Methlick 2nds v. Portcullis - Saturday, 14 July, 2018

Toss was won by Portcullis, who chose to field.

Methlick 2nds : 127 all out (9).

Portcullis : 130 for 3 (30).


Week twelve of the 2018 season saw Portcullis back on their travels once more - this time to the picturesque Lairds Ground in the lovely village of Methlick to take on Methlick 2nds.

Portcullis were in the fortunate position of having one extra player – Toby Williams becoming available late in the day after the team had been picked. He got a game though, kindly turning out for Methlick 2nds to help them bolster their numbers.

Skipper Shovon Mostofa won the toss (according to him) for the second week in a row and decided to field first this time. Perhaps the welcome greenness of the Lairds pitch which was, in stark contrast, the opposite of the scorched Duthie Park wicket the previous week swaying his decision.

It was a sweltering day once again as Portcullis took to the field. Once again, they would open the bowling with Shovon Mostofa and Ross McKenzie. For Methlick 2nds the batting would be opened by Methlick skipper Rob Fryer and all-rounder S. Choudhry.

Despite McKenzie continuing his sizzling form with the ball and Mostofa settling down to a sound line and length, Methlick 2nds took the game by the scruff of the neck. Choudhry opened his shoulders and scored freely, the ever-dependable Rob Fryer anchoring the innings. His batting was not of a dour nature though. A solid defensive technique was occasionally garnished with some fine stroke play. His first three scoring shots all racing to the boundary.

The pair put on 41 for the first wicket and seeing off Mostofa into the bargain. In his place came the experienced Brian Harper. It would be Harper who made the initial breakthrough.

Bowling his naggingly accurate left arm over seam, he got one to wobble enough to locate the edge of the feisty Choudhry’s bat, the ball drifting through to new keeper Jake Dawson. Dawson making no mistake. Methlick 41-1. Choudhry back to the top of the hill for a fine 21.

Next man in was Colley-Davis. Colley-Davis rightly took his time to settle in. This brought about the introduction of the Methlick 2nds fan club. The one-man fan club shouting that Colley-Davis should get a move on. I thought this too be a bit harsh.

If he had seen me bat I would have put him in a coma!!

Despite the protestations of the one-man Waldorf and Stadler, Colley-Davis dug in and supported his skipper. The pair adding 31 for the second wicket. Portcullis had mixed their bowling around a bit. With the heat Harper was rested early. Kannan Vijayakrishnan came and went with no success. The breakthrough came about, and it was through the return of the resurgent Jayaraj Raj.

It was the solid Rob Fryer who would be Raj’s prize scalp!

Raj, coming down the hill, looked lively. His first two deliveries coming through at good pace. The third delivery got a little extra lift and surprised the calm Fryer as it thudded into his glove. The lift from that delivery disturbing his concentration. Raj competed the perfect one-two with his fourth delivery, a superb Yorker that grazed the outside of the leg stump enough to dislodge the bail and breach the defences of the accomplished Fryer. Methlick 2nds 72-2 after 21 overs. The danger man Fryer dismissed for an elegant knock of 30.

This brought J. Boughey to the crease.

Owen Thorpe had been introduced to the attack and he too took a wicket in his first over, trapping the defiant Colley –Davis for a sound 13. Methlick 80-3. At this point we could not tell if his heckler was happy or sad at this turn of events.

A. Cottis was next man in to join Boughey at the crease.

80-3 became 86-4 as an alert Dawson caught Boughey straying from the crease to complete a fine stumping from the bowling of Thorpe. Thorpe obviously delighted at the turn of events

Mostofa continued to mix his bowling. He brought himself back on and bowled new batsman Green with a fine inswinger. Green did manage to trouble the scorers with a deftly played four. Methlick 97-5.

This brought P. Cox to the crease. He did not fancy running between the wickets much. He did not need to as he displayed a fine array of shots as he peppered the boundary with ease – the pick of the shots being a sumptuous extra cover drive that simply soared over in the incoming field.

The pair added 20 runs for the sixth wicket. It took the returning Ross McKenzie to finally remove the flamboyant Cox. A quick delivery with late inswing doing for Cox. A fine knock of 17 by the Methlick hitman and it was on disgrace to fall to that delivery. Methlick 117-6.

Joining McKenzie in the attack would be the jovial Andy Philip. A rare occasion indeed. Portcullis using SEVEN bowlers in a Grade Match.

McKenzie had his dander up by now. New batsman Gordon was next to go. McKenzie pinged one in short of a length. Gordon got in behind it and shouldered arms with the bat. The sharp delivery deviated from the edge of the bat to gully where Brian Harper was on hand to take his second catch in that position in as many weeks.

Andy Philip got into the act as well. Bowling a tight line, Phillip manged to remove the dogged Cottiss. His consistent accurate deliveries inducing Cottiss to drive a low one back to him. Phillip did well to get his hands down low and take the caught and bowled whilst still following through. Methlick 121-8.

The innings ended as Ross McKenzie wrapped things up when he bowled A. Green. Methlick 127 all out.

It was a fine comeback from Portcullis, especially as Methlick 2nds were 72-1 at one point.

For Methlick Rob Fryer top scored with a fine knock of 30. S. Choudhry got their innings off to a flyer with a sound knock of 21. The other players to get scores into double figures were P. Cox with a quickfire 17. The much-maligned M. Colley-Davis combatting the fan abuse with a knock of 13. A. Cottiss also got there with a knock of 11.

The Portcullis bowling attack was led by Ross McKenzie who returned figures of 3-19 from his 12 overs. Owen Thorpe backed him up with 2-17 from six overs. Four other bowlers took a wicket each. They were Andy Philip (3-1-3-1), Jayaraj Raj (4-1-11-1), Brian Harper (8-2-21-1) and Shovon Mostofa (7-0-37-1).

As is always with tradition at Methlick, a delightful tea was had in their splendid Town Hall. This was made all the better when it was revealed one of the lovely tea ladies Helen was celebrating her birthday. A rendition of “Happy Birthday” was sung to her from all the grateful cricketers in the hall. A fine way to cap the tea interval!!

It was the turn of Portcullis to post their reply to the tricky total posted by Portcullis. They would open again with David Forbes and Ronnie Falconer. Forbes has been in brilliant form in recent weeks and Falconer has had a bit of a renaissance as well. Portcullis were quietly confident the pair would continue their good form.

And so it proved.

Methlick 2nds opened their bowling with the pairing of S. Choudhry and A. Green. Both were challenging early doors, Choudhry, in particular, troubling the pair. Falconer did well to dig out an outswinging Yorker early doors whilst there were a couple of play and misses from both players.

The pair stayed solid and took the score to 43-0 from 15 overs – the first drinks break due to the sweltering heat. Choudhry (as he had to go to work) and Green were replaced at this point by Rob Fryer and P. Cox. Cox was problematic with his spin early doors, but it would be Rob Fryer who would break the partnership. Fryer, bowling medium outswing, got one to move late away from Falconer. The ball feathered the outside edge of Falconer’s bat. Portcullis Loanee Toby Williams as wicketkeeper diving quickly to his right to take a super catch. Portcullis 46-1.

Owen Thorpe came in next to join the solid Forbes. He enjoyed a quickfire 14 runs in a second wicket partnership of 21. He finally went to the wily spin of Cox. Another faint edge from the spinner saw wicketkeeper loanee Toby Williams dive forward to take an excellent catch, millimetres form the ground. Portcullis 67-2.

Kannan Vijayakrishnan was next man in. The score moved onto 75 when Rob Fryer struck again. This time it was the opener Forbes who was to go. Forbes, in a rare misjudgement, playing all around a ball going onto hit the top of middle and leg. A rap on the pads and he was gone lbw for a career best of 36. It was a super calming knock for the Portcullis side which included two fine fours. Portcullis 75-3.

This brought to the crease skipper Shovon Mostofa to join ex-skipper Vijayakrishnan. The pair took their time, jogging singles due to the heat whilst exploiting the bad balls by smashing them to the boundary. The pair sprayed the ball around the park in a quickfire unbeaten partnership of 55, taking Portcullis to victory with 13 overs and seven wickets to spare.

For Portcullis Dave Forbes continued his good form with all-time highest score of 36 which included two sizzling fours. Kannan Vijayakrishnan showed he was in the mood once more with an unbeaten 25 not out (4x4). Shovon Mostofa had an even quicker 22 not out (4 x 4). The other two batsmen at the crease also got into double figures. Ronnie Falconer finished with 16 (1x4) whilst Owen Thorpe fair got a move on with his knock of 14 (3x4).

Methlick’s bowling was led by their skipper Rob Fryer who finished with 2-25 from his 8 overs. The other wicket taker being P. Cox with figure of 1-32.

This was another welcome victory for Portcullis bringing their recent run to four Grades victories in a row. Many of the players have shown a rise in form. None more so than David Forbes. That diet really has worked wonders! His innings on Saturday was more than he had scored throughout 2017.

The ability has always been there. It is now backed up by the upsurge in confidence and fitness. In that order.

The day did not finish there as some of the players from both teams retired to splendid Ythanview Hotel for some splendid ales. This writer was delighted to see Schehallion was still on draught. The Portcullis posse and Methlick 2nds were soon joined by the Methlick 1sts as they came through to celebrate Stuart Anderson’s fine knock of 162 not out against AGSFP 2nds.

There was a tear in my eye as we left as it looked like the Methlick mental were onto a good night!

My good night had one more happy note. Our designated driver Andy Philip had in the car the “Smash It Up” CD in his car by the wonderful band The Damned. The two of us, along with seamer Brian Harper – all being big Damned fans - capped a fine day by singing along to The Damned as we made our merry way home!

A beautiful sunny day. A spectacular setting for a wonderful game of cricket. A fantastic bunch of guys to play cricket alongside. Another fantastic bunch of guys to play cricket against! A brilliant tea between innings! A brilliant village pub to retire to - the Ythanview Hotel – for suitable post-match refreshments. And then The Damned to listen to on the way home!

For me, it does not get much better than this!

And then I turned the key to my front door…

Apart from listening to The Damned all the way home, these turn of events are not that unusual when playing Grade Three cricket. A good, enjoyable cricket played in fine spirit. If you really want to find The Spirit of Cricket, you’ll go far to find a better league for it.


Ross McKenzie deserves applause once again for his fine bowling spell of 3-19 from 12 overs. Owen Thorpe for his all-round performance of 2-17 with the ball and his knock of 14 with the bat. Kannan Vijayakrishnan deserves a mention for his unbeaten 25 as does Shovon Mostofa for his unbeaten knock of 22. The award this week though goes to opener DAVID FORBES for his knock of 36. Week on week he has been growing into a key player for Portcullis. His knock today of 36 not only saw off the opening bowlers, it was also his highest score of his career. Take a bow big man!


ROB FRYER had a fine all-round performance for the home side. He top scored with 30 for the bat, an innings that was looking like a lot more until that man Jayaraj Raj removed him in a fine opening over. With the ball Rob finished with figures of 2-25. A fine all-round performance from the Methlick Skipper.


ANDY PHILLIP finally popped his catching cherry for the Portcullis side from his own bowling. We know it is the first of many now…


Even though it was from the edge of my bat TOBY WILLIAMS capped a fine performance with the gloves for Methlick. He dived across and made a tricky chance look easy.


Birthday girl HELEN takes the honours! Happy Birthday Helen!

Next up – a trip to Stonehaven beckons…

Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

Innings of Methlick 2nds

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
3M.Colley Davies132LBWO.Thorpe
10T.Williams (LOAN)0Not out
Leg Byes1
No Balls1

Innings of Portcullis

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
2R.Falconer161CaughtR.FryerT.Williams (LOAN)
3O.Thorpe143CaughtP.CoxT.Williams (LOAN)
4K.Vijayakrishnan254Not out
5S.Mostofa224Not out
6J.DawsonDid not bat
7B.AdieDid not bat
8J.RajDid not bat
9R.McKenzieDid not bat
10A.PhilipDid not bat
11B.HarperDid not bat
Leg Byes3
No Balls0