McKinney Masterclass As Grammar Pickup First Trophy Of The Season

It was overcast at Mannofield for the start of the Aberdeenshire Cup final, so it was no surprise that when Gordonians won the toss they asked AGSFPs to bat first. The familiar pairing of Alex Keith and Geoff Morrison opened the batting for Grammar, facing the equally familiar pairing of Jamil Shaikh and Chamila Perera opening the bowling for Gordonians. In the early exchanges the scoreboard ticked over, but the zero remained in the wickets column until the 13th over, when Bhandari removed Keith for 25, the score 45 for 1. The score hadn’t moved when Adi Hegde bowled Morrison for 16 as he opened with a wicket maiden. Rob Swiergon looked in ominous form as he smacked a couple of boundaries, so it was a bonus for Gordos when a ball from Indy Pandit trickled onto his stumps via a mix of bat and pads, Swiergon out for only 10. Hamish Penman and Fraser Proud were industrious between the wickets and got the Grammar innings back on track, taking the score up to 104 in the 27th over before Penman was caught Pandit, bowled Bashir for 26, and it was the same combination who removed Karan Anand for a duck in the 29th over. 116 for 5 and Gordos in a strong position, but Connor Mckinney didn’t hang around, and his innings of 52 came off only 39 balls. His partnership of 70 with Fraser Proud took the game away from Gordos, Proud making 62 from 59 balls including the only 2 maximums of the innings, before he was run out by a direct hit from the boundary by Bhandari. The Grammar innings concluded on 210 for 9 off 40 overs. Mapplebeck and Proud cranked up the pace, and the latter, bowling to an array of slips that even James Anderson would rarely have at his disposal, got the early breakthrough as Hegde was caught behind for 2. Mapplebeck also took 2 early wickets and Gordos slumped to 45 for 5 in the 15th over. Deil Patel batted well for his 50 off 75 balls, but the only support of note came from Shaikh who made 23. Gordos were all out for 150 in the 38th over. Mapplebeck took 4 for 25 and Proud 2 for 24, Proud picking up the man of the match award from the umpires for his all round contribution. Gordos did drop a few catches, but Grammar batted and bowled better, and Mckinney weighed in with some superb fielding to keep the shackles on the Gordos batting and give Grammar a very deserved victory. A big shout out to Alex Keith who won the Cup having lost in 7 previous finals.One feature of the game was the small number of wides, Gordos bowling 4 and Grammar 7, an indication of how normal cricket wides should be called from umpires Ian Sutherland and Mike Philip.