A belated first Grade 4 match of the season saw AGSFP’s 3rd XI actually field IX with debutant Chris Durling joining Ian Johnston (c) Aly MacDonald, Tom Murray, Jim Lee (wkt) schoolboys Leston D’Costa, Faraj Monnapillai, Jason Alexander, Arif Ali to play Methlick 2nd XI (actually X) at Harlaw.
The weather was hot and sunny and for once the strong cross wind was welcomed by the fielders. FP’s won the toss and decided to bat first and Lee and D’Costa opened the batting, Lee having batted once this season, D’Costa not at all.
The innings started watchfully due to the accurate Anderson and the underused Fryer also bowling well. Lee was first to be dismissed bowled by Fryer for 9 (1 x 4), score 17 – 1 off 7.2 overs.
D’Costa survived a couple of edges through slips and waited for the bad ball to hit, his patience rewarded with a perfectly timed pick up shot off his legs which soared for 6. MacDonald immediately found his touch and played some lovely drives through the offside as the scoring rate picked up.
The 2nd wicket had raised 69 when MacDonald was out to a good ball bowled by P. Rice for 41 (7 x 4), FP’s total 86 – 2. Monnapillai did not last long giving Rice an easy caught and bowled for 1, FP’s 92 – 3. New batsman Alexander looked to score off every ball and together with the now fluent D’Costa pushed the score along well. As the fielders tired, the running between the wicket improved greatly, with an all run 5 the highlight, the youthful batsmen taking advantage of an overthrow.
D’Costa passed 50 for the first time and then really accelerated with great shots all round the wicket including three successive boundaries in one over. Alexander was out bowled by Rice for an excellent 42 (6 x 4), the 4th wicket partnership 95 in 14 overs.
With the end of the innings in sight, D’Costa was eventually run out for 83 ( 1 x 6, 7 x 4) FP’s 187 – 4 in 38.3 overs. Ali and Murray took the score to 200 – 4 off the agreed 40 overs, Ali 1 n.o., Murray 4 n.o. (1 x 4). Wicket takers for Methlick P. Rice 11 – 0 – 65 – 3, Fryer 9 – 2 – 42 – 1.
With the score book actually adding up first time the tea interval was enjoyed by everyone.
Methlick opening partnership of Rice and Fryer were certainly no slow cookers and both were serving up a feast of boundaries. Rice lived dangerously, being dropped 3 times, one of which was a Boycotts mothers pinny variety. Fryer drove well and got full value for his shots over the fast outfield.
Rice had just come to the boil hitting MacDonald for a huge 6, but next ball wicketkeeper Lee snapped up the chance to stump Rice for 47 (1 x 6, 5 x 4), Methlick 77 – 1 off 15.4 overs. Fryer and Anderson continued to hit the bad ball but a good spell from Monnapillai saw the only maiden bowled by FP’s as he gave away only 10 runs in his first 4 overs against two well set, experienced batsmen.
The second wicket partnership had just about won the game for Methlick when D’Costa bowled Anderson for 44 (6 x 4). Alexander had returned to bowl a good spell at Fryer and was well rewarded when Fryer’s sparkling innings was ended by a smart caught and bowled, out for 66, including 13 x 4, the pick being a classic on drive to bring up his half century.
D’Costa’s accurate off breaks saw him bowl Campbell for 4, quickly followed by a sharp piece of fielding by D’Costa to run out Sasafimoski for 7 leaving Methlick 196 – 5. The game was soon ended by Parry and Gordon who both hit a couple of boundaries in their 9 n.o. each, Methlick winning by 5 wickets in the 37th over.
A great afternoon’s cricket was played in excellent spirit throughout and enjoyed by everyone. The experienced Methlick team were too strong on the day for the very inexperienced FP’s bowlers who bowled well but who were let down by the catching, a lack of match practice possibly a factor. Tiredness was also a factor for schoolboy Ali who bowled well but whose figures suffered from a very tired last over. Alexander used the cross wind well in his first spell beating the bat several times and Monnapillai bowled one of only four maidens in the match. Wicketkeeper Lee kept well throughout, helped by only 11 wides in 36.4 overs.
Bowling figure for FP’s – D’Costa 5 – 0 – 31 – 2, MacDonald 7 – 0 – 38 – 1, Alexander 9.4 – 0 – 49 – 1, Monnapillai 5 – 1 – 21 – 0, Ali 10 – 0 – 59 – 0.
Man of the Match – Leston D’Costa playing his first innings of the season and probably his last innings of the season for the 3rds, batted with great composure and patience early in his innings then opened up scoring quickly with classy shots all round the wicket during his 38 over innings. He also fielded well with a run out and took 2 wickets with good accurate bowling.
Champagne Moment – not the scorebook adding up but D’Costa reaching his first 50 for FP’s