As the 2021 Grade 1 season heads towards a climax, time is running out for those who need to be doing some moving and shaking if they want to change their league position. AGSFPs comfortably disposed of Siyapa as they retained their lead at the top. They rattled up 259 for 8 despite Muhammad Shahid taking 5 for 37, Rob Swiergon leading from the front with another half century. Connor Mckinney picked up 4 for 21 to dismiss Siyapa for 105 and leave Siyapa very much in the relegation shake up. Gordonians reduced Bon Accord to 82 for 5 but an unbeaten 59 from Presanth Gopinathan hoisted Bons to a respectable 198 for 9. Gordos were all out for 132 as none of their batsmen could build a match winning innings, and Malik cleaned up the tail taking 4 for 20 as Bons kept the pressure on Grammar. 68 from Jeby George gave Grampian hope of a much needed win against Knight Riders as they totalled 190 for 8 off their 40 overs. Unfortunately for Grampian they struggled to take wickets and Knight Riders were only 2 down as Madhan Mohan with 69 eased Knight Riders to victory. Grampian stay at the bottom of the table with Master Blasters sitting above them after being on the wrong end of a high scoring game against Cults at Allan Park. Taj Singh with 70 top scored as Cults ran up 266 for 6, and 4 wickets for Aqeel Ajazi, albeit expensive wickets, bowled out MBA for 240 in 39 overs. Crescent put distance between themselves and those in the relegation zone by bowling out Inverurie for 160, although their reply was salvaged by a late order unbeaten 30 from Anjum Toor as Norval and Hadden took 7 of the 8 wickets to fall.
In Grade 2, an undefeated 75 from Rene Van Oorschot took Mannofield to what looked like a match winning total of 236 for 5, but 2nd Knight Riders didn’t follow the script and pulled off a surprise run chase to inflict the first defeat of the season on Mannofield. 82 from Prasanna Venkatesan and an unbeaten 52 from Sajid Muhammad took them to victory with 2 overs in hand and keeps 2nd Knight Riders in the mix for 2nd spot in the table. Heading that race at the moment are Ellon who beat Fraserburgh by 43 runs. Half centuries for Davies, Barrett and Webb took them to 231 for 5 and Paul O’Neill made 55 as the Fraserburgh response came up short. Portcullis are close behind in 4th place as they swept aside 2nd AGSFPs. Leston d’Costa made an undefeated 65 but didn’t get much support as Kannan Viyayakrishnan took 5 for 38 to bowl them out for 158. A big partnership between Andy Philip and Kannan took Portcullis to a 7 wicket win, both unbeaten on 73 and 51 respectively.
2nd Grampian returned to winning ways at Stonehaven, Mynul Nadim making 78 as they were bowled out for 241. Stonehaven skipper Nathan MacAulay-Dicks responded with 70, but they ran out of overs as they lost by 13 runs with 4 wickets still standing. 60 from Crathie opener Fergus MacLeod was the main contribution as they struggled to 158 for 9 in their 40 overs against visiting Banchory. Mark Herbert with 27 was one of only 4 batsmen in the match who made it into double figures as Banchory subsided to 75 all out. 12 year old Rudra Chouksey was the star performer as 2nd Gordonians were victorious against Dunecht. He took 4 for 22 as Dunecht made 168 for 8, Matt Witz making 50. The somewhat more experienced Cowperthwaite and Hounsome scored 47 and 43, but it was Chouksey who crunched the winning boundary with 4 balls to spare. Steve Murphy is more familiar wearing a white jacket these days, but he can still swing a bat, and his 71 was the major reason 2nd Methlick made 170 for 9 against Huntly. Lewis Myron-Petrie took 5 Methlick wickets, and in response, Muhammad Rehman took 5 Huntly wickets as they were dismissed for 135.
Local interest in the SPCU North East Championship was limited to Countesswells as the Huntly v Strathmore fixture was rained off, and 2nd Stoneywood Dyce couldn’t raise a team for their game against Kinloch. Aberdeenshire went into the match against Gordonians as strong favourites with Gordos missing their 3 main all rounders in Arora, Saraswat and Hegde. Shire batted first and Joseph Horne top scored with 41 as the Gordos bowlers strangled the run rate and restricted Shire to 140 for 9 in their 45 overs. Shire had a plethora of bowlers at their disposal, but they were all the same to opener Abrar Ahmed as he raced to 50 off only 31 balls. 4 wickets fell at the other end but Ahmed was unbeaten on 97 as Gordos dashed to victory in the 27th over. League leaders Freuchie were back to winning ways as they made 230 for 6 at home to Perth Doocot, the visitors all out for 84. Falkland enjoyed themselves at Arbroath, Scott Meikle with an undefeated 91 from their 278 for 3. Lyle Robertson took 5 for 22 as Arbroath plodded to 82 all out in 33 overs. Dundee High slipped to the foot of the table as they were skittled by 2nd Forfarshire for 76 who lost 5 wickets as they won in 23 overs.
The Saturday round of Eastern Premier League games did not go well for Stoneywood Dyce. SDCC put all their batting eggs in the Sunday basket for the trip to RH Corstorphine and lost 5 quick wickets to Heriots on Saturday. Jamie King top scored with 26 as they were all out for 94 in the 23rd over. Heriots chased this down in the 15th over to stay top of the table. Meigle went ahead of SDCC in the league as they had a squeaky 10 run win against RHC. Zahid Rasheed was the star man with an unbeaten 54 from the Meigle 186 for 6, which he followed up with 4 for 36 to dismiss RHC with 7 balls remaining of their innings, although RHC did pick up 2 vital bonus points. Centuries from Rory Johnston and Craig Wallace took Forfarshire to 309 for 3 against Stewarts Melville, and whilst Stew Mel were all out for 209, this was a decent batting performance as they approach some crucial games against their rivals at the foot of the league. Arbroath lost to Carlton by 27 runs, their top scorer on 46 being their mid-season signing from Gordonians, Pranav Saravanan. Grange had 2 centurions as they comfortably beat Watsonians by 126 runs.