FPs fell to an 8 wicket loss as what had at one point appeared a very encouraging afternoon ended up in a familiar outcome at Harlaw as FPs moved over the wall to assist Rugby. FPs having batted 1st made 200 for 7, which was well below par considering FPs put on 101 for the 1st wicket, in 17 overs. A swashbuckling innings from Alex Keith of 73 from 77 and 42 from 50 from Mike Nattrass initially appearing to put FPs on course for a score of around 280. However some canny slow bowling slowed FPs progress and they ended on just 200. An early wicket gave FPs hope, but an excellent 94 from Mohit Khosla ensured Gordonians were comfortable winners, a number of dropped catches and short bowling costing FPs.
Rob Swiergon again won the toss and chose to bat lining up Keith, Nattrass, Haider, Swiergon, Sood, Morrison, Javaid, Macklin, Lee, Barker and Prash. Matt Barker making his final appearance before moving to Stornoway, Jim Lee took the gloves. Keith set off at a rate of knots as FPs brought up their 50 in 6 overs, the boundary being peppered. A string of bowling changes made little odds as FPs raised a rare century stand. Just as Nattrass was looking to open up he went too far across and was bowled by Yar for 42 (6×4). Haider at 3 was not his usual fluent self but he and Keith did add 40, before Keith departed, bowled by Khosla looking to force off the back foot, Keith final innings of the season, an excellent 73, FPs boosted by his decision to play on next year in Grade 2.
Haider and Swiergon tried to push on, but despite a fine 6 from Haider, he and Swiergon both fell in quick succession, Haider bowled by Perera for 30 and Swiergon bowled by Khosla for 16 as FPs slipped to 171 for 4, ironically the last boundary being hit in the 32nd over as Gordonians squeezed FPs. Sood and Morrison could not get going and a late clatter of wickets, Sood (9), Javaid (0), Barker (2) left FPs on 200 for 7, Morrison and Macklin 15 and 1 not out respectively.
Prash opened the bowling and was unlucky not to have Khosla 1st ball, an edge not going to hand. He took full advantage hitting 5 sixes and 9 fours in his 94. Prash did bowl Rana for 2 but his replacement Bashir made a composed unbeaten 50. FPs did knock over Khosla in the dying embers, Barker taking an excellent catch at long off. Catches went down, Javaid spilling a chance off his own bowling, Haider dropping a skier off Sood and Swiergon failing to lay a hand at one at long on much to Morrison’s unhappiness. With too many loose deliveries, Gordonians won with 12 overs to spare.
Overall it was a familiar story albeit the batting was encouraging, bowling wise Prash excelled 8-1-28-1, joined by Sood 6-0-41-1, Swiergon 4-0-39-0, Haider 4-0-49-0, Javaid 4-0-25-0, Morrison 2-0-11-0, Nattrass 0.2-0-5-0.
Next up is Crescent who are letting the league seemingly slip from their clutches, it is sure to be another tough game for FPs with it being must win for Crescent.
Man of the Match
Matt Barker was immense in the field but Alex Keith showed he still has it with a fine batting effort
Matt Barker in his final game taking a fine catch as he has done over the years. Stornoway criminals are unlikely to evade his grasp.