Gordonians 3rds v. Portcullis - Sunday, 22 July, 2012

Toss was won by Portcullis, who chose to field.

Gordonians 3rds : 103 all out.

Portcullis : 105 for 5.

Unbridled Joy As Portcullis Reach First Final In Four Years!!

Sunday saw the second part of Portcullis’s weekend double-header, as they took on Grade Four rivals Gordonians 3rds in their numerous rearranged Johnston Rose Bowl Semi Final match.

The match, called off twice and abandoned once, was played at Sheddocksley Upper despite it being Gordonians home fixture. Countesswells had suffered drainage problems and this meant that the fixture had to be moved in order for the match to be completed.

The Sunday team saw a new freshness to it. Out from Saturday’s line-up were Portcullis’s top-scoring batsman Gary Steward along with stalwarts Richard Collinson, Dave Forbes and Howard Smith. In came Captain Kannan Vijayakrishnan, Alan Dobey, Muhammad Farooq and Usman Naseem.

Both Naseem and Farooq were welcome additions to the team having been out for over a month whilst Portcullis veteran Alan Dobey made a welcome comeback some TWO YEARS since he last donned the Portcullis colours.

Captains Vijayakrishnan and Mundin made their way to the crease for the all-crucial toss. The Portcullis Captain won the toss and invited his Gordonians counterpart to bat first. Although this was a Cup Match, Vijayakrishnan felt the Portcullis bowling line-up would restrict the Gordonians batting side enough to make the task of winning the match much easier.

Portcullis began the bowling attack with the ever-reliable pairing of Raj and Mitchell in highly windy conditions. So windy that eventually the bails had to be removed from the stumps and remained that way for the duration of the match.

There were concerns within the Portcullis camp that the new-ball pairing of Raj and Mitchell may still be stiff after opening the bowling only 24 hours previously against Banchory. If they did feel any ill effects, they did not show it. Raj, in particular, looking particularly menacing during the opening parries of this intriguing Cup Tie.

Despite Raj’s best efforts the opening wickets fell to Vice-Captain Dave Mitchell. Having had scant reward the previous day, fate decreed that Mitchell could not have meagre pickings again. Mitchell opened up with a splendid caught and bowled of A. Das Snr. This was soon followed by the removal of the dangerous Dales, who was trapped LBW.

Raj, bowling with accurate variation of pace, bounce and spin, soon got into the act. He bowled the dogged Courtney Johnston and followed this up with the Golden Wicket of Jason Stark. Stark, despite reaching 13, was not having things his own way. Both Mitchell and Raj were making life difficult for the Gordonians Danger man. Raj bowled one a little slower just outside leg stump. Stark, feeling free of the shackles thrust upon him by Mitchell and Raj, got down to sweep the ball past the leg slip area for four. The ball was a little late on him and he swept it into the air. Captain/Keeper Vijayakrishnan showed fleet of foot and mind to run around to short square leg to complete the catch.

Gordonians 20-4 and apparently in big trouble.

If Gordonians were in big trouble the two batsmen at the crease, Mansoor and J. Jones, were not aware of it. They set about taking the game to the vibrant Portcullisians. Mitchell and Raj, having bowled so splendidly, were replaced by the threatening Padmaraj and Farooq. Unusual for Padmaraj, he was getting no joy with his spin from the Sheddocksley pitch. After five fruitless overs Padmaraj was relieved of his duties. Especially as the dangerous J.Jones had hit him for two excellent sixes. Farooq on the other hand was quite excellent. Having not played for Portcullis since June 2nd due to poor weather and exams he simply continued from where he left off with the ball.

During this period of play, when J.Jones was looking particularly threatening, Captain Vijayakrishnan suggested to Farooq perhaps it was worth giving the Gordonians Hitman a single and attack Gordo’s from the other end.

“Don’t worry” said Muhammad Farooq “...I’ll get him”

Farooq duly did when he bowled the explosive Jones for 16.

This brought the very young Das Jnr to the crease. He stuck to his guns against the pace of Farooq even bringing some joy to the match when a late cut went for four. Despite the young mans determined rearguard actions he succumbed to Farooq’s splendid accuracy and was bowled.

In the meantime Naseem relieved the luckless Padmaraj at the other end. Naseem bowled with guile and intelligence as Portcullis regained a grip of the match. Farooq, after an excellent spell was replaced by Falconer. Falconer, struggling to repeat his early season form was taken from the bowling attack after one over and replaced by Mitchell.

Mitchell soon got his third and Portcullis’s seventh wicket when he bowled M.Jones for a splendid 13. This brought Gordonians Captain Aaron Mundin to the crease.

Mundin joined Mansoor in a partnership that had to take chances in order to set a target that their bowlers could defend. This brought the best moment of the match.

Mundin managed to cut the frugal Naseem to deep cover and immediately shouted two. The ball went to “Golden Arm” Simon Winstanley. His pick up and throw was stuff made of legend as he fired a ball from the deep so quickly and accurately that Keeper Vijayakrishnan did not have to move as he had the simple task of running out the luckless Mundin by some 10-12 feet!!

Paul Collingwood… eat your heart out!!! No wonder you retired!!

The Gordonians innings finally come to a close when Usman Naseem bowled A. Seymour and had A.Sherjil caught by the grateful Falconer. This was fair reward for Naseem who had bowled the death overs very tightly, strangling the Gordonians tail.

Gordonians 103 all out.

After an enjoyable tea Portcullis set about their task opening their batting line up with Falconer and Farooq. Gordonians opened their bowling attack with the dangerous Dales and M.Jones.

The Peter Griffin look-alike Falconer started briskly, driving Dales for two twos in Dales opening over. Farooq, not to be undone then drove a four from the bowling of M.Jones. In Dales next over Falconer faltered. He drove a on drive towards deepish mid on where young Courtney Johnston made ground to take a splendid catch.

Farooq fell soon afterwards to Dales when he was caught by Das Snr.

This quick turn of events brought Mitchell and Padmaraj to the crease. Mitchell, perhaps still smarting from the previous days defeat, and Padmaraj put on a brisk partnership of 23 as they took Portcullis to 38 before Padmaraj fell lbw to the tight bowling of J.Jones.

Captain Kannan Vijayakrishnan was next to the crease. He was determined not to hang about hitting three very quick boundaries as he and Vice-Captain Mitchell to the score to 61. Vijayakrishnan was next to go when M.Jones bowled him for a cameo 13.

Next up was comeback king Alan Dobey. Despite having not held a bat for two years Dobey was determined to dig in for the Portcullis cause. Mitchell scored boundaries around his innings as the pair took the total to 76 before the impressive J. Jones bowled Dobey.

Bowling star Usman Naseem was next up. Mitchell, at the other end needed a cool head to join him to take Portcullis past the winning line and victory. Naseem proved to be that head. He dug in quite selflessly, supporting his on form Vice-Captain, as the pair put on an unbroken 29 partnership. This took the pair past the target score required and onto victory.

Man of the match Dave Mitchell finishing 49 not out whilst Usman Naseem finished on 7 not out.

Fair play to Gordonians. They played the matches in good spirit and were sportingly gracious in defeat. Although they had to bring players in from other XI’s to make up their numbers they stuck to the policy of bringing on their 3rds.

For Portcullis this was a tremendous achievement as they reached their first final in four years. It was just reward for the commitment shown by the whole Portcullis squad throughout the 2012 season.

Friday, 27 July, 2012

Innings of Gordonians 3rds

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
2A.Das (Sr)0CaughtD.MitchellD.Mitchell
5Mansoor283Not out
7A.Das (Jr)41BowledM.Farooq
9A.Mundin7Run OutK.VijayakrishnanS.Winstanley
Leg Byes1
No Balls3

Innings of Portcullis

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
2M.Farooq41CaughtDalesA.Das (Sr)
3D.Mitchell499Not out
7U.Naseem71Did not bat
8J.RajDid not bat
9B.AdieDid not bat
10R.CollinsonDid not bat
11S.WinstanleyDid not bat
Leg Byes0
No Balls2
8A.Das (Jr)0.100040-24-