Portcullis v. Grampian 2nds - Sunday, 07 July, 2019

Toss was won by Portcullis, who chose to field.

Grampian 2nds : 88 all out.

Portcullis : 92 for 2.

Portcullis squeeze through in Thriller.

Portcullis squeeze through in Thriller.

Sunday 8th July meant Reid Cup T20 Semi Final action once again. Like last season Portcullis would be drawn once again against tricky opponents Grampian 2nds. The match, albeit Portcullis’s home tie, would be played at Grampian’s home track of Sheddocksley Upper. With the sacred home ground of Duthie Park unavailable, Sheddocksley’s grass wicket would be the more suitable of tracks for Portcullis’s bowling.

Skipper Owen Thorpe’s opposite number Robin Thalakottu called wrongly at the toss and he and his side were invited to have a bat.

It was obvious from the start that Grampian 2nds wisely took a more circumspect approach to the innings. The pairing of Thalakottu and Josino Aluvathingal this time pressurised the Portcullis fielding side with well run singles. These surrounded the odd boundary when the opportunity arose.

The pair took the score onto 20 before the first wicket fell. It fell to the bowling of Presheet Deshpande who completed the dismissal with a fine catch that matched the delivery that went with it to dismiss Aluvathingal. Grampian 2nds 20-1 after 5 overs.

Gipson Gilbert was next man in, and his arrival appeared to accelerate the scoring. For Portcullis it was just as well that he pushed for one quick single too many against the wrong man. Like many before him, Gilbert fell to the lethal arm of Kannan Vijayakrishnan. A superb quick release pick-up and throw from Vijayakrishnan knocking out the leg pole with a direct hit. Gilbert agonizingly inches away from safety as the stumps broke. Grampian 32-2 after 8.

This was a fine start by the batting side. The outfield was slow, and runs were hard to come by. Grampian smacked many a ball that seemed boundary bound only to slow up in the Sheddocksley Everglades. The earlier heavy cloudburst prior to the start of the Cup Tie taking its toll on the flow of runs.

Gramps Secretary Visakh Sasidharan was next man in. He and Thalakottu enjoying a fine 18 run partnership against the Portcullis bowling all-comers of Deshpande, McKenzie, Mitchell and Vijayakrishnan.

It would be the last of this quartet who would make the breakthrough. Vijayakrishnan managed to lure Thalakottu into cutting one towards point. This was the favoured hunting ground of catches for Jayaraj Raj. A typical well-timed thrust of his right hand making no mistake in completing a fine catch. Grampian 50-3 after 11 overs.

This bowling quartet would soon be joined by the evergreen Brian Harper. The runs would still flow but, sadly for Grampian this would be accompanied with wickets. Most of them from the bowling of Harper.

Harper’s nagging medium left arm round bowling seemed to antagonise the Grampian middle to low order.

Sasidharan would be the first to fall to Harper’s charm. A hefty blow into the deep was chased down well by Deshpande. His concentration on the ball was matched by his never say die approach. He was rewarded with a very welcome catch that saw the dangerous Sasidharan. Grampian 61-4.

61-4 soon became 65-5 as Vijayakrishnan captured his second wicket. His quicker delivery deceiving Jibin George and bowling the unfortunate batsman.

It was the turn again of Harper to show all his “golden arm” qualities as he captured a quick two wickets. First up was Kannan Viswambharam. Driving down the wrong line, an outside edge popped up towards 1st slip area. Although 1sr slip was long gone by this stage, wicketkeeper Collinson was alert enough to make up the ground to take a fine catch.

It was the same combination who would do for Vinod Jose. Harper, continuing to make the ball wobble, had Jose heave at one. The ball spiralled into the air, this time a bit easier for Collinson to take a good catch. Grampian 77-7 after 17 overs.

The return of fellow left armer Ross McKenzie saw off the dogged resistance of Sajimon Joseph. This time McKenzie producing ample inswing to breach the defences of the middle order batsman. Grampian 8-8 after 18 overs.

The innings drew to a finish thanks to that arm of Harpers as well two pieces of exceptional fielding in the deep.

Firstly, Binu Augustine could deem himself unlucky as a beefy blow into the deep was not only cut off from the boundary but was also caught spectacularly by Lewis Randall. His galloping catch was followed by what seemed to be a forward somersault/roll with the ball clutched in his hand.

Secondly, young Daniel Thomson’s dashing knock was ended. Smashing Harper’s last delivery, he sent the ball towards deep mid-on. Mitchell was maybe out of the wickets but not out of the action. Possibly inspired by the previous catch of Randall, Mitchell galloped in from the boundary. He finished his run with a sliding bobsleigh movement, feet in front of his torso, taking the catch above his stomach.

Grampian finished on 88 all out for their 20 overs. It would be a challenging total to chase down on this variable a wicket with such a (for Sheddocksley) lush outfield.

Top scorer for Grampian was skipper Robin Thalakottu with 16 (1 x 4). He was backed up by Visakh Sasidharan (14 – 1 x 4). The other double digit scorers were Josino Aluvathingal (10) and Sajimon Joseph (10).

For Portcullis Brian Harper carried off the match ball with figures of 5-18 from 4 overs. Kannan Vijayakrishnan retuned fine figures of 2-20 as well as that run-out. The other wicket takers were Presheet Deshpande and Ross McKenzie who both coincidentally took 1-17 from their 4 over spells.

After the quickest of turnarounds, it was the turn of Portcullis to post their reply. Thorpe went for the fluid opening pairing of Lewis Randall and Dave Mitchell. Both were fleet of foot, solid in defence and no stranger to peppering the boundary.

An expensive first over from Gilbert settled the nerves – 9 coming from it. The pairing of Randall and Mitchell settled well.

Both batsmen nudged singles and cashed in on the odd boundary. Portcullis appeared to benefit from batting second, the ball appeared easier to reach the boundary than it did in the Grampian innings. The combination of the sun and the Sheddocksley breeze drying out the pitch.

The pair enjoyed a first wicket partnership of 40 before Lewis Randall was first to go. Having negated the variety of pace bowling from Gilbert, Jubal George, and Jibin George, it was the wily sin bowling of Kannan Viiswambharam who would breach the defences of Randall bowling the promising opener for a splendid 16.

This brought skipper Owen Thorpe to the crease. Thorpe started slowly and carefully. This was wise as Portcullis were up on the run-rate whilst his partner Dave Mitchell was now bedded in and scoring quickly. The pair added a 2nd wicket partnership of 38. Grampian added Jose, Thomson and Josino but a breakthrough was not forthcoming. The introduction of Sajimon Joseph brought about the demise of Mitchell. A change in the pace of Joseph’s delivery hoodwinked the ex-Portcullis Skipper and a mistimed drive into covers brought about a welcome wicket for Grampian 2nds. Gipson Gilbert hanging onto a tremendous catch.

Mitchell gone for a crucial 30 runs.

Andy Philip was next man in, and this brought about the acceleration of Thorpe’s scoring. The pair enjoyed an unbeaten 14 run partnership. It was left to Andy Philip to hit the winning runs. He did so with a fine pull for four between mid-wicket and mid-on as Portcullis won with nine balls to spare.

For Portcullis the talismanic Dave Mitchell top scored with 30. He was supported by skipper Owen Thorpe who remained unbeaten on 20 not out. Lewis Randall continued to impress with his all round skills, adding 16 runs to that impressive catch he took late in the innings. The other batsman Andy Phillip finishing on 5 not out.

For Grampian the wicket takers were the wily bowlers Sajimon Joseph and Kannan Viiswambharam, both taking a wicket apiece.

Portcullis got the benefit of winning the toss, and it proved crucial to their Cup Semi Final success. Grampian 2nds did not get the rub of the green today.

It was a tough, hard fought victory for Portcullis against a gallant Grampian 2nds line-up. The result of this meant that Portcullis will face Crathie in the Reid Cup Final at Kellands Park Inverurie.

Next up a tricky away tie to the improving youth of Gordonians 2nds.


Vice-Captain BRIAN HARPER takes the plaudits after his spell of 4-0-18-5. Five wickets for 18 runs is an impressive tally, this time more so as he only bowled 24 balls to acquire them. As his ex- Secretary Paul Gray messaged:

“Drugs Test for Harper please!”

Other notable mentions were Dave Mitchell for his 30 runs, tight bowling spell and his superb catch. Lewis Randall for his 16 runs and his magnificent catch. Owen Thorpe for his Captains innings of 20 not out and his superb marshalling of the troops. Kannan Vijayakrishnan also made his mark on the game with 2-20 bowling figures as well as his trademark direct mark run-out.


Going a little left field, young DANIEL THOMSON takes the plaudits for Grampian 2nds. His fielding in the deep was exceptional. Swift over the ground, a big hit towards him in the deep rarely went for more than a single. Swallowing the yards with his dashing pace, this was matched with his lightening pick up and release. The final part being the accuracy and pace of that throwing arm. When he came out to bat down the order, he showed he was up for the challenge. Spraying balls all around the ground it took a spectacular catch from Dave Mitchell to remove this sparkling youngster. He is maybe the top prospect Grampian have unearthed and should go on to be a marvellous cricketer! He maybe one of many from this Grampian crop.

Other notable performances came from Robin Thalakottu (16) and Visakh Sasidharan (14). Wicket takers Sajimon Joseph and Kannan Viiswambharam are also worthy of a mention.

Tuesday, 23 July, 2019

Innings of Grampian 2nds

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
3G.Gilbert51Run OutK.Vijayakrishnan
11J.George0Not out
Leg Byes0
No Balls2

Innings of Portcullis

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
3O.Thorpe201Not out
4A.Philip51Not out
5A.BlackburnDid not bat
6K.VijayakrishnanDid not bat
7J.RajDid not bat
8R.McKenzieDid not bat
9P.DeshpandeDid not bat
10B.HarperDid not bat
11R.CollinsonDid not bat
Leg Byes1
No Balls3