AGSFP’s 3rd XI were relieved to hear on Friday that for the first time this season, Ellon 2nd XI had raised a team and so a sunny Saturday would not be cricket-less. Actually it was FP’s who were fortunate to have a full team with debutantes Ross Collier and schoolboy Usman Farooq being very late additions, joining Ian Johnston, Tamus Whyte, Vineet Khandari, Doug Russell (w) Leston D’Costa, Vinod Karmilla, Gilles Gardner, Rafeek Risan, Faraj Monnapillai in the line up.
The wicket looked green but flat and the outfield looked fast under the sun. Ellon won the toss and captain Scott Middleton invited FP’s to bat first. Stand in openers Whyte and Khandari were not together too long as Whyte was soon dismissed for 1, caught off J. Clark. Russell’s first scoring shot was a 6, then next over smashed four brutal boundaries as he carefully settled in. The 2nd wicket stand had raised 49 when Russell was caught off Middleton for 34 (1 x 6, 6 x 4) FP’s 51 – 2.
At the other end Khandari joined in the boundary rush and a run of six scoring shots were all boundaries as the fast outfield meant that anything that got past a fielder got past a flag. But it wasn’t one sided for the batsmen as Middleton had beaten the bat with several jaffas and at the other end Clark had seen a couple of edges fly through slips.
D’Costa had continued his good batting from the previous match and was also enjoying the conditions and timing the ball very well. The partnership went from strength to strength as the boundaries continued and Khandari reached his fifty with a 6.
The 3rd wicket partnership had reached 108 when D’Costa was out LBW only three short of a maiden fifty, dismissed for 47 (7 x 4) FP’s 159 – 3 off 26.1 overs.
FP’s were well placed for a big score and Khandari and Karmilla continued the onslaught with boundaries smashed all round the wicket. The 4th wicket had raised 92 in only 11 overs when Karmilla was dismissed LBW to J. Clark for 32 (6 x 4) FP’s 251 – 4 off 37.4 overs.
Khandari had been scoring at will and having been told his score as he approached his century, calmly hit yet another boundary to reach an excellent maiden hundred for FP’s, the first ever to be scored for the reconstituted 3rd XI. The batsman continued the run fest but with his score on 114 was finally dismissed having hit 1 x 6 and 17 x 4 and FP’s total 256 – 5 off 39.3 overs.
Schoolboys Monnapillai and Farook also hit out and added a quick 17 runs before Monnapillai was stumped off Sandam for 16, including 3 well struck boundaries.
FP’s final score at the end of the 45 overs was 276 – 6 with Farook 5 not out and Gardner 0 not out.
This had been quite a display of attacking batting for FP’s, first from Russell then continued by D’Costa, Karmilla and record breaking centurion Khandari.
Wicket takers for Ellon, J.Clark 12 – 1 – 86 – 4, S. Middleton 10 – 1 – 48 – 1, M. Sandham 10 – 1 – 61 – 1.
Ellon had to score at just over 6 runs per over but with the fast outfield it was not as daunting as it might have looked. The experienced openers Middleton and Duncan had just settled in when Middleton was beaten by Risan and bowled for 20 (4 x 4), Ellon 27 – 1.
Duncan and Kennard then added 77 runs and like FP’s, hitting many boundaries. Kennard was then bowled in D’Costa’s second over for 20 (3 x 4), Ellon 104 – 2. New batsman Addy batted well and along with Duncan kept the scoring at a good rate. Duncan was batting very well, hitting three scorching cover drives in one over.
Ellon lost their 3rd wicket when Addy was well caught by Risan off Khandari for 34 (1 x 6, 5 x 4). Meikle was soon out for 10 (2 x 4) caught by wicketkeeper Russell off Karmilla as Duncan just about kept Ellon in touch of the scoring rate.
Sandham did not last long, bowled by Khandari for 3 and all hope Ellon had ended when Duncan was finally dismissed for a hard hitting 77 (12 x 4), out LBW to Karmilla. Debutant Collier bowled the last over and had W. Middleton ‘stumped’ by Russell for 1. Ellon ended on 227 – 7 off 45 overs. Wicketkeeper Russell paid a lot of money for the match report to mention only 3 byes conceded in 45 overs, but not enough not to mention the missed catch.
Bowling figures for FP’s Karmilla 12 – 1 – 38 – 2, Khandari 12 – 2 – 56 – 2, Collier 1 – 0 – 6 – 1, Risan 9 – 0 – 42 – 1, D’Costa 5 – 0 – 47 – 1 Whyte 5 – 0 – 21 – 0, Monnapillai 1 – 0 – 13 – 0
The game was played in a very friendly spirit with the Ellon lads a pleasure to play against. Hopefully they can continue to raise a team for the rest of the season.
FP’s winners by 50 runs in a high scoring encounter, the first win in Grade 4 for over a season and the second win in a row following last week’s cup match. Both games were played in sunny weather with fast outfields.The hero of FP’s batting was Khandari, but he was ably supported by three other batsmen scoring over 30. The bowlers stuck to their task and were rewarded with the victory.
Man of the Match – Vineet Khandari, magnificent hundred and 2 wickets
Champagne Moment – the calmly hit boundary to bring up his hundred