Portcullis v. Aberdeen Super Kings - Saturday, 05 August, 2017

Toss was won by Portcullis, who chose to field.

Aberdeen Super Kings : 70 all out (6).

Portcullis : 73 for 3 (30).

Shock as Super Kings succumb to Shovon’s Stormtroopers.

Week 13 of the 2017 Aberdeen Grades saw Portcullis sadly play their last home league game of the season at Duthie Park. Their final appearance at this splendid venue would see them joust against 2nd placed Aberdeen Super Kings.

The previous meeting of the two sides at Kings College saw Portcullis issued with a severe spanking as they lost by 80 runs to the impressive Super Kings. With today’s meeting back on home turf, the City Centre side would be looking to make this match a closer affair.

The return to Duthie Park saw the return of popular Captain, Shovon Mostofa, hopefully relaxed and rejuvenated from his recent holidays. His first challenge of the day was a winning one, winning the toss and putting the Aberdeen Super Kings into bat.

You can tell when summer has truly arrived at Duthie Park. The birds are singing, the sun is shining, the flowers are blooming and talking of blooming, it would not be summer without Mitch being blooming late again!

It would not be a Portcullis cricket season without the sight of ex-skipper Dave Mitchell turning up late for at least one match of the season. Although the match started at 1pm (or as good as), the vision of a scurrying Mitchell – cricket coffin in tow – at 1:15pm was greeted by wry smiles and chuckles. His shirt tail hanging out as he rushes to enter the field of play. This time though he did have a valid reason. He is always forgiven anyway. The performances usually merit the tardiness.

With this turn of events skipper Mostofa chose Chris Owens to partner Ross McKenzie with the new cherry. For ASK the opening batting partnership would be the impressive pairing of Rama Mantha and Vishal Desai.

The pairing was impressive as Mantha in recent weeks had knocks of 78 and 40 whilst Desai had posted the most impressive century against the talented attack of Crathie.

Mantha started in confident fashion, opening his scoring account with a fantastic six over square leg from the bowling of Owens.

Desai was, as is his want, ominously taking his time to settle in. He had shown in the past to be a purposeful slow starter. With Mantha flowing, the pair took the score into the twenties with some ease.

With Mitchell not entering the field of play till 1:15pm, he could not bowl till at least 1:30pm. It was after that time that he relieved a surprisingly innocuous Owens in the eighth over.

Mitchell had shown good recent form with the ball at Duthie Park. His previous bowling spells at Portcullis’s home ground saw him take 4-30 against Crathie and 5-11 against Grampian 2nds. Nine wickets for 41 runs at Duthie Park at an average of 4.55!

The results were instant!

He hit the ground running in his first over, removing the dangerous left hander Desai, bowling the left-handed all-rounder via his inside edge. Aberdeen Super Kings 21-1.

It was the turn of Soham Paul to join the fray. Alas he did not last long. Mitch was enjoying his bowling at Duthie Park as the surface once again complimented his accurate seam bowling. Paul took the unwise move of lashing at a seaming good length Mitchell delivery. The result was that he skied it into the deep towards the athletic Jake Dawson. Dawson once again showing his hands were sound - holding onto a good high catch. Aberdeen Super Kings 22-2.

If things were going well for Portcullis then they were just about to get better. The dangerous Mantha next to go. Mitchell bowling the Aberdeen Super Kings skipper with one that stayed low. Aberdeen Super Kings 23-3.

This brought the fresh partnership of Magesh Devendran and Bhanu Yalamanchili to the crease. The pair added 15 runs for the fourth wicket against the bowling of Mitchell and McKenzie. Although McKenzie at this point was wicketless, he was bowling tight lines and giving little away. When working in tandem with your bowling partner, the drying up of runs at one end can encourage the batting side to be somewhat foolhardy at the other. McKenzie had, in the past, benefitted from Mitchell’s scrooge-like overs. Today it was the turn of the young all-rounder to return in kind.

Yalamanchili was a new face to the Portcullis posse but nevertheless an impressive cricketer. He racked up three classy boundaries during the partnership with shots of such grace the home supporters were beginning to get anxious. It was a shame them when he was the fourth wicket to fall when he was adjudged to have glanced a Mitchell leg side hip ball into the gloves of the eager Simon Winstanley. Aberdeen Super Kings 38-4.

At the beginning of this fixture a lot of the Portcullis supporters had noticed the absence of Aberdeen Super Kings danger men Hemal Chovajiya and Chetan Aggarwal. With such faces absent, the betting exchanges saw some turbulent action with the to-ing and fro-ing of funds as information was seeping through. The markets saw further upheaval when it was found that Aggarwal was not a non- runner but a late addition to the fixture. Presumably work or family issues restricting his introduction to the match.

He arrived just before the fourth wicket fell but did not go in next, perhaps not quite attuned to enter the fray at that moment.

This meant that it was the turn of Zayd Rabbani to join Devendran at the crease next. Rabbani was no fool with the bat. He went to the crease having knocks of 47 against Grade Three Champions Stonehaven in a losing cause as well as a fine knock of 24 against the potent Grampian 2nds.

It was at this point for Portcullis that skipper Mostofa decided to rest young McKenzie of his opening spell and introduce himself into the attack. The holiday had proved to have re-energised the skipper and his initial deliveries were both lively and threatening, both in ferocity and accuracy.

Mostofa’s hunger for his cricket was there for all to see. Overtly passionate appeals for lbw’s – fairly turned down by the opposition umpires – seemed to further stimulate the Portcullis skipper. His third and final appeal for lbw also proved to be incorrect. This time, to Mostofa’s benefit, it was only incorrect technically. He had appealed prematurely, the ball careering onto the stumps rather than the dangerous Rabbani’s pads.

Aberdeen Super Kings 39-5.

It was the time for the introduction of Aberdeen Super Kings danger man Chetan Aggarwal to the Duthie Park arena.

He arrived onto the field with previous knocks of 25, 134, 65 and 61 to his name. At the crease averaging 71.25 from those four innings, the stage was set. With Devendran taking the role of a Sunil Gavaskar or Ravi Shastri, could Aggarwal be the Sachin Tendulkar or Virat Kohli of the day?

It would be tough though. Facing him would be the accurate Dave Mitchell on his home turf. Mitch was bowling with good pace and getting the ball to wobble and seam. He too had stats behind him.

It would be an intriguing contest.

It was a duel in the sun. The victor of such a showdown surely influencing the match towards their own team.

As I have witnessed previously with the dashing stroke play of Aggarwal, I believe he likes to dictate the play to the bowlers. With the career he has had to date, we cannot claim he is wrong. His arrival at the crease at Dunecht earlier in the season with his team at 26-4, saw the most brutal display of attacking batting that concluded Aberdeen Super Kings innings at 334 all out! Aggarwal, with 134, top scoring and Aberdeen Super Kings winning that match by 235 runs!

And yet from this current duel it turned out neither could really claim to be a winner on this occasion. The result of the ‘duel’ coming from an unexpected third party although Mitch could claim an assist.

The contested ended through the actions of the vibrant Portcullis skipper Shovon Mostofa. Mitchell, on this occasion, played the support role by tying Aggarwal down the previous two deliveries. Those balls so accurate that no runs were achieved.

The third delivery saw Aggarwal to push the delivery aggressively towards mid-off where Mostofa was patrolling purposefully. There was no doubt - Aggarwal calling for an immediate quick single – thus thrusting the onus on Mostofa to make a distinctive mark of his own on this match.

Mostofa showed he was well up for the challenge. He swooped in at tremendous velocity, showing excellent fielding skills in gathering in and the releasing of the ball. With such quick fleet of hand and suppleness, the accuracy of a Premier League Darts player was required. The final action of the move was perfect. With accuracy that a Michael Van Gerwin or a Kannan Vijayakrishnan, Mostofa’s throw was so perfect it struck the base of the middle stump.

Aggarwal run out without troubling the scorers. At this moment the match, and its odds, were turned on its head. With Aggarwal back towards the trees, Portcullis began entertaining thoughts of winning this match.

Aberdeen Super Kings 42-6.

Next man in was Rizwan Mohammed. The seventh wicket stand yielded seven runs before lightning struck twice. A second direct hit run-out being achieved by the home side.

This time it came from the brilliant arm of Ross McKenzie. The ASK pair of Devendran and Mohammed went for a seemingly comfortable second run having pushed the ball deep in the covers. The pair had reckoned - without taking into account the fleetness of foot, the accuracy of eye, the strength of arm and the train of thought from the young Portcullis all-rounder. Despite being 30-40 yards away from the stumps and, with the angle, only 1 – 1.5 stumps in view to aim at, McKenzie’s throw was quick, low and accurate enough to hit the stumps leaving the luckless Rizwan Mohammed run out. Aberdeen Super Kings 53-7.

As is always with Aberdeen Super Kings they did bat right down to the end but this was to be Portcullis’s innings. Mitchell completed his second five-for of the season when he bowled the dogged Devendra. Aberdeen Super Kings 53-8.

Anthony Sugathan hit a couple of lusty blows before Ross McKenzie trapped him lbw. Last man Jerry Cresswell hit a glorious cover drive before he too fell to the lively McKenzie and that was that. Denzyl Fernandes the not out batsman as Aberdeen Super Kings finished on 70 all out.

It had been an excellent bowling and fielding performance by the City Centre Green Caps. The force was well and truly with them from the start. Mitch had created the majority of the havoc with bowling figures of 10 overs – 5 maidens - 20 runs – 5 wickets. He was ably backed with the cherry by Ros McKenzie (8.3-2-14-2) and skipper Shovon Mostofa (5-3-13-1). And of course, the last two wickets fell to two pieces of splendid fielding by Shovon Mostofa and Ross McKenzie.

Tea was duly taken and it was the turn of Portcullis to post their reply. Having such a strong team at their disposal, Portcullis took to opening the batting with Chris Owens and Gary Steward. For Aberdeen Super Kings the bowling would be shared by Vishal Desai and Zayd Rabbani.

Owens set the ball rolling with a quick fire 12 runs in an opening partnership of 13. As monstrous six of his own matched the class of Rama Mantha’s before him. The Portcullis got to 13 when Owens was bowled from an excellent delivery from the lethal Desai. Portcullis 13-1.

It was the turn of Dave Mitchell to enter the fray next. The score moved onto 28 before Aberdeen Super Kings captured their second wicket. It was the turn of Gary Steward to fall next. His dismissal came in the form of a mistimed drive to mid-on. The impressive Bhanu Yalamanchili on hand to make a rapid difficult chance look easy. Portcullis 28-2.

Owen Thorpe was the next man in. Along with Mitch he would take the score onto 35 before he was the next to fall bowled by the lively Rabbani. Portcullis 35-3.

This brought skipper Shovon Mostofa to join ex-skipper Dave Mitchell at the crease. Thankfully that was the final partnership for Portcullis. The pair adding an unbeaten 38 run partnership for the fourth wicket and a surprise win for the Portcullis posse.

For Portcullis Dave Mitchell top scored with 21 not out (5x4) whilst Shovon Mostofa finished with a tidy 19 not out (3x4). Chris made double figures with 12 whilst Gary Steward made a doughty 10. For Aberdeen Super Kings Vishai Desai lead the way with figures of 2-23. The other wicket taker being Zayd Rabbani (1-34).

Aberdeen Super Kings could consider themselves unlucky. They had run into Mitch on top form as well as a lively side around him supporting. Key wickets fell at crucial times and the two run-outs swung the match Portcullis’s way.

Next up for Portcullis is a tough away encounter against Dunecht.


DAVE MITCHELL wins this one hands down. Bowling figures of 5-20 were backed up with a splendid 21 not out. Shovon Mostofa ran him close with THAT run-out, bowling figures of 1-13 and a fine knock of 19 not out.


BHANU YALAMANCHILI looked very impressive during his knock of 13. He struck the ball well and looks like a very capable cricketer. He took an impressive catch to boot.



JAKE DAWSON takes the plaudits for an impressive high catch to remove Soham Paul.


ROSS MCKENZIE for his impressive dismissal of Rizwan Mohammed.


SHOVON MOSTOFA for his removal of the dangerous Chetan Aggrawal.

Monday, 14 August, 2017

Innings of Aberdeen Super Kings

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
7C.Aggrawal0Run OutS.Mostofa
8Rizwan0Run OutR.McKenzie
10Denzel61Not out
Leg Byes1
No Balls0

Innings of Portcullis

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
3D.Mitchell215Not out
5S.Mostofa193Not out
6J.DawsonDid not bat
7A.PhilipDid not bat
8R.McKenzieDid not bat
9B.AdieDid not bat
10S.WinstanleyDid not bat
11B.HarperDid not bat
Leg Byes0
No Balls0