An entertaining counter attack from Harry Mapplebeck (68) and Rob Swiergon (71*) which added 140 for the 6th wicket played a huge part as FPs recorded their 2nd win of the season. In some trouble at 103 for 5, FPs recovered to post 246 for 6 before bowling out Lahore Karahi for 220 in wet conditions at Rubislaw. Alex Keith also made a half century and Vijay Vijapur bowled superbly to claim 4 top order wickets in a crucial win.
AGSFP’s 1st XI arrived at a gloomy Rubislaw knowing a win was vital if they were to start climbing the table. With two changes in the team AGSFP lined up, Keith, Booth, Tenneti, Davey, Swiergon, McDonald, Mapplebeck, S.Knudson, Vijapur, Stuart, Hameed. Skipper for the day Davey lost the toss and AGSFPs were asked to bat. Keith and a returning Booth headed out to the wicket whilst the dark clouds rolled in. Some tight bowling kept scoring to a minimum before Booth was caught behind for 2 off the bowing of A.Ali (22-1). New batsmen Tenneti took advantage of some loose bowling before he offered a simple return catch and was out for 10 c&b S.Ali (62-2).
Davey played positively until he left a ball which jagged back in knocking down his off-stump bowled for 5 by S.Ali (73-3). Swiergon arrived at the crease and along with Keith worked the ball around Keith bringing up his maiden 50 for the season and the first player to do so this term. With the light drizzle turning into monsoon conditions the umpire suggested that the players could leave the field, with one ball left Swiergon said to the Umpire to bowl the last ball of the over and then they would head for shelter, not knowing that the penultimate ball would have Keith bowled by Hamza for 52 (97-4), Keith’s 50 had come in quick time and laid the foundation for the rest of the AGSFP’s innings.
After the prolonged rain interruption Swiergon continued to chip away but McDonald was bowled by Hamza for 0 with the ball keeping extremely low hitting the base of off-stump (103-5). This brought a very hung over Mapplebeck to the crease, immediately telling the senior batsmen that he could do all the calling. Knowing they had a good foundation Swiergon kept reassuring Mapplebeck that there was runs everywhere and that if they played each ball on merit and didn’t do anything stupid to the good straight ball they would be fine. Usually at this point Mapplebeck comes down the wicket and plays all around a straight one or holes out in the deep but this time he used his cricketing brain and played sensibly and with the field pushed back there was almost 2 runs to every ball and the occasional 3 to selected fielders. With the run rate up at 7s and the two in batsmen taking minimal risk the score rapidly increased. As the bowlers toiled they were not helped by their fielders who continually dropped the ball or rolled the ball along the wet grass.
Once the two batsmen had reached maximum batting points they cut loose playing some audacious shots including reverse-sweeps and paddle sweeps as well as some more classical lofted drives over mid-off. The runs kept flowing and Swiergon was able to bring up the second 50 of the match and his maiden for AGSFP’s with a delightful chip over mid-off. Soon after Mapplebeck brought up his 50 with a cheeky 2 taken to the fielder down the ground. Runs were flowing and the two continued to score easily with the total rising to 243 when Mapplebeck was run out by Imran with 3 balls to go for a very well made 68.
Sam Knudson joined Swiergon at the crease for the final 3 balls and they managed to pick up three more runs finishing the innings on 246-6, Swiergon 71* and a partnership with Mapplebeck of 140.
A short but impressive tea was taken, once again the Knudson scones being the main attraction all be it via the kitchen floor. AGSFP knew with light fading and rain approaching early wickets would be key, Added to the mixture was the fact that two players had to leave early there was an interesting game to be had.
Vijapur opened the bowling and had the opening batsmen LBW for 0 in the first over (3-1). The new batsmen spent no time getting acquainted to the weather conditions as he and the other opener laid siege to the AGSFP’s bowling attack splaying the ball all over the ground, eventually Vijapur had V.Sood caught well by Tenneti at mid-wicket for 20 after being dropped earlier by Mapplebeck (49-2). Amin continued the onslaught until he was bowled once again by Vijapur for a quick fire 33 (80-3).
The next man out was Hamaza bowled for a duck by Mapplebeck who annoyingly broke the bail too (81-4). The players then vacated the field while the rain continued to pour down, eventually it let up and the players return to the field and within minutes Vijapur had Imran caught well by McDonald diving low down (81-5).
The time had come and Tenneti and Keith had to leave the field of play, with only 18 overs bowled and down to 9 players skipper Davey knew the task ahead was now to protect the boundaries whilst keeping wicket taking options.
The two new batsmen at the crease then set upon the AGSFP bowlers and used the wet ball to their advantage, boundaries were flowing and with the AGSFP bowlers unable to grip the ball properly a number of wides kept the opposition up with the run rate as AGSFP’s toiled in the field. S.Ali was eventually bowled by G.Stuart for 42 with a moment of magic as the batsmen played on to his own stumps, the outgoing batsmen making clear his disgust (166-6). The outgoing batsmen’s partner in crime was soon following him back to the changing room after he was caught on the boundary by McDonald off the bowling of S.Knudson for 31 (173-7). New batsmen Zubair brief cameo didn’t last long as he was caught at point by G.Stuart off the bowling of S.Knudson for 6 (185-8).
Abid and Cheatan then swung from the hip and the score passed 200 inching them closer to victory and making AGSFP’s nerves jangle. Hegde then arrived from his second team match and was kindly allowed to field with no opposition from the batting team’s captain (Thank you Imran). AGSFP’s now had 10 back on the field and could plug a gap. The inform batsmen Abit was then bowled by S.Knudson for 29 as AGSFP crept towards victory. With 1 wicket left the screw was turned and a rather stiff Mapplebeck came back on to bowl, after a precession of wides and some rather frequent calls to pitch it up Mapplebeck soon had the new left handed batsmen on strike and had him playing all around a straight ball LBW for 11 ending there innings on 220 AO.
AGSFP’s picked up the points after a long hard day in the field with play eventually finishing at 8:26pm. Thanks must firstly go to the umpires for allowing the game to go ahead in challenging conditions. With no one able to record a 50 for the 1st XI this season ahead of the game, it is good that after a strong bating display there are now 3, Keith (52), Mapplebeck (68) and Swiergon 71*. A good all round display from the team lifted sprits and AGSFP’s will look to take that winning spirt into next week’s game.