Mannofield 2nds v. Portcullis - Saturday, 04 May, 2013

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

Portcullis : 165 all out (30).

Mannofield 2nds : 68 all out (12).

Farooq Fires Portcullis to Victory.

Saturday saw Portcullis participate in only their second Grade Three match since 2007. After the previous week’s excellent victory against a dangerous Turriff side, Portcullis went on their travels to play 2nd Mannofield at Sheddocksley One. It was a familiar ground to the Portcullis posse as it had been their Home Ground the previous season whilst Duthie Park was off limits for the 2012 season.

As with Turriff the previous week, Mannofield would once again prove dangerous opponents. In the previous week some observers deemed Mannofield unlucky not to have emerged victorious against one of the favourites to win the League, Knightriders 2nds. Coming into this match with form like that meant Mannofield had to be treated with the utmost respect. Feared no – respected – most definitely!

Captain Kannan Vijayakrishnan tossed the coin with his counterpart and found to his chagrin a two of out two he did not want. Lost tosses that is! Portcullis were to bat first again. It looked a wise decision by the Mannofield skipper as the pitch was damp but with the strong swirling wind drying rapidly. This could make batting easier for the team batting second.

With the welcome return of the explosive Ranjan Sahoo, the Skipper took no time in putting him back at the top of the order, opening with Antony Padmaraj. Alas Sahoo’s rustiness with the bat was exposed as he was bowled by the impressive Fraser Proud, who got his fifth ball of the over to move, and bowl the disappointed Sahoo.

This brought the impressive Muhammad Farooq to the crease. His 48 the previous week was an innings many would have paid to watch. Portcullis were hopeful Farooq would continue his good form this Saturday too. The Sheddocksley pitch was troublesome though. Swashbuckling brilliance would have to be tempered with solid respectful defence if he was to prosper in this innings.

Farooq took stock of the situation and produced some fabulous defensive shots that Geoffrey Boycott would have been proud of. He did not curtail his flamboyant strokeplay though as his first four scoring shots were a six followed by three fours!!

In the meantime Padmaraj continued at the other end, supporting his destructive partner. Despite being struck by a ball via his arm from the lively Proud, Padmaraj soldiered on after treatment. The pair moved onto 18 when Padmaraj was caught off the bowling of the impressive Proud.

The fall off this wicket brought the previous week’s half-centurion to the crease, Dave Mitchell. Along with Farooq the pair had enjoyed a partnership of 70 against Turriff. The Portcullis supporters were hopeful the pair would repeat the previous week’s antics to put the Portcullisians in a strong position. Mitchell opened his account with a lovely late cut for a four and Farooq responded with a few classic strokes. However the partnership petered out when Mitchell gloved one that popped up at him and he was caught close in off of the bowling of the consistent left-armer S.Ahmed.

Undeterred, Farooq continued to take the attack to the Mannofield side. Double figure partnerships with both Paul Brown (9) and Kannan Vijayakrishnan (8) took the Portcullis score past three figures before he fell for a fantastic 58 when he was caught off the bowling of the young Kapoor. His innings included four massive sixes and seven fabulous fours and by all account took the match out of reach of the Mannofield side.

After Farooq’s demise, Ronnie Falconer (7), Stephen Wilkinson (14), Jayaraj Raj (12) and Bob Adie (4) helped take the Portcullis innings to 165 before the luckless Simon Winstanley was left stranded not out.

After tea Portcullis opened their bowling with the in-form pairing Muhammad Farooq and Dave Mitchell. Facing them were the tough pairing of F.Awan and I. Yahatu. Dave Mitchell was to strike first, bowling Yahatu with his fourth ball of the over.

This brought Findlay to the crease. Findlay anchored in whilst his more flamboyant partner, Awan took on the Portcullis pair. Awan offered chances. The first one spilled by Falconer whilst Winstanley spilt the second. Both were hindered by the strong swirling wind, which made both opportunities far more difficult than they appeared. This was a factor in the Portcullis innings too as Mannofield spilt chances too. There would be better days for fielding.

Just as Portcullis were beginning to show concern over the second wicket partnership of Findlay and Awan, Farooq struck. His fourth over was one of extreme brilliance as he took three wickets in five balls, narrowly missing out on a hat-trick.

First up was Findlay as he left a Farooq ball that appeared to be going past off-stump only to come back in and bowl the solid Mannofield batsman. Farooq, proving the previous delivery was no fluke, repeated the same trick to bowl Proud and two balls later Gamblin was done for as Farooq showed cheek to dismiss the Mannofield No 5 the same way!

21-1 had become 21-4 as this passage of play put Portcullis back in the driving seat. Mannofield were not finished yet though as the impressive Sarmad Ahmed came to the crease. He joined Awan in a all guns blazing partnership as the pair attempted to gain control of the match. The pair sprayed the ball all around the park as Mitchell and Farooq were put on the back foot. The Portcullis side stuck to their tasks though, waiting patiently for their opportunity to arise.

It duly did.

With the score on 58 Mitchell struck. Awan tried his hand once too often and mistimed a drive off of a good length Mitchell delivery. The ball went deep towards mid-on where Paul Brown made good ground and show steady hands to take a heartening catch. Awan’s innings of 28 had been highly entertaining but not without risk and this proved to be his downfall.

Spurred on by Mitchell’s breakthrough, Farooq responded by taking the next two wickets. First he bowled Ahmed with a corker and then followed that up with his next ball to have Lovie lbw.

This meant Farooq had taken his first five-fer for Portcullis. This momentous achievement seemed to spur Mitchell on and he took the last three wickets. First Zanre was caught by Adie. This was followed by Herd being bowled by the all-rounder. The innings was wrapped up when Kapoor was caught by man of the match Muhammad Farooq with a high one over Farooq’s left shoulder. This meant that both Farooq and Mitchell finished with five-fers. Farooq with 5-21 and Mitchell 5-44.

Mannofield 68 all out. It was an impressive victory for Portcullis. Portcullis also have the consolation of not having to face Mannofield, like Turriff before them, again in the League this season as all the teams face each other once this season. Mannofield, again like Turriff, will be dangerous opponents in Grade Three this season and will take a few scalps on their way.

For Portcullis two wins out of two means they have started the season with a 100% record in the League. It is a great start in a League that is most unusual. It is most unusual, as results this season will decide their destiny for the 2014 season. Portcullis, depending on these results, could find themselves in Grade Two, Three or Four next season due to League reconstruction. Every point is precious in Grade Three as sixteen teams jostle for position. The club has taken the wise decision of not thinking too far ahead and taking each match as it comes.

Muhammad Farooq also became the first Grades player to score a fifty and take five wickets in a match. A fitting reward to today’s man-of-the-match!!

Next up Gordonians 3rds back up at Duthie Park.

Wednesday, 08 May, 2013

Innings of Portcullis

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
11D.ForbesDid not bat12th Man. Fielded in place of Antony.
11S.Winstanley0Not out
Leg Byes1
No Balls2

Innings of Mannofield 2nds

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
11R.PhiminsterNot out
Leg Byes0
No Balls2