Portcullis v. Crathie - Saturday, 07 July, 2018

Toss was won by Portcullis, who chose to bat.

Portcullis : 156 for 8 (30).

Crathie : 80 all out (11).

Marvellous Mitch Continues Portcullis Momentum.

Week Eleven of the Grades saw Portcullis back on home turf – this time entertaining Crathie at Duthie Park.

The pitch looked hard, the outfield lightening as well as scorched yellow. Not very often that happens during an Aberdeen summer, so it must be enjoyed whilst it lasts.

Shovon Mostofa won the toss and took the bold if unorthodox move of batting first, going against the normal of chasing totals.

Perhaps he was swayed with the form of his experienced openers. Dave Forbes enjoying his finest season to date whilst Ronnie Falconer was in decent touch as well. It may have been the welcome return of ex-skipper Dave Mitchell but probably it was due to the batting line-up looking quite deep overall.

Taking the new cherry for Crathie would be their fine all-rounder Mike Baldry as well as the experienced Bill Slee.

First blood went to Crathie. Portcullis started solidly enough, albeit Falconer giving a difficult return catch to Baldry. He did not pounce on that piece of good fortune which followed with some bad fortune. Baldry dismissing him with a low off cutter which was simply unplayable at Baldry’s fine pace. Portcullis 11-1.

Slee was relieved after 3 overs. This was tactical as, with such a warm day, 3 over bursts would be the order of the day for Slee. In his place came Justin Thomas. Coming down the hill in place of Slee, Thomas found his accurate off-stump away swingers offered varied pace and bounce. It was a pitch he would find to his liking.

With Falconer back to the trees for 7, it was the return of the World Cup explorer Owen Thorpe to his favoured no 3 spot. He started cautiously, finding runs difficult to come by. Indeed it was the normally defensive opener Forbes who was making the runs, dealing only in boundaries as he enjoyed a second wicket partnership of 18 with Thorpe.

Alas having set himself ‘in’, Forbes got himself out. He was the first of Justin Thomas’s wickets. Thomas varying his pace bowling a slightly slower ball. Forbes was through the ball early. A leading edge popping the ball up back towards the bowler. With his return chance considerably easier than Baldry’s he made no mistake. Portcullis 29-2 after 10 overs.

This brought about the return of the Mitch. Fresh from fatherhood duties, this was a rare outing for the Portcullis all-rounder. He too started cautiously, watching what the pitch was doing. Runs he could worry about later. The longer you stay at the crease the better chance you will have.

Especially on this pitch.

Thorpe and Mitchell added 12 for the third wicket before the lively Thomas struck once more, a lovely Yorker beating Thorpe all ends up. Portcullis 41-3.

Next man in was Kannan Vijayakrishnan. Vijayakrishnan had a fine record against Crathie, the previous two innings back in 2017 saw him finish with knocks of 48 and 76 not out. Crathie were aware of the damage Vijayakrishnan could cause with the willow.

The pairing of Vijayakrishnan and Mitchell took the score onto 54 before disaster struck. It was that man Justin Thomas once more. Bowling from the top end he got a daisy cutter from short of a length. Vijayakrishnan, in place for a long hop, had no time to dig the ball back out and he was duly bowled. Portcullis 54-4.

Thankfully during this time, Mitchell had batted with extreme caution. He was playing the ball late which was just as well. He too had received a couple of low ones but had managed to allow himself enough time to dig them back out.

Next man in was skipper Shovon Mostofa. Alas he was not too last too long. Another Thomas shooter from short of a length saw Mostofa stepping back to play an expansive shot. The ball rapping his pads in front of the stumps to be given lbw. Portcullis 61-5.

Next man in was Methlick hero Ross McKenzie. McKenzie, offering support to the experienced Mitchell saw it upon himself to hang about with Mitchell as Portcullis pair sought to put on a score. The score went onto 82 before the returning Mike Baldry came back into the attack to bowl the young all-rounder with a splendid Yorker. Portcullis 82-6.

It seemed unusual as well as welcome to have the seasoned Richard Collinson come in so low down the order. Not the easiest time to come in, facing a lively Thomas, the returning Slee, the outswing of Chris Bell, the nuance of Brian Geddes whilst a revived Mike Baldry led the Crathie charge.

To his credit though Collinson did just that. Marshalled by his partner and ex-skipper Mitchell, they soon dug in. Collinson showed he was in fine touch when his first scoring shot was a beautiful drive through extra cover. A beautiful shot that was to match the quality of the weather for such a match.

The pair held the innings perfectly for the Portcullis side. Their partnership of 59 runs in 12 overs taking the score from 82 to 141 before Collinson holed out to a super catch by Lyndain O’Brien at deep mid-off. It was once again taken from the bowling of Justin Thomas, this time his fifth wicket of the match and a well-deserved five-for too. Portcullis 142-7.

This brought the rejuvenated Jayaraj Raj back to the crease. There were no further wickets to fall, some swashbuckling stroke play from Raj and the innings was to close on Portcullis posting 156-7 after 45 overs.

It was not easy to assess if this score was above or below par. The speed of the outfield promised a score more than 200 whist the variance of the wicket suggested around half of that. Time would tell.

For Portcullis the returning Mitchell finished top scorer for Portcullis with 79 not out (10x4). The not out courtesy of some fine sportsmanship from Crathie’s Mike Baldry. Fielding at cover, he saw Mitchell given out initially lbw. As he saw it had hit Mitchell’s bat first, he immediately withdrew Crathie’s lbw appeal. It was an act of supreme sportsmanship that was reminiscent in character of footballer Paulo Di Canio when playing for West Ham United, he caught a ball in mid air rather than score an open goal as the opposite goalkeeper was obviously injured.

It was hoped team mate Chris Bell would not have wanted to kill Mike just like Paolo’s team mate Stuart Pearce wanted to kill Di Canio!

Mitch was well supported by Richard Collinson who finished with 22 (4x4). The other double-digit scorers for Portcullis were Dave Forbes 16 (4x4) and Jayaraj Raj 10 not out (2 x 4).

The Crathie bowling plaudits were taken of course by the accurate bowling of Justin Thomas. His 12 overs returned bowling figures of 5-38. Mike Baldry was the other wicket taker finishing with 2-26 from 12 lively overs

Tea was then taken, and it was the turn of Crathie to post their reply.

Five-for hero Justin Thomas would open the batting with Chris Bell. The bowling for Portcullis would be shared by Shovon Mostofa and Ross McKenzie. Mitchell being allowed a well-deserved rest after his fantastic batting exploits.

McKenzie would strike first in the opening over. He got to one to pop up at opener Bell. It was all Bell could do but to present arms with the bat and tap it back to the on-running McKenzie. McKenzie keeping good composure to hold onto a sound catch. Crathie 0-1

This brought Peter Cunningham to the crease to join Thomas. Thomas showed he was in good touch with the bat as well as with the ball as he looked to be enjoying it out there. He took a particular shine to Mostofa who seemed a little off following his vacation. One cut through gully for four was followed up by a glorious off drive dispatched with ease back over the Portcullis skipper’s head for another four.

Being a little off Mostofa then replaced himself with Mitchell.

McKenzie continued to sparkle at the other end. He was in good form with the ball, combining accuracy with good and varied pace. The pairing of Cunningham had taken the score onto 26 and were looking well set. Thomas seemed to have booked in for bed and breakfast whilst Cunningham was always a difficult batsman to dislodge.

It would take something special to remove Thomas and that was just what McKenzie delivered. The first ball of his sixth over was the one that was to do for Thomas. Bowling left arm round, McKenzie got a humdinger to pitch six inches outside off stump and then getting it to swing back in, breeching Thomas’s defences and knocking out his middle pole. Crathie 26-2. Thomas gone for a fine 14.

At this point Dave Mitchell decided to join the party as he removed the equally dangerous Cunningham. A late away swinger caught the edge of a Cunningham prod, the ball popped out into the covers where Owen Thorpe was on hand to take a fine catch. Crathie 26-3.

This turn of events brought the pairing of Mike Baldry and Brian Geddes to the crease. Even at 26-3 Portcullis could not relax. Baldry had made a fine knock of 70 the previous week against Dunecht whilst Brian Geddes had shown himself to be powerful hitter of the ball as well as a quick scorer when he made 32 in the previous season’s Reid Cup match.

It was still anybody’s game.

It would be Portcullis who would strike once again. Ross McKenzie continuing to keep things tight along with the help of an alert Portcullis field. He invited Baldry to mistime a drive. The ball spooned into the covers where a cool-headed Owen Thorpe held onto a fine catch Crathie 33-4.

33-4 soon became 33-5. New batsman Lyndain O’Brien cut a low one towards the gully area. Unluckily for him Brian Harper was there diving to his right with outstretched hands to take a super catch inches from the ground.

Next man to go was Geddes. Along with new batsman McMorris the pair took the score onto 45 before Geddes fended one from the bowling of Mitchell into the covers where once again Thorpe took his third outfield catch of the match. Crathie 45-6. During this passage of play McKenzie took a sore one from a Geddes return rasper. Injuring his finger in the process, he had to be taken from the bowling attack.

This brought the two Dunecht loan players to the crease – Steve Derrett and Paul McMorris. Just as they have done in the past they proved difficult to dislodge.

The pair took the score onto 63 before another wicket fell. It was to be McMorris who would go. A rare error saw him play sweep towards square leg. He was through the shot too quickly, Mitchell’s delivery catching the top edge of the bat. The slimline figure of Dave Forbes dashing in to make fine ground and hold onto a good catch. Crathie 63-7.

It was the turn of Lewis to come to the crease. Mitchell finally had no more to give and was to be replaced by Brian Harper whilst Vijayakrishnan continued bowling down the hill.

Steve Derrett marshalled the strike quite brilliantly offering encouragement to his partner Lewis. The pair added 15 runs for the eighth wicket before Vijayakrishnan struck. He got Derrett to feather one through to keeper Collinson. Derrett immediately tucked his bat under his arm and walked off without waiting for the umpire to make a decision. Again fine sportsmanship. Crathie 78-8.

This brought Portcullis loanee Toby Williams to the crease to join Lewis. The pair hung in making life difficult for the Portcullis attack. Mostofa saw it as an ideal opportunity to bowl Jayaraj Raj. Raj had been looking lively at nets.

The change proved effective as with his fifth ball of his second over Raj finally got through the defences of Lewis, bowling the defiant Crathie wicketkeeper. Crathie 80-9.

Bill Slee was in next and, troubled with a bad back, got bowled first ball with a cracking Raj delivery. Portcullis loanee Toby Williams left strande on 1 not out.

Crathie 80 all out and a win for Portcullis in a tricky fixture.

For Crathie Steve Derrett top scored with a gutsy knock of 19 (2x4). He was supported by opener Justin Thomas’s promising knock of 14 (2x4). Peter Cunningham being the other player to get to double figures with 11 (2x4).

For Portcullis Mitch lead the way with the ball with figures of 4-23 from 11 overs. Ross McKenzie finished with 3-3 from 8.3 overs the finger injury removing him from the attack. The rejuvenated Jayaraj Raj finished a fine cameo with 2-2. Kannan Vijayakrishnan the other wicket taker with 1-18. Owen Thorpe had the rare achievement of taking 3 outfield catches in a match.


DAVE MITCHELL for his fantastic knock of 79 not out and bowling figures of 4-23 takes the honours today. Ross McKenzie for his miserly bowling figures of 3-3 from 8.5 overs, Richard Collinson for his knock of 22 and good glovework resulting in a catch, Jayaraj Raj for his 10 not out and bowling of 2-2 and finally David Forbes for his fine knock of 16 all deserve a mention.


JUSTIN THOMAS takes it for his bowling spell of 5-38 and knock of 14. Mike Baldry with 2-26, Steve Derrett with his knock of 19 and Peter Cunningham for his knock of 11 also deserve a mention.


Seven catches were taken in the Crathie innings. None were better than the fantastic catch at gully from BRIAN HARPER.

It was a good victory for Portcullis and an inspired piece of Captaincy by Shovon Mostofa to bat first. The heat on the day the reason why. It must have been difficult to bat second after 3 hours in the field in that heat despite the extra drink breaks.

Next up a tough away tie to Methlick 2nds at the pleasant surroundings of Lairds.

Thursday, 12 July, 2018

Innings of Portcullis

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
4D.Mitchell7910Not out
8R.Collinson224CaughtJ.ThomasL.O Brien
9J.Raj102Not out
10A.PhilipDid not bat
11B.HarperDid not bat
Leg Byes1
No Balls1

Innings of Crathie

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
6L.O Brien0CaughtD.MitchellB.Harper
7P.McMorris (LOAN)91CaughtD.MitchellD.Forbes
8S.Derrett (LOAN)192CaughtK.VijayakrishnanR.Collinson
10T.Williams (Loan)1Not out
Leg Byes3
No Balls0