With last weeks match being rained off, a damp end to the week was the last thing FP’s 3rd XI had wanted, especially as the game was to be played at Sheddocksley Lower. The pitch was wet on arrival with water seeping over the soles walking on the wicket, but it seemed to dry very quickly and by the time the game commenced it was playable. FP’s were two men short to play against Grade 4 second top Grampian 2nds, the team comprising Johnston (c), Ghosh (w), Lord, Youles, Stuart, D’Costa, MacDonald, Rafeek and this week’s debutant, schoolboy Divyesh Selveraj.
FP’s won the toss and asked Grampian to bat. Rafeek and Stuart bowled well with both bowlers having the batsmen play and miss. Rafeek took the first wicket when wicketkeeper Ghosh took a comfortable catch. A second wicket came soon after thanks to an excellent piece of fielding by D’Costa, running out Raj with a direct hit from fine leg.
MacDonald replaced Rafeek and immediately found good line and length. At the other end Selvaraj almost had a dream start to his career with FP’s but a dozing square leg dropped the catch off his very first ball. It is fortunate the luckless Selvaraj is too young to buy a lottery ticket as three balls later another catch was dropped at mid wicket. However his luck did change when keeper Ghosh took another catch soon after. MacDonald also got in on the act taking two wickets, another two catches for Ghosh. Grampian were now wobbling with five wickets down for around 70, but Lampard and Babu began finding the gaps in the field and the score mounted.
Rafeek and Stuart returned and both took a wicket, Lord holding on to a juggling catch off Stuart and Stuart taking a catch off Rafeek to remove Lampard for 34 (6 x 4) and Babu for 34 (4 x 6, 2 x 4).
Selvaraj came on for a second spell and wicketkeeper Ghosh took yet another catch to dismiss Ajith. Selvaraj then bowled Thekkeklara first ball but Sajan survived the hat trick ball. Rafeek took a deserved third wicket by bowling Sajan for 13. Grampian all out 190 in 42.3 overs, the wicket playing a lot better than anticipated.
FP’s struggled a bit at times with only nine men not helped by three or four catches being missed when on top. Selvaraj almost had a dream debut, just missing out on a hat trick and having two catches dropped off his first over, but showed good potential in his two spells. Ghosh had an enjoyable time taking five catches behind the stumps.
Wicket takers for FP’s, Rafeek 11.3 – 1 – 35 – 3, Selvaraj 7 – 1 – 35 – 3, MacDonald 8 – 2 – 20 – 2, Stuart 10 – 0 – 29 – 1.
Following a good tea, FP’s had hoped to keep the recent run of high scores going, but unfortunately Lord, Ghosh, Youles, Stuart and Johnston all played shots they would rather forget to plunge FP’s to 13 – 5 off 7.2 overs. Stuart at least managed to blast a 6 over extra cover but an embarrassing Brexit was on the cards.
Fortunately D’Costa and MacDonald dug in and showed how it could be done adding 61 runs and a bit of respectability to the score. D’Costa played some great cuts and drives before falling for 23 (3 x 4) with MacDonald hitting one 6, three boundaries and one broken bat in his 28.
Sevaraj ended his first innings 4 not out and Rafeek was out caught off Raj for 6 (1 x 4) as FP’s finished 90 all out. Wicket takers for Grampian Seby 8 – 0 – 23 – 4, Antu 8 – 4 – 6 – 2, Kannan 4 – 1 – 3 – 1, Raj 3.5 – 0 – 11 – 1.
Playing with only 9 men is always a challenge, but FP’s did not help themselves with dropped catches and some poor batting. But there was a promising debut by Selvaraj and Ghosh kept wicket very well.
Man of the Match – Aly MacDonald bowled well and top scored
Champagne Moment – Kingshuk Ghosh taking his fivefor