Following a remarkable change in the weather, which seemed to compress all the sunshine we were supposed to get in April in the same day, we turned up at Duthie Park to start our Grades season. The pitch unsurprisingly was a bit damp and, upon losing the toss, we were put in to bat.
Owen and Jawad started off and looked reasonably comfortable till Owen played a bit early at one and skied it to cover. Tariq then came in to face the hat-trick ball after Andrew was bowled and he and Jawad took the score up to 40 before Tariq was bowled for 11.
Farhad also failed to trouble the scorers before first Jack and then Edward partnered Jawad in decent stands. The slowness of the pitch led to both Edward and George being out playing too soon but Jawad continued hitting the bad balls to carry his bat throughout the innings and register his first 50 for the club. He finished on 62 not out from a total of 112-8 in 45 overs. Grammar bowled tightly with Kieran Whyte the most successful bowler with 4-24 and John Thomson and John Eagles both going for less than 20 in their 10 overs.
After tea, the old and the young opened the bowling against the old. Edward struck first, getting John Eagles to hit one in the air for Andrew to take a good diving catch. The captain then induced J Lord to miss a straight one. Siva hit an aggressive 24 before becoming the first of 2 LBW victims for Edward, who finished his spell with 3-41. We then had a distraction from the cricket as a family who, as Council tax payers (according to them) decided to ignore the wide open spaces of the rest of DP to parade across the outfield despite the signs and the white lines round the pitch. There was a brief break in play while they were invited to move on.
On resumption Kieran Whyte took a liking to the captain’s bowling, hitting a string of boundaries, though the captain had the last laugh with a cunningly disguised full toss which the batsman hit to Andrew who took another fine catch.
After 22 overs, Grammar were 93-5 and looking comfortable. Andrew then took 4 wickets in 5 balls, including a hat-trick, and took his third catch. Unfortunately, we could not get the final wicket and the Grammar captain, Matt Barker, hit the winning runs finishing on 45 not out.
Disappointing to get so close but there were a lot of positives to take from a game played in a good spirit amongst those who should have been on the pitch.
Grades 112-8 (Jawad Ahktar 62no; K Whyte 4-24)
2nd AGSFPs 115-9 (M Barker 45no; A Rayner 4-23, E Freeman 3-41, R Taylor 2-28)
Grades MOM: Jawed Akhtar whose innings gave us the chance to take something from the game. However, a very honourable mention to Andrew who had a strong claim with his 4 wickets, hat-trick and 3 catches.
2nd AGSFPs MoM: M Barker 45no that saw them home in tough batting conditions.
Highlight of the Match: the look of sheer panic on Andrew’s face as the batsman chipped the hat-trick ball straight back to him at the pace you would play catch at with a 4 year old. It stuck though.