The final league match of a soggy season for AGSFP’s 3rd XI was against Methlick 2nds at FP’s adopted home at the Duthie Park. The weather was hot and sunny and perfect for cricket, until the captains went out to the middle for the toss, when the rain started right on cue.
The heavy shower gave the FP’s captain a chance to introduce this weeks seasons debutantes David Blues and Ran Ganapathi to the rest of the team, Kingshuk Ghosh, Aly MacDonald, Rajaa Monnapillai, Matthew McCaughtrie, Divyesh Selvaraj, Jim Lee, Bejoy Joseph, Iain Bell.
When the rain eventually stopped, captains Rob Fryer and Ian Johnston agreed to reduce the overs to 40 per side and with FP’s deciding to bat first, openers Ghosh and Lee carefully avoided a rarely seen Duthie Park puddle and splashed their way over the boundary line to the middle. The wicket was very soft and the outfield very wet.
Both batsmen played the accurate bowling from Choudry and Carr with care, Lee hit the first boundary in the 6th over to take the score to 11. Choudry struck first for Methlick by bowling Lee for 9 (1 x 4), FP’s 15 – 1 off 9.2 overs.
MacDonald joined Ghosh and hit a boundary to get off the mark. Both batsmen played cautiously and waited for the bad delivery to hit. MacDonald hit a couple of cover drives for four and Ghosh hit a couple of good legside shots which kept the score moving. The fifty partnership came in the 21st over, but 2 overs later, with the total 78, Ghosh was dismissed LBW to Mani for a patient 26 (2 x 4).
Monnapillai and MacDonald then added 38 runs of which Monnapillai scored a frustrating 6 before being caught by Cordiner off Choudry, Monnapillai having difficulty timing his shots and finding the fielders when he did. MacDonald duly reached his 50 without offering a chance and pushed on with David Blues offering good support. The 4th wicket pair added 34 before MacDonald was finally out caught by Fryer at deep mid off for 79 (8 x 4), a great lesson in how to build and pace an innings. McCaughtrie was run out without scoring and Blues hit a couple of boundaries in his 16, leaving Selvaraj was 3 not out as FP’s closed on 156 – 6 off 40 overs.
FP’s batted well against accurate bowling in damp conditions and mainly thanks to MacDonald, posted a decent total.
Wicket takers for Methlick, S. Choudry 9 – 0 – 28 – 3, V. Mani 6 – 0 – 22 – 1, B. Carr 9 – 1 29 – 1
The weather had turned quite pleasant for the Methlick innings and the outfield had dried out nicely. Openers A. Smith and S. Choudry had scored 15 when Blues took his first wicket of the season in his third over of the season, Monnapillai eventually falling forward to scoop the ball inches from the turf to remove Choudry for 7 (1 x 4), Methlick 15 – 1 off 5.2 overs. Monnapillai soon accounted for M. Day, bowled for 1.
Methlick batsmen Fryer and Smith both survived catches which should have been taken and once they were fully accustomed to the wicket and then seen off the FP’s opening bowlers, pushed on and scored quick runs in contrasting styles, Fryer classically driving through the covers and straight and Smith blasting the ball all round the wicket. Some clever running between the wickets early on also kept the score moving when under pressure.
Smith was eventually out caught by FP’s best fielder Bell off Selvaraj for a hard hit 72 (1 x 6, 10 x 4), Methlick 135 – 3. Fryer and new batsman S. Gordon finished the game off quickly, Fryer reaching his 50 with a boundary and ending 57 not out (8 x 4) with Gordon 8 not out (1 x 4), Methlick winning by 7 wickets with 12.5 overs remaining.
Wicket takers for FP’s Monnapillai 6 – 0 – 17 – 1, Blues 9.1 – 1 – 39 – 1, Selvaraj 4 – 0 – 29 – 1
A convincing and deserved win for Methlick 2nds who batted confidently against the very inexperienced FP’s bowlers who hopefully learned a line and length lesson from the Methlick bowling attack. FP’s batted well, showing good patience and discipline, with MacDonald later reminding the FP’s captain a century might have been possible had the overs not been reduced during the brief sunny shower.
Man of the Match – Aly MacDonald, top scorer in the match hitting a classy 79
Champagne Moment – Ten team mates wakening Monnapillai up in time to make the catch
The 2016 season has been a bit frustrating with wet weather and matches being scratched including, sadly, FP’s on one occasion. However we won 2 league matches more than last season, despite losing several players to other teams and schoolboys Leston D’Costa and Rajaa Monnapillai deservedly being promoted to the 1st and 2nd XI’s for most of the season. There were over 40 players selected for the 3rd XI this season which shows there is life in the 3rd team yet, with schoolboys Divyesh Selvaraj and Matthew McCaughtrie progressing nicely through the season.