Kintore v. Portcullis - Saturday, 18 August, 2012

Toss was won by Kintore, who chose to field.

Portcullis : 124 for 9.

Kintore : 97 all out.


A beautiful sunny afternoon at Kellands Park Inverurie was the setting for the 2012 Johnston Rose Bowl Final. The Trophy was to be contested by Kintore CC and Portcullis CC. For both teams this was to be their last chance of winning a prize in the 2012 season.

Heavy rainfall the day before left a damp, but in the hot weather, a rapidly drying wicket. The Groundsmen however did a grand job in getting the wicket playable, especially in a season that had far too much rainfall already.

The toss, decided by the Captains Kannan Vijayakrishnan and Jon Tanner, could prove to be crucial. The playing conditions would seem to indicate that batting last would be advantageous.

Portcullis skipper Kannan Vijayakrishnan called incorrectly and was not surprised to be invited to bat by his counterpart Jon Tanner.

Having put on a partnership of 87 the previous week against Ellon 2nds, Captain Kannan Vijayakrishnan decided to go with the tried and trusted partnership of Ranjan Sahoo and Ronnie Falconer. Kintore would open their bowling attack with the impressive Michael Singer who was ably backed up by James Wilson.

Ronnie Falconer was bestowed the honour of facing the first ball of the match. He found Singer to be particularly tricky as he produced inswing and seam off of the pitch. Singer was ably supported by Wilson who, although not as dangerous, bowled tightly. The Kintore pair building up pressure on their Portcullis opponents.

Both Sahoo and Falconer showed cool heads however and fought back. They took the score to 18 and looked to be getting on top when Kintore struck a timely blow. The impressive Singer bowling the dogged Falconer with a cracking ball that jagged back in and through the gate of Falconer’s defence. Falconer bowled for 5.

Portcullis 18-1.

This brought the solid Gary Steward to the wicket to join Sahoo. If Portcullis were to post a score that could be defended then one of this pair would have to dominate the innings. Steward, the personification of calm, assessed the situation and correctly took his time to play himself in. At the other end Sahoo appeared to be finding his range and timing. It was beginning to look good for Portcullis when disaster struck again.

Sahoo was next to go. He pulled at one, slightly mistiming it. The ball shot up into the air. Kintore’s Stephen McIntyre got himself into position to take a good catch. Sahoo gone for 15.

Portcullis 26-2.

Next man in was Captain Kannan Vijayakrishnan. This season Vijayakrishnan has found his Batting as frustrating as his Captaincy has been exhilarating. Although making scores, he hadn’t tapped into his full batting potential to realise the class he undoubtedly has with the bat. He has contributed with his bowling, fielding and keeping as well making him the ultimate all-rounder. To top that with the excellent Captaincy shown by him as well it has been a brilliant season for the Portcullis skipper. It would be nice to top the season with a score of note in this Cup Final.

Alas it was not to be. Vijayakrishnan enduring further frustration as he caught from the bowling of Kirkman, who had been brought on a few overs earlier to replace Wilson.

It may have been the end of Vijayakrishnan’s innings but not the end of Vijayakrishnan’s match. Vijayakrishnan gone for 2. Portcullis 33-3.

Next man in was Jayaraj Raj. To some this may have been seen as a gamble but not to those in the know within the Portcullis camp. Raj’s reluctance to bat in the past was not enough to disguise his undoubted ability with the willow. He also scores at a good tempo, which is ideal in a Cup Match situation.

In the meantime Steward had played himself in. Sizing up the situation, Steward upped his own tempo a little. Realizing he was to be the main contributor to the Portcullis batting cause, Steward rose to the challenge majestically. He managed to score freely whilst giving nothing away. Kintore didn’t get a snifter of a chance from him! He also assessed that Singer was the main Kintore dangerman, ably backed up by impressive left armer Kirkman. This passage of play was to determine the match.

Meanwhile Kirkman was to grab his second wicket of the match. Raj, sadly departing for 3, caught by Thomas.

Portcullis 51-4.

Next man is was Richard Collinson. It was a timely intervention of an experienced head to back up the brilliance of Steward. Steward continued to score at a good rate, including one fantastic six smashed back over the head of Kirkman. This induced a raucous cheer from the Portcullis faithful and rose the players’ spirits immensely.

The spirits were further risen when the dangerous Singer had finished his 10 over quota. He was to be replaced by leg spinner Adams. Adams had enjoyed a tremendous season with bat and ball with Kintore. Like Steward he had scored two Centuries this season and his contribution to the match could prove crucial. From this change Kintore’s tactics were obvious. Both Singer and Adams were to bowl right through at one end whilst the other bowlers were rotated at the other end.

Steward and Collinson took the score to 72 when spirited Wicketkeeper Goulding caught Collinson from the wily leg spin of Adams.

72-5 became 72-6 when the luckless Simon Winstanley was adjudged out lbw from the bowling of Adams without troubling the scorers. It looked like Adams was going to make a big impact on this match.

Next man up was young Ruari Collinson. He had commented earlier he was “up for it”. With Steward at the other end offering advice and being a calming influence, young Collinson chose the perfect time to contribute his best score of the season yet. Not only did he support Steward during this passage of play he had the cheek to surpass him! Ruari took it upon himself to produce an excellent cameo of an innings. His run a ball 17 shot the score towards three figures and a total that would be challenging. The highlight of his innings was his first six for Portcullis. He latched onto a short one from McIntyre and smashed it over midwicket for the most glorious of sixes! The Portcullis posse looked on in admiration and bewilderment before bursting into loud whoops of joy!!

The seventh wicket partnership of 27, Portcullis’s highest of the match was tragically brought to an end when the experienced Prosser, having replaced McIntyre, got Ruari to lash at one too many. The ball went skywards and young Thomas manoeuvred himself underneath it to take an excellent catch.

Portcullis 99-7 after 30 overs.

This brought the experienced Bob Adie to the crease to partner Steward. Steward was closing in on his well deserved fifty and was needing a partner to stay with him. Bob did his very best to stay with Steward. The pair added 8 runs for the eighth wicket before Adie was run out as the pair went to push the score along as the innings drew to a close.

Portcullis 107-8 after 34 overs.

Dave Forbes was next. Batting at 10 was self-imposed as Forbes was carrying a troublesome elbow injury. He dug in for the Portcullis cause and to make sure Gary Steward had every opportunity to make his Cup Final Fifty.

Steward duly did with a single through the covers that was received by a lung-bursting cheer from the Portcullis faithful. Perhaps that significant match achievement broke Steward’s concentration. He fell shortly afterwards for said 50 stumped by Goulding from the bowling of Adams.

Portcullis 109-9 after 35 overs.

Dave Elrick then joined Dave Forbes at the crease. Priority one was to bat the 40 overs. It was a hot day and it would do Portcullis no harm to make their opponents further sweat it out in the outfield. The pair are well renowned for having solid defensive skills. Today was the day for the pair to use them. In limited overs cricket it is criminal if you do not use up the balls allocated to you.

The pair duly did so, batting out the remainder of the innings unbeaten and adding 15 precious runs between them.

The innings closed with Portcullis 124-9 from their 40 overs. It was a challenging total but one many experts felt that Kintore, with their batting artillery should chase down comfortably.

For Portcullis the total was defendable. It would take a Herculean effort of bowling and fielding from all of their players to achieve this.

Kintore opened their innings with the highly successful pairing of Al Adams and Gary Prosser. The pair had enjoyed success this season with the willow. Between them they had already made three Centuries. Bearing in mind they’re had only been a total of nine Centuries between the eights teams from Grade Four this was an impressive yield.

Portcullis opened their bowling attack with a rejuvenated Jayaraj Raj and their half-centurion Gary Steward. Jay opened with a tight probing over which tested both batsmen. This showed that although the odds were in Kintore’s favour, Portcullis were not going to let them have things their own way.

Following Raj’s impressive start, Steward opened his bowling spell with a fantastic wicket in his opening over. Steward managed to get his second ball to lift from a length. Ali Adams could only prod it towards point where the ever-alert Jayaraj Raj swooped to take a fine catch.

Kintore 2-1. The impressive Ali Adams back in the pavilion. Game on!

Michael Singer was the next man in. This was the time to steady the ship. Portcullis’s tails were up and a further wicket at this stage could mean curtains for Kintore’s chances. Singer immediately joined Prosser and the pair kept cool heads as they set about repairing the early damage caused by Raj and Steward.

In the meantime Raj and Steward continued to take the game to the Kintore pairing. The Kintore pair however stood firm, showing the respect that Portcullis’s opening pair deserved. Both Prosser and Singer impressed as no further chances were offered by the Kintore batsmen.

This lead to Captain Kannan Vijayakrishnan making his first bowling changes, resting Steward and Raj for later frays. He then pulled his first rabbit out of the hat bringing himself onto bowl with Falconer at the other end. With the absence of Mitchell, Farooq, Salim, Padmaraj and Naseem from the bowling attack this was a clever move by the Portcullis skipper.

The initial jousts from Falconer and Vijayakrishnan had little effect on the Kintore rearguard. In fact the opposite effect seemed to be true as the pair began to get away from the Portcullis side. The score moved onto 42 when, at last, Portcullis dragged themselves back into the game.

Settling into his new role as first change bowler, Vijayakrishnan began troubling the Kintore pair. Singer, beginning to feel bogged down, struck out. He drove the ball back at Vijayakrishnan who dived low to take the catch at the second attempt only inches from the ground. It was a vital breakthrough by the Skipper. He was determined to lead the Portcullis fightback from the front whilst inspiring those around him.

Kintore 42-2. Portcullis were starting to get back into it!

Falconer meanwhile was struggling at the other end. His bowling was not as tight as it had been at the beginning of the season. Although not getting smashed about, he was leaking runs, with the greatest bugbear being extras as he gave away far too many wides. Falconer to his credit stuck gamely to his task. His bowling position in the team was that of being a partnership breaker. As many bad balls as good had got him wickets this season and today was to be no exception as he grabbed the prize wicket of Prosser.

Prosser had moved serenely to 24 and looked as if he was booked in for bed and breakfast. Falconer’s second last ball of his fourth over was to do for him. Falconer bowled a slow, low full toss outside Prosser’s off-stump. The ball, although poor, did have a little late outswing. This meant Prosser smashed it into deep cover instead of intended target of deep mid-off. Steward, placed out there for such a ball, made major ground and took an excellent catch.

Kintore 51-3. Portcullis were showing they would not go down without a fight!

Wilson was then joined at the crease by Kintore Captain Jon Tanner. With two wickets falling so close to one another, Kintore would want to dig in and ride through this storm.

It was not to be. Vijayakrishnan, claiming his second victim of the match, bowling Thomas for 1.

Kintore 60-4. Portcullis were now right back in it!

Next up was Kirkman. Kirkman played positively as he showed he up for the challenge on behalf of Portcullis. This was despite surviving an early scare. A rare overpitched ball from Vijayakrishnan was gratefully received by Kirkman who smashed it into the covers area at great velocity. Falconer thrust his left hand out but the pace of the ball did for him and it spilled out. A half-chance but one that could have been taken. Stopped a certain four though.

Trying to keep it fresh Vijayakrishnan took himself and Falconer off bringing back Raj and Steward. The two batsmen in had yet to face the Portcullis opening pair. It was to prove to be another masterstroke from the Portcullis Skipper.

It didn’t look like that initially. Kirkman especially seemed to like the ball coming onto his bat from Steward. He proved this when he smashed Steward for a splendid six over midwicket.

This annoyed Steward. It seemed to get under his skin and he was determined to get payback.

Steward duly did.

First up was Kintore Skipper Jon Tanner. He lured Tanner into a off-drive that soared towards the excellent Richard Collinson. Richard showed steady hands and steadier nerves as he took an excellent catch.

Kintore 73-5. The match was well and truly in the balance!

Still snarling from the way Kirkman dispatched him earlier, Steward was to get his revenge. He got a quick good length ball to come back from outside off stump to take middle and leg stump.

Kintore 77-6. Portcullis were on the ascendancy!

Captain Vijayakrishnan’s insistence that Portcullis were to continue building the pressure at all times was beginning to pay off.

This meant that there was a new pair at the crease. Jack Wilson and Dave Goulding. The pair showed great awareness initially snatching a couple of extra runs as Portcullis were induced into rare fielding errors. This kept the scoreboard ticking over for Kintore and renew hope of a possible comeback.

It was not to be.

Vijayakrishnan came back to relieve Jayaraj Raj. Raj’s season has been pretty unlucky. He has bowled consistently well without much luck. He has also been suffering from shin splints as well. With all this in mind his bowling spell for Portcullis had been vital in keeping them in the game and it was the dogged ill luck that stopped him getting the wickets he so deserved today. Still he bowled with great heart and courage.

On coming back onto bowl, Vijayakrishnan captured Portcullis’s seventh wicket of the match. He lured Goulding to play a loose shot into the covers. The ball spiralled over Falconer’s head. Falconer however kept his eye on it, eventually diving backwards to take a right handed catch.

Kintore 88-7. Portcullis were surely odds on now!

Steward meanwhile finished his spell with two maidens. One of those a wicket maiden. Wilson spiralling one into extra cover. With the ball going between Falconer and Winstanley a loud call and decision had to be made. Winstanley, with a loud confident call, took charge of the situation and took an excellent catch.

Kintore 90-8. Kintore were looking out of it!

Having used his quota of overs Vijayakrishnan turned to Falconer once again. With the Kintore tail at his disposal and a rapidly increasing run rate, Falconer was content to keep his end tight as possible. Bowling a little slower but with more control he increased the pressure. This lead to Falconer capturing his second wicket of the match. Lobbing one just outside off stump he encouraged Raaja to drive it straight back to him. Falconer dived low to take an excellent catch from his own bowling.

Kintore 95-9. As Bumble would say “Start the car!”

Winstanley, desperate for a bowl, finally got his wish when Vijayakrishnan turned to him in the 39th over. After a couple of looseners, which were called for wides, Winstanley settled his nerves enough to bowl young Lee McIntyre. His was the glory wicket that lead to belated celebrations by the Portcullis posse!!

Kintore 97 all out. Portcullis won by 27 runs! As was the case earlier in the season against Kintore the match was a lot tighter than the scoreline suggests. This was definitely a match that could have swung either way. It was Portcullis who got the breakthroughs at the right times and that was beneficial to them. The Portcullis side also stuck to their task throughout the match. Their narrow defeats earlier in the season showed they never knew when to give in. This was character forming and those experiences were perhaps beneficial today.

There were celebrations all round as ACA Secretary David Jones presented the Johnston Rose Bowl to the Portcullis Captain Kannan Vijayakrishnan. What a season for the Portcullis side. The season had started shakily with the club unsure of a home ground and a team. It is finishing with promotion to Grade Three and a Cup win.

The Umpires then decided the destination of the Man Of The Match Award. This was, of course, handed to Portcullis’s Gary Steward. His splendid fifty was backed up with the match’s best bowling figures of 4-22 as well as taking a catch for good measure.

Fair play to Kintore. They gave Portcullis one hell of a match! They must have been gutted at missing out but still showed great dignity, class and sportsmanship throughout. This was greatly appreciated by the Portcullis side.

For Portcullis this was their first Johnston Rose Bowl since 1994. For many of their players it was their first honour on a cricket pitch as well. A hard fought season finished with some very rare silverware for the City Centre club. It was the Jewel in the Crown for the Aberdeen side on what had already been an excellent season!!

Wednesday, 22 August, 2012

Innings of Portcullis

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
9B.Adie2Run Out
10D.Forbes8Not out
11D.Elrick2Not out
Leg Byes1
No Balls2

Innings of Kintore

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
11S.MacIntyre2Not out
C.MacIntyreDid not bat
Leg Byes0
No Balls0