Portcullis v. Grampian 2nds - Saturday, 01 June, 2019

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

Portcullis : 249 for 7 (30).

Grampian 2nds : 107 all out (12).

Skipper Thorpe leads the way with a Century!

Portcullis’s third Grade Three match saw them for the second time in a season try to complete a home fixture against Grampian 2nds at Harlaw.

Thankfully the weather was kind enough to hold off the rain. Thorpey managed to lose the toss to this opposite number Rosin Joseph and Portcullis were put into bat.

Keeping the no 2 position fluid, Owen decided to open his batting with Andrew Blackwell getting the opportunity/poisoned chalice of joining big (well tall) Dave Forbes at the crease for the start of this match.

There was a refreshing change to the Grampian 2nds personnel. A welcome smattering of youth had been introduced to their 2nds. No less dangerous than the seniors, it would be interesting how they turned out today.

Grampian 2nds would open their bowling with the youthful pairing of Jubal George and Jijo Raju. Their opening overs would be of contrasting results.

Jubal George showed he had pace and bounce, especially for one so young. What came with it was rawness and a lack of control. The first two overs going for 18 runs. Jijo Raju’s, in comparison was fantastic. He opened with a wicket maiden, capturing the prize wicket of Andrew Blackwell. It was a corking delivery, Raju bowling it outside off stump. Blackwell went to leave it and paid as Raju got it to cut back, knocking out his off-pole.

Portcullis 10-1.

Skipper Owen Thorpe joined Forbes at the crease and the pair, wary of the talents on show, took the score onto 45 before the second wicket.

Unfortunately, it would be that of Forbes. He was just beginning to show signs of flamboyance, pinging two fours to the boundary and growing into the game. It was first change bowler Jibin George who would do for the hairy biker, bowling him all ends up. Portcullis 45-2 after 11.83 overs.

This brought last week’s top scorer Kannan Vijayakrishnan to the crease to join Thorpe. The pair enjoyed a fruitful partnership of 57 for the 3rd wicket. Vijayakrishnan heartbroken to be the 3rd player bowled. His defences beaten by young Alwin James for a fine 18. Portcullis 102-3 after 22. 50 overs. A promising start and a fine platform to build on.

In the meantime, Grampian 2nds mixed and matched their bowling. This was a combination of giving their younger players much needed match experience whilst not allowing the Portcullis batsmen to settle.

It was the turn of Shovon Mostofa to join Thorpe at the crease. This was the passage of play where Owen Thorpe made his half century. A drive through mid-off taking him to this target. Portcullis were hopeful there would be more to come. The pair produced a fourth wicket partnership of 56 in 10 overs before Mostofa was lured into swiping at a Stephin Jomon away swinger. Jibin George on hand at gully to snap up a fine catch. Portcullis 156-4 after 33.2 overs.

Next man in was Dave Elrick, making his season debut for the City Centre Green Caps. The pair added 22 runs for the 5th wicket partnership.

It would be Elrick to go. Finding himself in the unusual situation of playing attacking cricket, he went unselfishly for one heave-ho too many. Stephin Jomon being rewarded for maintaining an accurate line and length, bowling Elrick for a fine knock of 10. The pull through midwicket for four being a shot of exquisite timing. Portcullis 178-5.

It was the turn of Brian Harper to bat next, making his season debut with the willow. Thorpe, having made his fifty began going through the gears. There were plentiful fours sprayed all around the ground. These were soon joined by one fantastic six driven over extra cover. A champagne moment that was the shot of the day. No mean feat as both side sides produced some cracking stroke-play.

Thorpe got to his hundred with a superbly timed drive through the covers for another four. The shot was greeted by a raise of the bat and congratulations from players of both sides.

The hundred was not to be unbeaten through. Grampian’s Jomon capturing a well-deserved third wicket of the day. His persistent line and length accuracy being rewarded. A late in-swinger doing for the Portcullis skipper. Portcullis 215-6. Thorpe back in the pavilion for a tremendous knock of 102!

This brought Jake Dawson to the crease albeit briefly. He went for 2 but there was no shame in this dismissal. The returning Jib al George producing the delivery of the day. He produced a full late in-swinging Yorker. The delivery pitching middle and leg and swinging in, the ball just kissing the outside of leg stump. A perfect delivery that I had the privilege to witness as Umpire. Portcullis 221-7.

This brought Lewis Randall to the crease to join Brian Harper. The pair took the innings to a close. Randall. Opened his account with a thundered drive back towards the umpire (Me – git!) for a cracking four. Harper, having dealt with one more quickly run two than he would like (one) dealt in ones and fours. A wise move as a bowling spell would follow.

The innings closed at 249-7 after 45 overs for Portcullis. Skipper Owen Thorpe led the way with a fantastic 102 that included 13 fours and one superb six. He was backed up by various double digit scorers that included Brian Harper (19 no) [2x4], Dave Forbes (18) [2x4], Kannan Vijayakrishnan (18), Shovon Mostofa (16), Lewis Randall (12no) [1x4] and Dave Elrick (10) [1x4].

For Grampian the bowling plaudits were deservedly led by Stephin Jomon who returned fine figures of 3-22. Other wicket takers were Jibin George (2-49 including THAT delivery), Jiju Raju (1-28) Alwin James (1-37). Grampian are to be applauded for giving eight of their players a bowl. Their youngsters getting a fair shot as well

A fine tea (which included Mrs Falconer’s world famous Lentil Soup. Rumour has it she is being headhunted by Baxter’s can neither be confirmed or denied!) was taken and it was time for Grampian 2nds to post their reply.

Portcullis opened with the usual pairing of Ross McKenzie and Shovon Mostofa. Grampian 2nds would open their batting with the experienced Vaisakh Sasidharan and youthful Jubal George.

Runs were hard to come by. McKenzie’s opening spell was uncharacteristically indifferent whilst Mostofa’s was accurate, tight and varied.

It would be McKenzie who would make the initial breakthrough though. Jubal George mistiming a cover drive that McKenzie’s bowling partner, Mostofa making good ground to take a fine catch. Grampian 2nds 18-1.

This brought Lijo Raju to the crease. An unhappy McKenzie was replaced by the intriguing bowling of Andy Philip. Raju enjoyed an 18 partnership with the calming Sasidharan.

It would be Philip would take the 2nd wicket. Raju getting a hold of a Philip in-drifter and making good contact. Alas he smashed it straight at Dave Elrick at short mid-on who also made good contact to take a fine catch. Grampian 36-2. The batting partnerships seeming to follow the 18 times table.

Naji Ittera would be next man in. From personal experience I know that Ittera is a fine batsman. He smashed me round the park for 27 in two overs two seasons ago. I was bowling not that bad that day (honest!) but he humped me around the park.

We lost by 4 runs.

Ittera was not going to be found wondering. He opened his first six balls with a single, a four, another single and a cracking six over mid-off (not quite Thorpey’s but bloody close!). He is one of those players who can win a match, any match with the bat if the force is with him and he has the bit between his teeth (the talent was there for all to see).

Thankfully, for Portcullis the curse of the 18 times table struck, and it was danger man Ittera who would go next. The varying pace of Andy Philip saw a drive meant for mid-on be mistimed towards midwicket. Andrew Blackwell diving forward to clutch onto a fine and important catch. Grampian 2nds 54-3. Ittera gone for a rapid 13.

Skipper Rohin Joseph was next man in. Mostofa finished a tight and impressive eight over spell for the loss of 14 measly runs. He was unfortunate not to take a wicket, but his bowling put pressure on the batsmen and his bowling partners reaped the benefits. If not before, I’m sure there will be days they will return in kind.

Brian Harper took over from Mostofa’s end and like Mostofa kept things tight. Harper would be rewarded with his tight bowling by capturing the next wicket.

In the meantime, the loss of Ittera saw a sudden acceleration in Sasidharan’s scoring. Having played the role of anchor, Sasidharan decided to attack the Portcullis bowling. Two cracking fours, through cover and extra cover, were greeted by cheers from the Grampian faithful.

Harper got his reward though. A fine pull from Joseph to mid on had the minerals to go high in the air but not enough minerals to clear the boundary as it was backfoot driven towards Randall. The job was not completed though. The catch was a difficult one. High in the air, the ball swirling in the sky and a lot of ground to make up.

Randall judged all three aspects of the catch superbly. The result. Another tremendous catch that he can be rightly proud of! Grampian 2nds 67-4.

It was the turn of Jibin George to join Sasidharan at the crease. The partnership sadly did not last long. Sasisdharan’s fine solid opener’s innings coming to a close. A mistimed drive off the bowling of Harper went skyward. Vijayakrishnan calling loudest, and the most assured, resulting in a good catch. Sasidharan gone for a splendid knock of 23. Grampian 70-5.

Robin John Thalakkottu joined Jibin George at the crease. The pair fought stoutly, putting on a partnership of 14 for the sixth wicket. Thalakkottu looking a class act. It would be Jibin George who would go, bowled by the mercurial Harper. Grampian 84-6.

With that Grampian’s slim hopes of victory faded and the innings drew to a close. Vinod Jose came and went. A death or glory drive from the bowling of Kannan Vijayakrishnan saw Jose sky it towards the bowler. Vijayakrishnan making no mistakes with the skier.

Next man out was newcomer Jijo Raju. He anchored the partnership, allowing Thalakkottu to be the aggressor before becoming Vijayakrishnan’s second victim. He fell to another fine catch by Mostofa. Grampian 97-8.

The bowling hero, Stephin Jomon, joined Thalakkottu at the crease. Jomon, knowing that the fate of the match was gone, brought some much needed entertainment to the proceedings with two carefree shots. One through point and one through mid-on, were deserving of boundary status. Each were caught by eager Portcullis fielders before they were allowed to make contact with the white line boundary. Thankfully his third scoring shot, that which went through cover, did deservedly pass the boundary.

The entertaining Jomon went next. A quicker Vijayakrishnan delivery outsmarted him and he was bowled for the most entertaining innings of 8. Grampian 2nds 106-9.

The innings ended as golden arm Lewis Randall, bowling his 13th ball of his spell hoodwinked Thalakkottu into popping one into short cover. Mostofa scurrying in to take a fine 3rd outfield catch. A fine achievement on its own.

Grampian 2nds 107 all out. Portcullis win a difficult fixture to retain their 100% record in the league.

In truth it is an unusual situation for Portcullis to be in. Unbeaten in the Grades. Matches have been tight though. This time they have been fortunate to push themselves over the winning line.

For Portcullis Kannan Vijayakrishnan leads the way with figures of 6-0-13-3. He was backed up by Brian Harper (7-1-17-3). The other wicket takers were Andy Philip (2-32), Lewis Randall (1-13) and Ross McKenzie (1-15).

Grampian 2nds innings was led by a sturdy knock of 23 by Vaisakh Sasidharan {2x4]. The other double digit scorers for the Gramps were Robin John Thalakkotu (19 – [2x4]) and Naji Ittera (13- [1x4, 1x6]).


Easiest decision of the season so far. OWEN THORPE for his sparkling century (102 – 13x4, 1x6) which set us up for the victory. Bowling merits go to Kannan Vijayakrishnan (6-0-13-3) and Brain Harper (7-1-17-3).


As tempted as I am to go for the fine knock from my fellow opener Vaisakh Sasidharan (23[ – as well as a fellow Secretary]), on this occasion I will plump for STEPHIN JOMON. 3-22 was good, accurate bowling from this talented youngster. I was impressed by the raw pace of Jubal George. He has the minerals – bloody hell he has the minerals! If the senior players at Grampian can encourage control, line and length and hitting the danger areas regularly they will have a player!


LEWIS RANDALL takes it for the impressive catch in the deep from the bowling of Harper.

Weather permitting our next match should be away to Gordonians 2nds on Saturday 8th June. A cheeky T20 match.

Friday, 07 June, 2019

Innings of Portcullis

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
7B.Harper192Not out
9L.Randall121Not out
10R.McKenzieDid not bat
11A.PhilipDid not bat
Leg Byes0
No Balls9

Innings of Grampian 2nds

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
11A.James0Did not bat
Leg Byes0
No Balls1