Whilst records probably haven’t been kept for the number of 6’s in a Grades game, or by individuals during a game, they were probably set at Links on Saturday. You could probably go back 50 years and you might have seen 60 sixes in a whole season, but the short boundaries at Links, combined with better bats, all added up to 731 runs for the total loss of only 12 wickets in 80 overs of action.
Bon Accord batted first against Knight Riders and the first 6 didn’t arrive until the 9th over. From then on it was carnage, Fazal Awan eventually out for 162 off 98 balls including 17 sixes and 10 fours. Sajid Muhammad also faced 98 balls for his slightly more sedate 112, which included 10 sixes as Bons set a total of 370 for 7. Faced with such a daunting target, the Knight Riders reply started with a maiden and then went into overdrive as Gautam Bhatia hit 154 off 86 balls with one more 6 than Awan had made earlier. A quick 58 from Sivaganesan Palaniappan and a Knight Riders win looked possible. Bhatia fell with 16 balls remaining and Knight Riders couldn’t keep up the onslaught as they concluded on 361 for 5.
From high scoring to low scoring as Cults were shot out for 70 at Allan Park by Master Blasters. Chetan Aggarwal took 3 for 17 whilst Safeer Peedikayil returned 6 for 45 at the other end in an innings that lasted 17 overs. Master Blasters lost 2 wickets before securing the win in the 12th over.
The tried and trusted Hadden/Norval partnership put on 95 for the first wicket at Kellands, and Chris Watson added a bit of impetus to take Inverurie to 220 for 5 against Grampian. Jordan Thom removed both Grampian openers for ducks, and despite 79 from Rohin Joseph, Grampian were all out for 176, Hadden taking 4 for 28. Grampian remain bottom of Grade 1 and Inverurie move up to 5th.
Methlick gave up their unbeaten start to the Grade 2 season against 2nd AberGreen at Rubislaw. A fairly pedestrian start with only one boundary in the first 14 overs of the 2nd AberGreen innings was steadily built on as they batted out their 40 overs for 153 for 9. Methlick were well on track at 130 for 4, but when Mike Hordley went for 51 it was a fairly rapid collapse to 138 all out, although Methlick could have done with having an 11th player.
The Fraserburgh v Banchory game was preceded by the sad news of the passing of Fraserburgh legend Ian Watson. Ian was an inspirational all rounder and won the Grade 1 batting and bowling awards in 1970 when Fraserburgh were regularly challenging at the top of Grade1.
61 from Josh Crawley held up one end of the innings for Banchory, but it needed a late burst of 35 from Mausam Thapa to take them to 164 for 8. An unbeaten 79 from Cory Bowie was instrumental in Fraserburgh coasting to a 7 wicket win in the 28th over.
37 not out from Lewis Paterson helped Huntly to a respectable 184 for 8 against 2nd Knight Riders. 46 from Mohan Vallatharasu kept the scoreboard ticking as 2nd Knight Riders made a slow start, but momentum was built and they won in style with a 6 and 7 balls to spare.
3rd Gordonians went into their Grade 3 clash with their 2nd team as slight favourites, this being based on the possibility that Mahesh Patel could deliver a match winning score, and he duly delivered as he carried his bat for 132 out of their total of 225 for 7. Viji Nair proved what a good idea it is to bowl at the stumps as he took 6 for 26 to bowl out 2nd Gordos for 114.
Mike Baldry took 3 wickets for Dunecht to put 2nd Master Blasters in a bit of bother at 49 for 4, but a half century from Mohammed Khan and 48 not out from Aravind Kolapalli took Master Blasters to 210 for 6. Niranjan Augustine answered back with 3 early wickets, and despite 49 from Matt Witz, Dunecht were bowled out for 106.
Fraser Grant topped the bowling for 2nd Methlick with 4 for 22 as they bowled out Stonehaven for 142. Daniel Reeve made 43 to set up Deni Sarafamoski to add an unbeaten 17 at the end to give 2nd Methlick a 4 wicket win.
2nd Mannofield are yet to pick up a win in Grade 3 as they went down by 8 wickets against Stoneywood Dyce. 48 from Gihan Perera and a patient unbeaten 41 from Andrew Madigan made up the bulk of the 147 for 2 of the SDCC chase.
In the SPCU North East Championship, Gordonians would have been quite happy to have reduced Aberdeenshire to 89 for 3 given that they had removed Kenny Reid and the 2 Shire overseas batters. Unfortunately for Gordos a 159 run partnership between Manu Saraswat and Lewis Munro took the game away from them. Munro top scored with 102 off only 77 balls and Saraswat was out off the final ball for 71. Chasing 262 was always going to be a big ask and Munro increased the scoreboard pressure by bowling 6 overs for only 5 runs. Alex Cummings took 4 for 40 and David Gamblen 3 for 30 as Shire bowled out Gordos for 136.
Huntly fell to a surprise defeat at home to Perth Doocot. Asif Naeem was the star man for Perth as he took the attack to the Huntly bowlers making 53 of their 220 for 8. Jack Mitchell was again amongst the wickets with 4 for 33, and then top scored with 61 in the Huntly chase which had reached 128 for 1 before the tide began to turn. Naeem was brought on as bowler number 7 and took 4 for 27 to bowl out Huntly for 205.
The Arbroath title charge is being led by all rounder Jared Meiring. His 3 for 42 restricted 2nd Forfarshire to a below par 170 for 9 at Forthill. Meiring made his 3rd half century in 5 league games as Arbroath coasted to a 7 wicket win in 28 overs.
Jamal Shah took 4 for 42 as Kinloch bowled out Strathmore for a very gettable 159. Kinloch have shown a bit more grit with the bat this season, but it all went very wrong very quickly in their reply. Liam Sweeney produced the bowling performance of the day taking 7 for 18 to overshadow the 3 for 21 of Lance Trueman as the 2 bowlers scuttled Kinloch for 47 in under 15 overs.
2nd Falkland were bowled out by neighbours Freuchie for 77 and stay at the bottom of the league as Freuchie cantered to an 8 wicket win.
The Eastern Premier League clash between Stoneywood Dyce and Falkland wasn’t for anyone of a nervous disposition, the overhead traffic seeming to get more intense as the match reached a conclusion. Jeremy Martins top scored for Falkland with 41 although his reaction to being out probably led to paperwork for the umpires. A late flurry from Ryan Jennings helped them to 214 for 8. Eight of the Stoneywood Dyce batters made it into double figures, but none were able to make a big score. The Falkland bowlers kept their nerve and restricted Stoneywood Dyce to only 23 off the last 6 overs as the hosts finished agonisingly short of a first league win on 210 for 9.
Lloyd Brown went big for Heriot’s as his 172 set up a total of 346 for 4 against Forfarshire, Hayes Van Der Berg also adding to the Forfs pain with 75. Gavin Main took 3 for 20 as Forfs were dismissed for 163 and relinquished top spot to Heriot’s.
Grange held on to their unbeaten record with beating RH Corstorphine. Tom Foulds took 6 for 44 to bowl out RHC for 162 and an undefeated 77 from Angus Brown eased Grange to a 7 wicket victory.
Meigle suffered another defeat, this time at the hands of a Connor Shorten inspired Stewart’s Melville. His 4 wickets helped bowl out Meigle for 180 and Riyaad Henry carried on his fine season with an unbeaten 49 to secure a 6 wicket win.
Watsonian moved away from the relegation zone with a 2 wicket win over Carlton. Dougie Voas made a vital 65 as they overhauled the 205 of Carlton.
This year’s Scottish Cup semi finals will be between Forfarshire and Clydesdale, (Forfs squeaking past Heriot’s by one wicket, and Clydesdale 6 wicket winners against Arbroath) and Uddingston versus Grange.
In the Challenge Cup, Jack Mitchell put Huntly in a great position as they played the Cup champions Morton at home. He made 62 and Eli Ward-Armstrong 79 as they amassed 207 for 8. 3 wickets from Barry Newlands put pressure on Morton, but their cup success has been down to individuals stepping up to get them over the line, and they duly did with 8 wickets down and an over to spare.
Bon Accord are also through, and no surprise that their win over Marchmont involved yet another century from Fazal Awan. His 104 out of a total of 197 was almost enough to beat Edinburgh side Marchmont on its own as they were dismissed for 108, Nawaz Mirza picking up 3 for 14. Bons are rewarded with a trip to Kelso.
Crescent cruised past Largo with Rajeevan Sujaya whacking 122 of their 255 for 6. Largo were behind the asking rate from the start and 2 for 33 from Dave Gibson kept Largo down to 191 for 9. Crescent host Northern Counties in the next round.
In the Women’s Premier League it wasn’t an ideal start for the Northern Lights as they lost both their star batters Emma Halliwell and Megan McColl early to leave them on 29 for 2. 28 from Chloe McLeod helped them to 139 for 8 against West of Scotland who had only travelled with 8. A strong start from Faisal and Sheikh put West on course for victory, but it needed an unbeaten 44 from Emma Watson to give West what was technically a 4 wicket win.