Portcullis v. Ellon 2nds - Saturday, 11 August, 2012

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

Portcullis : 166 for 9 from 46 (21).

Ellon 2nds : 163 for 9 (21).


Saturday saw Portcullis entertain League Leaders Ellon 2nds in their second last and, for Ellon 2nds, their last Grade Four match for the season.

It was still mathematically possible, though highly unlikely, for Portcullis to win the League. They would have to win their last two matches of the season. In this match they would have to bowl out Ellon 2nds for a low score then knock off the winning runs without losing any wickets. The realistic target was to reach 20 points that would confirm third place (at least) and promotion.

The Captains, Kannan Vijayakrishnan and Chris Watson went to the Sheddocksley 2 wicket to toss the coin. Unfortunately Kannan lost the toss and Chris Watson had no hesitation in inviting the Home side to bat first.

Portcullis opened up with the tried and trusted pair of Ronnie Falconer and Ranjan Sahoo. The pair had contrasting form with the bat this season. Sahoo has been enjoying his time at the crease once again this season. In his three previous innings Sahoo had scored 127 runs with an average of 63.5. Falconer, in contrast, had been in shocking form. His four innings previous had only yielded 11 runs. Shocking form by the Peter Griffin look-alike!

Ellon opened their bowling with White and the young Paterson. White took no time to get into his stride as he bowled a probing off stump line making the batsmen play. Paterson, appearing nervous, opened with a couple of looseners that Sahoo gleefully pounced upon.

Both Falconer and Sahoo steadied the ship offering little chance to the Ellon opening bowlers. The pair batted consistently to their strengths. Falconer, offering dogged patience and persistence whilst the free flowing Sahoo seemed to score at will, peppering the boundary with regular ease. With the two of them standing firm it was time for Ellon to look elsewhere.

Watson and Galt then replaced White and Paterson. This appeared to have little effect as Falconer and Sahoo continued to take the attack to Ellon. The partnership soon passed 50 as the two showed little let up. Falconer did offer a couple of chances however. One, a very difficult one to short midwicket who did well to get a hand to it whilst first slip missed out on a easier chance which subsequently went begging.

Watson, having little joy, was replaced by Parks. It was the bowling change that would bring the first wicket of the match.

Portcullis were on 87 when the first wicket fell. Falconer, cutting loose, cracked one towards cover. The ball was a little high and Fuller took decent catch from the bowling of Parks.

This brought Vice-Captain Dave Mitchell to the crease. It looked to be the perfect platform

for Portcullis to push onto a decent total. Unfortunately it was not to be Mitch’s day as he was caught at mid-off from a fine catch off the bowling of Parks. A rare failure with the bat for the Portcullis all-rounder.

This brought Usman Naseem to the crease. Usman had been showing plenty of promise with bat and ball throughout his debut season with Portcullis. His performances merited the extra responsibility placed upon him. He joined Sahoo and the pair took Portcullis to 100 when Naseem fell, caught behind by the excellent Meikle from the bowling of the wily Parks. Three wickets apiece, for both Ellon 2nds and their secret weapon, Parks.

Skipper Kannan Vijayakrishnan was next to join Rajan Sahoo at the crease. By this point Sahoo had passed 50 for the second time this season. Sahoo, sadly, was not to last as he went for a marvellous 69, an inside edge from the persistent bowling of Galt was to do for him as it careered into the stumps. Portcullis 112–4.

Simon Winstanley then joined Kannan at the crease. At this point of the innings momentum was the key. Both Winstanley and Vijayakrishnan took the attack to the Ellon 2nders. Vijayakrishnan was next to go with the score at 135 caught by Galt off the bowling of Parks. Winstanley followed soon after for a cameo 13 bowled by the returning opening bowler White.

Salman Bedaar, realising that quick runs were required was next to go. He was unfortunate to hole out to Paterson off of the bowling of Parks. Parks being the thorn of the Portcullis batting line-up.

This brought the pairing of Portcullis stalwarts Paul Brown and Richard Collinson. The pair enjoyed a fruitful partnership of 22 taking Portcullis to 158 when Brown was next to depart caught behind by Meikle from the wily spin bowling of Watson. Bob Adie joined Richard at the crease and the pair took Portcullis to 166 before the innings was closed.

After a splendid Sheddocksley tea, Ellon 2nds set about their run chase. They opened the batting with Mustoe and Meikle whilst Portcullis opened the bowling with Mitchell and Naseem. Naseem was to strike first, getting Meikle to pull at a wide one. The resultant thick outside edge sent the ball spiralling into the air towards the area patrolled by Noman Saleem. Noman made no mistake in taking a steepler to get Portcullis off to a great start. Ellon 2nds 2-1.

Mitchell at the other end gave nothing away. His first four overs were maidens as Ellon showed him the respect he deserved. When the teams last met Mitchell took 5-16 in an excellent bowling display. It appears this time Ellon’s game plan was to take no chances with Mitch.

Things continued to get worse for Ellon. 2-1 became 2-2 when Naseem, boosted by his early breakthrough, took his second wicket bowling the dangerous K Hutcheson for 0.

Having had such a sticky start, Ellon dug in. Stallard joined Mustoe at the crease and the pair took the battle to Portcullis. Falconer replaced Naseem whilst Mitchell bowled a tight consistent line at the other end. Mitch continued to beat the bat time and time again. Just as others may have lost heart Mitchell struck, bowling Stallard for 9. It was a good wicket to get as Stallard was beginning to look more confident ant the crease. Ellon 16-3. Shortly afterwards Mitchell was given a well-earned rest as Saleem was introduced into the attack.

With the new bowling pairing Ellon felt a little off the hook. Falconer was not as tight as he had been of late whilst Saleem’s lack of bowling practice was evident during these opening exchanges. Falconer was taken off after three fruitless overs although he missed out on a caught and bowled when a drive rocketed back at him. He got his hands into position but the ball wouldn’t stick and it popped out again. Good stop though.

Brown came onto replace Falconer. Meanwhile at the other end Saleem began to settle down. He began to bowl with the class we all knew he had and was beginning to cause Ellon problems. The breakthrough, when it came, came at the other end. Brown, encouraging Fuller to plop one up for Keeper Vijayakrishnan to run around to take the catch. Ellon’s fourth wicket partnership was worth a valuable 50 runs and brought them right back into the match.

If the fourth wicket partnership was valuable then the fifth wicket partnership was even more so. If there was Betting-In-Running the odds would have wildly swung in favour of Ellon 2nds. Ellon Captain Chris Watson joined Mustoe at the crease. Watson took a liking to the Portcullis bowling attack, plundering runs quickly and easily. Mustoe, anchoring the other end, also chipped in as the target of 167 drew closer. Vijayakrishnan tried a combination of all of his bowlers in order to make a breakthrough. The reintroduction of Noman Saleem brought the welcome breakthrough.

Watson, having made the most stimulating fifty, was the victim. Saleem, settling into an excellent rhythm and tempo bowled Watson with a terrific Leg Stump Yorker. It was not to be the last Yorker of the day. Ellon 131-5.

Next man is was Galt. With a highly strange bat he was not to last long as Saleem reproduced his Leg Stump Yorker and bowled Galt for 1. Ellon 135-6.

Saleem, with his tail up and in full flow, produced another Leg Stump Yorker to remove the dogged opener Mustoe. He was producing this remarkable unplayable ball, almost at will, and this particular delivery swung the match again! Ellon 145-7.

The bowling scourge of Portcullis, Parks, came to the crease. He was found to be as big a nuisance with the bat as he was with the ball. Going into the last few overs of the match the bookies could have laid odds against all three outcomes such was the balance of the game.

Saleem then struck again, bowling White with, you guessed it, another Leg Stump Yorker!! Ellon 153-8. The odds surely swinging towards a Portcullis victory as a nervous looking Paterson trod to the crease.

By this time Naseem was brought back into the attack to clean up the Ellon tail. Although Paterson looked nervous he showed courage and heart. He and Parks once again took the battle to Portcullis. One particular pull shot for four through midwicket and mid on brought a raucous call from the Ellon faithful as they sensed victory was back on.

Requiring 10 off the last over Ellon fell short with a valiant six runs. An unselfish Paterson, going for glory, being bowled off the last ball by Naseem as he tried a final heave for victory. Ellon 163-9 at the close of play.

It was a truly fantastic match to play in. Ellon showed themselves to be worthy Grade Four Champions. Portcullis had the consolation of knowing their haul of 21 points was enough to guarantee promotion to Grade Three. The rare sight of an exciting drawn match with both sides coming off happy at the outcome and their efforts. Particularly pleasing is when these two teams meet again it will be in Grade 3 next season.

Next up for Portcullis is Kintore in the Johnston Rose Bowl Final!

Thursday, 16 August, 2012

Innings of Portcullis

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
4U.Naseem7Did not batA.ParkesL.Meikle
9R.Collinson152Not out
10B.Adie2Not out
11N.SalimDid not bat
Leg Byes0
No Balls3

Innings of Ellon 2nds

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
8A.Parkes134Not out
11N.GivenDid not bat
Leg Byes0
No Balls8