Turriff v. Portcullis - Saturday, 31 May, 2014

Toss was won by Turriff, who chose to field.

Portcullis : 170 for 6 from 42 (30).

Turriff : 111 for 8 (11).

Owen is the order of the day!

Match Five of the Grade Three 2014 season saw Portcullis on their travels. This away fixture would be one to look forward to as it took the Green Caps to Turriff. It was also the first fixture outside the City of Aberdeen. Not that Aberdeen is a bad place to play cricket – far from it!!! It is just that there are plenty of picturesque grounds in and around the towns and villages in Aberdeenshire that are absolute joy to play on. The Haughs at Turriff being one of them!

Captains Dave Mitchell and Craig Peters went out for the toss and Mitchell came back having lost another toss and Portcullis were duly invited to bat first.

Opener Ronnie Falconer found himself opening the innings for the fourth time this season and with his fourth opening partner of the season, Muhammad Farooq. For the Turriff side, Ling and Laing would provide the ying and yang [groan!] of the Turriff bowling attack!

Ling and Laing did indeed prove to be a balanced bowling attack. On a bouncy pitch Laing bowled a decent line bringing the odd delivery back into the Portcullis openers whilst his counterpart Ling provided decent away swing. As a result the Portcullis openers struggled.

Farooq was first to go. Laing got Farooq to waft at one on off stump and Chalmers completed the catch. Portcullis 3-1.

Falconer soon joined him. He never looked comfortable during his time at the crease and a loose pull shot plopped up in the air where F. Smart took a good catch.

Portcullis 10-2. A poor start.

Richard Collinson joined Dave Mitchell at the crease. The pair took stock and took the score to 25 before Collinson was next to go caught from the bowling of Ling

This meant that Kannan Vijayakrishnan would join Dave Mitchell at the crease. A case of the former Captain joining the current Captain at the crease. Vijayakrishnan, fresh from a debut fifty the week before, continued from the previous week’s good form. Skipper Mitchell in the meantime looked to be in good touch also. It was just as well, as Portcullis needed to bring themselves back into this match.

The pair duly did. They got used to the bounce of the pitch and began to take the match back to Portcullis. A fourth wicket partnership of 50 took Portcullis to 75 before Mitchell fell, as he became Ling’s second victim.

Portcullis 75-4.

It was the turn of the promising Mostofa at the crease next. Alas it was not to be his day as he fell to a cracking leg stump Yorker from the bowling of Ling. Portcullis 75-5 and back in trouble again!

Enter the mercurial Rob Owen. A pre-season friendly century had been followed by a stuttering set of low scores. A previous week score of 17 showed glimpses that Owen may be about to end his recent barren run. Portcullis were certainly hoping so!!

With Vijayakrishnan at the other end well set, Owen took little time to settle in. He opened his innings with two cracking fours. No mean feat as boundaries had proved hard to come by so far. A cracking six then followed a few ones and twos over mid-wicket as Owen, with Vijayakrishnan, took the fight to Turriff.

Vijayakrishnan, no slouch himself, was enjoying himself too as the pair changed the outcome of the game. When Owen came into bat Turriff, justifiably, had hopes of victory. With each passing boundary by the pair that hope became more forlorn as Portcullis turned the screw.

The fifth wicket partnership yielded 63 runs before Vijayakrishnan, perhaps tiring with the early afternoon heat, became Laing’s third victim of the day lbw for 47. Three agonising runs short of his second consecutive fifty!

Portcullis 138-5.

Bob Adie was next in. By now Turriff, aware of the threat that Owen possessed, began to push their field back. They were openly inviting Owen to take singles so they could attack Portcullis at the other end. Adie was pleasantly unperturbed with this tactic. He himself knew that Owen would be the main contributor with the bat and was happy enough to play second fiddle.

Owen himself seemed to rise to challenge. He paced his innings superbly. Even when a couple of overs went for 1-2 runs, rather than panic, Owen bided his time. He was duly rewarded when on 42; it only took him two further balls to reach his fifty. He timed the first ball over mid-wicket for a huge six and then, just to prove it was not a fluke, smashed the very next ball from the unfortunate Doss again over mid-wicket again for another huge six!!

A spectacular way to reach fifty!!

Adie had a little cameo of his own. When Turriff brought their field in just too tightly, Adie responded with a cheeky nudge over first slip’s head to get off the mark. He followed that up with a crunching smash through mid-off for four just as Turriff side felt they were getting a breather from Owen!

42 seemed to the answer again as, after that particular number of overs, Portcullis took the bold decision to declare. This meant that the activated draw would come into play.

Portcullis finished the innings on 170-6. Rob Owen scoring 60 not out from a run-rate of easily over a run a ball whilst Adie stood by him with a noble 5 not out.

Owen’s quickfire innings changed the complexion of the game, giving Portcullis the opportunity to declare, an option not open to them when he walked into bat. It was a truly wonderful knock. For Turriff , Laing finished with good figures of 3-32 whilst Ling returned 3-48.

In order to earn a draw Turriff would have to score 75% of Portcullis’s total. This meant they would have to score, 128 to draw. 171 to win.

After a splendid tea Portcullis opened the bowling with the tried and trusted Mitchell and Farooq. For Turriff it was their tried and trusted opening partnership of Ian Smart and Dave Chalmers.

With the pitch still being bouncy, scoring was hard to come by. In fact both the Turriff openers dug in well to survive Portcullis’s opening salvo from Farooq and Mitchell. Runs were extremely hard to come by. So much so that although it took Mitchell’s fifth and Portcullis’s ninth over of the match to achieve a breakthrough, Turriff had only five on the board when the first wicket fell.

Chalmers was the unfortunate to go, pulling a Mitchell ball towards square leg where Mostofa took an excellent catch. Turriff 5-1.

After 12 overs and no further breakthroughs, it was time for Portcullis’s first bowling change, Farooq making way for Owen. Having dazzled with the bat would Owen also dazzle with the ball?

The answer was an unequivocal yes!

Owen got his third ball to lift from a length over leg stump. Ling, looking to nurdle it down leg-side, feathered one, leaving Vijayakrishnan to take a simple catch. Although neither the bowler nor the umpire heard a noise, Ling, knowing he had edged it, simply tucked his bat under his arm and strolled to the pavilion. A wonderful show of sportsmanship.

Turriff 12-2.

Turriff stalwart Dod Duncan strode to the crease next to join Ian Smart. It was a beginning of a fruitful partnership for the pair. In the meantime Mostofa took over from Mitchell. This change of bowling seemed to suit Smart. Having dug in to the bowling of Mitchell, Farooq and Owen, Smart took to Mostofa’s bowling with relish. Smart tore into Mostofa as Turriff scored 24 runs in three overs and Mostofa was soon removed from the attack. It was somewhat unfortunate for Mostofa. He came in at a time when Smart was at his most dangerous. However, he needs game time with his bowling and he will learn from this and come back stronger in the future.

Owen, in the meantime, still made it tough for the Haughs side. He bowled with excellent pace, positivity and variance. Owen’s diligence would soon obtain Portcullis’s third wicket.

In the meantime Smart got to a well-deserved 50 in spectacular style. A pull over mid-wicket for a sumptuous six bringing up his half century.

He was soon gone thereafter. Owen, giving little away, captured his second wicket when he induced Smart to push a lifter back towards Owen who completed a spectacular caught and bowled. Smart gone for 53. Turriff 73-3.

Michael Soper came in next to support Duncan. Duncan, having played a supporting role when batting with Smart, took the role of chief aggressor for Turriff. He simply took over the mantle of Smart and took the game to Portcullis with a mixture of fine strokeplay and lusty blows.

The pair moved the score onto 91 before Owen captured his third wicket, bowling Duncan for an excellent 27.

Soper fell soon one run later as; he too, was bowled by a now rampant Owen.

Turriff 95-5.

The two new batsmen Doss and Laing still provided danger to Portcullis. It was therefore fitting that it was left to Owen to capture his fifth wicket. He got Doss to drive at an away swinger. Doss got enough edge on it to fly it over the conventional slip position. It was just as well that a fly slip was in place instead and Farooq took a comfortable catch. Good Captaincy and tactics all round.

F. Smart became two in two balls as Owen bowled him, setting up a chance of a hat trick. Alas the Turriff no9 Craig Peters was clever enough to leave the ball well alone denying Owen his seventh wicket.

Turriff 104-7.

Despite the perseverance of Owen, Farooq and Mitchell Portcullis still could not find a way through.

It was time for a change of tactic.

It was time for filth! Filth of the right arm slow medium variety!!

Mitchell tossed the ball to rotund Secretary Ronnie Falconer, inviting him to offer some cabaret at the end of the innings. Falconer possessed something that the other bowlers had little of – luck! Loads of it! Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.

Falconer went through his repertoire of slow medium filth as he tried to induce Turriff to attack him. As usual, his luck ran for him as, in his third over, he induced Laing to play onto his own stumps as he looked to attack to gain the activated draw.

Turriff 110 –8.

There was only one more added to the score. This meant that Turriff fell 17 runs short of the activated draw target. This meant that Portcullis took the maximum 30 points on offer whilst Turriff only received batting and bowling points.

The bold decision of Captain Mitchell and Vice-Captain Farooq proved to pay dividends. Had they batted to 45 overs instead of declaring on 42 the match would have finished a draw.

Next up another home match to Crathie.


There could be only one contender – Rob Owen!! A spectacular 60 not out was followed by 6-29 with the ball. A fantastic all-round performance!! Without it Portcullis would not have won the match.


The fielding – although not a poor as previous weeks – it still is below the previous season’s standards.


Rob Owen’s superb caught and bowled effort to dismiss the dangerous Ian Smart. It turned the game.


Although the two bowlers Ling and Laing deserve a mention as does Dod Duncan, Ian Smart takes the accolade for a well thought out fifty. He dug in for the Turriff cause when the ball was zipping about and then took the attack to Portcullis. Well batted!!

Wednesday, 04 June, 2014

Innings of Portcullis

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
7R.Owen6044Not out
8B.Adie51Not out
9M.SheridanDid not bat
10R.CollinsonDid not bat
11S.WinstanleyDid not bat
Leg Byes4
No Balls2

Innings of Turriff

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
9C.Peters2Not out
10B.Donald0Not out
11Y.FellowDid not bat
Leg Byes2
No Balls2