Eddie Steinson struck a fantastic century and Alex Keith made 75 as FPs amassed 305 for 7. After Morrison (33) and Keith put on 64 for the 1st wicket, Steinson joined Keith to add 143 in a brutal stand that ensured an FPs win was secured before the 2nd innings began. Academy batted gamely, but were never in touch, despite FPs being rather under par in the field, closing on 229 for 9, Sam Knudson claiming 4 victims.
So called Talisman returned at the top of the order with Keith, with Steinson moving to 3 and Swiergon at 4. In came Penman in the middle order for a 1st team debut and Sam Knudson returned. Herd, Senthil, Hameed, Mapplebeck and Thomson continued from the team that defeated Inverurie. An under the weather Swiergon won the toss and decided to bat on a glorious sunny day at Rubislaw.
Morrison looked in good touch and dominated the early proceedings, hitting 6 fours as he made 33 from 34 balls before he was bowled by Prattipatti. Steinson took 9 balls off the mark looking a bit scratchy, but then launched the 1st of 6 sixes as he clicked into gear. He was particularly severe on short bowling, dispatching anything short, but equally adept at driving the full ball. He passed 50 from 43 balls and his partner Alex Keith was hardly sluggish, cutting and driving superbly as the scoreboard rattled along.
Despite the pasting Academy continued to be positive and upbeat, but had no answer as the runs racked up. Keith hit one glorious 6 and looked set to finally reach an FPs ton, when he called for a suicidal single and was run out by Prattipatti’s direct hit to fall for 75 from 69 balls (5×4 2×6). Swiergon entered the fray and looked in good touch with the bat if not from the previous night, and looked to push the singles to get Steinson on strike. It took little time for Steinson to move to 100, getting there in a hurry with a flurry of boundaries. However, clearly tiring, he was out next ball, stumped by Tenneti off part time spinner Rao. It had been a superb innings and proved what a good acquisition he should be.
The order was shuffled as FPs looked for late runs and Herd fell for 8 caught one handed off Prattipatti and Swiergon was plumb LBW to Khan for a quickfire 23. Senthil made 11 before being bowled by Shah, leaving Hameed and Mapplebeck to slog their way to a stand of 26 in no time to push FPs past 300, the innings ending on 305 for 7, Hameed on 20 and Mapplebeck on 6. The innings was lengthy with Academy taking over 3 1/2 hours to get their 45 overs in, meaning a late finish was likely.
With the game all but over, it was always going to be tough for FPs to keep the intensity up, and they started poorly with the ball conceding 50 in the first 10 overs, until Knudson go a breakthrough as Kache clubbed a full toss to Steinson on the deep mid wicket boundary to fall for 24. Tenneti fell quickly when Herd had him excellently caught at short leg by Senthil.
Thomson joined the attack and removed Vijapur for 30 with a good inswinger. Prattipatti should have gone for a duck but Mapplebeck spilled the chance on the boundary, it was the start of a few misses as standards dropped. Academy reached 142 when eventually a catch was taken, Morrison doing well to dive forward to claim Srinivasan for 31, the batsman walking. Shah and Prattipatti did their best, but the task was impossible, and having reached 50, Prattipatti was bowled by Hameed for 51, Hameed repeated the trick to Shah for 23.
Sam Knudson then nipped in with 3 more wickets, Penman catching a steepler to remove Khan ahead of bowling Majeed and Reddy as the innings subsided. It left Ashin and Rao to bat out the remaining overs as the match petered out towards a home win.
Despite the 76 run margin, FPs will feel they could have bowled and fielded better, managing not 1 maiden. For FPs the bowling figures were Mapplebeck 10-0-34-1, Hameed 10-0-42-2, Knudson 10-0-78-4, Thomson 10-0-32-1, Herd 4-0-20-1 and Senthil 1-0-6-0.
It was a convincing win against one of the stronger Grade 1 teams and a team FPs lost to twice last season. Next up is in form Mannofield who are in excellent form and FPs will have to play well to keep their own good form up.
Alex Keith batted superbly for 75, but Eddie Steinson’s masterclass century has to be the winner.