Roland Knudson produced a stunning spell of 4 for 36 to completely transform the game as FPs eventually ran out comfortable 9 wicket winners, Alex Keith hitting a magnificent century and Mike Nattrass 50 as FPs won by 9 wickets with 27 overs to spare. With Mannofield big guns going well he took just 4 balls to remove Callum Martin for 39, LBW attempting a reverse sweep. He then claimed 3 in 4 balls as he bowled Indi Yahathugoda for a magnificent 84 before clean bowling Mills and Yahathugoda jnr for ducks in the same over. Mannofield collapsed from 109 for 1 in 15 overs to 177 all out as Karan Anand also nipped in with 4 wickets.
Keith then rolled back the years with a brutal century while Mike Nattrass stroked a class half century.
With something of a selection headache, Tom Murray’s good 2nd XI form saw him promoted to the 1sts where he fielded well. 2nd XI skipper Nattrass also stepped up, Rajja Monnapillai made his 1st start of the season having returned from University in Denmark and Alex Keith was available after a weeks rest. FPs lined up Keith, Morrison, Nattrass, Swiergon (c), Clelland (w), Anand, Murray, Monnapillai, Poosappadi, Roland Knudson, Thomson. FPs lost the toss and Mannofield elected to bat with a lightening fast outfield suggesting a huge score was possible.
After an eventful 1st over from Poosappadi, Karan Anand shared the new ball and struck 1st ball, bowling Chandu for a golden duck, aiming an ambitious shot perhaps driven by his century the previous week. Callum Martin joined Indi and they batted with ease scoring all round the wicket at 7 an over with FPs struggling for an answer. None of Poosappadi, Anand, Thomson or Monapillai could stem the runs and it took the veteran off spinner Knudson to turn the game on its head. Martin who had showed his class indicated his intentions from Knudson’s 1st ball to him, looking to reverse sweep but missing. He tried the shot again 2 balls later and was LBW for 39, although it may have taken the edge 1st, the umpire raised the finger which Martin graciously accepted without comlaint. Mannofield 109 for 2 in 15.
Indi was joined by Shy Nanthakumuran and they moved the score to 128, Indi blasting 10 fours and 5 sixes and having 2 escapes, Morrison never seeing a a skier against the Malmaison glass glare and Keith spilling a tough skier both off Knudson. Undeterred, Knudson straightened his line and his 3rd over effectively won FPs the game as he bowled Indi for an excellent 84, the batsmen bowled giving him the charge. Mills shouldered arms and was bowled 2 balls later and Yathagoda jnr was bowled 1st ball by Knudson’s quicker ball as Mannofield slipped to 128 for 5.
Shy could barely believe what he was seeing and Allawattan didn’t trouble the scorers as Thomson knocked back his off stump. He then missed a caught and bowled to remove Pirries who lived a charmed life but did stick in for Shy as they added 17 before the returning Anand clean bowled him for 6. FPs were now happy to starve Shy of the strike, but they managed to knock him over, Poosappadi sliding one through to have him LBW for a patient 16. Allawattan and Bhanndara then had a frustrating stand for FPs as Morrison and Murray both missed chances of catches and FPs missed 2 run out opportunities, but a stunning one handed catch by Keith at slip removed Allawaatan for 9. Anand then claimed his 4th as he bowled Dhandara for a duck, Mannofield all out for a below par 177.
It was a good fightback from FPs who stuck to their task in hot conditions on a lightening outfield. Knudson was the pick of the bowlers but everyone did well, Anand cleaning up the tail in expert fashion. Prash 7-1-31-1, Anand 9.3-0-32-4, Rajaa 3-0-32-0, Thomson 10-1-40-1, Knudson 10-1-36-4.
With Mannofield being punished for running on the pitch, FPs started 5 to the good, but quickly lost Morrison, who cannot buy a run this season, electing to cut a ball from Indi that came back and bowled him for a duck. If this gave Mannofield hope of an improbable victory it was soon snuffed out as Keith and Nattrass embarked on an unbroken stand of 173 knocking off the target in just 18 overs. Keith was in excellent form smashing all bowlers to all parts as he hit 18 fours and 4 sixes in an all out assault to finish unbeaten on 112, his 1st league ton for FPs and his 3rd ton overall this season. He was well supported by Nattrass, the left hander hitting 11 boundaries in his unbeaten 54.
Overall it was a good win by FPs who weathered the early storm and fought back well to win decisively in what initially looked it was to be a very tough test. Knudson’s offspin was crucial to victory ahead of the batting fireworks. Next for FPs is 2nd placed Bon Accord which is certain to be a very tough match in an ever intriguing title battle where up 5 sides are still in the mix.
Man of the Match
Despite Alex Keith’s brilliant ton, he is edged by Roland Knudson’s who turned the game with a brilliant spell of bowling.
Alex Keith finally making a league ton for FPs after numerous near misses – the road warrior still has it!