Portcullis v. Dunecht - Saturday, 07 May, 2016

Toss was won by Portcullis, who chose to field.

Dunecht : 109 all out (30).

Portcullis : 82 all out (13).

Dunecht Thunder Does For Portcullis.

Week Two of the 2016 Grades Season saw Portcullis finally get their league campaign underway. Week one had been disappointing as an unfit pitch was to do for the opening fixture that would have been Grampian v Portcullis.

It was with great relief that the weather took a turn for the better and that Portcullis’s season could finally start.

If the weather was not going to delay things then each team contributed to delaying the start of the match. Portcullis, with a blunder brought a kit bag but no stumps whilst Dunecht appeared to have lost their kitbag!

Sheepish grins all-round!

After many apologies, the initiative of Dunecht’s Keith Milne in acquiring stumps (thanks Keith!) and Dunecht’s kitbag finally seeing the light of day the match could finally get underway.

For Portcullis, today’s league match would be a historic one for them as it would be their first Grades match they had played with the draw having been scrapped. Dunecht had slightly more experience of League Matches without the draw – one more to be exact (they played last week when it started!).

Skipper Dave Mitchell won the toss against his counterpart and decided to put Dunecht into bat.

Dunecht opened with the experienced pairing of Keith Milne and Jim Donald. For Portcullis, following the sad departure of Muhammad Bilal Farooq, Mitch plumped for Shovon Mostofa to partner him with the new ball.

First blood went to Portcullis. A fine late glance for two by Milne opened the scoring for Dunecht. A bye next ball for a single then saw the batsmen change ends.

Milne’s partner, Jim Donald, facing his first delivery, received some horrible bad luck. Mitch’s next delivery was short of a length and turned into a grubber. The ball should have passed Donald at around thigh pad height but never got above his ankles. Donald stood little to no chance and was bowled. Dunecht 3 - 1.

It was the turn of Matt Witz to enter the fray. He joined Milne at the crease as the pair set about rebuilding following their early blow. Witz opened up confidently with a fine off-drive for four from his first ball faced. He continued to bat with great presence and, along with Milne in support, brought Dunecht back in to the match.

Despite the irregularities of the pitch, Witz continued to take the game to Portcullis. He scored quite serenely, peppering the boundary with some lovely stroke-play. Milne soon joined in with a boundary of his own. The pair took the score onto 24 before Milne became Mitchell’s second victim of the match.

Mitchell, settling into a decent line and length, goaded Milne into tickling an outside edge. Wicketkeeper Winstanley on hand to take a good low catch. On seeing this Milne did not even wait for the Umpire to decide and walked off to the trees. A fine example of the sportsmanship on show today. Dunecht 24-2.

Witz was joined at the crease by Nadeem Arshad. The pair added 14 more runs before Witz became Mitchell’s third victim.

It did not seem possible but Witz was equally unfortunate, as Donald before him, to fall to another Mitchell limbo ball which trundled about an inch off the ground from a shorter length. A shame as Witz looked to be in good touch and looked more deserving a score than the 20 that accompanied his name in the scorebook. Dunecht 38-3.

38-3 soon became 40-4 as Mostofa found a way to his first wicket of the day. A good probing spell got new batsman Dan Merryweather to prod at one a bit to firmly. The ball ballooned into the covers where league debutant Ross McKenzie was on hand to take a good catch.

Arshad was then joined at the crease by Mick Burnett. Arshad had shown signs of bullying the Portcullis bowling attack with a towering six over midwicket from the bowling of Mostofa. This was to do for Mostofa, perhaps tiring as Mitchell was, and it was time for a double change.

Mitchell was to be replaced at the pond end by comeback man Gary Steward whilst Mostofa, at the gates end, was to be replaced by another comeback man Kannan Vijayakrishnan.

It turned out it Burnett, not Arshad, who would the aggressor of the Dunecht pair and chief tormentor of the Portcullis bowling attack. In Vijayakrishnan’s second over he hit two colossal sixes over midwicket which had one wag saying “You’ll need a relay team to get those balls back”. Although showing a tendency to favour attacking on the leg side, Burnett showed he was quick of hand and eye and simply tore into the Portcullis attack. Arshad hung on for the pair to add a crucial fifth wicket partnership of 43, taking the score on 83. Arshad was the one to go as he became Steward’s first wicket of the day as he was bowled for a sturdy 13.

Tony Degabriele joined the dangerous Burnett at the crease for a quick-fire 21 run partnership. Degabriele, as Witz before him and Burnett with him, looked comfortable at the crease and it would take something special to do for him.

It was something special as well as he become Vijajyakrishnan’s first victim. Vijayakrishnan had settled down to bowl a good line, mixing the pace of his bowling quite beautifully. Degabriele, ever watchful, waited patiently for a slower ball to come so he could attack it. The ball came and Degabriele crunched it straight towards the covers. The ball simply screamed towards the area Ross “Ben Stokes” McKenzie was patrolling. He instinctively stuck out his right hand and took a quite spectacular catch that his England all-rounder doppelganger would have been quite proud of!!

Dunecht 104-6.

At this point the wheels came off the Dunecht innings in spectacular style. Danger man Burnett became Steward’s second victim of the match when he trapped Burnett lbw. Burnett finally mistiming a pull. His knock of 44 had been a spectacular one. It consisted of three sixes and four fours and had greatly entertained the watching masses at Duthie Park.

These turnarounds of events lead to two new batsmen, Laique Rahman and Simon Roberts, to come to the crease. Alas Lahman was not to last as he became Vijayakrishnan’s second wicket of the day, trapped lbw. Dunecht 104 -8.

A single for Mike Hamilton - Cox and an unbeaten boundary by Roberts would be the last runs towards the Dunecht innings. Steward taking it upon himself to wrap up the Dunecht innings.

First up he bowled Hamilton - Cox and then followed that up later trapping Naveed Arshad lbw two balls later.

Dunecht 109 all out. At this stage it was difficult to tell if this score would be enough for the away side. The wicket had a few snakes in it during their innings and may do so again for the City Centre Green Caps.

Mick Burnett top scored for Dunecht with a brutal 44. Matt Witz, deserving more, made a fine 20. Nadeem Arshad and Tony Degabriele both made decent scores of 13 for the Dunecht side.

Gary Steward led the attack for Portcullis finishing with figures of 4-19 from 6.5 overs. Skipper Dave Mitchell took 3-24 from ten overs. The other wicket takers were Kannan Vijayakrishnan (2-33) and Shovon Mostofa (1-30). The fielding had been good with Ross McKenzie taking one good and one brilliant catch.

A sumptuous tea was had and then it was the turn of Portcullis to reply. Portcullis opened the batting with Dave Forbes and Richard Collinson whilst Dunecht opened the bowling with Simon Roberts and Nadeem Arshad.

It was Roberts who struck first for Dunecht, bowling Collinson with a good delivery that saw the Portcullis opener return to the trees for a single.

Portcullis 1-1.

Gary Steward came in at three to join Forbes. After the early butterflies the Portcullis pair settled down. Arshad and Roberts bowled well but the Portcullis pair dug in giving little away. They both scoring boundaries, Steward with a drive through mid-on and a couple of pulls through square leg, and Forbes with a delightful clip off his legs for a boundary of his own took the score onto 39 before Dunecht struck again.

It was the consistent and tight Roberts who did for Forbes. Roberts got Forbes to dab at a straight one a little too positively. The ball hung in the air at the crease long enough for Roberts to dive forward to take a fine caught and bowled. Portcullis 39-2.

Skipper Dave Mitchell had come to the crease in place of the departing Forbes, who bowed out for 9. It was hoped this partnership would carry Portcullis home. Alas the plan did not come to fruition as the pair enjoyed a meagre partnership of 1. Steward becoming Roberts’s next victim. Roberts induced Steward to play a loose shot into the cover area where Dan Merryweather was on hand to take an excellent catch in the covers. Portcullis 40-3.

40-3 soon became 40-4 as the potent Simon Roberts was to do for incoming batsman Andrew Blackwell, bowling him one with a ball that held its line following previous away swingers.

During this time Dunecht took the bold move of replacing the pace of Nadeem Arshad with the wily off spin of Mike Hamilton-Cox. In the meantime Shovon Mostofa joined Dave Mitchell at the crease to lead the fightback for Portcullis.

Although his first over went for six, Hamilton - Cox was not to be deterred. A tight second over was followed by a wicket in his third over. Hamilton - Cox managed to lure Mostofa into mistiming a pull into the short midwicket area. The ball had more height than distance and Mick Burnett was on hand to take an easy catch. Portcullis 43-5.

Ex-skipper Kannan Vijayakrishnan joined Mitchell at the crease. The pair added 4 runs before Vijayakrishnan became Hamilton - Cox’s second victim, bowled by one that stayed low. Portcullis 47-6.

It was the turn of Bob Adie to come to the crease. He hung about long enough for an 18 partnership with Mitchell, taking the score onto 65. Hamilton - Cox then struck again trapping Adie lbw for 4. Portcullis 65 – 7.

At the other bowling end Simon Roberts finished his bowling quota returning excellent figures of 12overs, 7 maidens, 15 runs and 4 wickets! His contribution did more than just take the wind out of the sails of Portcullis’s innings. His spell ripped the sails down and it was always going to be a battle for Portcullis after that. He was to be replaced by youngster Laique Rahman.

In the meantime it was the turn of Simon Winstanley to join Mitchell at the crease. Like Adie before him, he hung about with Mitchell, taking the score onto 79 before he fell.

Rahman had four overs of seam bowling where he got the ball to move away off the seam. He was wicketless though and was to be replaced by the wily Keith Milne.

This final bowling pairing of Milne and Hamilton-Cox, for Dunecht, would do for Portcullis as the pair would wrap up their innings.

Milne, with his left arm over variety, started the final chapter of this match. He softened Winstanley up with two inswingers and an away seamer. A further inswinger struck Winstanley firmly on the pads and the umpire had little hesitation in giving him out.

With Ross McKenzie coming to the crease and only Chris Poolman to come, Skipper Mitchell took it upon himself to try and force the pace and push for victory. It was this change of pace that was to do for him. Mitch became Cox’s fourth victim. Cox invited Mitchell to drive at one. Mitchell obliged punching it straight back in the direction of Cox who held onto a difficult catch on his left hand side for a fine caught and bowled.

Portcullis 81 - 9.

It was Hamilton - Cox who took his fifth and Portcullis’s last wicket. He lured Ross McKenzie to have a yahoo at a straight one and he was duly bowled.

Portcullis 82 all out. Dunecht deservedly winning by 27 runs.

It had been a excellent game despite the low bounce of the wicket. Dunecht deserving of their win. Portcullis come away thinking of what might have been, licking their wounds and preparing for their next match.

Next up 2nd Knightriders at Groats Road.


Although Mitch chipped in with his usual high standards 0f 3-24 with the ball and 23 with the bat, Dave Forbes batting solidly at the top of the innings and Ross McKenzie taking two fin e catches – one a screamer, it was GARY STEWARD who was Portcullis’s Man Of The Match. A top score of 28 with the bat, figures of 4-28 with the ball and many fine stops at gully meant that he took the honours.


This was more difficult to call. Matt Witz batted (20) and kept quite beautifully, Simon Roberts bowled a tight and probing spell (12-8-15-4) whilst Naveed Arshad and Tony DegabrIele made fine contributions. Mike Hamilton – Cox took a fantastic 5-25 from 11.5 overs but Dunecht’s Man of The Match goes to MICK BURNETT. His middle order knock of 44 took Dunecht from 40 – 4 to 104 – 7 and victory on a pitch that was difficult to score runs upon.

Friday, 13 May, 2016

Innings of Dunecht

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
9S.Roberts41Not out
Leg Byes2
No Balls0

Innings of Portcullis

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
11C.Poolman2Not out
Leg Byes1
No Balls0