Aghadoo Shakes Knightriders Tree

Agha Haider made a belligerent 75 from 63 balls and Aman Sood made a classy 70 not out from 58 as FPs racked up an improbable 273 for 5, the 5th wicket pair sharing a stand of 128. Not content with the batting Haider then claimed 2 wickets and Sood 3 as FPs were comfortable winners by 81 runs. Prash was denied a 5 wicket haul by a dropped catch but had broken the back of the Knightriders top order with 3 early wickets. FPs fielding was also much improved with Pradip Sharma and Hasnain Javaid covering every blade of grass and Ian Johnston rolling back the years with a faultless showing.

FPs returned to Rubislaw after a number of weeks away looking for some improved form. After a fairly horrible batting show last week, FPs were invited to bat and made 2 changes to last weeks team. Keith returned and Ian Johnston made his 1st start of the season, with Lee injured Morrison took the gloves. FPs lining up Keith, Nattrass, Morrison, Swiergon, Haider, Sood, Javaid, Prash, Sharma, Knudson, Johnston. Initially Nattrass and Keith struggled for timing, but they were looking more steady when Keith was bowled by Selvaraj for 7, FPs 29 for 1. Morrison joined Nattrass and after some early scares for the new batsmen, they made watchful progress to 56 when Nattrass played all round one and was bowled for 22. Skipper Swiergon looked in fine touch and soon found the boundary but lost partner Morrison who smacked a Balaji full toss straight at Togarrati and departed for 15. Swiergon’s serene innings ended soon after, a fine catch by Babu handing Balaji a 2nd wicket, FPs in some difficulty at 94 for 4.

There however was no need to worry as having both been dropped in the same over, Aman Sood suddenly find his timing and hit a wonderful straight six followed by a swivel pull for 6 with barely any backlift. Haider was content at the other end to absolutely smack it or wristily run it through the gully or through the slips, both options giving him good returns. Haider raised his 50 with a searing cover drive as FPs closed on 200 and Aman Sood also reached the milestone with another 6. By now FPs were flying and it took a mix up to finally end the fun, Haider run out by the combination of Balaji and Malireddy for 75.

If Knightriders thought the wicket would bring some respite they were wrong as Javaid hit his 1st ball for a huge straight 6 and repeated the dose 2 balls later. Sood got in on the fun taking his 6s tally to 5 as the paid added 51 in just 4 overs. It left Sood on 70 not out from 58 (4×4, 5×6) and Javaid on 20 from 10 (2×6) as FPs closed on 273 for 5. The visitors tried 8 bowlers, Balaji’s 2 for 41 the pick.

With the Presidents advise to take early wickets, Prash soon obliged, bowling John through the gate for 8 and then clean bowling Selvaraj in the same way the very next ball. Swiergon had stepped into open the bowling and after a couple ot tough opening overs he settled into a more pleasing line and length. Prash though was looking dangerous and he had a 3rd when Balaji aimed something aggressive and Nattrass took a excellent high catch catch at mid off. Knightriders 30 for 3.

FPs then had a number of close calls, both Haider and Knudson convinced they should have had LBWs and Morrion rather unluckily denied a sharp stumping. FPs were keeping it tight through and the pressure told as Muhammad drove Haider straight to Sood at cover to depart for 29. FPs continued to take wickets as the visitors chase stumbled, Knudson’s quicker one clean bowling Vallatharasu who was trying to hit him onto Cromwell Road, the batsman out for 23. Sood has his 1st wicket soon after, Reddy playing on and his 2nd wicket arrived soon after, Morrison taking a brilliant reaction one handed catch as FPs tightened their grip.

Swiergon displayed his catching prowess as FPs claimed an 8th wicket, a very well judged effort on the boundary as Haider claimed a 2nd. Prash was revved up for a final push and promptly bowled Subramanian for 25 and thought he had 5 soon after only for the skipper to make the ground and then shell a challenging catch. It was left for Sood to finish things off with his 3rd wicket, Togarrati clean bowled for 13 with an excellent delivery.

Overall it was a good bowling performance Prash, Haider and Sood dominating the wickets, but an excellent spell from Roland Knudson conceding just 27 in his 8 overs ensured the squeeze was on early. Prash 7-1-33-4, Swiergon 5-0-40-0, Knudson 8-0-27-1, Haider 8-0-55-2 and Sood 7.1-0-34-3.

While it remains extremely difficult for FPs to avoid relegation, it was an encouraging display and showed that at no time has team spirit waned amongst those who have turned out each week. Next up is another tough encounter against Mannofield as FPs look to build on this win.

Man of the Match
A superb bowling performance by Prash would have often got it but Aman Sood and Agha Haider’s excellent stand means it has to be one of them. Given both made similar scores and took wickets, it seems about right they should share the honour. A brilliant partnership that really set the game up.

Champagne Moment
Most weeks its been tough to find a flat sparkling wine moment but this week there are many options, Aman’s straight six, Hasnain’s Javaid’s sixes, Morrison’s catch, Prash’s 2 in 2, but the shot of the day has to be Aman Sood’s swivel pull for six an effortless yet magnificent shot.


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