AGSFP 2nds travelled to Kings College to take on Aberdeen Super Kings in a crunch top of the table clash. The game being built up in the media as a proverbial six pointer with the winners almost guaranteed to end up in the top two spots. Being skippered by Sood, the away team fielded a strong lineup to take on the in form Super Kings.
The home team were put into bat and got off to a shaky start against an onslaught of superb fast bowling by Rajaa Monapillai. Kings lost three quick wickets for almost nothing thanks to solid opening bowling and poor running between the wickets. That was followed by a steady stand between the in form Aggarwal and Devendran, who both hit a few lofty shots to release the pressure slightly and built a good foundation for a decent score.
Kings ended up getting all out for 146 in the final over with Rajaa Monapillai and John Eagles picking three each and Karimilla and Gubbala with one a piece. The remaining two wickets being run outs, with the jury still out on which was the funniest of the two. Overall a good bowling performance and a score which on paper the FPs should easily chase down with a deep batting line up. But it wasn’t to be.
FPs opened with John Lord and Hamish Penman and were subjected to a fierce spell of seam bowling by Chovatiya and Aggarwal. With both batsmen looking to survive, the scoring rate took an obvious nose dive and FPs only managed to score a run an over in the first fifteen. With Lord finally succumbing to Chovatiya and Eagles falling shortly after, a collapse looked imminent.
Penman was joined by Sood who promoted himself up the order to push the run rate up in an effort to give the big hitters that were to follow a chaseable target. It looked like working for a short period with several shots clearing the boundary with both Sood and Penman taking the attack to the Super Kings. The dismissal of Penman, brought with it a flurry of wickets and he was quickly followed by Barker, Russell and Gubbala.
With FPs in big trouble, Kieran Whyte walked n to the crease looking every bit a man on a mission and FPs would’ve been more than happy with the 84* that he got against Crathie earlier in the season. With Sood and Whyte at the crease, run rate never looked a problem as runs were coming quick from both ends. When Sood fell to Desai with the FPs score at 81/7, Whyte seemed to just continue unfazed and dispatched the wicket taking bowler for 16 in the very next over.
With Haider and Whyte at the crease, FPs had reasons to be hopeful as both batsmen were more than capable of making the last 50 odd runs look like nothing if they stayed together for 5 more overs or so. But with Haider’s dismissal, Whyte and FPs were left wondering what could’ve been as the last two wickets followed in the same over and Grammar were all out for 99.
Over all a good performance with plenty of positives. An excellent spell of fast bowling by Rajaa Monapillai and some fierce hitting in spells by FP batsmen were all positives that they can build on and can yet help them secure a top two finish.