FPs completed a rare league double over Cults as they strolled to a 143 run win at Duthie Park. The result was in no doubt after FPs made 234 for 9, having been asked to bat. Rob Swiergon hit a composed 83, Alex Keith made 42 and Sajid Hameed struck an enterprising 48. Cults were never in contention and were rolled over for a fairly sorry 91, John Thomson claiming 4 for 23.
FPs were close to full strength and could not find a place for Clelland or McDonald and lined up Morrison, Keith, Swiergon, Senthil, Anand, Davey, High, Mapplebeck, Hameed, Worsley and Thomson. FPs lost the toss and were asked to bat on a damp pitch. They were soon one down as Morrison top edged a pull to Gillanders for 3, Atif taking the wicket.
It brought in Swiergon and he and Keith batted with composure and sense adding a careful 61 in 13 overs before Keith was bowled by a fine Grover delivery for 42 (8×4). Senthil struck his 1st ball for 4 but was bowled 2nd ball as Grover’s 2nd wicket kept Cults in touch, FPs 70 for 3.
Anand played with caution and was starting to get going with a 6, but Grover clean bowled him next ball for 11 (1×6). When Davey was bowled for 7 by a sharp off break from Viraj, FPs were in a spot of difficulty at 120 for 5. New batsmen High saw Swiergon to his 50 off 64 balls, but only made 10, as he was run out by a direct hit. Mapplebeck fell for a duck soon after, caught by Poornesh at cover off Farooq as FPs slid to 144 for 7 in 32 overs.
The game was somewhat in the balance, by a determined stand by Hameed and Swiergon soon changed that and all but secured the victory for FPs. Hameed launched 2 larges sixes as Swiergon continued to score off most balls, pushing singles and dispatching bad balls for 4. They had added 70 for the 8th wicket, when a tiring Swiergon aimed something violent over the legside and was bowled off stump for a magnificent and up till then chanceless 83 off 95 balls (11×4).
Worsley did his best to get Hameed to 50, but Hameed was run out 2 short by a direct hit, his 48 off 35 balls (4×4, 2×6) certainly cementing FPs dominance. Thomson came in and made 6 not out with Worsley on the same score as FPs closed on 234 for 9.
On a damp wicket it looked easily enough and so it proved as the Cults chase with the exception of Grover never got started. After a tight start, the 1st wicket went down in the 8th over with just 12 on the board, Gillanders hitting Hameed miles up, where High claimed a good catch at mid off. In the 13th over Mapplebeck bagged a brace, Worsley snapping up Poornesh for 6 at 2nd slip and Nojeeb clean bowled for a duck.
Wickets continued to tumble all round Grover who was putting up a one man fight, Aqeel caught by Hameed for 8 off Thomson, before Viraj was LBW for a duck to Anand and Baburao was LBW to Thomson for 1. Cults now 59 for 6.
Morrison had the luxury of mixing up his bowling with all 6 bowlers getting an outing, High extracting big spin but unable to claim any victims. It was Thomson who finished things off though as the resolute Grover was eventually removed for an excellent 45 , LBW to Thomson, before Atif slapped a drive straight to Keith on the long off boundary for 18. With Meghani injured and Farooq driving him, Cults last 2 men were absent and FPs closed out a comfortable victory.
Without really breaking sweat, FPs bowled a good line and length and had figures as follows. Mapplebeck 8-4-17-2, Hameed 6-2-13-1, Worsley 2-1-3-0, Thomson 5.4-1-23-4, Anand 2-0-14-1 and High 3-0-20-0. Thomson proved the value of bowling on the stumps and won 2 LBWs, the value of a neutral umpire also shown, Jim Stephen doing a good job.
Next for FPs is Lahore Karahi at Rubislaw, with FPs looking to solidify their place in 2nd.
Despite his 4 wickets, John Thomson is edged out by Rob Swiergon who made a chanceless 83 on a difficult wicket.