and bowled Ashfield, and then Choudry was caught at mid off by Thangamani. QC-SD were now 95 for 5. It was a day when it was easier for slower bowlers to keep their feet and Devendran soon bowled Ahmed. Rorie Taylor played some nice shots before dragging a Devendran delivery on to his stumps. Young Fraser Bildon was showing up most of his elders with his sound technique while Robin Taylor struck some lusty blows. The young man was bowled by Devendran, and Robin Taylor was last out, bowled by the returning Manogna. This left ten man QC-SD all out for 154 in 42 overs.
After the lightning start to the innings, and with an outfield that was quite fast despite continuing intermittent light rain, Grammar were pleased with that score, thinking it to be a thoroughly gettable total. Three bowlers had decent figures- Eagles 12 overs 3 for 19, Devendran 12 overs 3 for 28 and Manogna 8.1 overs 3 for 41. It was a very slippery day for outfielding, but the catching was a whole lot better, helping Grammar to dismiss a side for the first time this season.
Lord and Clelland opened up against the Taylor brothers, and showed that good technique and application could move the score along at pretty much the required rate. Both played some excellent shots, building on their half century form of last weekend, and with Clelland the more fluent of the two. The drizzle had continued and with 70 on the board, it became real rain and the players left the field for 20 minutes. Soon after returning both openers were adjudged LBW, Lord for 19 and Clelland for 42. A slightly reshuffled batting order, given the possibility of further rain, saw hard hitting Thangamani, struggling to run after a blow on the knee while fielding, emerge at number 3, and he was already getting going when joined by Hegde. These two produced a superb partnership with Hegde playing correctly and sensibly, generally giving the strike to a belligerent Thangamani. Saving his injured knee, Thangamani struck 9 boundaries, including five 6s. Three of these, all beautifully struck, came in the last over of the match as Grammar raced to their target in 32 overs to win by 8 wickets- Thangamani not out 70, Hegde not out 11.
On a day when it was difficult to play good cricket, Grammar were very pleased with this almost polished looking victory that hoisted us to 4th place in the league table. The bowling was generally quite tight, the catching was much improved and all four of the batsmen on view played very well. The weather could have induced a grumpy match, but it didn’t, and credit must be given to the visitors QC-SD who agreed to continue to play after the heavy shower of rain which might have led to other teams changing to go home.
Man of the Match – Guru Thangamani for his match-winning knock 70 n.o.