With skipper Morrison out enjoying his mid-life crisis/ mid-season Ibiza regeneration break, Swiergon stepped into his shoes as FP’s gave Lahore a lesson not only in game management but also good running.
Controversy had already bubbled to the surface before a ball had even been bowled on a sunny but blustery Saturday afternoon. Before the toss had even occurred Lahore captain Imran had conceded that they were desperately struggling for players and would not have a full complement of players before the 1 PM start time, after some discussion it was decided that Lahore would concede the toss and in the spirit of the game FP’s would bowl first allowing time for more players to arrive. For a short time it looked as though FP’s had been sold up the river as Lahore players streamed through the door. Come 1pm AGSFP’s took to the field and Worsley and Mapplebeck took the new ball, and after some tight bowling Worsley has Danish caught Clelland 0, the batsman almost not walking to a big nick, 3-1 soon became 6-2 as Worsley again picked up the wicket of Taaj bowled by a beauty nipping back taking the top of middle peg for 7.
Imran and Ali led the fightback and batted with some caution along with some big hitting, coupled with some un-grammar like drops along the way before Ali was LBW to Thomson for 33. Imran now suffering with an upset stomach decided to hit out smashing three 6’s in quick succession, he eventually fell for a well-made 68 caught off the bowling of Thomson, 110-3. S.Ali was taking his chances and it would be his job to help the tail score some vital runs. Irfan soon fell caught Thomson off the bowling of High for 0 and Grammar could sniff some quick wickets.
Mapplebeck was brought back into the attack and he was an instant success taking the wicket of Chetan first ball, 123-4. And his success continued Mapplebeck picking up 3 wickets in quick succession for 1 run as Lahore batsmen tried to find an answer to Mapplebeck’s pace, Lahore eventually finishing there innings on 144.
With opener Morrison away discovering what a flaming Sambuca is High and Keith opened for FP’s knowing they were going to have to run well in a very slow outfield. After a solid start Keith was first to fall, the ball keeping low and nipping back taking his off stump for a well-run 21. Swiergon and High rebuilt running hard and moving the fielders around before Swiergon was bowled for 15 to a ball keeping low much like Keith’s, 69-2. That’s soon became 70-3 when High was caught for 26.
Always the man for a crisis Davey and Arul Senthil set about working the runs and scoring boundary’s when they could, Davey looking in good touch until he was caught by the third change keeper (opening bowler who had just bowled 10 overs on the bounce) for 14 and FP’s were 104-4. Debutant D’Costa (Diego) as he is now known batted with control keeping out the good balls and punishing the bad ones, FP’s could taste victory but that was to be short lived as Arul Senthil departed for a match winning 31. Mapplebeck Joined Diego and soon departed showing us all how not to leave the ball outside off stump, caught behind for 6. The rain fell but FP’s only needed a couple of runs, Clelland joined Diego and both of them batted calmly seeing FP’s home Diego finishing 11 N.O. on his debut and Clelland on 4 N.O.
FP’s won a game played in good sprit, Lahore put up some early resistance but succumbed to FP’s ruthless wining mentality. Set up by good bowling FP’s were able to bat at their own pace with the opening partnership between Keith & High and Davey & Senthil being the main stay of the innings. FP’s march on and will play at home again next week hoping to extend their lead from the chasing pack against Academy.