Gordonians 2nds v. Portcullis - Saturday, 11 May, 2019

Toss was won by Portcullis, who chose to field.

Gordonians 2nds : 146 all out (12).

Portcullis : 148 for 4 (30).

Debutants do for Gordonians!

Saturday May 11th finally saw Portcullis CC make their introduction to the 2019 Grade Three season. Their first fixture – an away trip to the pleasant surroundings of Countesswells to face a young and talented Gordonians side.

As Portcullis arrived, they were greeted to even more young talent on show as Gordonians had hosted a youth tournament. In a time where there are less and less teams season upon season competing in Grades cricket, it was heartening to see so much young talent on display. This meant that our fixture was delayed by nearly an hour. Not ideal especially as a couple of players had to leave by 6:30pm but well, well worth the wait!

New Skipper Owen Thorpe called correctly and put the Gordos side into bat. As well as being a debut as skipper for Thorpe there were also debuts for new boys Lewis Randall and Harry Murphy. For Randall this would be a league debut, for Murphy his first ever match for the City Centre Green Caps.

Gordonians would open with Adi Hedge and Alex Hounsome. Portcullis would open with Ross McKenzie and Shovon Mostofa.

In the early forays the Gordonians pairing proved difficult to dislodge. They took a shine to the Portcullis new ball pace attack. Runs were gathering quickly as Portcullis sought a breakthrough. Last years leading Grade Three wicket taker, Ross McKenzie, uncharacteristically struggling with his rhythm. Perhaps his own recent early forays into fatherhood (son Ruben joined the world on March 24th, 2019 at a healthy 8lbs 14 ounces!) disturbing his equilibrium.

At the other end Mostofa struggled as well but dug in. His determination was soon rewarded to the first two wickets of the match. His first wicket, that of Hounsome, came after a fine partnership of 40. Mostofa showed great match awareness. After being driven for a fine four by Hounsome off a quicker ball, Mostofa saw that Housome’s adrenalin was flying. Mostofa then produced the perfect response, a fully flighted off spinner, that deceived the aggressive Hounsome. The ball gripping the artificial wicket producing enough turn to come back and knock out the Gordos openers off pole. Gordonians 40-1.

40-1 became 46-2 as Mostofa captured his second wicket. Young Hedge being the next man to go. A Mostofa bouncer was surprisingly mis-hooked by young Hedge. The ball glancing off the gloves. The ball quickly ballooned off to deep fine leg where Dave Forbes made no mistake in holding off to a fine catch.

This brought the pairing of Bhatta and Aravind to the crease to carry on the good work of the openers before them.

With McKenzie misfiring, Thorpe decided to take him off and gamble. Going with a hunch Thorpe asked debutant Harry Murphy to have a bowl. Murphy’s mixture of pace and back of the hand spin proved difficult to read and in his 2nd over he marked his debut with a wicket bowling Aravind for 1.

Gordonians 50-3.

This brought skipper G. O’Brien to the crease to join Bhatta. The pair enjoyed a fine 4th wicket partnership of 29 before Murphy struck again. During this Thorpe brought himself on to rest Mostofa – deserving a breather for his earlier efforts.

Murphy’s second wicket brought about the best fielding moment of the match. Bhatta caught one of Murphy’s back-of-the handers and smashed it through the midwicket area. Well it would have gone through had McKenzie not been there. The ball appearing to be whistling by before McKenzie sprung to his left taking a marvellous two-handed catch into the bargain. Gordonians 79-4.

It was time for D. Bhalani to join in the fun. And for Gordonians there was fun to be had! Despite the best efforts of Thorpe mixing and matching his bowling attack, the Gordos pair put on a cracking partnership of 46 as the home side looked to post a challenging score. Thorpe did have other options, but they appeared limited. The late call-off from Andy Phillip looked to be most punishing. Although Portcullis were grateful for 12th man Andrew Blackwell to step in at the last minute, even by his own admission he did have the bowling gravitas of Philip.

Fair play to Thorpe he was not afraid to go to the well once more. Like Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade, he had to choose wisely. And wisely he did. He plumped for another Grades debutant, Lewis Randall to enter the attack.

Although Randall (as yet) did not have the pace, he did have the control and his accurate away seamers seemed to have the Gordos side (for the first time) perplexed.

Randall’s first over brought about a much needed breakthrough – removing the talented O’Brien for a corking 29. O’Brien making a rare mistake in reading Randall’s delivery. As a result, he found himself bowled. Gordonians 125-5 in the 27th over. Although the loss of the 5th wicket was not welcome for Gordos, they were in a healthy position to post a high score especially as the match was reduced to 40 overs a side.

Randall continued to impress. A tight second over was followed by another wicket taking one. He induced new batsman K. Desai to mistime a sweep. Fellow debutant Harry Murphy running in to take a comfortable catch. Next man in Sharma made a quickfire 8 before he too fell to Randall in copycat fashion, mistiming a sweep to Randall’s bowling. Murphy once again running in to take a fine catch. Gordonians from 125-5 were now 145-7. Randall on a three-for with great potential for more.

In the meantime, Mostofa came back into the attack this time sticking to his off-spin. With the first ball of his 10th over he got one to turn away from the left hander Bhatti. As a result, a late glance became an outside edge. The ball flew towards where 2nd slip would have been. Thankfully Falconer was at 1st slip. Seeing the ball late, he dived full length to take a fine left-handed catch to dismiss the stubborn Bhatti. Gordonians 146-8.

If Randall had aspirations of a five-for he would have to act quickly as Mostofa still had one over of mystique to conjure.

Aspirations he did as in his very next over he wrapped up the Gordonians innings. His 1st wicket, that of V. Hedge was another mistimed pull, this time Ross McKenzie on hand in place where Murphy had marshalled previously. The last wicket fell two balls later a mistimed drive went towards Dave Forbes at midwicket. He did well to not allow the overhead power lines to put him off as the ball appeared to go past them, holding onto a fine catch.

Gordonians all out for 146 in 35 overs. It was a fine comeback by Portcullis especially as Gordonians were poised for a big score whilst at 123-4 at 26 overs. Gordonians top scorer was skipper O’Brien with a healthy knock of 29 (5 x 4, 1 x 6). He was supported by A. Hounsome 21 (4 x 4). Th other double digit scorers for Gordos were S. Bhatta (14), A. Hedge (13) and D. Bhalani (13). For Portcullis Lewis Randall walked away with the match ball after figures of 5-14. He was supported by Shovon Mostofa with fine improvised bowling figures of 3-35. Debutant Harry Murphy opened his bowling account with promising figures of 2-31.

Tea was taken and enjoyed, and it was time for Portcullis to post their reply. They opened with Dave Forbes and Shovon Mostofa. In reply Gordonians went with the pairing of Guy and Sharma.

Although Guy looked the more dangerous, he was also the most expensive. Sharma kept his end extremely tight, his first five overs going for five runs. Alas Guy haemorrhaged runs at the other end. Forbes guiding high deliveries from the outside of his bat safely to the boundary on two occasions. Mostofa pinging a fine drive through the covers as Portcullis raced to 25-0 after five overs.

The removal of the unfortunate but promising Guy brought control back to the bowling attack of Gordonians. Young K. Desai bowling a tight line of left arm bowling reminiscent of his father Vesai before him. Vesai was (is) a very fine left arm bowler and he must have been proud of his son’s bowling in this match. A chip off the block, this youngster has every chance to surpass his father’s achievements. As he grows and develops, I’m sure he’ll develop into a very fine cricketer.

In the meantime, Gordonians got a much need breakthrough when young Sharma hoodwinked Forbes enough to edge one behind to keeper O’Brien. Portcullis 28-1 after 7.1 overs.

This brought skipper Thorpe, in his familiar no 3 position to the crease. Although runs were hard to come by, the pair kept their heads and within reach as they amassed a 71 run 2nd wicket partnership. In the meantime, Gordonians mixed their bowling pack well as Sharma, Desai, Hedge, Bhalani, Aravind and Bhatti proved to be a challenging one.

Mostofa was first to go as he made a fine 27. The persistent, probing line and length bowling of A. Hedge finally doing for Mostofa as he was bowled by young Hedge. Portcullis 99-2 after 28 overs. Portcullis requiring 47 runs with 12 overs remaining.

This brought Andrew Blackwell to the crease. His partnership with Thorpe did not last long though. Thorpe was next to go. A fine off drive back over the head of Hedge went for a sumptuous six. Hedge was not to be deterred though. He executed the perfect revenge next ball though, bowling the Portcullis skipper for a well made 37. Portcullis 107-3 after 30 overs. 40 required from the last 10 overs.

Jake Dawson came in to join Blackwell ass this match drew to an exciting finale. Blackwell, trying to force the run-rate went next, mistiming a pull from the bowling of Aravind. Bhatta on hand to take a comfortable catch. Portcullis 115-4 after 31 overs.

Harry Murphy was next man in to join Dawson at the crease. It was time for cool heads and controlled aggression if Portcullis were to walk away victors. Gordonians were still in the hunt and would not fall meekly. It was to be a tough challenge.

Murphy and Dawson mixed slick running between the wickets with finely timed boundaries as they were required. Dawson, with the run rate creeping higher, playing a fine drive through point for a much needed four in the last ball of the 35th over. Murphy previously driving through the covers in the 31st. Another well-timed boundary at a well-timed moment!

The 36th over proved to be the most decisive. Dawson’s spectacular drive through extra cover was matched by a corking Murphy pull through square leg as the pair amassed 11 precious runs from the over. The pressure was easing considerably, and the pair took Portcullis to victory with 10 balls to spare.

For Portcullis skipper Owen Thorpe top scored with 37 whilst ex-skipper Shovon Mostofa made a fine knock of 27. The other double digit scorers were Jake Dawson (13 not out), Harry Murphy (12 not out) and Dave Forbes (12). For Gordonians A. Hedge took the bowling plaudits with 2-39. He was supported by D. Sharma (1-6) and S. Aravind (1-12).

It was a welcome victory after a stuttering weather start to the season. Gordonians proved tough opponents though and this side will grow in stature as the season continues.


Dead Heat! LEWIS RANDALL for his match changing 5-14 from 5 overs and SHOVON MOSTOFA for his 3-35 and tidy knock of 27. Owen Thorpe deserves a mention for his Captain’s knock of 37. Harry Murphy also deserves a mention for his 2-31 and his 12 not out.


G. O’BRIEN takes the plaudits for his knock of 29. He just pips A. Hedge (13 and 2-39). A. Hounsome deserves a mention for a fine knock of 21 as well.


It was good to see Portcullis take seven outfield catches making this decision a tough one. There were many fine ones to choose from, but ROSS MCKENZIE takes it for his full length diving catch.

Next up – a pleasant away trip to Crathie to take on the League leaders (Dunecht match was cancelled for rain).

Friday, 24 May, 2019

Innings of Gordonians 2nds

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
5G.O Brien2941BowledL.Randall
9L.Guy61Not out
Leg Byes3
No Balls1

Innings of Portcullis

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
1D.Forbes122CaughtD.SharmaG.O Brien
5J.Dawson132Not out
6H.Murphy122Not out
7R.CollinsonDid not bat
8L.RandallDid not bat
9R.FalconerDid not bat
10T.WilliamsDid not bat
11R.McKenzieDid not bat
Leg Byes2
No Balls1