On a sunny Saturday lunchtime after a Friday of rather heavy rain FP’s arrived at Inverurie for what was to be a hard fought win.
Arriving at 12:15 and being greeted by veteran spinner Jessiman cutting the wicket skipper Swiergon knew the pitch would have a big part to play in the days play. After consultation with ex-skipper Morrison and real-skipper Keith the decision was made that we should just win, losing the toss Inverurie decided to insert FP’s and in the absence of Morrison, Clelland opened the batting with Keith.
After some well controlled bowling from White & Coutts FP’s ticked along, picking up runs when they could but knowing that saving their wicket was far more valuable than runs at this stage of the game. After the bowling change the batsmen were able to open up more and both batsmen hit a flurry of boundaries, Keith dropped by Watson at midwicket. FP’s lost their first wicket with the score on 78, Keith (47) C&B Stalker just before drinks.
Swiergon joined Clelland and they both worked the ball around, Swiergon finding it hard to time the ball. The introduction of Jessiman shifted the game momentum and with the scoring rate slowing Clelland was caught at point off the bowling of Jessiman for a well made 41 (98/2).
Anand joined Swiergon and they both tried to up the tempo on a pitch that was not offering much pace at all. After some well placed shots by both batsmen Swiergon was out trying to smash across the line to White for 18 (124/3).
Davey joined Anand who was now looking to strike some lusty blows however he was soon ct Norval bowled Jessiman for 22 (145/4). Senthil came and went, stumped by Murrison when Senthil was unable to make his ground due to an unfortunate lace related incident (159/5).
Davey was stumped the first ball of the next over for 17 and FP’s were in a bit of a slump. Callum Herd came and went bowled Coutts (0), Mapplebeck and Uni’ new boy McKinney quickly realised that the wicket had minimal pace and both decided to place the ball into gaps picking up two and threes easily, running Inverurie ragged. Mapplebeck was bowled last ball of the innings for 7. FP’s finishing on 175/8
At the interval Swiergon instructed his troops that they would need to bowl extremely well and give zero width. FP’s opened the bowling with Mapplebeck & Thomson. Thomson was first to strike removing Stalker (0) ct wk Clelland.
Watson joined Norval as both batsmen looked to punish the bad ball before Norval skied one to Swiergon at midoff, with the whole team in stunned silence when Swiergon took the catch (crocodile technique) 32/2. Thomson was replaced by Anand who bowled Murrison for 17 (55/3) before having Watson well caught at slip by Keith for 18 (66-4).
Knudson was spinning his web, finding good turn on what was rapidly becoming a spinners wicket. D Johnston could not resist and drove one to Swiergon again at mid-off (taken at the second attempt).
Anand was replaced by new boy McKinney 3 overs before drinks and after some loose balls he found his length and line and made the batsmen check their shots. Coutts and White kept cool heads and scored when they could but some very tight bowling meant the run rate was slowly increasing.
Herd replaced Knudson and picked up where his mentor had left off, spinning ones out of the rough and making the batsmen think. Eventually White couldn’t resist any more, skying one to Senthil at point (117/6). Coutts was soon to follow caught over the shoulder running back by Swiergon not before he had smashed Herd over deep square leg for 6.
Mapplebeck was bowling some good areas from the other end and bowled the new batsmen Bloice for 5. Thomson was also bowling well at the other end and with hope now fading of a win for Inverurie Swiergon ran out Moore(1) in the final over of the match. Jessiman decided he fancied an early trip to the ARI facing up to FP’s paceman Mapplebeck left handed and taking one below the ribs (a rather short experiment) before FPs closed out the game with Inverurie closing on 143/9.
This was a tough game, Inverurie had a clear game plan and FP’s used all their experience to make sure they could post a total they could defend and bowled well to keep the home side at bay. Next week FP’s take on Academy at the home of Scottish Cricket and will be keen to push Bon Accord all the way.
H.Mapplebeck 9-1-24-1, J.Thomson 10-1-35/2, K.Anand 7-3-17-2, R.Knudson 10-2-18-1, C.McKinney 3-0-12-0, C.Herd 6-0-30-2
Skippers MOM is Clelland for his solid 41 at the top of the order and some top work behind the stumps.