In a week where a heist at Hatton Garden dominated TV ratings, FPs pulled off a heist of their own in rather wetter circumstances. They secured an unlikely victory by 9 runs by rain calculator against Knigtriders to maintain their 100% record. Chasing just 186 for victory, FPs were deep in the mire at 23 for 4 but an unbroken stand of 106 between Harry Mapplebeck (38*) and Karan Anand (54*) pushed FPs ahead of the par score when the rain became too heavy for the match to continue. If Mapplebeck was the eager runner then Anand was the mastermind behind the plot, correctly deciding that the risk of trying to get the score high enough at the 20 over cut off was too high and rightly gambled that the game would last past the 20 over mark as the rain had relented. He only decided to gamble when it started to get wetter and he blasted 2 sixes in 2 balls to push FPs ahead and then played carefully to ensure they stayed there, knowing a lost wicket would put them behind. Umpire Tariq did a great job to keep the game going as long as it did but ultimately, despite frustration for all players and the official it just became too wet.
Knightriders may well regret throwing away a strong start having been 81 for 1 in 10 overs, only to lose wickets in the middle overs to Callum Herd (2/39) and Jophn Thomson (2/27), losing all momentum to then succumb to 185 all out. Having then had FPs 23/4 they spread the field which allowed Mapplebeck and Anand to bat risk free to set a platform to push the rate up later. Overall though it was a very competitive game between 2 determined sides.
FPs won the toss and chose to bowl, influenced by the rain that was around. Clelland and Challa came into the side and Clelland took the gloves with Morrison moved to the outfield. Mapplebeck and Prash took the new ball and the openers Mohan and Siva went for their shots in a quick stand of 33. They survived a couple of run out chances and it was no surprise the 1st wicket was a run out, Siva (16) run out by a powerful Mapplebeck throw following an attempt to take an overthrow.
FPs then missed new man Amirtharaj twice, Anand spilling a sharp chance at slip and Clelland dropping a more routine chance at the wicket. They eventually did hold a chance when new bowler Karan was shelled by Mohan at Proud who took a fine catch at short mid wicket. Proud finally got one straight to bowl Amitharaj for 32 soon after as Knightriders slipped to 88 for 3.
Herd and Thomson were then introduced and they slowed the run rate completely as Tenneti and Somu struggled to get them away. Following drinks they both departed, Tenneti chipping to the well placed Keith for 17 and Somu LBW to Thomson aiming something violent over the legside. Vijay Vijapur didn’t last, bowled for a duck by Herd cutting and Mallireddy fell to Thomson for 5 caught at a wide slip by Anand. This followed two more drops, one by skipper Swiergon at midoff and one at fine leg, Thomson dropping one he would like to forget although it was doubtful that Herd deserved a wicket for a rank delivery.
Raghavendra and Palayandi steadied the ship to raise the score from 150 to 179, but the re-introduction of Prash did for the former clean bowling him for 13. He then produced a snorter to clean bowl Vjayraj for a duck before Mapplebeck returned to account for Palayandi caught by Herd for a useful 36.
It was a good comeback from FPs and if catches had been taken then the target would have been many less. Herd, Thomson and Anand were the pick of the bowlers in those middle overs.
Needing a solid start, FPs were soon in deep trouble as Proud Edged Peedikayil behind for 1 and Keith was bowled for 11 by Vijayraj attempting an odd shot. Morrison then chopped on for 2 and Swiergon was superbly caught by Siva at 1st slip as FPs looked down and out. With a number of middle order batsmen missing, opening bowler Mapplebeck was promoted to 5 and he batted superbly to take the sting out of the game. Joined by Anand, they batted with great care, offering not one chance as FPs eased back into the game.
The advantage of batting 2nd, FPs were able to keep an eye on the rain calculator and at one point it looked unlikely the game would reach 20 overs, but the rain went off and FPs decision not to be too aggressive paid dividends. With FPs ahead it was getting wetter and wetter and after consultation the umpire had no choice but to suspend play and hope the weather improved. Unfortunately it worsened and after a long wait everyone had to agree with the umpire that no more play was possible and as such FPs were the winners by 9 runs.
With the heavy rain on Sunday, FPs have a double header next week with Ellon in the league who will be a completely different animal to their depleted side from this past weekend and then Cults on Sunday. FPs will need to improve their catching and top order batting if they are to keep their good early season form going.
8848 Man of the Match
Special mentions have to go to Callum Herd and John Thomson for some fine bowling and Harry Mapplebeck batted brilliantly, but Karan Anand claims it with 6 overs for 13 and then a composed 50, in complete contract to his usual big hitting style.
8848 Champagne Moment
A few possibilities in the match, but it has to go to John Thomson who moved at speeds never seen before in the pouring rain to battle a seagull that was stealing a 30 yard marker. It is selfless acts like this that keeps the club alive! DO NOT mess with John’s bowling markers or flags…