John Thomson rolled back the years to claim a superb 5 for 27 as FPs stormed to a 9 wicket win against bottom side Banchory. It took FPs about 2 hours to start playing as they allowed Banchory to reach 118 for 2 thanks to a series of dropped catches but Thomson’s spell in which he took 5 for 8 in just 31 balls ensured Banchory were bundled out for just 137. Vijay Vijapur chipped in with 4 for 23, before a typically robust innings from Alex Keith (78 not out) and a measured 39 not out from Pehlaj Tenneti, saw FPs home with 22 overs to spare.
FPs made 4 changes with a bowler shortage leading to call ups for Thomson and Stuart. Clelland and Swiergon came in to bolster the middle order with Clelland taking the gloves. FPs therefore lined up Morrison, Keith, Tenneti, Senthil, Anand, Swiergon, Vijapur, Clelland, Thomson, Knudson and Stuart. Fresh from accepting the freedom of Fraserburgh, Morrison called correctly and after some thought decided to field. Stuart and Vijapur took the new ball and there were few alarms early on as Banchory reached 35 for no wicket in 10 overs. It took an exceptional catch to bring the breakthrough, Senthil stooping low at mid wicket to grab Redpath for 10 off Vijapur. It was soon 47 for 2 as new bowler Anand claimed his first FPs wicket, Hicks LBW for 17.
There was then a long stand between Ambrose and Safee as FPs missed a heap of chances, Morrison, Anand, Vijapur and others all guilty, Knudson regularly the bowler suffering. Morrison tried Knudson and Swiergon’s spin in attempt to get a breakthrough, but it was the 6th bowler used Thomson that finally got a wicket. He had bowled 3 loose overs for 19, but his 4th over started the collapse, Morrison taking a good catch at mid on to remove Ambrose for 30, Banchory 118 for 3. He then removed the dangerous Safee, bowling him for 38 and the returning Vijapur got in on the act bowling Starling for a duck.
The game had now completely changed and Thomson and Vijapur were rampant, Thomson bowling Redpath for 2, while Vijapur lean bowled Nixon for the same score. Vijapur had his 4th when M Nixon offered no shot and was LBW for a duck, but it was Thomson who got a 5th wicket as Clelland superbly stumped Douglas for 1 as Banchory collapsed to 137 all out.
It was a great performance from FPs after a lacklustre opening 32 overs as they claimed the last 8 wickets in 10 overs. The figures were Stuart 4-0-14-0, Vijapur 12-1-23-4, Anand 10-0-22-1, Knudson 8-0-33-0, Swiergon 2-0-10-0 and Thomson 8.5-2-27-5.
After tea Morrison and Keith opened and added 29 in 3 overs, before Morrison played a long hop onto his stumps to give Ambrose a wicket. It was to be Banchory’s only success as Keith played an aggressive knock, driving fluently and pulling savagely when the bowlers dropped short. At the other end Tenneti played lots of wristy flicks and cuts as FPs rattled along at a run a ball. They reached their target in the 24th over with Keith on 78 and Tenneti on 39. Alex Keith made his 78 not out in 77 balls and hit 14 fours. His 50 came off 63 balls. Tenneti made his runs from 63 balls and hit 3 boundaries.
Overall it was a very satisfying result, although FPs will not be able to be so generous with dropped catches next week when they face an excellent Crescent side at Kings College. Thomson and Vijapur bowled well and Keith and Tenneti ensured the chase was never in doubt. Both games against Banchory have been played in an excellent spirit and if they do go down as seems likely, it will be two games for our second team to enjoy next season.