Portcullis v. Crathie - Saturday, 07 June, 2014

Toss was won by Crathie, who chose to field.

Portcullis : 114 all out (30).

Crathie : 106 all out (15).


Match Six of the 2014 Grades campaign saw Portcullis host Crathie at Duthie Park. It was the second time in two weeks that Portcullis hosted the Balmoral Estate side. This time it was on League duties whereas the last match was a Cup – Tie. The other difference was that the match would be played on Duthie Park 2 rather than Duthie Park 1.

The last match between the pair proved to a run -fest as 419 runs were scored from 74.3 overs. It was hoped the same could happen again. One look at the wicket though would suggest otherwise.

Crathie skipper A. Shore won the toss and had hesitation in sending D. Mitchell’s Portcullis into bat.

Portcullis opened the batting with previous match centurion Jesse Walmsley and the steady Ronnie Falconer.

The opening exchanges were tight. Crathie gave little away as Portcullis found it difficult to score.

Falconer, looking out of sorts, was first to go, bowled by the tidy McAra for 1.

Skipper Mitchell was next man in. Both he and Walmsley held the ship steady as Crathie, initially, enjoyed no further luck.

Both teams had started with 10 men as they both had latecomers. These latecomers would have a heavy influence on the match.

Crathie’s latecomer, Mark Taylor, was the first of those to influence the match.

Slee, who had replaced the luckless Bestwick from The River End, saw a ball that was just outside off-stump driven through the covers by Walmsley for what looked a certain four. Taylor, patrolling the covers, showed tremendous agility to swoop low to take a superb catch right-handed catch inches from the park turf.

A wonderful one-handed catch! Walmsley, looked truly gutted as he walked towards the bandstand for 27.

Portcullis 37-2.

New boy Max Sheridan was next to the crease. The pair put on a partnership of 8 before Baldry, who had replaced the economical McAra, some three overs earlier, bowled Sheridan.

45-3 soon became 51-4 as Mitchell went next, bowled by a good ball from Slee. Slee got the ball to come back in and take Mitchell’s off-stump.

This meant it was a fresh partnership of Kannan Vijayakrishnan and Jayaraj Raj at the crease. Portcullis were hopeful that the recent good run from Vijayakrishnan, who had scored 79 not out and 47 in his previous two innings, would continue.

Alas it was not to be. Vijayakrishnan was bowled for 2 by a Baldry delivery that came back in and stayed low to take his off-stump.

Collinson came and went as Baldry got his next ball to do exactly to him as it did to Vijayakrishnan.

Portcullis 59-6 and in all sorts of trouble!!!

If there was pressure on Raj, he certainly did not show it. The first two balls he faced from Slee he drove straight back past him for four as he showed the irregularity of the pitch was not going to bother him.

Winstanley joined raj at the wicket and the pair put on 10 before Winstanley went, again to Baldry, who again got one to cut back low and bowl Winstanley.

Portcullis 69-7 and still in big trouble!

The unflappable Bob Adie was next. The coming together of this pair seemed to change the match. The pair simply shrugged their shoulders and got on with he match. Although Raj showed to be the main aggressor, Adie showed he was no slouch too by taking the game to Crathie.

The pair put on a fantastic 8th wicket partnership of 38 before Slee bowled Raj for as well-deserved third wicket.

Raj had made his highest score for Portcullis with a fantastic knock of 42! His timing on this, a tricky pitch, had been immaculate. He hit six delightful fours and his knock had got Portcullis to a one-time unlikely three-figure score and perhaps, just perhaps, something to defend.

Portcullis 107-8

Debutant Pete Miles was next man in. Miles showed calm as the first faced he clipped into space in the cover area and ran two. In the meantime, Portcullis’s latecomer Ruari Collinson, got to the ground in time to pad up and bat 11.

Perhaps the excitement of scoring his first runs got to Miles. He was bowled next ball by the experienced Slee who took his fourth wicket.

This meant that Collinson Jnr joined Bob Adie at the crease. Ruari Collinson managed to score a boundary before he too got excited and was McAra’s second victim. Collinson stumped to a clever piece of cricket. Shore showing excellent glove-work to snap up his victim.

Portcullis 114 all out. At 59 for 6 and 69-7, a three figure score looked very unlikely. Along with Jayaraj Raj’s match-changing 42, Bob Adie remained defiant on 11 not out. The tail had wagged somewhat. From that Portcullis felt they may have a chance in this match.

For Crathie, W. Slee returned figures of 4 -27 whilst M. Baldry finished with 4 -28. McAra finished with figures of 2-15 from 12 overs. An excellent spell of tight bowling.

After tea in the bandstand, it was the turn of Crathie to bat. They showed they have some excellent batting firepower in their line-up. They had scored 174 in their last outing against Portcullis and followed that up with 231-2 v Huntly the week before. However this wicket was a difficult one and runs would be hard to come by.

Portcullis opened the bowling with Mitchell and Raj. They were hoping the form with the willow would transfer to the leather for Raj. For Crathie the pairing of M. Taylor and P. Cunningham would open the batting.

The initial jousts saw sadly that Raj was still rusty with the ball and come off after two indifferent overs. His form will come again. Raj is a intelligent, thoughtful bowler and a little practice and a lot of faith will see him come back once more.

Raj was replaced at the Gardens end by the off-spin of Walmsley. Although the pair bowled well, the pairing of Cunningham and Taylor were winning the battle of the new ball. The pair took the score onto 23 before Portcullis took their first wicket.

Mitchell, in his 7th over, struck. He got one from outside off-stump to come back. Cunningham, committed to his stroke, was left stranded as the ball jagged back to clip the top of the middle and leg stumps.

A wonderful piece of bowling and a much-needed breakthrough. Crathie 23-1.

23-1 became 23-2 as Skipper Mitchell trapped his opposite number Shore plumb lbw first ball. On this pitch one wicket did indeed bring two. The hat-trick ball nearly succeeded as Mitchell encouraged new batsman Carr to jab at one nervously but the ball just fell short of the Portcullis field.

Although Mitchell had made the breakthrough he took himself and Walmsley off and introduced Vijayakrishnan and Winstanley into the bowling attack. Vijayakrishnan, having been wicketkeeper, was going to have to be replaced at the stumps. It was to everyone’s shock that it was skipper Mitchell who took the gloves. It was a clever piece of Captaincy. He was the next best choice and it also kept himself at the epicentre of the match.

It was Winstanley who struck first. Initially he tried to force the ball through with extra pace and he was a tad erratic. On a pitch that offered movement and a variable bounce, it would prove to be more fruitful to bowl to a accurate line. When he did so, he bowled the promising Carr with an excellent leg stump yorker.

Crathie 58-3.

In the meantime Taylor was taking the match to Portcullis. Surviving an early caught behind appeal from the bowling of Walmsley, he took a grip of the bat and batted with class. In the previous match between the two teams, he had shown he was difficult to dislodge. In that match it was a run-out that was to do for him. It may need another one today.

Again he was difficult to dislodge. Only the spin of Walmsley and the odd variation from Mitchell and Vijayakrishnan making him uncomfortable at times.

Bestwick joined him at the crease. It soon showed that this was a pitch that was difficult for new batsmen.

The score moved onto 67 before Bestwick was next to go. Vijayakrishnan got him to drive at an away-swinger. The ball ballooned up to the gully area where Walmsley took a sound catch.

At 67-4 Mitchell felt it was sensible to himself and Walmsley back into the attack. Mitchell swapping gloves for leather with Vijayakrishnan. It would be this roll of the dice that would finally swing the match Portcullis’s way.

Walmsley struck first. He got his third ball of his second spell to turn back and bowl Feeney.

Crathie 74-5.

Mitchell stuck next when the most unfortunate Baldry was bowled by one that never got off the ground. Sadly an all to frequent occurrence during this match. In Mitchell’s defence he has had little luck with the cherry this season. He was due some luck!

Crathie 76-6.

Lowry joined the dangerous Taylor. The pair took the attack back to Portcullis as both enjoyed dispatching some lusty blows. The score moved onto 85 before Walmsley struck. His accurate off-spin finally breaching the defences of Lowry and bowling him. Lowry back in the bandstand for 9.

Crathie 85-7.

Slee was next. Walmsley got him to reach for one. Having failed to, he was slow in getting back into his crease and some sharp glove-work from Vijayakrishnan did for him.

Crathie 90-8.

It was the dangerous McAra next. Having scored 20 not out in the previous bout between the two teams, Portcullis would have to be wary of this wily veteran.

Mitchell showed he had the perfect answer by bowling McAra in his penultimate over. Crathie 98-9.

If there was betting-in-running Portcullis would be slight favourites at this point but only slight.

Crathie’s no11, Elson, showed he was no mug with the bat. With Taylor still batting at the other end this match was very much in the balance.

Mitchell and Walmsley finally finished their 12 over quotas. With one wicket remaining it would be either Winstanley or Vijayakrishnan who would have to grab the final piece of glory for Portcullis. For Crathie that honour could fall to either Taylor or Elson.

As it turned out both Vijayakrishnan and Winstanley were to grab the final piece of glory. Vijayakrishnan, having been hit for 8 from his previous three balls, got Elson to try his luck one time too many. He invited Elson to drive at a ball that was not quite there . Although mistimed, the ball went arrow straight between the bowler and mid-off. Because of the slight mistiming, Winstanley had just enough time to run round and take and excellent catch!

Crathie 106 all out. Portcullis winning a match that perhaps they should not have. Sometimes the difference between winning and losing is of the smallest of margins. It was welcome that, for once, Portcullis were on the right side of the margin.


Although Jesse Walmsley and Dave Mitchell were contenders, the honour went rightly to Jayaraj Raj. His attacking stroke play was a joy to watch and those 42 runs totally changed the complexion of the match. At times he is the reluctant fielder. At times he is reluctant batsman. Thank goodness today was not one of those times! A tremendous knock.


Today there really was not one. Both teams were weakened today and it came down to which team wanted it the most. A hard fought victory backed up through excellent team spirit.


JayaraJ Raj hitting his first two balls for a four apiece. It changed the mood of the game and put Crathie on the back foot.


Mark Taylor. A superb one-handed catch to dismiss the dangerous Jesse Walmsley was followed by him carrying his bat for 58 not out on a tricky pitch. A great knock!

Monday, 09 June, 2014

Innings of Portcullis

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
9B.Adie111Not out
Leg Byes4
No Balls0

Innings of Crathie

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
1M.Taylor5861Not out
Leg Byes4
No Balls1