Kemnay-Kintore v. Portcullis - Sunday, 04 August, 2013

Toss was won by Portcullis, who chose to field.

Kemnay-Kintore : 143 all out.

Portcullis : 141 all out.

Portcullis Poleaxed in Cup Tie Cracker!!

Sunday August 4th the date. Castle Park, Kintore the venue. The Reid Cup Semi Final Tie between Kemnay Kintore and Portcullis was the tie that many thought would be a classic. And so it proved!!

Damage to the original ground, Bogbeth Park, meant that the tie had to be hastily rearranged to Castle Park Kintore. Thankfully word got round soon enough and all 22 players were ready for action come the 1.00pm start time.

Portcullis Captain Kannan Vijayakrishnan won the toss against rival Captain Liam Thom and invited the Home Team to bat.

Kemnay Kintore opened the batting with the experienced pairing of Gareth Prosser and Lucian West whilst the Portcullis new ball went to the pairing of Muhammad Farooq and Umair Qureshi.

Portcullis found themselves in the unusual position of not gaining an early breakthrough. Although both Farooq and Qureshi bowled well and found the edge of each openers bat, the Kemnay Kintore gave no real clear-cut chances. One flyer brushed past Falconer’s right hand that could only be described as a quarter chance being the only glimpse of opportunity early doors.

Although Portcullis did not make a breakthrough, they did keep a lid on the Kemnay Kintore scoring rate. The pair’s first six overs only yielding 12 runs. After the seventh over Portcullis made their first change, bringing on Simon Winstanley to replace Umair Qureshi. Skipper Kannan Vijayakrishnan, mindful that each of his bowlers can only bowl ten overs maximum each, keeping his options open.

Vijayakrishnan completed another changeover, taking Farooq off and replacing him with Salman Bedaar.

In the meantime Kemnay Kintore continued their solid start, the bowling change doing nothing to hinder it. Both West and Prosser looking serene as their partnership marched onto 49. It was at this point that Portcullis grabbed their first wicket.

Preparing himself to bowl for Portcullis, Vijayakrishnan passed on the wicketkeeping gloves onto teammate Ranjan Sahoo. Vijayakrishnan then placed himself back to his old haunt in the field, at deep mid on. This proved to be a good omen for Portcullis.

Prosser, have played himself in, was looking to elaborate on his stroke play. Increasing the aggressive nature of his batting, Prosser picked up a full-length ball on middle and leg from the bowling of Salman Bedaar. Prosser smashed it high towards the deep mid-on area that Vijayakrishnan was patrolling. Vijayakrishnan, rising to the challenge, made good ground and with steady nerve held onto a difficult chance to complete a very welcome breakthrough for Portcullis. Kemnay Kintore 49-1. The classy Prosser back in the pavilion for 16.

Next man in was Jordan Thom. Fresh from his previous innings knock of 64 against Academy, Kemnay Kintore were looking for their bowling talisman to accelerate the run-rate for them. A first ball boundary showed promise. In the meantime Vijayakrishnan, having got the vital breakthrough he and Portcullis desperately sought, brought Qureshi back into the Portcullis attack. Qureshi’s bowling is seen to have a cutting edge to it. At this point Portcullis needed to build on their initial breakthrough in order to get back into the match.

Vijayakrishnan’s switch proved to bear fruit. Qureshi, gaining in confidence, giving Portcullis the boost they so badly needed. First Qureshi eliminated the threat of Thom the younger, bowling him without further adding to the score. Qureshi then went through the bizarre ritual of bowling Lucian West twice, though in fairness the first time West was not ready. A fact acknowledged by both sides. Proving a match can be highly charged, highly contested AND played fairly and in the correct spirit. West gone for a tidy 18.

49-0 had suddenly become 55-3. Portcullis had brought themselves right back into the match. With two new batsmen at the crease Jonny Holt and Liam Thom, the next passage of play would prove crucial.

Crucial it was. Both Holt and skipper Thom rose to the challenge laid down by their City Centre rivals. The pair scored freely, and without pressure, adding 76 runs for the fourth wicket partnership. In the meantime Vijayakrishnan mixed and matched his bowling attack, seeking inspiration for a further breakthrough. Although the ball went into the air it was often out of reach of the Green Caps fielders. The match was once again becoming out of reach and fast. Kemnay Kintore were looking to post a score of 170-180. A score that would be extremely difficult to surpass for the City Centre side.

A breakthrough eventually happened and was welcomed gratefully by the Portcullisians. Skipper Liam Thom, played a similar shot to that of Gareth Prosser, a high off-drive towards mid-on from the bowling of Simon Winstanley. The cast had changed at mid-on though, with Abdullah Khan taking up the role vacated by Kannan Vijayakrishnan. Thankfully, for Portcullis, the ending was the same with Khan taking an excellent catch to complete the dismissal of Skipper Thom for a timely 23. Kemnay Kintore 131-4.

131-4 soon became 132-5 as Salman Bedaar got back into the act. He got Jonny Holt to launch at one; perhaps mindful of the 170-180 target Kemnay Kintore had set themselves. The ball spiralled into the air, seemingly out of reach of the Portcullis in field. Umair Qureshi had other ideas however. Seeing the ball early, Qureshi sprinted towards it eagerly and got there just in time to complete the most wonderful of galloping catches, still running 10-20 yards with ball in hand in a bid to reduce his momentum. Jonny Holt gone for 33.

It appeared in this match that one wicket would bring two and twice in the match this theory had proven to have something about it.

Having had a glint of light for the second time in the match, and for the second time Kemnay Kintore having two new players at the wicket, Portcullis had to capitalise on this second opportunity of the match.

This time they did. And in spectacular style!

The new pairing of Steven Cowie and Simon Copping took the score to 140 for the Bogbeth side. In the meantime Vijayakrishnan, having rotated his bowling attack with necessity, decide to bring back his opening pairing of Farooq and Qureshi.

Qureshi, bowling quite beautifully throughout the match, was first to strike, bowling Copping for 2. His very next ball also did for John Tomlinson as he too was bowled. The hat-trick was on! It failed to materialize, as a lbw shout was too leggy to be upheld. Still a wonderful over for the City Centre Green Caps.

Kemnay Kintore 140-7. The comeback was on!

The score moved onto 143 when Qureshi struck again, inviting Billy Thom to spoon one up from a difficult ball. Abdullah Khan was on hand to gleefully accept his second catch of the match. Qureshi finishing his 9 over spell for Portcullis with figures of 5-14, his first five wicket haul for the club.

Enter stage left the talismanic Muhammad Bilal Farooq. The Portcullis all-rounder seen it upon himself to complete the innings of Kemnay Kintore. First he bowled Steve Cowie for 4 and then finished off number 11 Stuart Moir, bowling him with a beauty to finish the first act of this pulsating Semi Final.

Kemnay Kintore 143 all out. A marvellous fightback from Portcullis. Bearing in mind Kemnay Kintore were, at one point, 131-3 with Holt and Liam Thom well set, this was a stirring comeback. Along with Qureshi’s wonderful 5-14 was Farooq with figures of 2-31, Salman Bedaar with 2-40 and Winstanley with 1-33.

After a splendid tea it was time for Portcullis to post a reply for the second act of the match. They decided to open with the pairing of Ranjan Sahoo and Muhammad Farooq. For Kemnay Kintore it would be the tried and trusted duo of Liam and Jordan Thom.

The City Centre pair got off to a quick start, hoping to emulate the opening partnership of their Kemnay Kintore counterparts. It was not to be. Farooq, having clubbed a couple of cracking fours from the bowling of Jordan Thom, was first to go. Skipper Liam Thom, having taken back-to-back five-fors, leading by example and bowling the dangerous Farooq for 9. Portcullis 14-1.

14-1 soon became 15-2 as Kemnay Kintore took their second wicket. Jordan Thom deciding to follow up his brother by bowling Shanawar Bedaar for 1. With both Farooq and Shanawar Bedaar back in the hutch Kemnay Kintore were looking ominous favourites at this point.

Bowling hero Umair Qureshi was at he crease next. Joining an on-song Ranjan Sahoo this partnership needed to flourish if Portcullis were to get back into this match.

Qureshi, having top scored for Portcullis the week before, continued with the bat where he left off. Along with Sahoo the pair caressed the ball all over Castle Park bringing the Green Caps right back into it. The pair added 48 runs for the third wicket partnership as Portcullis raced onto 63 when Kemnay Kintore took their third wicket.

Resting himself, skipper Liam Thom turned to his spinner Johnathan De La Crusz. A loose first over was followed by a second over wicket maiden, within which the dangerous Qureshi was bowled for a splendid 20 ball 21.

Portcullis 63-3. The match was once again in the balance.

Next man in was skipper Kannan Vijayakrishnan. Joining Sahoo at the crease the pair batted sensibly adding 26 runs for the fourth wicket. The pair looked to be enjoying batting together and looked to be taking the match away from the Bogbeth side.

Opening bowler Jordan Thom had other ideas however. Rallying himself and his side he bowled the dangerous Sahoo with a cracker of a ball for a pleasant knock of 30. Portcullis 89-4.

Joining Vijayakrishnan at the crease was the new starlet of the season, Abdullah Khan. Khan had throughout the season shown his teammates glimpses of his ability. His highest score of 60 against Knightriders 2nds was a joy to watch for all that observed it. Portcullis were hopeful he would reproduce this form in this match, the most crucial of all.

Initial jousts would appear to do so. The first ball he faced he caressed the most glorious of off drives that surged along the ground to the boundary despite the longish outfield grass.

Vijayakrishnan at this point decided to dig in as anchor as Khan looked to take the attack to the Kemnay Kintore side. The pair adding 27 runs, as they looked untroubled. With plenty of overs and with wickets in hand, Portcullis had edged to favouritism in this match.

Having taken stock of the situation, Liam Thom had to think outside the box if he was going to get Kemnay Kintore back into the match. The initial dalliance of Billy Thom bowling towards the Castle Park pavilion had proved fruitless. Many felt that it was time to introduce last season’s Kemnay Kintore Player of the Year, Jonny Holt. Resisting the obvious, Thom tossed the ball to off-spinner Gareth Prosser.

The result was instantaneous!

Prosser’s first ball went flying to the boundary as Khan gleefully took up the new challenge. The experienced Prosser was not to be perturbed though. Dropping his next ball just outside off the off stump was to do for Khan. With adrenalin pumping Khan launched himself towards the next delivery. The ball turned just enough to catch the inside edge of Khan’s bat and the ball careered into the stumps.

Portcullis 116-5. The roar from the Kemnay Kintore side showed they felt they had found a way back into this match.

Salman Bedaar then joined his skipper at the crease. The partnership was not to last long however as Prosser was not finished yet.

116-5 became 119-6 as Vijayakrishnan was to go next. A juicy leg stump ball was met with the middle of Vijayakrishnan’s bat as he looked to take on the Kemnay Kintore field. Alas it was to prove to be his undoing as the ball, flying high in the air, plummeted just short of the square leg boundary. Jonny Holt was on hand to position himself underneath it, hold his nerve and take the most crucial of catches.

For Prosser it was 2 wickets in 7 balls and the match was turned on its head once again.

Next man in was Simon Winstanley. He joined Bedaar at the crease and the pair added 6 more runs.

Winstanley was next to go. Mistiming a pull shot from the bowling of Liam Thom, the ball shot up in the air towards short square leg. Stuart Moir showing good awareness to take a simple catch. Portcullis 126-7.

Next man in was Dave Forbes. More familiar with opening the batting, Forbes held an end up as Bedaar scored freely around. The score moved onto a nervous 136, for both sides, when that man Prosser struck again.

Bowling his third over, Prosser continued his habit of a wicket an over as he lulled the growing in confidence Bedaar to playing a sweep shot towards fine leg. The ball popped up and John Tomlinson was on hand to take another simple catch.

Portcullis 136-8. They needed only 8 runs to win. For Kemnay Kintore they only needed two wickets.

Ronnie Falconer was next at the crease to join Dave Forbes. The score moved onto 140 as De La Crusz came back into the attack. With his third ball Forbes mistimed an off-drive into the covers and Billy Thom was on hand to complete a fine catch.

Last man Richard Collinson walked to the crease into a highly charged atmosphere. Portcullis only needing a boundary to win. Kemnay Kintore a wicket. The stakes were high and the pressure was on.

The final glory was to go to Kemnay Kintore. De la Crusz getting his final ball of the over to come off the underside of Collinson’s bat and onto the stumps to complete the narrowest of victories to the Bogbeth side.

A cracking Reid Cup Semi Final had come to an end! Kemnay Kintore winning by two runs! For the victors a Cup Final day out against AGFSP’s 2nds beckoned. For the losers it was time to reflect on what might have been.

The heartening thing though was that the match was played in good spirit and sportingly. It was a credit to the game of cricket itself.

Monday, 12 August, 2013

Innings of Kemnay-Kintore

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
10J.De La Cruz0Not out
Leg Byes0
No Balls0

Innings of Portcullis

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
3M.Bedaar (Shanawar))1BowledJ.Thom
4U.Qureshi213CaughtJ.De La Cruz
9D.Forbes2CaughtJ.De La Cruz
10R.Falconer0Not out
11R.Collinson0BowledJ.De La Cruz
Leg Byes4
No Balls0
3J.De La Cruz6.510021373.072.28