FPs won a very good natured game on Saturday by 58 runs against a spirited Academy side at a sunny Rubislaw. With a re-laid artificial surface and a lightening quick outfield, FPs scored 292 for 8 which was upgraded to 302 for 8 after penalty runs were awarded in the 2nd innings in rather unfortunate circumstances when Academy were twice penalised for running on the pitch. FPs were led by an aggressive 66 from Alex Keith and was well supported by skipper Swiergon who struck 57, Arul Senthil who made 41 and the a Karan Anand blitz who smashed 73 in quick time. Academy were always behind the rate and despite a fine century from Kache (110), they eventually closed on a very creditable 244 for 8, Roland Knudson claiming 3 wickets. With Bon Accord losing to Mannofield FPs reclaimed top spot on run rate.FPs made 3 changes Morrison, Wilkie and Sam Knudson stepping in for Mapplebeck, Steinson and McKinney. FPs lost the toss and were asked to bat. Morrison again failed making just 5 bowled by Mirashi, but Keith found good support from Wilkie as they added 76 in quick time, both regularly finding the boundary, Wilkie launching two huge sixes in his 18 before being bowled by Frank Summers. Keith passed 50 and looked well set but edged a cut to Tenneti off the bowling of Holt to fall for a fine 66 – 107 for 3.
Senthil joined his skipper Swiergon and they combined to add 84 to really take the game away from Academy, Senthil playing some flowing drives as he made 41 before being bowled by Kola. Swiergon reached his 2nd fifty of the season before being bowled for 57 by Summers, but by now FPs were well in charge at 214 for 5. It was a perfect platform for Karan Anand to tee off and he did exactly that battering a brutal 73 in double quick time despite losing Sam Knudson LBW for 4 to Kola and Roland Knudson bowled by Vijapur for 1. Anand eventually did fall, excellently caught by Reeve off Vijapur for 73 as FPs closed on 292 for 8.
It was always going to be a big ask for Academy and when they were twice sanctioned their task got a bit tougher but they started well with Reddy hitting some quick boundaries but he fell to a superb steepling catch by Swiergon for 15 off Sam Knudson’s bowling. Sam Knudson also claimed fellow opener Tenneti LBW for 21. Anand reduced Academy to 49 for 3 with his 1st ball, Kola LBW for 1.
It brought Summers and Kache together and they played with great care in adding 74 together but the run rate was climbing as Anand and Thomson bowled tight spells. FPs tried Morrison’s off breaks to tempt Summers out, but it took a maiden bowl for the 1s from Ranald Wilkie to prize him out, Clelland taking a superb 1 handed diving catch, Summers out for a gritty 30. Reeve looked to up the ante and made 20 before hitting across Roland Knudson to be bowled for 20. He also knocked over Newton and the returning Anand struck again with the 1st ball of his spell, getting Holt LBW for 1 as Academy slipped to 206 for 7.
All the while Kache had been making good progress scoring all round the wicket and surviving a number of dropped chances of varying difficulty and raised an excellent century as Academy passed 200. He finally fell to Roalnd Knudson, Wilkie taking a fine catch at mid wicket to remove him for 110. Vijapur and Boyapati played out the closing overs as Academy closed on a very creditable 244 for 8.
Overall it was a good game of cricket, with Academy figting hard to maximise their points despite facing a very tough chance. FPs were perhaps disappointed to concede so many, but can reflect on a good batting effort. With Bon Accord losing at Mannofield, it closes the league right up with a number of teams firmly in the running. Next up is a very tough game at Inverurie.
Man of the Match
A good all round showing, but Alex Keith edges it given he set the tone at the top despite a very large hangover.
Swiergon’s catch, a very important wicket claimed by a very fine catch