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As the cricketing world was gripped by events at Lords, and just how close a cricket match can be, it's virtually neck and neck at the top of Grade 1 as AGSFPs were beaten in a high scoring match by Bon Accord, and slipped 1 point behind Inverurie who defeated Mannofield at Harlaw. 

Bons batted first at Rubislaw, and a Fazal Awan century and an unbeaten 49 from Akhlaq Bashir helped them to an impressive 271 for 6. Karan Anand made 70 and Arul Senthil 68 as Grammar gave it a real go, but it was Awan taking 4 for 44 that stalled the run chase and gave Bons a 12 run victory. One more wicket for Grammar and the extra bonus point would have seen them level at the top with Inverurie, who had to overcome a slightly stronger Mannofield side than they would have expected. The SPCU match between Arbroath and Mannofield was an early morning casualty, but the added experience in the top order for Mannofield could not get to grips with Messrs Lawrence and Coutts who took 3 wickets apiece to restrict Mannofield to 107 for 8 in their 45 overs. 3 early wickets for Indy Yahathugoda must have had Inverurie in a bit of a sweat, but Trevor Norval and Jordan Thom weathered the mini storm and accelerated over the finishing line in only 22 overs.

Stoneywood-Dyce were indebted to the experience of Martin Reid and Mike Louw who scored 32 and 31 respectively as they were all out for a fairly pedestrian 114 at Groats Road. Knight Riders would have fancied their chances of knocking off the runs, but Jon Grant took another cheap 4 wicket haul, and Louw also got amongst the wickets to bowl SDCC to a 23 run win.

It's tight at the top and nerve wracking at the bottom as the movers and shakers did some moving and shaking. It's rarely fun batting at Sheddocksley and Jamil Shaikh and Indy Pandit put runs on the board slowly as Gordonians scored 146 from 45 overs against Crescent, who then succumbed to an unexpected 6 for 29 from Debo Barman as they crumbled to 97 all out. Gordonians moved out of the bottom 3 as Cults moved up a place at the expense of Ellon, who they skittled out for 81, a score they knocked off without losing a wicket.

In Grade 2, 2nd AGSFPs gave Siyapa a bit of a fright at Duthie Park as Mike Nattrass scored 64 to post a team total of 116, with Shahid picking up another 4 wickets. Siyapa lost 8 wickets in the run chase as Roland Knudson took 4 for 30 to almost pull off a surprise. Nattrass picked up another century on the Sunday as 2nd AGSFPs totalled 183 against Fraserburgh, Will Ramsey taking 4 for 12, and the evergreen, ever ready John Jessiman picking up 3 for 35. Elia Gubbala trumped both of them with a 5 wicket haul as the Rubislaw side bowled out the Broch for 127.

Fraserburgh had fared better on the Saturday as 41 from Michael Watson helped them to 166 for 6 against the visitors from Methlick, who were then bowled out for 91, Ryan Duthie taking 3 for 14.

John Varghese was the star performer as Grampian cruised to a 103 run win at Stonehaven as he added 4 wickets to an earlier innings of 62.

Banchory put 147 for 8 on the board at home to 2nd Knight Riders, but despite their best efforts, they couldn't get out Sanjay Arumugam Vijandiran who made 92 as Banchory lost by 5 wickets.

In Grade 3 the match between 2nd Methlick and 2nd Grampian was a non starter due to the effects of earlier rain at Lairds. 5 for 28 from Geoff Feeney was partly responsible for Crathie bowling out Dunecht for 115, but the latter score proved enough as Peter Cunningham lacked batting support, his 39 out of the Crathie 92 not being enough.

Portcullis made a steady 138 for 8 against 2nd Gordonians with Dave Mitchell top scoring on 48. Shravan Aravind made a useful 22 for Gordos, but he was another bowling victim for Mitchell as Portcullis tore through the Gordos top and late batting order to secure a 66 run victory.

In the SPCU NE Championship, Gordonians had not lost to Strathmore since rejoining the top division in 2012, and with Aman Arora taking 4 for 19 to reduce Strathie to 113 for 9, it looked like this record would remain intact. Kris Grant and Liam Sweeney had other ideas and batted out the overs to take the total to 177 for 9. 32 from Arora and a stylish 34 from Sandy Richards made a dent in the run chase, but 3 run outs knocked the stuffing out of Gordos and they lost by 18 runs.

The Meigle march to the title continued at Dalnacraig as Dundee High couldn't chase down the visitors score of 153, and Perth Doocot kept their winning run going by overhauling the 173 scored by 2nd Forfarshire off the 2nd last ball.

In the Eastern Premier Division league leaders Forfarshire were in trouble at home to Heriots when rain intervened, but no such problems at Peoples Park as Stoneywood-Dyce did their neighbours a favour by demolishing Stewarts Melville by 9 wickets. Jan Stander took 3 wickets as the visitors were all out for 122, and he was then unbeaten on 34 alongside 64 from Liam Lindsay, as they moved in to the top half of the table. 

161 for 6 turned to 169 all out as Arbroath were bowled out at Mannofield to give the hosts hope that they could kickstart a burst away from the EPL relegation spot. Having made it to 137 for 5, the final charge to the victory line proved too much for Aberdeenshire as 5 wickets fell for only 17 runs. Defeat must have been hard to take having engineered a winning position, but the one positive is that Shire collected 2 losing bonus points which could be critical if they can pick up a couple of wins before the end of the season. 

chris  Jul 16 2019 - 8:05am   
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