FPs demolished Mannofield by 113 runs in an utterly dominant performance. With the game reduced to just 35 overs each due to rain, FPs still racked up 273, scoring at nearly 8 an over, as Rob Swiergon made a magnificent 96 not not and Karan Anand blitzed 49 not out from just 18 balls. Geoff Morrison weighed in with 40, Rutwik Hegde hit 34 and Alex Keith hit 26 as the batsmen completely dominated. Harry Mapplebeck then claimed 3 for 46 as FPs eased to victory.
It was all the more impressive that the match happened at all, as with Mannofield expressing concern about some water just off the square the start of the game was delayed. The sun was blazing down, so it seemed utter madness to not at least give the game a go, but for a while it seemed as if it may not happen, even with the other game at the same venue starting on time. Luckily John Thomson, showed his enterprise to not only borrow some tools from the Dave the Duthie Park Groundsman, but the groundsman was as keen as any one to get the game started and was more than happy to help to clear the water.
With the ground now deemed playable, FPs lost the toss and were more than happy to be asked to bat first. The reduced 35 over game, started at 2pm and FPs lined up Morrison, Keith, Swiergon, Hegde, Anaand, Davey, High, Mapplebeck, Hameed, Knudson and Thomson.
Early disaster struck for Mannofield as Stuart Horne tore his hamstring in just his 3rd over. Rory Martin at the other end, was bowling some good deliveries, but the sluggish nature of the pitch, allowed the batsmen to adjust to those that were moving off the seam. Keith looked in good form and raced to 26 with 3 fours and a six, before playing on to Munro – 37 for 1.
Morrison was joined by Swiergon and they made slow progress but did add 70 in 14 overs, despite Morrison being in fairly scratchy form. He eventually fell for an unmemorable 40 from 61 balls which included 5 fours and a six. Young Hegde replaced him and wasted no time launching a four and a huge six into the bandstand. He and Swiergon added 82 in 7 overs as Swiergon started to pick up the pace too. Hegde looked in fine form and was flaying along before succumbing for the good of the team for 34 from 25 balls (2×6, 4×4). It meant that FPs were on 189 for 3 in 29 overs.
It didn’t leave Anand much time to make an impression but some huge hitting by him and Swiergon ensured another 87 were scored in 6 overs. Anand went crazy in one Munro over, clubbing 26 from it. His 49 not out (3 x 4, 5×6) from 18 balls was simply brutal. Swiergon had been batting superbly at the other end and looked like he may make a deserved ton, but sadly time ran out. He brought his 50 up in 44 balls and made his unbeaten 96 from just 66 as his smashed 13 fours and 4 sixes. Not for the 1st time he held the whole innings together and showed is batting quality.
Although nothing could be taken for granted, it did seem as if the game was up already and when Mapplebeck yorked Steve Elliott for 4 and bowled Shivakumar for a duck, Mannofield were 8 for 2. Martin and Indy lifted the score, before Anand’s 1st ball had him LBW, Stuart Horne showing excellent spirit to award an LBW many would have not. Lewis Munro was easily run out by the calm Hameed and D Elliott was bowled by Thomson for a duck as Mannofield slid to 90 for 5.
Rory Martin was scoring freely, but was outfoxed by a cutter from Thomson which Morrison claimed superbly up to the stumps to remove Martin for 41. FPs had the luxury to give all their bowlers an outing as Hegde, High and Knudson all got an outing. High had N Elliott simply caught at leg slip by Keith and Hegde who bowled extremely well, produced a fine Yorker to remove Elliott.
Mannofield had rather oddly sent their apparently best batsmen at number 10 and he clubbed it all round the ground in making an excellent 50, in a fornlorn cause, until the returning Mapplebck yorked him. Knudson claimed the final wicket, bowling Koppalu for 16 as FPs beat the rain and won comfortably.
The full bowling figures were Mapplebeck 8-1-46-3, Hameed 7-2-27-0, Anand 5-0-22-1, Thomson 4-2-17-2, Hegde 4-1-11-1, High 2-1-5-1 and Knudson 3.3-0-25-1.
The game was played in a very good spirit throughout and if Mannofield are relegated it will be a genuine loss. They were hampered by the loss of Horne and were always going to struggle to defend the small boundaries, but still played fairly and with a positive outlook.
FPs face Tranent in a very tough Small Club Cup Semi final on Sunday, a team they were well beaten by a couple of years ago, but will be hopeful of producing a strong performance to try and challenge their Lothian visitors.
Man of the match
Despite blasting 49 in no time, Karan Anand is edged out by Rob Swiergon for his magnificent 96 not out.