If you are ever having a coronation or a celebration then don’t invite the Grammar FPs cricket team as they have managed to build up a nice habit of ruining these events. Bon Accord looked certain to complete a 100% record in 2015, until FPs defeated them of the final day and incredibly lightening struck twice as FPs did it again in 2016 as they easily moved to a 5 wicket win. Bon Accord were confirmed as champions, but it was only the 3rd game they have lost in the last year, all to FPs.
Karan Anand took 4 for 33 and then struck an aggressive 43 but the key strikes came from Sajid Hameed who removed danger men Awan and Mirza cheaply. FPs then batted with aggression as Morrison with 23 and Davey 30, ensured Anand’s efforts were well supported.FPs made 4 changes with Clelland, Nattrass, Manonga and Hameed coming in as FPs lined up Morrison, Keith Swiergon, Davey, Anand, Nattrass, Mapplebeck, Manonga, Hameed, Clelland and Thomson. FPs lost the toss and rather surprisingly Bon Accord opted to a bat on a pitch that was always likely to offer assistance to the bowlers.
Bon Accord were soon up against it at 7 for 3 as Hameed produced a beauty which Awan feathered to Clelland behind the stumps. Mirza was gone for 1 in his next over in rather comical circumstances. The away swinger was edged straight to Keith at first slip, but he let it through his hands, it struck him full in the face and in a desperate attempt to gather he palmed it up, where Morrison at 2nd slip managed to grab the catch, inches from the ground. Mapplebeck removed Gaphatian in more normal circumstances, clean bowling him for a duck, to record his 99th FPs wicket.
New man Sood was in a hurry, but the luck was with him as he threatened to take the game away from FPs. He took 21 off one Manonga over as he and Win rebuilt the innings and threatened to take the game away from FPs. The score had reached 88, when he attempted a big hit against Anand and hit it straight up, where Anand claimed the caught and bowled. Sood gone for 42.
It led to something of a procession as FPs continued to set aggressive fields with slips and close fielders. Malik was bowled first ball and when Win who had batted superbly was comprehensively bowled for 36, the writing was on the wall – Anand claiming both wickets. He had 4 moments later, when Morrison dived forward to claim a great catch at silly mid off to remove Mahmood for a duck. Thomson then got in the act, Ahmed LBW for 7 and he also removed 9 year old Bhalani, easily caught at slip by Anand for 1. Rattay put up some resistance in making 20 not out, but he was involved in a comedy run out, Davey removing Malik jnr for 1.
A score of 125 was well below par and FPs were delighted at the interval with their efforts. A razor sharp fielding and catching display, greatly helping reduce the target. The bowlers did well and returned figures as follows, Mapplebeck 10-1-29-1, Hameed 7.3-3-11-2, Manonga 5-0-36-0, Anand 10-1-33-4 and Thomson 7-1-17-2.
aggression had been the name of the game in the field and the same approach was used when it came to batting. Morrison and Keith scoring at a good rate in adding 33 for the 1st wicket. Keith hit 2 fours in his 10 before dragging on a widish Malik delivery. Morrison smashed a 6 straight back over Malik’s head and hit Awan’s first ball high over midwicket for a maximum but his fun wasended on 23 by a daisy cutter from Awan. When Swiergon was then rather unluckily bowled, FPs were in a bit of bother at 45 for 3.
They had need not have worried as Anand set his stall out 2nd ball but blasting the 1st of 4 sixes as he made a rapid 43 from 38 balls. The field was set well back from Anand which meant there was limited pressure on him and allowed him to push ones, but he took full advantage of any bad balls, usually hitting them for 6. Bon Accord were keener for Davey to face and he took 16 balls to get off the mark, but after this he was fluent, hitting 3 fours and two glorious sixes as Bon Accord were unable to stop the flow of runs. They had added 62 when Davey (30) fell, to a fine catch by Mahmood to hand Mirza a wicket.
A rather hungover Nattrass replaced Davey and he looked rather scratchy but occupied Anand as the runs were whittled down. FPs needed just 5 when Anand tried to complete the game in style but Win, who by now had taken to bowling, was in the outfield and took an excellent catch to end Anand’s innings at 43.
Everyone knew the game was up and Nattrass and Mapplebeck knocked off the last few runs to finish on 2 and 4 not out respectively as FPs claimed an impressive win.
Overall it was an excellent win, built on a good all round team performance, but Bon Accord were a bit off colour their focus perhaps on Sunday’s cup final. FPs can reflect proudly on an excellent season where they have finished 2nd, not far behind Bon Accord and also won a National Cup, The final cricket of the season is next Saturday at Duthie Park for 20/20 finals day. 1st FPs face a challenging game against Lahore and if they can win that they face Bon Accord or Stoneywood Dyce. Its fair to say FPs will not be favorites and will be missing some key players who are off on well deserved holidays. As ever they will no doubt give it their all.
Once again Karan Anand was a thorn in Bon Accord’s side with 4 for 33 and an aggressive 42, he just edges Davey and Hameed who took two crucial early wickets.