FPs ended Bon Accord’s 100% record in fine style and wrecked their title coronation with an excellent bowling display and determined batting recovery to claim a surprise 3 wicket win. It was FPs first league win against Bon Accord for 9 years and extended FPs winning run to 5 games. Youngster Rutwik Hegde was the batting hero, making a composed 41 not out but was superbly supported by Mapplebeck and Vijapur with 15 not out as FPs added an unbeaten 49 for the 8th wicket. Chasing just 106 on a dreadful pitch, FPs had crumbled from 32 for no wicket to 40 for 6 but recovered magnificently. Earlier Vijay Vijapur had claimed 4 for 31 and Karan Anand 3 for 24 in a good display backed up by superb fielding and catching.
FPs made 2 changes with Anand and Keith coming in for Knudson and Tenneti. Having won the toss, Morrison had no hesitation in fielding on what appeared a doubtful surface and proved to be so as FPs lined up Morrison, Keith, McDonald, Senthil, Hegde, Swiergon, Anand, Mapplebeck, Vijapur, Stuart and Thomson. Mapplebeck and Vijapur took the new ball but Bon Accord made a quick start racking up 32 in the 1st 5 overs. They removed Ahmed, Morrison taking a good catch down the legside off Vijapur for 5 and followed up by having the dangerous Awan plumb LBW to Mapplebeck for a quickfire 23, Bon Accord 41 for 2. The scoring continued at pace as Bon Accord moved to 62 in 13 overs.
FPs thought during that period that they had Mirza, Morrison tumbling to his right to claim the catch but the umpire disagreed, Mapplebeck the disgruntled bowler. He had no doubt soon after however, as a big edge off Vijapur easily claimed by Morrison as Mirza departed for 10. It led to a flurry of wickets as Anand picked up 3 quick victims His 1st ball had Ali playing on for 12 and soon after Andy Win was snapped up by Morrison at the wicket for just 2. Vijapur then had Bhalani superbly caught at mid wicket, Senthil diving full length to get his man as Bon Accord slipped to 66 for 6.
Duresa smashed a 6 but McDonald was dispatched to the boundary and took a catch 1st ball, the batsman taking him on and failing to clear him to depart for 7 and hand Vijapur a 4th wicket. Anand who was getting huge lateral movement had kept Malik quiet and it was no surprise he went for a big shot, but hit it high to mid off where Vijapur took the catch to remove him for 1. Bon Accord reached 99, when new bowler Thomson found extra bounce and Swiergon leapt like a salmon to take a great catch in the gully, Adanan out for 9. Bon Accord crept up to 105 when Thomson found his line to pin Ahmed LBW for 10.
Overall it had been a great bowling effort, supported by fine ground fielding and catching and apart from bowling too many wides, FPs used the conditions well. 105 all out was by no means a bad score on the pitch, but something around 140 was likely to be very tough to get. For FPs the bowling figures were Mapplebeck 8-0-33-1, Vijapur 12-3-31-4, Anand 6-2-24-3 and Thomson 2-0-7-2.
With Bon Accord closing in on the title and craving a 100% record, FPs knew it would be a tough chase but made an excellent start as Morrison and Keith put on 32 in 9 overs with minimal fuss, both finding the boundary. Morrison fell LBW to Malik for 10 and McDonald soon followed, out caught at the wicket 2nd ball. Senthil followed quickly top edging a pull and being caught by keeper Win off Bahlani. FPs had lost 4 wickets for 1 run when Keith edged to slip for 18.
Hedge at 5 watched on as FPs slipped further towards seemingly inevitable defeat as 2 more wickets fell, Swiergon unlucky to be LBW for a duck to Malik and then Anand becoming Malik’s 5th victim, also recording a duck as FPs plunged to 40 for 6. It was not unreasonable that Bon Accord now assumed the game was secure, but they had reckoned against youngster Hegde, Harry Mapplebeck and Vijay Vijapur.
Harry Mapplebeck may have made just 12 but he stopped the rot, occupying the crease for 10 overs to help FPs to 59 before cutting one straight to Bahlani at point. Hegde was looking assured but needed support and he found it in Vijapur as they initially played very carefully but looked to hit the bad ball. 3rd man was a productive area as many short balls could be glided into that area. Hegde survived a routine caught and bowled, put down by Awan and then launched a calculated attack on the same bowler, hitting 20 off 9 balls, including 2 majestic lofted drives for 4.
Bon Accord shuffled their attack but started to conceede wides as an unlikely win appeared more and more possible for FPs. Vijapur was batting with real purpose and managing to get Hegde on strike whenever he could and the running was well judged with no alarms. With the stand now worth more than 40, less than 10 were needed. Some more good running and some wides brought FPs within 2 and Vijapur hit the winning runs with a boundary as FPs sealed a fine win.
It had been a fine effort from a now resolute FPs side who have battled hard in recent weeks and managed to string together a real run of form, credit has to go to Rutwik Hegde for a superb innings but he was well supported by Vijapur. Bon Accord were succesful in claiming the title but were left shell shocked by FPs win that few could have predicted. Next up for FPs is 2020 finals day and a very tough clash with Crescent.