King of the swingers goes ape at Harlaw

_dsc5864_lzn_26548823784_oThe FP’s batting helmets should have been light blue this week  as it was a United Nations of a 3rd XI chosen to play Stonehaven 2nd XI at Harlaw, with seven nations  represented, namely Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and a Malteser. The line up was Ian Johnston, Gary Stuart, Aly Macdonald, Matt Carson, Roland Knudson, Faraj Monnapillai, Vineet Khandari, Vinod Karmilla, Agha Haider, Rafeek Risan and Jerry Moir. _dsc6072_lzn_27123446076_o

The toss was won by Stonehaven skipper Dave Long Snr who invited FP’s to bat first. The weather was sunny but windy and the overnight and morning rain had long since dried up. There was a change in the outfield, a sinkhole/escape tunnel from Rubislaw had recently appeared inside the boundary but had been fenced off so securely that even Donald Trump would have approved.

The strength of the 1st and 2nd XI’s this week meant that the 3rds could open with experienced batsmen Knudson and Stuart followed by Macdonald at three to hopefully set a solid base. This plan worked perfectly for 11 balls until Stuart was beaten by Stonehaven left arm swing bowler King, the inswinging delivery finding a ball sized gap between bat and pad, FP’s 2 – 1.

Macdonald was next to provide a ball sized gap to give King his second wicket with an identical delivery to that which had beaten Stuart, Macdonald bowled for 5, FP’s 11 – 2 off 5.1 overs.

FP’s debutant Khandari looked to be comfortable at the crease, but then became too comfortable behind the crease and provided King with his third wicket when struck inside the crease in front his stumps, out LBW for 6, FP’s 20 – 3 off 9.2 overs.

Next man Haider also stayed back in his crease and was bowled first ball to King, FP’s 20 – 4.

Very experienced Moir calmly batted out the over, then hit new bowler Lyall straight back over his head for a big 6 over mid on. Unfortunately Lyall had his revenge next over when he bowled Moir for 6, FP’s 44 – 5 off 17.4 overs.

At the other end Knudson had been batting calmly and correctly, his innings highlighted by two boundaries off Wathern’s second over and being denied a few more by the thickish outfield. Johnston joined Knudson and the 6th wicket pair added 11 without too much trouble when Knudson, obviously not recovered from an all run 3, was out, very well caught at slip by Gouws off schoolboy H. Wilson for 26 (2 x 4), FP’s 55 – 6. The non striking batsman had already set off for the expected single when Gouws swooped low to his left.

Karmilla immediately got off the mark with a leg side boundary, only the third of the FP’s innings in the 20th over. The 7th wicket had raised 21 when Johnston allowed King to show off his fielding prowess by taking a good diving catch off  H. Wilson, Johnston out for 4, FP’s 76 – 7 off 23 overs.

Karmilla did well to keep the score moving, but the return of King saw the end of the FP’s innings as Risan was out LBW to King for a duck, closely followed Karmilla, also out LBW to King, scoring a well struck 19 ( 2 x 4) and two balls later it was all over for FP’s innings when Irishman Carson was out to a cracker from King, leaving Monnapillai not out 0, FP’s all out for 90.

Stonehaven’s King bowled very well with good control and swung the ball bowling into the wind, one or two FP’s batsmen will hopefully have learned from it. Young H. Wilson also bowled well in the windy conditions. Wicket takers for Stonehaven  N. King 7.4 – 3 – 4 – 7, H. Wilson 4 – 0 – 17 – 2, S. Lyall 5 – 0 – 21 – 1.

Following the best tea in 3rd XI history featuring too many sandwiches and jammy Knudscones, FP’s took to the field hoping for an early breakthrough. Having a bowler in the FP’s line up who had once taken 5 wickets against Australia while playing for Scotland, including that of 23 Test century scoring Alan Border, the obvious tactic was to have him keep wicket, so Jerry Moir became the 5th different keeper in the last 5 matches for the 3rd XI, a five-for to be proud of and pub quiz question unlikely ever to be answered. Or asked.

FP’s needed a quick breakthrough, but openers A. Wilson and B. Donnelly survived the opening spell from Risan and Karmilla who both bowled well without much luck. The Stonehaven batsmen batted with patience but rarely missed an opportunity to take a quick single which kept the score moving very nicely, a lesson for anyone watching.

After 12 overs the score was 36 – 0 and FP’s brought on Stuart and Knudson. The scoring slowed and Knudson was unlucky when a near perfect off break beat Donnelly and clipped the leg stump bail, but unfortunately the umpire was unsighted by the batsman and Donnelly rightly survived. If the careless bowler had just bowled the perfect off break and clipped the off bail instead…

Stuart finally made the breakthrough first ball of the next over when he bowled Donnelly with a beauty knocking all the stumps over, Stonehaven 44 – 1 off 18.1 over.

New batsman Wathern came out and immediately hit out at everything and the game was all over in the 27th over with Stonehaven reaching their target for the loss of just one wicket, A. Wilson 19 n.o. ( 1 x 4) Wathern 29 n.o. (5 x 4).

Bowling figures for FP’s  Risan 6 – 1 – 8 – 0, Karmilla 6 – 2 – 21 – 0, Stuart 4 – 0 – 16 – 1, Knudson 6 – 2 – 12 – 0, Haider 3 – 0 – 17 – 0, Macdonald 1 – 0 – 8 – 0, Monnapillai 0.1 – 0 – 2 – 0

For the second game in a row, only two FP’s batsmen had managed to get into double figures and a left arm over the wicket bowler had mesmerized the batsmen leaving the bowlers with a tough task.

But the sun shone, the tea was excellent and it was a friendly match throughout.

Man of the Match – Nigel King, match turning catch

…and 7 wickets

Champagne Moment – Jerry Moir’s majestic maximum_dsc6053_lzn_27123434906_o _dsc5851_lzn_27123042686_o _dsc5850_lzn_26881855340_o _dsc5842_lzn_26551640853_o _dsc5832_lzn_27156166915_o _dsc5828_lzn_27061003582_o _dsc5827_lzn_27122993126_o _dsc5825_lzn_27087711111_o

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