Callum Herd perfectly captured how FPs CS Trophy outing at Irvine would end up when he had to be helped out of a large hole before play could begin. The unfortunate but hugely amusing incident occurring when a cone marking the hazard had been removed. Herd forced to change his whites and boots before play. In a slightly odd day, the supremely talented South African professional Harwood bowled an extremely quick spell to decimate FPs top order and without him, it is likely that FPs would have won, as he was something of a one man bowling attack, but instead FPs slipped to a heavy defeat. There was also the magnificent or disgraceful scenes (depending on your view point) with the home captain squaring up to the neutral umpire over a fairly non contentious no ball. The incident was one of the most amusing and bizarre scenes most FPs players have ever seen as languishing at 27 for 5, Harwood bowled a very short bouncer at Nattrass which easily cleared the batsmen. No one seemed that bothered apart from the Irvine captain who went from the worlds nicest man, to the worlds angriest man as he and the umpire came close to blows. Youngster Leston D’Costa further upset the rather over excited Irvine side by batting 3 yards down the pitch to the pro and playing his superbly. It was a very strange game, where the defeated FPs left the game smiling and the victors Irvine were left seemingly angry with life.
FPs made two changes to Saturday’s side with D’Costa and Nattrass stepping in for Mapplebeck and Davey. FPs lost the toss and Irvine chose to bat which was unfortunate as Irvine only had 4 players at start time. FPs missed a number of tough chances in the field which proved costly as Irvine racked up 214 for 6. Anand was unlucky not to have the opener in his 1st over a big nick being given not out. He went on to make 42, before Herd bowled him with a sharp turner the 1st ball after drinks. Sam Knudson had dismissed the fairly ordinary Overseas amateur Waspe for 12 earlier in the piece.
Captain Ashraf struck 38, before Morrison snapped him up behind the stumps off Anand. Pro Harwood looked like he was playing well within himself and was bowled late on by Knudson for a well played 48. The real damage was done by Moningha who survived a close LBW shout early to slug 64. The last ball of the innings saw Ingram run out by Senthil for 3.
The 2nd innings was delayed as Irvine ignored the restart time to start 7 minutes later, but the supreme Harwood took no time to clean bowl Keith. The bowling at the other end was of no concern but Harwood’s 3rd over wrecked the innings as Swiergon was bowled, Senthil was harshly LBW 2nd ball and Anand was bowled by a superb yorker 1st ball. Morrison then played a loose shot to Mohigha to be caught at 2nd slip as FPs slid to 27 for 5.
Youngster D’Costa and Nattrass took a new approach to Harwood batting a long way down the pitch to contend with his full pitched misiles and it was early in their partnership that the bizarre incident occurred. Unless you witnessed it, you could not do it justice – it was simply crazy in a game that had been played in a good spirit throughout and a decision that had no bearing on anything.
D’Costa top scored with 19 and played well, but the writing was on the wall as FPs slipped towards defeat. Overall it was an interesting experience, and the players enjoyed the day out at a different venue. Without the pro it would have been a very different game, but he was the difference maker. FPs can be proud of how they approached things and avoided any of thee ugly scenes which brought excitement to the 2nd innings.
FPs return to league duty next week against a strong Cults side.
Harwood of Irvine was playing a different game from everyone else, but for FPs D’Costa claims it for a gritty innings despite some good bowling from all of FPs bowlers.