The long lost and much missed pitch #2 at the Duthie Park helped get the council out of a sink hole when AGSFP’s 3rd XI played 2nd Kemnay Kintore in a Grade 4 match. With the wet weather washing out the majority of games in the Grades, the well drained pitches were thankfully motorbike tyre mark and undulation free, the outfield flat and grass short.
The FP’s lined up with Johnston (c), Jim Lee (wkt), John Lord, Ben Frizzell, Farrukh Mehmood, Bejoy Joseph, Gary Stuart, Mike Hart, very late call up Karan Anand, season debutant Mike Blues, this week’s FP’s debutant Iain Bell.
The start of the game was delayed due to the heavy drizzle and reduced to 40 overs per side with the toss won by Grammar who invited KK to bat first.
Opening bowlers Stuart and Blues both bowled a good line and length with both getting swing from the helpful conditions, Stuart being unlucky when a catch was dropped by a sleepy slip. The KK openers were disciplined, waiting for the bad ball to hit. The boundary on one side is probably bigger than any modern Test ground and ends in a different post code.
It took until the 10th over before Blues tempted D. Turner into giving Stuart a catch even Joe Hart would have taken, Turner scoring 6 (1 x 4), KK score 21 – 1 off 9.4 overs.
The second wicket stand was worth an impressive 46 when Blues took a well deserved second wicket in his last over, bowling D. Reeve for 21 (3 x 4) KK 67 – 2 off 19.4 overs.
Mehmood had replaced Stuart from the Wedding Photo end and his left arm around the wicket bowling was proving difficult to score off, but the still very wet outfield caused fielders without spikes a couple of tricky moments which unluckily resulted in boundaries.
The match turned FP’s way with four wickets in four overs as Anand took a wicket with his first delivery, having opener G. Cole out caught behind by Lee for a good, fighting 29 (4 x 4). Next over Mehmood finally got reward for excellent bowling with two wickets in two balls, both bowled, both ducks for H. Morrison and D. Fyffe. The hat trick ball was unsuccessful. Anand then took a second wicket in the last of his three over spell by bowling R. George for 2, KK 80 – 6.
John Lord came on to replace the exhausted Anand from the River Dee end and a tidy opening over was spoiled by Fowlie hitting a straight 6. First ball of J. Lo’s next over saw Fowlie play a cheeky reverse sweep to the boundary. But revenge was sweet next ball as the batsman was totally bemused by a straight one and struck in front of the stumps, LBW for 14, (1 x 6, 1 x 4), KK 113 – 8 off 31.2 overs.
The ninth wicket was a regulation catch by Anand, our now wide awake slip, off the deserving Mehmood, KK 113 – 9. The last batsman was a very young Ashton Hebenton who showed good technique to keep out the in form FP’s bowlers. Hebenton did well to notice a gap where the sleep walking slip should have been, and guided a ball through the gap to get off the mark. But the in form J. Lo was not to be denied and bowled M. Auld for 6 (1 x 4), Hebenton not out 1, KK all out 121 off 35.1 overs.
Top scorers for KK, Cole and Reeve, did well to keep out the accurate bowling on a wicket which although unsurprisingly soft, played reasonably well, the overhead conditions providing more help to the bowlers.
Bowling for FP’s, John Lord 4.1 – 0 – 20 – 3, F. Mehmood 10 – 2 – 31 – 3, K. Anand 3 – 0 – 4 – 2, Blues 10 – 2 – 43 – 2, Stuart 8 – 2 – 20 – 0, a good effort considering Blues and Mehmood were bowling for the first time this season and Lord had bowled only 3 overs this century. With six batsmen bowled and one LBW, it was a timely reminder of what straight bowling can achieve.
Following tea, a surplus of food meant the scorers almost had to wear helmets due to low flying, scavenging gulls. FP’s opening batsmen Lord and Lee both got off the mark in the first over. KK’s opening bowler Soni soon bowled Lee for 6 (1 x 4) but Frizzell then played a couple of lovely cover drives to the boundary.
A wedding photo party were shooed away from behind the bowlers arm, but opener Lord was out soon after for 12 (1 x 4) his concentration ruined, a bit like the brides wedding photos. FP’s 35 – 2 off 10.3 overs.
Mehmood hit Cole for two 4’s in three balls but was out LBW last ball of the over for 9, FP’s 43 – 3. Frizzell had looked in good form but was then out as LBW as you can get for 17 (4 x 4), FP’s 57 – 4 off 14 overs. The rain which had returned then became too heavy to continue and the players retired to the bandstand.
Once the shower had passed the teams returned to the middle. The bowling crease had become a lot softer but the bowlers persevered. Johnston and Blues knew that another heavy shower would mean the end of the game and ran hard to keep the score moving. The 5th wicket had raised 39 when Johnston was out for 19 (2 x 4) stumped trying to hit out at Sonni, FP’s 96 – 5 off 21.4 overs. The drizzle had returned, but KK generously played on as Anand hit a quick 10 (2 x 4) and Blues stroked a cultured 19 not out (1 x 4) to ease FP’s concerns about their standard batting collapse and the wet weather.
The run chase was finished with a straight 6 by opening bowler Stuart, a great way to end the match. As he commented afterwards, it was unusual for the opening batsman to take most wickets and opening bowler to finish match with a 6.
Bowling for KK – B. Thom 9 – 1 – 33 – 2, R. Sonni 8.3 – 0 – 36 – 2, G. Cole 4 – 1 – 22 – 1, G. Fowlie 4 – 1 – 24 – 1
The game was played in good spirit throughout and Kemnay Kintore should be complemented for playing on in pretty unpleasant conditions. FP’s batsmen all contributed and all the bowlers bowled well and the fielding was keen, a good team effort. It was also good to see several 1st XI players coming down to support the 3rds.
For the second week in a row, an FP’s team won at the Duthie Park 2, the use of boundary flags again helping to indicate to park users where not to inadvertently wander and both matches causing minimal upset to the regular park users (the wedding photo disruption untrue).
Man of the Match – Mike Blues, excellent bowling and batting
Champagne Moment – Gary Stuart’s straight 6 to win the game