Portcullis v. Stonehaven 2nds - Saturday, 09 June, 2018

Toss was won by Portcullis, who chose to field.

Stonehaven 2nds : 91 all out (7).

Portcullis : 94 for 3 (30).

Portcullis take welcome victory against Stonehaven 2nds.

Week Seven of the Aberdeen Grades season saw Portcullis participate against Stonehaven 2nds. Albeit it was the seventh weekend of Grades cricket, this would only be Portcullis’s fourth league fixture of the season. One free weekend, one unfit pitch and one rained off fixture at the salubrious location of Balmoral where the rain fell so heavily on the micro climate of Crathie’s ground that one frog decided the cricket pitch was moist enough to participate in their own “salmon leap” across it!

Thankfully this Saturday saw two reasons to be cheerful. One was the weather was dry and reasonably warm to start with. Two was that Skipper Shovon Mostofa finally won a toss this season and put the opposition into bat. Some may have made the usual predictable “useless tosser” gag however one wag from the viewing public decided to still (jokingly) poke fun at the popular Portcullis skipper with a rendition of “You’ve only won one toss, you’ve only won one toss…”

This came as grateful respite to popular Aberdeen bookmakers Paddy Power. Paddy Power himself lost his shirt many times over recent weeks laying 10/11 the pair on the toss, despairingly unaware of Mostofa’s grim luck. Rumours of staff being issued on-spot bonuses on Mostofa striking gold neither confirmed nor denied by their City Centre workforce.

After all these shenanigans and tomfoolery, Mostofa chose to field first.

Portcullis chose to open with their two premium bowlers on duty, Ross McKenzie and Skipper Shovon Mostofa. Stonehaven 2nds rose to the challenge with the dashing (willow) blades of Jason Matthews and Robert Donnelly.

Stonehaven got off to a decent start, taking advantage of a quick outfield. In fairness Portcullis bowled and they fielded well during the early spars.

The score moved onto 14 when Portcullis captured their first wicket. It came from the powerful arm of young Ross McKenzie, choosing the right time to fire up some extra space to breach the defences of Jason Matthews. Stonehaven 2nds 14-1.

Veteran Stonehaven star Brian Campbell was next man to the crease. Being an experienced Grades campaigner, he weighed up the situation in front of him. The pitch in front of him was lively, however the outfield, bone dry and was rewarding to the more classical of strokeplayers with the patience to keep a solid defence. He did so, choosing his offensive shots meticulously.

In the meantime skipper Mostofa was unhappy with his own bowling and unselfishly took himself off after four overs. He chose the experienced ex-Gordonian Brian Harper to enter the arena.

Harper’s initial forays at first hand appeared not to be going well. Although his line was tight the odd ball was loose. On such a fast outfield this was getting punished with the odd boundary. To his credit he did not panic, choosing to probe with his line and length.

At the other end McKenzie continued to vary his pace downhill. A fine duel ensued between himself and the Stonehaven stalwart Campbell. Campbell proved to be a tough nut to crack, accumulating runs carefully whilst soaking up the deliveries of McKenzie’s opening spell. Campbell got to 13 before he became McKenzie’s second wicket. McKenzie produced the delivery of the match, bowling a full quick delivery. Although Campbell mustered a fine forward defensive to cope with such a ball, McKenzie’s delivery had inswung late, breaching Campbell’s admirable defences to bowl him.

Stonehaven 36-2 after 12 overs.

This brought Stonehaven stalwart Dave Long Snr to the crease to join opener Donnelly. A fine choice to enter the fray. His solid defensive skills would be just the ticket to help build up a partnership. The pair did enjoy a 27 run third wicket partnership and saw off the feisty McKenzie – ensuring no further wickets fell to the young ginger paceman.

The change of bowling saw Thorpe take his chances downhill. His opening salvo was a bit erratic, long hops mixed with full tosses for good measure interspersed with the odd good delivery. It seemed to work though. The discipline of Harper and McKenzie’s bowling had saw the Stonehaven pair bat with fine defensive skills whilst scoring regularly. The variation of Thorpe’s length seemed to have upset the Stonehaven pair’s concentration.

First to go was Donnelly. A fine knock of 28 came to an end when a short quickish delivery from Thorpe did for him. Although short it rose higher than expected as he drove from the top of the bat rather than the middle. This caused the ball to balloon up into the cover region. McKenzie was patrolling this area and he was not going to miss a chance like that!

63-3 became 63-4 two balls later when a short of a length delivery rose upon Long Snr. An appeal went up and Long Snr genuinely believed the ball had brushed him arm rather than his gloves. As Grade Three has no umpires the batting side has to supply them (i.e. the players umpire their own matches). Although Long Snr felt he had not gloved it, his team mate umpiring Jason Matthews, was convinced he has and sent him on his way.

Fine sportsmanship from the Stonehaven umpire!!

This brought the new pairing of G. Bonds and Jason Gouws to the crease. The pair added 16 runs for the fifth wicket before Bonds became Thorpe’s third wicket, bowled by the Portcullis hitman! Stonehaven 79-5.

Harper continued to bowl a fine line and length of left arm over swing up the hill without much success initially. This soon changed when he trapped Gouws lbw. Stonehaven 81-6.

Thorpe, annoyed with his own bowling, took himself off. This gave skipper the opportunity to bring into the bowling attack the talismanic figure of Kannan Vijayakrishnan.

Vijayakrishnan’s variance in pace from his standard 2-3 step run-up produced results in his second over when he managed to conjure a fine off-spinner to remove S. Barrie. Stonehaven 82-7. Was the end nigh?

At this point Brian Harper was into his eleventh consecutive over when he produced his second wicket of the day. It came about deservedly to the Portcullis left arm seamer through a piece of outrageous fielding skills.

A. Prothero was the next man to go. He managed to pounce on a rare overpitched Harper delivery and classily dispatched it back over the bowler’s head for the stereotypical disdainful four. The type which really rubs it in the bowler’s face! He, like the rest of us, did not reckon on the determination and athleticism of Ross McKenzie at deep mid-off. The drive was arrow straight and going at a tremendous pace. McKenzie was not to be deterred though. He made up acres of ground before thrusting his right (wrong) hand high above himself as he clung onto what must be a contender for catch of the season! Stonehaven 82-8!

It was the turn of Brian Snelling to join Sam Barrie. Snelling looked to be in fine touch with the bat early doors and looked to be full of runs. That was until a lapse of concentration.

Three balls previously he latched onto an astray leg-sided Vijayakrishnan delivery and swept-paddled it straight to Jake Dawson placed at backward square leg, the ball bouncing short of Dawson as Snelling had mistimed/held back slightly.

Snelling had not taken heed of the fielding positions.

Three balls later he faced the same ball and played the it with better timing and promise. This time though it only went straight to the welcome hands of Dawson, still positioned at backward square leg. There was no mistake from the young Portcullis fielder.

The innings finally finished for Stonehaven 2nds when young Alex Donnelly became Vijayakrishnan’s third wicket of the day. The youngster showed a creditable display of honesty when he probed to firmly at a ball only to find the recently slimmed down David Forbes dive forward at short extra cover to take a catch. When prompted by the umpire on whether he was out or not. He shrugged his shoulders, gutted but honest enough to say: “I’m afraid so”.

Stonehaven finally fallen for 91.

For the Stoney chaps Bob Donnelly led from the front with a fine opening knock of 28. He was ably backed up by Brian Campbell with a knock of 13. The other double figures scorer was Greme Bonds with a sturdy 10.

Tea was had although it all nearly kicked off under the trees. Mrs Falconer had legged it to Benidorm for the week meaning the hosts could not offer their guests her world-famous Lentil Soup (Many come far & wide for such culinary excellence. Mary Berry has [unofficially] been quoted as saying: It’s the bo*****!).

Order was quickly restored, and Portcullis began their second innings.

Portcullis’s batting would be opened by the regular and incredible shrinking man Dave (111ilbs to date!) Forbes he would be ably joined by Richard Collinson. For Stonehaven the bowling would be opened by Jason Matthews and A. Prothero.

The first blow came from Stonehaven. It was Matthews bowling down the hill. He bowled a good length accurate away swinger at Collinson’s off-stump. It was all Coolinson could do to fend it towards first slip where the supple Brian Snelling showed himself to be a decent slipper by taking a fine catch to remove the Portcullis opener. Portcullis 6-1.

This brought Owen Thorpe to the crease to join Forbes.

Forbes looked to be good touch early doors. He looked solid in defence, playing all the deliveries late. He was setting up a good basecamp, looking to make a push later on. Thorpe too took his time to play himself in, waiting on the poorer deliveries before making his own assault on the Stonehaven attack.

Both Prothero and Matthews looked dangerous. Matthews, with his nagging accuracy and getting the ball to move. Prothero with his raw pace looking menacing.

Forbes had held firm though and on Prothero’s third over the tall (recently) lanky batsman made his move. Prothero’s second and third ball of his third over were overpitched and, as a result, both deliveries were dispatched through mid-on and mid-off for speedy boundaries. This saw the talented but variable quick bowler removed from the attack as, quite frankly, Stonehaven did not have the runs to play with.

This brought Jason Gouws into the attack but by then both Forbes and Thorpe were settled. The pair began to push the score along sharing a partnership of 41 for the 2nd wicket. Forbes, in particular looking in good touch. It came somewhat as a surprise when he was bowled by Gouws for a season best of 19. Although Forbes lifted his head slightly early, it was a cracking middle-stump yorker that knocked the middle pole out of the ground. Portcullis 47-2.

This brought Kannan Vikjayakrishnan to the crease to join Thorpe. Vikjayakrishnan showed his hand early when first ball he clipped a cut through the point region for a splendid four.

In the meantime Snelling came on down the hill and produced three tight overs that tested both batsmen. Gouws continued up the hill but had no further success.

This brought the entertaining veteran Bonds to the crease. He opened up his initial over with two gentle off-spinners in an attempt to lull the batsman into a false sense of security. The third ball told all though when he whipped his arm round properly to produce a fine out swinger just outside off-stump that fooled the batsman. With a twinkle in his eye he turned to the (club) umpire and grinned cheekily:

“I’ve still got it!”

Indeed you have Sir!

The cheeky Bonds also got a wicket as well. His variance of pace and flight fooling Thorpe into a mistimed drive. The ball floating into the extra cover area where Matthews was on hand to take a fine catch. Portcullis 65 -3 and a decent poartnership of 18 for the third wicket.

This brought Jake Dawson to the crease to face the entrepreneurial bowling of Bonds. Bonds was joined in the attack with some decent off-spin by Brian Campbell. Both Dawson and Vikjayakrishnan watched carefully initially – making sure they would not be fooled into playing false shots.

This they did until Vikjayakrishnan decide that enough was enough. He duly smashed 19 runs from the final over of the match to race Portcullis to a welcome victory in 19 overs.

For Portcullis Kannan Vijayakrishnan top scored with 34 not out. Dave Forbes weighed in with a season’s best 19 whilst Thorpe was the other double figures scorer with 11. For Stonehaven The wickets – one apiece – were taken by Gouws, Bonds and Matthews. You had to have a plural surname to take a wicket for Stonehaven 2nds.

Portcullis recorded a welcome victory. It had been an enjoyable match played in some lovely sunshine.

Next up for Portcullis – an away trip to League leaders Banchory.


There had been notable performances with the bat by Dave Forbes (19) and with the ball – Brian Harper (12-4-31-2), Owen Thorpe (5-0-24-3) and Ross McKenzie (8-3-11-2). McKenzie also taking that screamer of a catch to boot! However it was that man KANNAN VIJAYAKRISHNAN with 34 not out and bowling figures of 3 wickets for 7 runs from 5 overs that took the plaudits today.


Bob Donnelly takes it for his fine knock of 28 for the Stonehaven side.


It could only be that screamer of a catch that ROSS MCKENZIE took to remove the unfortunate Prothero.

Friday, 15 June, 2018

Innings of Stonehaven 2nds

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
2B.Donnelly285Did not batO.ThorpeR.McKenzie
4D.Long (Snr)8CaughtO.ThorpeR.Collinson
8S.Barrie Jnr0BowledK.Vijayakrishnan
9S.Barrie4Not out
Leg Byes0
No Balls0

Innings of Portcullis

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
3O.Thorpe112CaughtG.BondsD.Long (Snr)
4K.Vijayakrishnan347Not out
5J.Dawson1Not out
6S.MostofaDid not bat
7R.McKenzieDid not bat
8A.PhilipDid not bat
9A.BlackburnDid not bat
10R.FalconerDid not bat
11B.HarperDid not bat
Leg Byes0
No Balls1