Portcullis v. Siyappa XI - Saturday, 18 June, 2016

Toss was won by Siyappa XI, who chose to field.

Portcullis : 138 all out (30).

Siyappa XI : 96 all out (14).


Week Eight of the Aberdeen Grades season saw Portcullis back on home turf at Duthie Park for the visit of Siyapa.

After the heavy rainfall during the week it was amazing to find that not only Duthie Park was playable but how dry the wicket and the outfield were. This writer and his club would like to doff our caps to the parkie and groundsmen who managed to get this pitch so playable.

It was truly a remarkable effort.

Any more of it and the MCC may well be visiting to get tips from these local groundsmen!

Anyway back to the welcome cricket that was available. Skipper Dave Mitchell lost out to his opposite number Tanveer Khan and was not surprised to be invited to bat first.

With injury and illness meaning that “42 stone of brute strength” (Dave Forbes and Ronnie Falconer) could not take the field. That meant two things. One, the average weight (and height!) per Portcullis player dropped rather significantly. Two there was more buffet for everyone else at the interval!!

With this in mind Dave Mitchell opted to open the batting with himself and Portcullis stalwart Dave Elrick. Siyapa would open their challenge by thrusting the new ball into the hands of regular opening bowlers Mohammad Shahid and Naveed.

It was Siyapa who struck first through their trusty Secretary Shahid. He got a good length ball to nip back into Dave Elrick. The ball got through his guard and bowled the Portcullis opener. Portcullis 2-1.

Mitchell was then joined at the crease by Gary Steward. The pair settled the innings down for the City Centre Green Caps. The score moved onto 27 when the accurate bowling of Shahid paid dividends again. It was Mitchell who was to go when he jabbed one high into the offside. Sadiq making good ground to take a decent catch. Portcullis 27-2.

Mitch left the field to joyous celebrations from the Siyapa side. They still had painful memories of when Mitch last batted against them. He made 100* out of a total of 146 to win the match for Portcullis on that occasion. To see him go back to the trees so cheaply was indeed a feather in the caps of the Siyapan side!

Next man in was Shovon Mostofa. Shovon has come on leaps and bounds this season with both bat and ball. The talent was always there

That there was no doubt.

A steely confidence and modest self-belief had emerged this season. Performances to date had shown the potential was finally shining through. This would need to continue though if Portcullis were to win this match today.

Mostofa opened his innings with a couple of well-timed fours through the covers. Steward was going along nicely as well. He too peppered the boundary on regular intervals.

The pair took the score onto 63 before Siyapa struck again.

It appeared that Steward and Mostofa seemed to fancy the bowling of first change bowler Raza. Raza did spray the ball about initially and it would be understandable to go after him.

It was Steward’s turn to leave the field of play. He appeared to try and guide one over the slip cordon. A fruitful shot when executed correctly as once the ball went over, the downhill slope would carry it all the way to the boundary. Alas on this occasion Raza got the ball a bit high on Steward. Steward mistimed his late glance and Shahram Memon was on hand at deep second slip to take a solid catch. Portcullis 63-3.

It was the turn of Jayaraj Raj to enter the field of play. His previous innings the week before had been a swashbuckling roller coaster ride for all involved. If this week was a case of more of the same then the Duthie Park visitors would be entertained by this enthralling batsman.

Unfortunately it was not to be. Possible whipping boy Raza struck again as he got Raj to pull one toward mid-on where Abdullah Khan was on hand to take a fine catch.

Portcullis 67-4 and on a bit of a wobble.

Andy Phillip was next man in and sadly was next man out. Siyapa’s fourth change bowler was the leg spin of skipper Tanveer Khan. His accurate spin bowling eventually enticed Phillip to go dance down the wicket. Beaten in flight and turn, Phillip was left stranded outside his crease. Wicketkeeper Zafar showing himself to be fleet of gloved hand as he completed the most tidy of stumpings. Portcullis 68-5.

It was the turn of Richard Collinson to join Mostofa at the crease. Collinson dug in with Mostofa taking the role of anchor man. Mostofa still looked comfortable with bat in hand continuing to plunder the Siyapa bowling. He scored freely without giving a sniff of a chance.

It was just as well at this time of the innings.

Collinson and Mostofa took the score onto 82 before Collinson fell. He was the third victim of that Raza as he bowled the Portcullis middle order batsman. Raza was the one doing the plundering during the home side’s innings. Portcullis 82-6.

Next man in was Bob Adie. He lasted briefly before he was trapped lbw. It was the golden arm of Raza again as he took his fourth wicket of the innings. Portcullis 87-7.

Wicketkeeper Simon Winstanley was next. It was a crucial period of the innings. Siyapa turned to the turn of Shahram Memon. Shahram showed in previous matches to be a fine leg spin bowler. His flight of fancy could easily bring the Portcullis innings to a swift close.

Winstanley was game for the Siyapan attack. He opened his account with a pull through midwicket from the bowling of Shahram. Three balls later Memon was swept through square leg for another fine four. Winstanley’s introduction to the innings had breathed new life into the Portcullis innings as they marched onto 100.

Mostofa seemed revitalised with the introduction of Winstanley. Winstanley continued to plunder the leg spin of Memon. Another four and a three saw Shahram’s spell come to a rapid end.

During this Mostofa got to his maiden Portcullis 50 with a fine drive between mid-on and mid-wicket to rapturous applause from the Portcullis posse.

The score had shot up to 132 before Winstanley fell, bowled by the returning Shahid. It had been a quick-fire 21 from the Portcullis keeper. A fine knock that meant he left the field of play with Portcullis now having a total that they could defend.

Mostofa fell soon after as he became Siyapa’s ninth wicket. Spinner skipper Tanveer Khan finally inducing Mostofa into playing a false shot. Shahram Memon on hand to take his second catch of the innings. Portcullis 137-9.

This left the inexperienced pairing of Jake Dawson and Ross McKenzie to see out the innings. The pair added one more to the total before Naveed wrapped up the innings of Portcullis.

Portcullis 138 all out. Shovon Mostofa with his maiden half century of 57 held the Portcullis innings together. Gary Steward made a fine 32 whilst it was the turn of Simon Winstanley to add the swashbuckling this week with a fine and timely 21. For Siyapa, Raza finished with 4-35 whilst Shahid’s probing 12 over spell returned fine figures of 3-36. Tanveer Khan’s 7 over spell of spin returning figures of 2-15.

After tea it was her turn of Siyapa to lead their reply. Opening the batting was the dangerous pairing of Shahram Memon and Kamran. For Portcullis Skipper Dave Mitchell would share the new cherry with the rising star of Portcullis - Ross McKenzie. Ross had bowled well the week before and seemed to grow with the ball in each game.

To some this would seem as a bold move, maybe a foolhardy one to the unwise. Mitch had put plenty of thought into this. He had taken young McKenzie under his wing, being the wise old sage to this up and coming whippersnapper. Passing on hints, tips and timely encouragement when it was required. In turn McKenzie, listening to his skipper’s experienced words grew into his role as every over passed.

The rest of the Portcullis side were perturbed with this turn of events. Mitch with his role as “Mr Miyagi” to McKenzie’s role as “The Karate Kid”. Not because of Mitch’s advice – that itself has been excellent and many a Portcullis player has benefitted from it – but the confusing fact was that this Mitch “Mr Miyagi” looks about 14 years old himself!

Anyway back to the cricket.

It was Siyapa batsmen who started the livelier in this innings. Kamran looked especially dangerous as he creamed two boundaries from Mitchell’s second over – one a glorious drive through extra cover. Shahram was not going to be dictated to either as he to found the boundary with his second scoring shot. The score moved onto 15 before Portcullis managed to claw themselves back into the game.

The cavalier Kamran was first to fall. Despite the pitch being a touch damp and slow for the short ball McKenzie, during his second over got one to lift at Kamran. Seeing the ball pitch short, Kamran leant back onto his back foot looking to pull the ball towards mid-wicket. The ball rose into him however and cramped him for room. As a result all he could do was glove the ball. Winstanley on hand to take a fine catch with the gloves. Siyapa 15-1.

It was the turn of Sadiq to enter the field of battle to join Shahram. Sadiq took no time to make a mark of his own tucking another McKenzie delivery to the boundary. If Sadiq was looking for this shot to be a platform for dictating the play to McKenzie he would be sadly disappointed.

It was Sadiq who would go next. McKenzie, settling into a lovely line and length, finally lured Sadiq into jabbing a good length ball back at him. As a result McKenzie was on hand to complete a fine caught and bowled. Siyapa 27-2.

This brought Abdullah Khan to the crease to join a rampant Shahram. Portcullis were aware that these two were amongst Siyapa’s most dangerous, gifted and explosive batsmen. If the pair were allowed to get any momentum going, they could go on and win this match by themselves.

Shahram was enjoying himself out there. In one Mitchell over he took the game to the Portcullis skipper finding the boundary with two successive balls. Shahram showing he would not be dictated to and that he would take his own style of game to the Portcullis attack.

Mitchell, to his credit, stuck to his guns out there. Although he was getting punished initially, he was backing his bowling technique with the unbroken belief that he would get his man.

He was proved correct.

Shahram’s impatience would finally do for him. His need or judgement to dictate being his downfall. In Mitch’s fifth over he tried to smash a good length ball. The ball shot up in the air. It was Mitch who called loudest for this skier and he completed the catch to the relief of the Portcullis posse. Siyapa 37-3.

This, the most potent of partnerships, had been broken.

With McKenzie keeping things tight at the other end by bowling a couple of maidens, Mitchell struck again. It was the prize wicket of Abdullah this time. Abdullah caught onto a length ball from Mitchell and cracked it towards the covers. Fortunately for Portcullis the ever alert Jake Dawson was on hand and he was athletic and alert enough to take a lovely catch which saw Abdullah go back to trees. SIyapa 37-4.

This turn of events had brought the pairing of Zafar and Umair to the crease.

The pair dug in well. Umair, in particular looking a batsman of deft touch and grace. They saw off the first spells of Mitchell, who was replaced by Gary Steward, and McKenzie whose end was taken over by Shovon Mostofa.

The pair added 36 for the fifth wicket. Steward surprisingly being punished early doors. He saw his bowling find the boundary from both Zafar and Umair. They were chancing their arms though as many of their air-bound shots were dangerously close to Portcullis fielders.

With Steward struggling initially, Mitch took it upon himself to bring himself back on at the trees end. It proved to be an inspired move and the one that would sway the match back in Portcullis’s favour.

Although the partnership was significant it was not being scored as freely as a normal partnership associated with Siyapa. Mostofa, with his tight bowling, was tying things down at his end. With Mitchell now in tandem the scoring soon dried up. Mitch was now in the hunt for maidens as well as wickets.

It was Mitchell who finally struck. He managed to get Zafar to hole out to Jake Dawson in the covers. Zafar gone. Siyapa 73-5.

It was skipper Tanveer Khan who joined Umair at the crease. The pair battled on though the search for runs became tougher. They saw off the one and only spell from Mostofa. There would be no respite though as Ross McKenzie would be coming back on at the City Centre End.

Mitchell finished his second spell which was rather special. The spell resulted in five overs five maidens 0 runs and 1 wicket! It had turned the screw on the Siyapa innings and brought to an end the fifth wicket partnership that turned out to be the largest of the Siyapa innings.

Mitchell was replaced by a settled Steward second time around. The pairing of Steward and McKenzie would be the final partnership that brought the Siyapa innings to an end.

Steward would strike first. Umair, having batted so well, finally skiing one directly back towards Steward. The Portcullis bowler keeping a cool head to complete the wicket. Siyapa 85-6.

85 would be a significant number in this innings.

85-6 then became 85-7. McKenzie struck next. His leg stump delivery to Tanveer saw the Siyapan batsman strike the ball towards mid-on where Bob Adie swooped low to take a fine catch.

This turn of events had brought Muhammad Shahid and Raza to the crease. Shahid would be next to go. He fell by the same way as Sadiq before him. Prodding a good length ball back towards McKenzie for McKenzie’s second and Portcullis’s fourth caught and bowled in the match. Siyapa 85-8.

This brought Naveed to the crease to join Raza. The pair added 11 more runs before the match was drawn to a close.

Ross McKenzie would take his fifth and Siyapa’s last wicket of the match. He managed to encourage Naveed to glance at one and Winstanley was on hand to take his second catch and bookend the Siyapan innings with both catches with the gloves.

Siyapa 96 all out. Portcullis won by 42 runs. For Portcullis this was a very welcome win which would take them further away from the relegation zone of Grade Three. For Siyapa this would be a dent to their title chances although they would be still in second place and chief contenders for promotion.


For the second week in a row this goes to a dead heat. This dead heat once again involves ROSS MCKENZIE. His 10.1 overs brought figures of 5-26, the first five-for for Ross ever and the first for Portcullis this season. The other involved in the dead heat was SHOVON MOSTOFA. His 57 was his first half century for the club and the club’s first of the season. Other performances of note were: Gary Steward’s 32 helped lay the foundations for the victory whilst Simon Winstanley’s 21 took Portcullis to a challenging score. Mitch’s 3-21 was significant as well.


Although Raza finished with 4-35 and Shahid bowled a fine spell of 3-36 from 12 overs, the Man of The Match figures went to UMAIR for his fine knock of 20. He showed excellent timing, touch and strokeplay throughout his innings.


On a day where Portcullis took nine catches, one was significant. JAKE DAWSON wins it for the excellent catch he took to dismiss Abdullah Khan. He made a difficult chance look comfortable. Many others in that position would have struggled with that one.

Next up for Portcullis is League Leaders Grampian as the second part of Duthie Park top three trilogy. Could they make it two out of two?


Wednesday, 22 June, 2016

Innings of Portcullis

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
11R.McKenzie0Not out
Leg Byes2
No Balls3

Innings of Siyappa XI

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
8Raza2Not out
11A.NisarDid not bat
Leg Byes0
No Balls4