AGSFP 2nds v. Portcullis - Saturday, 16 August, 2014

Toss was won by AGSFP 2nds, who chose to field.

Portcullis : 133 all out.

AGSFP 2nds : 129 all out.

Portcullis win Reid Cup in Final Thriller!!

The last competitive match of the 2014 season saw Portcullis face Aberdeen Grammar School Former Pupils 2nds (AGSFP for short) in the Final of the 2014 Reid Cup at Duthie Park One.

Both teams had varying passages to the Final. Portcullis won a tricky quarter-final tie at home to a talented Crathie side and then found they had, in somewhat bizarre circumstances, been handed a bye to the Final as Mannofield scratched for the Semi Final.

AGSFP 2nds had a tougher draw. In the quarter-finals they had to dispose of a highly talented Academy side whilst in the Semi-Final they overcome a strong Kemnay-Kintore side to book their place in the Final.

With AGSFP 2nds having deservedly won the Grade Three Title and disposed the second and third place teams of Grade Three, they went into this match as rightly hot favourites. AGSFP 2nds had also been on an unbeaten run since May 31st.

In comparison Portcullis had been relegated the week before. Despite finishing the season with a win and a high points draw, Portcullis had fell an agonising 5 points short of Grade Three safety. League tables don’t lie however and the Green Caps will be back in Grade Four having enjoyed a two year stay in the Grades Third Division. This Reid Cup Final would be the City Centre’s side’s last chance to salvage some glory this season.

At the toss Portcullis Skipper Dave Mitchell called wrongly to counterpart Magesh Devendran and found that once again that Portcullis were to bat first. AGSFP 2nds main strength was chasing totals, a major feature of their 2014 Grades campaign. In their opening match of the season they had chased down Portcullis’s daunting total of 205 to win a thriller of a match. It was hoped that both teams could produce another thriller.

Lack of parking facilities seemed to have had a daunting effect on both sides. Portcullis had two players arrive just minutes before the start of play whilst AGSFP’s had one player arriving some 15 minutes after the start.

The insecurity of player arrival put paid to skipper Dave Mitchell’s pre-planned batting order. He was hoping to open with the dream team partnership of himself and Jesse Walmsley, allowing Ronnie Falconer to bat down the order. With minutes to go he had no option but to scrap those plans. In order to achieve balance to the batting order he brought Falconer back up with Walmsley taking the crucial No3 position.

This sudden turn of events meant that Ronnie Falconer would once again be bestowed with the order of facing the first ball of a Cup Final. Facing him and skipper Dave Mitchell with the new cherry for AGSFP 2nds would be Kieran Whyte and Hemal Kumar Chovatiya. The late arrival of regular opener Vishal Desai possibly troubling AGSFP plans as well.

Both Whyte and Chovitaya opened aggressively and troubled the Portcullis openers. Falconer, opening his account with a loose drive through mid-off, was grateful to see the fielder positioned there misjudge the ball and find it go over him.

Mitchell, alas, was not so lucky. In Whyte’s probing 2nd over he got Mitchell to pop one up in the air back towards him and he made no trouble of taking the return catch. This was a crucial wicket for AGSFP 2nds as Mitchell had been in fine form opening the batting. In his previous two innings he had made scores of 68 and 72, so to send him back to the trees without troubling the scorers was a major coup for AGSFP 2nds.

Portcullis 3-1 and plans of the dream team batting partnership up in smoke.

This brought New Zealander Jesse Walmsley to the crease. With such a major setback for Portcullis so early on, stability was the name of the game. Initially Walmsley took his time to play himself in and it was the unusual scenario of Falconer doing the early scoring.

It did not take too long for Walmsley to get his eye in and by the 9th over he began flow. In Whyte’s 5th over he scored the first boundary of the day with a drive through mid-on.

Falconer too was looking comfortable and the pair began to look ominously in good touch. Despite being only on 23 after 10 overs the butterflies were settling in the Portcullis camp.

Chovitaya and Whyte were then taken off to be replaced by John Eagles and Vishal Desai. It was a good pair to bring on as back up. Desai had shown in previous matches he was a lively left arm over bowler whilst Eagles, with his wily off-spin, was in the middle of a purple patch with the ball (and bat come to think of it!). His last seven matches for AGSFP 2nds had seen him take a phenomenal 30 wickets at a fantastic average of less than 4 runs per wicket. This late charge must put him in with a chance of winning the Grade Three bowling award for 2014.

Walmsley and Falconer were not to be perturbed with this change of attack. In Desai’s first over, Falconer saw fit to open his boundary account with a square cut through point. Walmsley, not to be outdone by his rotund partner, saw fit to dispatch two boundaries of his own. A fourteen run over had an immediate alarming effect on the Portcullis run-rate.

Eagles was given the respect his bowling merited but the pair still found a way to score from him. Having taken eight off of his second over. Eagles was rested. Both Walmsley and Falconer were winning their little battles.

Overs 11-16 had yielded 41 runs from the pair and Portcullis had found themselves at 64-1at this stage.

Thangamani was then next put into the attack and taken out again as the Portcullis pair plundered 15 from his only over. Falconer started the onslaught with two pulls through square leg for fours. A single with the third ball allowed Walmsley to drive a boundary through the mid-wicket area for a boundary of his own. Two further singles padded out the over.

Walmsley, with his flourishing stroke play, soon reached his half-century with back-to-back boundaries as the Grade Three Champions looked crestfallen.

The score soon passed three figures and at drinks Portcullis were 101-1 after 21 overs and looking to post a score in excess of 200.

The drinks interval offered a welcome respite to AGSFP 2nds and a chance to regroup.

The interval seemed to have done the trick.

In the next over after the break Desai, with his third ball, got Falconer to pull at one. Falconer mistimed his shot and the ball went skyward for wicketkeeper Clelland to take a simple catch.

Portcullis 101-2. Falconer gone for a Portcullis best of 44. What a time to pull that out of the fire!! In the sporting spirit that the both teams have, his opponents congratulated Falconer as he walked reluctantly from the crease.

This breakthrough seemed to galvanise AGSFP 2nds. In the next passage of play they showed why they were Grade Three Champions.

101-2 soon become 103-3 as Vijayakrishnan was out caught from the bowling of the rejuvenated Desai. Qureshi soon followed as an elaborate drive from the talented all-rounder was beaten as Desai hit the top of the off-stump with a cracking ball!

Desai rounded off his mini whirlwind spell when he took out top scorer Walmsley, inducing him into a false shot. It had been another scintillating knock by Walmsley. These 59 runs proving to be very valuable.

In the meantime Portcullis were in deep trouble. 101-1 had soon become 110-5.

Devendran, showing initiative, pulled out another trump card by re-introducing Eagles into the attack. He had Sahoo caught first up and then followed that up by having Raj stumped next ball.

110-5 then became 110-7 as Portcullis were in the middle of a collapse.

In the midst of the carnage Rob Owen had strode to the crease. He is the type of batsman when on song you would pay to watch.

Thankfully he looked on song.

Owen opened his account with two customary off-drives that simply rocketed to the boundary from the bowling of Desai.

It was welcome respite from what went on before.

Alas, AGSFP 2nds continued to reap havoc at the other end.

Sanjoy Deb became Eagles third wicket when he as trapped lbw whilst Paul Brown became Desai’s fifth wicket.

Despite a few lusty blows from Owen the Portcullis innings came to a disappointing end. Owen running himself out trying for a quick single that sadly was not there. It was a quick fire 20 that had the potential to be so much more.

Portcullis 133 all out in 34.1 overs. After a 98 run second wicket partnership between Ronnie Falconer (44) and Jesse Walmsley (59) that saw Portcullis at one point 101-1, it was a disappointing end to the Portcullis innings. Only Rob Owen (20) being the other Portcullis batsman to reach double figures.

Full credit has to go for AGSFP 2nds however. From at one point looking down and out, they rallied superbly to show the team spirit that made them the 2014 Grade Three Champions.

Vishal Desai, after a shaky start, lead with the ball superbly finishing with figures of 5-44 whilst John Eagles showed once again he was lethal with his accurate spin bowling with 3-25. Kieran Whyte finished with 1-12 whilst the final wicket was a run-out.

Although deflated, Portcullis had posted a score that would not be easy to surpass. It would take a major effort in the field however.

AGSFP 2nds, with their strong batting line-up, would still be favourites if there was betting–in-running. In fact had Betfair been trading odds in this match, they would have fluctuated massively already!

After tea Portcullis went with the tried and trusted pair of Rob Owen and Dave Mitchell to share the new cherry. For AGSFP 2nds Chris Clelland and Matt Barker would lead the reply to the Portcullis innings.

Both Mitchell and Owen started well with the cherry for Portcullis. Owen, in particular, looking very threatening as he was moving the ball with good pace.

It was skipper Mitchell who made the initial breakthrough though. In his 3rd over he got Barker to drive one towards mid-wicket where that man Jesse Walmsley took a good catch.

AGSFP 2nds 10/1.

This early breakthrough seemed to galvanise Owen further. Not to be outdone by his skipper Owen followed up with two quick wickets in his next over.

First up was Clelland who was out lbw for 8. Having done for Clelland, Owen went for the same again and had new batsman Karthik Mohanan also trapped lbw.

AGSFP 2nds 12-3 and once again this Cup Final thriller had swung back towards Portcullis.

Portcullis soon struck again as Mitchell took his second wicket. Bowling down the hill with a probing accurate line, Mitchell got an lbw of his own, trapping Mahesh Narayanan in front of his stumps.

AGSFP 2nds 18-4. 115 runs to win with only six wickets remaining. Advantage Portcullis.

Despite the early setback the Grammar team still had sustenance within their line-up. Guru Thanganami now joined John Eagles at the crease. The pair soon dug in and began to ease back into the match.

In the meantime Portcullis changed their opening bowlers. Umair Qureshi replacing Dave Mitchell at the River end whilst Jesse Walmsley took the Winter Gardens end from Rob Owen.

This change almost brought an immediate breakthrough. Qureshi induced Thanganami to sky one towards deep mid-off. Falconer called first and got into position only to spill what was a difficult catch in the swirling wind. By all accounts he should have taken it though.

As when they were fielding, this glimpse of opportunity seemed to rejuvenate the League Champions.

Thanganami, in particular, seemed to grasp this opportunity with both hands. The let-off by Falconer seemed to let him off the leash. Eagles, found his partner’s new lease of life contagious and he too began to break free of the shackles Portcullis had imposed.

Motoring along at a healthy run-rate, the FP’s swung the match once again back in their favour. Sanjoy Deb relieved Walmsley, surprisingly ineffective with his first three overs of off-spin, of his duties. In the meantime Qureshi, whilst tight at the other end was getting no further joy with the ball.

On the flip side of the coin, both Eagles and Thanganami were taking the match further away from Portcullis and nearer towards AGSFP 2nds and that elusive League/Cup double.

At 24 overs Portcullis enjoyed a welcome drinks break. Whilst enjoying the break in play the Green Caps were hopeful that the interval would have the same effect on AGSFP’s as it had on their own innings.

When play was resumed, Mitchell brought himself and Owen back on with the vain hope of achieving a breakthrough. AGSFP’s had marched impressively towards 104-4 and seemed to be cruising towards victory.

Having seen AGSFP 2nds twice seize the game by the scruff of the neck with a glint of an opening, it was time for Portcullis to follow suit. They needed that window of opportunity though.

It came through the form of Wicketkeeper and former Captain Kannan Vijayakrishnan.

A yes-no call for a quick single saw both Eagles and Thanganami at the keeper’s end as the ball was sharply picked up by Deb and returned to Vijayakrishnan at his end. Without a moment’s hesitation Vijayakrishnan, with his keeper gloves still on, threw the ball at the bowlers end smashing the stumps and having Thanganami stranded out of his crease and out for a tremendous knock of 43.

AGSFP 2nds 104-5. The glint of opportunity had come. Could Portcullis grasp this opportunity?

Kieran Whyte joined John Eagles at the crease. The pair took the score to 108 before Portcullis struck once more.

Mitchell, in his 9th over, got one to nip back and feather the inside edge of Eagle’s bat. The ball went through to that man Vijayakrishnan who took a fantastic and important catch.

John Eagles, to his credit, did not wait for the Umpire’s decision and walked off. He went off to handshakes and cries of well done on a superb knock of 42 again showing the sportsmanship between the two sides despite this being a highly important Cup Final.

AGSFP 2nds were now 108-6. Four wickets remaining with two new batsmen at the crease. 25 runs required.

The match had swung once again. Now it was anyone’s match. What a thriller!!

Vishal Desai, the hero with the ball during Portcullis’s innings, joined his fellow bowler Whyte at the crease. The pair took the score to 117-6.

In the meantime both Owen and Mitchell had finished their bowling spells. Qureshi was to come down the hill – that was a no brainer. But up the hill – would it be Walmsley, Deb or even the golden arm of Vijayakrishnan? Perhaps Paul Brown could be called into action.

Mitchell kept his faith with the gifted off-spinner Walmsley. His turning of the ball would induce the final turning point of the match but not without a few thrills and spills along the way.

Qureshi made the initial breakthrough, bowling Desai after tempting him to drive one. Qureshi doing to Desai what Desai did upon him.

AGSFP 2nds 117-7.

It was then the turn of the turn of Walmsley. Skipper Mitchell had a hunch he would capture Whyte driving at one he shouldn’t. The hunch proved correct as Walmsley bowled Whyte through the gate.

AGSFP 2nds 117-8. Portcullis needing 2 wickets. AGSFP 2nds needing 17 runs.

Still anyone’s game.

The batsmen at the crease, skipper Magesh Devendran and Ian Johnston took the score onto 121 before Walmsley struck with his second wicket.

Johnston surprisingly mistimed a loose full toss from Walmsley. The ball was scuffed back in the direction of the off-spinner who positioned himself brilliantly to take a fortunate but very welcome caught and bowled.

AGSFP 2nds 121-9. One wicket or 13 runs required for victory.

Hemal Kumar Chovatiya joined his skipper Devendran at the crease. The pair showed that AGSFP 2nds really did bat down the order as each of them produced a boundary apiece. Chovatiya evading the outstretched hands of Qureshi as he crashed his boundary through cover and point whilst Devendran hit his boundary even more impressively through mid-on at an alarming rate of knots.

AGSFP 2nds 129-9. One wicket or 5 runs required for victory.

Even at this late stage of the match still anyone’s game.

The final act fell to Man of The Match Jesse Walmsley as he trapped Chovotiya lbw to spark the Green Caps celebrations.

AGSFP 2nds 129 all out. Portcullis win by 4 runs. What a match!! What a tremendous game of cricket!

Hearty handshakes were exchanged as both teams congratulated one another. Portcullis on winning the Cup, Aberdeen Grammar School Former Pupils 2nds on winning Grade Three.

The Umpires, Ken Morrison and Jason Stark had no hesitation in awarding the Man of The Match award to Jesse Walmsley. A worthy choice!!


JESSE WALMSLEY. 59 runs, 3 wickets and 2 catches. A tremendous performance by the New Zealander!! And he always plays with a smile on his face!!


Your kidding…right!!


KANNAN VIJAYAKRISHNAN’S run out of Guru Thanganami. It changed the match. It won the match. PORTCULLIS MOMENT OF THE SEASON never mind moment of the match!!!


As in the other two matches against us JOHN EAGLES takes the honours with 42 runs with the bat and 3-25 with the ball. He really is a tough cookie who will not be far away from the Grade Three honours with bat and ball.

Tuesday, 19 August, 2014

Innings of Portcullis

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
7R.Owen20Run Out
11B.Adie0Not out
Leg Byes1
No Balls0

Innings of AGSFP 2nds

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
6G.Thangamari43Run OutK.Vijayakrishnan
9M.Devendran6Not out
Leg Byes1
No Balls0