Shehmanator to the rescue for Cults

Atif Shehman's 68 not out saw Cults home against Inverurie on Saturday

Grade 1 leaders Crescent and Knight Riders both picked up victories on Saturday to set up their league meeting next weekend. Knight Riders had an easier than expected win at Mannofield, the hosts struggling to get going with the bat as Poongkannan Palaniyandi took 3 cheap wickets to add to 2 early breakthroughs by Safeer Peedikayil. Mannofield were all out for 89 and an unbeaten 33 from Pehlaj Tenneti saw Knight Riders home by 6 wickets. Crescent had a tougher match at Rubislaw as they piled up 284 for 6 against AGSFPs with a century for Nathan Thangaraj and Rajeevan Sujaya adding another 79 to his aggregate for the season. The Grammar top order all got starts, George Gill making 83, but 3 wickets from Anjum Toor gave Crescent a 35 run win.
Tanish Kirodian was in the runs again for Gordonians at Links against Bon Accord making 58 of their 134, but they were undone by a hat trick from Saeed Raja. Fazal Awan cracked an unbeaten 100 as Bons cruised to a 9 wicket win.
It was a close encounter at Groats Road as Master Blasters were bowled out for 185 by 2nd Knight Riders, skipper Ajay Narne topping the batting with 63 and Ambrose John taking 4 for 24 for 2nd KR. Shaik Nagulmeera made 59 for 2nd Knight Riders, but it needed some lusty blows from Mahesh Challa batting at number 10 to rescue 2nd KR from a precarious position to give them a 2 wicket win. Trevor Norval is in superb form at the moment and scored an excellent 70 out of an Inverurie total of 190 for 6 against Cults at Allan Park. The Cults reply got off to a dreadful start until a middle order repair job from Aqeel Ajazi with 48 set up a fireworks finish from Atif Shehman whose 68 not out gave them a 1 wicket win in the last over with a 6. 

Grade 2 was bereft of surprises as Siyapa and both Grampian teams won. Arfan Ali took 5 for 15 as Siyapa bowled out Portcullis for 122 at Duthie Park. Quickfire 50’s from Shahram Memon and Salman Bedaar eased Siyapa to a 9 wicket win. Johnny Barrett top scored with 58 as Ellon were bowled out for 146 by 2nd Grampian. Mynul Nadim fell 3 short of a half century as 2nd Grampian hurried to a 5 wicket victory. Banchory didn’t get going at Harlaw against Grampian and were all out for 92 with the hosts taking their time to win by 6 wickets. 

Methlick remain top of Grade 3 after an 89 run win over their 2nd team. Mark Woodhouse was the only first team batter to pass 50 as they posted 220 for 5 off their 40 overs. Scott Gordon scored 31 out of a respectable response of 131 from the 2nds. 2nd Siyapa are hot on their heels as they won easily at Crathie by 138 runs. Nathan Macaulay-Dicks made 80 as Stonehaven totalled 162 for 3 at home to Huntly who didn’t lose a wicket in reply, Anuj Dawar unbeaten on 113. Adrian Merry will have sore shoulders from carrying the Stoneywood Dyce innings at Dunecht. His 74 was the highlight as they toiled to 108 for 9 off 40 overs. Dunecht collapsed to 38 for 5 until some big hitting from Mike Baldry with an undefeated 46 pulled off a squeeky one wicket win.

It wasn’t a good day for the City sides in the SPCU North East Championship with all 3 teams losing. The biggest surprise was Aberdeenshire going down to 2nd Forfarshire at Forthill. Veteran Graeme Garden top scored with 75 as the home team totalled 217 for 8 off their 45 overs, Isira Bandara the best of the bowlers with 3 for 10. In reply Shire could only manage 173 for 8 despite numerous batters getting a start. It was a good toss to win at Meigle on a rain affected pitch and Gordonians didn’t recover from being asked to bat and losing 2 wickets in the first over. They struggled to 175 for 9, Aman Arora top scoring with 41. Alan Neave continued his good start to the season with the bat as his unbeaten 58 helped Meigle to an easier than expected 8 wicket win. They are now the only unbeaten team in the league. 
Safyaan Sharif rattled up a century at People’s Park against 2nd Stoneywood Dyce. SDCC were never going to threaten the Freuchie score of 340 for 6 and they were all out for 121. Huntly were the only local team to notch up a win. Perth Doocot rarely travel well to Huntly and Jack Mitchell was the main inflictor of pain with 5 for 27 as Perth were out for 113. Sam Cuconits made 57 as Huntly won by 5 wickets.
Elsewhere Strathmore made 385 for 3 as they made easy work of Dundee HSFP, and Arbroath United had a surprisingly comfortable win over Kinloch.

In the Eastern Premier League the Stoneywood Dyce bubble burst as Caleb Whitefoord picked up 6 for 26 to bowl out SDCC for 109, 5 ducks not helping the scorecard. RH Corstorphine didn’t hang around and swept to victory in the 14th over. Dylan Budge and Chris Greaves returned from Scotland duty to fire Grange to a huge win over Forfarshire and Carlton were overpowered by Heriots who top the table ahead of RHC. Falkland had a bit of a bounce as Harsha Cooray returned to their line up with 51 as they fell 14 runs short in a rain affected chase to Stewarts Melville. Their losing bonus points increased the gap between them and bottom side Arbroath United who lost by 91 runs to Watsonian. 

The ECB under 15 finals day at Stirling saw Gordonians ease past Livingston in the semi final as they chased down the Livingston score of 72 for 7. Rudra Chouksey made 34 and Adi Mukhopadhya was unbeaten on 25 as they progressed to meet Clydesdale in the final. Clydesdale are the powerhouse of age group cricket in the West and they had defeated Carlton to get to the final. Gordos will have been happy to have restricted Clydesdale to 126 for 6 in the final, Abhi Reddy making a rapid 52 for Clydesdale. Tanish Kirodian started well for Gordos with 26 and Adi Mukhopadhya made 23, but the strong Clydesdale attack was too good for the remaining Gordos batters as they ran out of overs on 81 for 8.