Number 11 John Thomson top scored with 30 not out and took the winning wicket as FPs won a compelling game at Inverurie. FPs looked dead and buried at 73 for 9 but Chris Clelland (26no) at 9 and last man Thomson combined to add an unbeaten 58 to lift FPs to 131 for 9. Prash then bowled a fantastic spell to take 5 for 19 as FPs turned the game round to win by 21 runs.
With a string of players unavailable FPs made a raft of changes and chose to bat on a damp wicket at Inverurie. They were soon up against it as Keith 13, Swiergon 9, Morrison 0 and Proud 2 fell quickly as FPs slumped to 39 for 4. Prash hung in with Conner but made just 3 and wickets continued to tumble as Rajaa 8, Challa 3, Conner a classy 29 and Knudson 3 all departed. It was an excellent bowling effort by Inverurie with Thom taking 4 for 17 and Coutts bowling his 10 overs for just 9 runs.
Thomson recalled to the side however showed the way as he and Clelland were to hang in for the final 17 overs and add a very careful 58, running extremely well and taking advantage of Watson as the 5th bowler to score 26 off his 5 overs. Clelland twice came down the pitch to stroke boundaries but in the main, it was clever placement and aggressive running that lifted FPs gloom. The highlight of the partnership came in the final over as Thomson launched a 6 out of Kellands Park as FPs finished on a competitive total. It had been an excellent effort by the lower order against a disbelieving home side.
It felt like the momentum was all with FPs and they were buoyant in the field throughout, setting aggressive fields while bowling stump to stump. It took until the 8th over for the breakthrough, Prash confidently appealing with limited support from the close fielders to win an LBW against Hadden for 7, Inverurie 13 for 1. It was the start of an inspired spell by Prash as he claimed 3 for 0 in 12 balls, but only after Proud had Watson caught and bowled for a duck. Following this Prash bowled 2 fine balls to bowl both Strachan 9 and Thom 0 as Inverurie slumped to 23 for 4. FPs then had a big appeal turned down against Murrison as FPs looked to turn the screw.
Norval though was batting nicely and he an Murrison blunted FPs to move the score to 64 for 4 at drinks. A change of bowling at drinks instantly paid dividends as Proud returned for one over to have Murrison playing on for 12. Norval was now key and he hit two sixes as he looked to control the chase. It took an absolutely stunning return catch from veteran Knudson to remove him, brilliantly clinging on to a full blooded drive as Norval had to drag himself off for 39.
At 79 for 6 there only looked to be one winner and Knudson had another soon after as Stalker missed a sweep to be LBW for 4. It was one way traffic but Keith inexplicably dropped one of the easiest catches you’ll ever see at silly point off the returning Prash – which could only be laughed at by his team mates, Keith not quite so impressed. Prash was not to be denied though and bowled Coutts for 16 and with his final ball also bowled Moore for 9 as he claimed a deserved 5 wicket haul. After Proud was strangely warned about negative bowling, the final pair still needed 23 and Thomson fittingly finished the job, Morrison LBW for 0 offering no stroke.
It had been a remarkable turnaround from FPs and owed much to the determined batting of Thomson and Clelland but also an excellent all round bowling effort and strong showing in the field. FPs stayed calm throughout and played the game positively and backed each other well. Proud set the tone with 8-3-15-2, Prash was excellent with 10-3-19-5 while veterans Knudson and Thomson backed them up well with 10-2-22-2 and 8.4-1-19-1 respectively. Mahesh Challa did Amar and his famous 11 proud with 4 overs for 19.
The results gives FPs an excellent chance of finishing 2nd, but a tough final match against Crescent awaits at Rubislaw next week.
8848 Man of The Match
John Thomson showed what a team man he was, having been left out in the previous week, he returned and batted superbly to make 30 not out at number 11 and then bowled a solid spell, taking the final wicket. He is an example for all to follow. Special mention to Clelland too for his support and Prash, Proud and Knudson for some top bowling
8848 Champagne Moment
Normally it would have been Knudson’s catch, but John Thomson’s 6 had his teammates on their feet as very run was cheered on towards the end.