Gordonians 2nds v. Portcullis - Tuesday, 25 June, 2019

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

Portcullis : 162 for 2.

Gordonians 2nds : 114 all out.


The second of Portcullis’s two Reid Cup Group A fixtures took place on Tuesday 25th June at the pleasant surroundings of Countesswells. Following Saturday’s welcome victory against Dunecht, Portcullis found themselves in the fortunate position to plan their destination in the Group if the weather held out.

Having a six team Grade Three, the idea was to make the Cup Competition two leagues of three in order to fill out fixtures for the forthcoming season. The points for the Cup League would be based on the Grades points structure. Being a Cup fixture, in the event of the initial fixture and the replay both being cancelled, the result would be based on a bowl-off. There was a flaw to this though. There would be no points awarded in the event of a bowl-off. A straight 30-0 if you will. This would be harsh on the losing side. The game was on a Tuesday because the previous Saturday had been cancelled due to rain. This was the second chance. Both teams looked skyward hoping for no more rain. A lot of Scottish based cricketers have been looking skyward this year so no change there then!

Skippers Jamie McCabe and Owen Thorpe look skyward too as Gordonians McCabe tossed the coin into the air. Thorpe called wrong and Portcullis got the pads on as they were batting first.

Being T20, there would be a change to the Portcullis opening batting pair. This time Shovon Mostofa would take strike. He would be joined by the (welcome) returning Dave Mitchell free form fatherhood duties.

Opening the bowling for Gordos would be the young pairing of Ashik Gurung and Dushyant Sharma.

Gurung did what was asked of him in his first over, keeping things tight for the young Gordonians side. His bowling partner, Sharma, went one better in the next over, capturing the wicket of the dangerous Mostofa. Mostofa, mistiming a pull from a fine Sharma delivery. Skipper Jamie McCabe making the loudest call for the catch. A case of 1-2-3 before the ball finally stuck. Portcullis 8-1 after 1.2 overs.

The actions of one skipper, McCabe and his fine catch, brought about the introduction of a second skipper, Owen Thorpe as he joined Mitch at the crease. Thorpe opened his scoring account with a pull through mid-wicket at the end of the harmful Sharma over.

The pairing of Mitchell and Thorpe soon settled down and the boundaries began to flow, the pair dealing in fours and sixes as the score began to mount. Gordonians thought they had their breakthrough when Thorpe pulled at one. The wall went skyward, and O’Brian took a fine catch. Amongst the celebrations no-one heard the call of no ball. Thorpe’s pull shot had been from a full toss at around nipple high.

The pair continued their 2nd wicket partnership. It was a partnership that would amass 81 runs. In the meantime, Sharma and Gurung were relieved of bowling duties. The pairing of Adi Hedge and Pranav Saravanan taking their places. Hedge’s flight was beautiful to watch even though he was cruelly punished, especially by the sweeps of Thorpe. The sweeps so classy his namesake Graham would have proud to have played. Hedge changed tactic, bowling a slightly flatter line, and it soon paid dividends. Thorpe, pushing the score along. Misread a flatter fuller delivery from young Hedge and was deservedly bowled from the fine young bowler. Portcullis 89-2. Thorpe back to the pavilion for a well-made 34!

This brought about the introduction of Lewis Randall to the crease. With Mitchell now in full flow, the pair saw of the remainder of the innings. It was a swashbuckling display by the pair, both being the aggressor as they sought to set Gordonians a formidable score to chase. Mitchell hit two more sixes both pulls between mid-on and mid-wicket as he soon reached his well-deserved fifty. For all of his runs he would not hit Portcullis’s shot of the day. That would be Randall. Galloping down the wicket to a McCabe off-spinner he duly smashed it back over the unfortunate bowler’s head and into the car park.

Portcullis closed their innings on 162-2 after 20 overs. Dave Mitchell top scored with 69 not out, a fantastic knock that included 8 fours and 3 sixes. Owen Thorpe made a handy 34 that included two sixes and two fours. Lewis Randall chipped in with a rapid 30 not out that included 2 fours and a six.

Being T20 there was no teas, just a quick turnaround to continue the match.

This fixture was played in a week when legendary Channel Four Racing pundit, the controversial John McCririck, was taken into hospital (Get well soon John!). Had he been here and full of rude health, he, along with his partner in crime, the one and only Barry ‘Bismarck’ Dennis would have been shouting from the rooftops. What would they have been shouting I hear you ask? Probably 33/1 for a Gordonians victory at this stage.

But, just as the cliché goes, the runner does not which odds it goes off at. Neither did Gordo’s.

They opened the batting with the talented pairing of Alexander Housome and Adi Hedge. Portcullis opened their bowling with the gifted Ross McKenzie and the new kid on the block – the explosive Presheet Deshpande.

Deshpande’s 1st over was explosive. 18 runs came from it (including 8 byes), two spanking fours from Hounsome as well as his wicket as he mistimed a hook shoot from the last ball of the over to the safe hands of Kannan Vijayakrishnan. One over gone. Gordonians 18-1. It really was game on, and the youngsters were having none of it. Those bookies at the side of the pitch were soon wiping those boards – the hypothetical 33/1 gone!

And so, it continued. Pranav Saravanan joined his Caledonian Highlanders Under 16 teammate Hedge and the pair went for it! They enjoyed the pace of Deshpande, Saravanan’s second scoring shot the most spectacular aggressive hook for an enormous six. His exquisite timing helping the ball on its way. Boundaries were segwayed by quick singles as the pair kept up the run-rate. At this stage Portcullis were on the ropes trying to parry the blows, bobbing and weaving. The early introduction of Dave Mitchell into the attack did not seem initially to stem the flow of runs either. The pair building the strongest of platforms from the initial flimsiest of ground base.

Kannan Vijayakrishnan was introduced into the Portcullis attack to see if his unique bowling style would upset the pairing’s tempo. Not a bit of it! They continued to push ever onward. It was beginning to look like cricket’s equivalent to rope-a-dope and Portcullis were looking the dope!

After 10 overs Gordonians were 76-1. Just under halfway and with nine wickets standing. This really was anyone’s game!

The score moved onto 81 when Portcullis managed to make a breakthrough. Saravanan belted one towards mid-off and immediately set off (as the pairing had done throughout their partnership). This time though Saravanan had made too good a contact with the ball, driving it with good power in the direction of Falconer. The ball bounced and landed into his hands at a good height. As Falconer pulled back his right hand to go for a direct hit, he noticed bowler Mitchell scrambling back to the popping crease, a considerable distance behind was the galloping Saravanan. Falconer checked his throw and placed it in the direction of Mitchell who completed the slick run-out with Saravanan out by a considerable distance. Gordonians 81-2 after 11 overs. 82 required from 9 overs. Saravanan leaving the match with a fine knock of 18 under his belt.

The match seemed to turn at this point. Shovon Mostofa was introduced into the attack and opened with a tight over, only 4 runs coming from it. 78 required off 8 overs.

Gordonians, to their eternal credit, still went for it. Adi Hedge finally succumbed to the accuracy of Mitchell. With the situation requiring excessive aggression with the bat, he perhaps went for a shot too bold. As a result, Mitchell knocked back his leg pole for a spectacular 28 runs. Gordonians 94-3 after 13 overs. 69 required from 7 overs.

This passage of play seemed to knock the wind out of Gordonians charge. From then on wickets fell at regular intervals. Gerry O’Brien fell next to the returning Deshpande. Deshpande catching a thick edge of O’Brien’s bat. Harry Murphy diving well wide to his right to take a spectacular catch.

Andy Murray went to another slick run out. McKenzie this time checking his throw, allowing wicket keeper Harry Murphy ample time to complete the run out of the dangerous Gordonian.

Ex-Gordonian Brian Harper was introduced to the attack and his nagging off stick accuracy saw the fall of Shanuak Bhatta. The youngster sacrificing his wicket as he could only deal in boundaries. Singles were just not a strong enough currency at this stage of the match. The ball looping high from the youngster’s bat, Vijayakrishnan completing a simple catch.

Mostofa then took two well deserved wickets of his own. Vibesh Ravindran was first to go. A spectacular off-drive unfortunately did not contact the ball, the result being Ravindran’s middle stump being knocked back out onto the artificial wicket. His second wicket was that of Ashik Gurung. He too, like Bhatta and Ravindran before him, being forced to go all-in for boundaries. As a result, the ball went skyward but not towards the boundary. Deshpande showing fleet of foot, making good round to take a super catch.

The Portcullis pairing of Harper and Mostofa had managed to stem the flow of Gordonians runs. Harper took his second wicket of the match, bowling Dushyant Sharma.

It was Gordonian last man Jamie McCabe who would be the final wicket to fall. A pull towards square leg was followed by the yes-no-yes-no-sorry as he was run out by Deshpande with a direct hit. The young Portcullis showing his ground fielding was of similar standard to his bowling and catching excellence.

The scorecard said Portcullis won by 48 runs, but it was a poor reflection of this match. For a long part of Gordonians innings they were well in with a shout. I had worked out we had accrued the 10 points we required to qualify as group winner’s mid-way through the match so could relax as Gordo’s gave their all. It was much tighter than that. The Gordo’s team went death or glory – as they had to – and that flattered the result in Portcullis’s favour.

For Gordonians Adi Hedge top scored for the home team with a cracking knock of 28 (2 x 4). He was backed up by Pranav Saravanan (18 – 1 x 4, 1 x 6). For Portcullis there were two wickets each for Brian Harper (2-5), Shovon Mostofa (2-15) and Presheet Deshpande (2-26).


Once again, the skill, cussed, determined efforts of DAVE MITCHELL takes the honours. A cracking knock of 69 not out, the wicket of Adil Hedge and his part in the Saravanan run out makes this choice an easy one. There were marked performances by Owen Thorpe (34 – 2x6, 2x4) and Lewis Randall (30 not out – 1 x 6, 2 x 4) with the bat. The bowling was led by Brian Harper (2-5). The influential Shovon Mostofa finished with 2-15 whilst Presheet Deshpande had figures of 2-26.


ADI HEDGE takes the honours for his super knock of 28 and the wicket of Owen Thorpe. Others worth a mention include Pranav Saravanan (18) and Dushyant Sharma who captured the early scalp of Shovon Mostofa with his fine bowling.

In truth the whole Gordonians squad played bloody well for the second time this season against Portcullis. They pushed us all the way and they are getting stronger fixture by fixture. They have proved to be a formidable force at Countesswells and the only get better and better. There is a lot of raw talent within their team as well. Match experience will strengthen them and at least a couple of diamonds will emerge.

If they retain this squad god help the rest of us in Grade Three next season – maybe sooner!

Saturday, 06 July, 2019

Innings of Portcullis

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
2D.Mitchell6983Not out
4L.Randall3021Not out
5K.VijayakrishnanDid not bat
6H.MurphyDid not bat
7R.McKenzieDid not bat
8P.DeshpandeDid not bat
9A.PhilipDid not bat
10B.HarperDid not bat
11R.FalconerDid not bat
Leg Byes1
No Balls2

Innings of Gordonians 2nds

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
3P.Saravanan18Run OutD.MitchellR.Falconer
4G.O Brien8CaughtP.DeshpandeH.Murphy
5A.Murray1Run OutH.MurphyR.McKenzie
10A.Das2Not out
11J.McCabe0Run OutP.Deshpande
Leg Byes2
No Balls3