Portcullis v. AGSFP 3rds - Saturday, 20 June, 2015

Toss was won by AGSFP 3rds, who chose to field.

Portcullis : 112 all out (30).

AGSFP 3rds : 106 all out (15).

Portcullis Escape to Victory!!

Match Seven of the 2015 Grade Four season saw Portcullis finish their first set of matches with a Home Tie against AGSFP 3rds.

Although a home tie, Portcullis had to host the Grammar XI at Sheddocksley One due to the Duthie Park cricket pitch being out of action for the month of June.

The previous week saw Portcullis move to the top of Grade Four following a nail-biting win against a very talented Siyapa side. If it was hard work getting there it was going to be even more difficult to stay there.

And so it proved!

Skippers Dave Mitchell and S. Dhanamani went out to do the toss. For once this season, Mitchell called wrong and Portcullis were invited to bat.

With both Jesse Walmsley and Dave Forbes unavailable Portcullis were looking for someone else to open the batting with Ronnie Falconer. After some deliberation Mitchell plumped for season new boy Andy Philip to share the opening duties for Portcullis.

For AGSFP 3rds the new ball would be shared by the pairing of Thomson and Monapillai. The AGSFP pairing proved to be very challenging during the opening exchanges. Thomson showing good control with his outswingers whilst Monapillai showed good variation of pace whilst also getting the ball to leap at the Portcullis openers from just short of a length.

It took to the fifth over before AGSFP 3rds made a breakthrough. Monapillai did for Phillip. He induced Phillip to glance one to first slip where MacDonald was on hand to take a good slip catch at the second attempt.

Portcullis 7-1.

This brought skipper Mitchell to the crease to join Falconer. The pair had enjoyed some decent partnerships already this season and it was hoped this would happen again.

With Falconer defending stoutly whilst Mitchell played freely, the pair took the score onto 48. In the meantime the opening pair of Thomson and Monapillai had been rested and it was the turn of the Di Costa’s to come on and try their luck, J and D.

In his third over J. Di Costa struck when he got a daisycutter to beat Falconer’s defences and have him bowled for a stubborn 10.

48-2 soon became 54-3 as Mitchell and new batsman Shovon Mostofa miscalculated a run which saw the unfortunate Mostofa ran out by his skipper.

The score moved onto 67 when J. Di Costa grabbed his second wicket. It was the prize wicket of Mitchell.

He got Mitchell to pull at one that rose off of a length. It got onto the Portcullis Skipper too quickly and he mistimed his pull towards mid-wicket where Monapallai took a good catch.

In the next over young L. Di Costa got into the act but not before he took a little punishment. Farooq, in a three ball spell, smashed the ball past the young bowler scoring two fours and a six for a quickfire 14.

The credit has to go to young Di Costa however. He held his nerve and continued to bowl his line and length and was duly rewarded as he got Farooq to mistime his next ball and was duly bowled.

Portcullis 81-5.

This brought the pairing of Andrew Blackwell and Richard Collinson to the crease. Blackwell was next to go as he too mistimed a pull shot and was caught and bowled as J. Di Costa took his third wicket.

Mundin then joined Collinson at the crease. The pair took the score onto 85 before Mundin gloved one towards first slip where the ever reliable slipper MacDonald was on hand to take his second slip catch of the innings.

Winstanley was next up and, along with Collinson took the score onto 107. Collinson filled his boots with two sublime fours whilst Winstanley, facing the spin of AGSFP 3rds skipper Dhanamani, caught onto a juicy overpitched delivery and dispatched it back over the off-spinner’s head for a delicious six!

Winstanley’s drive was so true he managed to lose the ball and a new one had to be replaced. The time it took to find a new ball seemed to affect his concentration and he fell two balls after resumption. A loose slap towards the covers doing for him.

Collinson fell soon after misjudging a full ball.

Portcullis 107-9.

The pairing of Bob Adie and Paul Brown took the score onto 112, which included a wonderful cover drive by Adie for four.

It was left to the returning Thomson to claim the final wicket of the match, bowling Brown via his inside edge to finish the Portcullis innings.

For Portcullis Dave Mitchell top scored with 39 whilst Muhammad Farooq (14), Richard Collinson (13) and Ronnie Falconer (10) the others to get to double figures.

The bowling honours went to J. Di Costa who finished with figures of 4-23. He was ably backed by R. Moonapalli (2-19). J. Thomson would be right to feel a little unlucky to finish an impressive spell with 1-7 whilst Dhanamani (1-16) and L. Di Costa (1-40) took the remaining wickets.

After tea it was time for AGSFP 3rds to post their reply. Having bowled Portcullis out in the 33rd over, they had 57 overs to score 113 runs. It basically meant that Portcullis had to bowl their opponents out to achieve victory.

AGSFP 3rds opened their batting with Wicket Keeper Lee and Skipper Dhanamani. For Portcullis it would be the tried and trusted partnership of Mitchell and Farooq to open the bowling for the City Centre Green Caps.

With Portcullis defending only 112 runs, it was imperative that Portcullis got off to a fast start to regain control.

But they didn’t.

Despite Mitchell and Farooq’s best efforts, the pairing of Lee and J. Di Costa stood firm against the Portcullis new ball attack. The pair defended solidly, shrugging off any close calls and concentrating on the job in hand. The pair moved the score onto 37, seeing off the bowling of Farooq. In the meantime Mitchell decided to keep himself on, probing and prompting attempts to get a breakthrough. Aaron Mundin joined the fray but he too was getting no luck.

It was whilst the score was on 37 that Portcullis got a breakthrough. Mitchell trapping J. Di Costa lbw for a useful 13.

L. Di Costa came and went as Mitchell took his second wicket, Winstanley completing the wicket with a good catch behind the stumps.

It was the turn of the expert slipper MacDonald to join opener Lee at the crease next. A couple of well-timed fours showed he could be as dangerous with the bat as he was in the slips. Thankfully a mistimed pull towards mid-wicket was to do for him. Mundin producing the opportunity with the ball for Bob Adie to dive forward to take an excellent catch.

In the meantime the left-handed opener Lee stood firm. He got to 19 before he fell to a grotty ball which should have passed him hip high. Instead it got no higher than six inches off the ground to trap him plum lbw. Falconer offering him a sympathetic hard luck as he too fell in similar circumstances.

At this stage though Portcullis would accept anything they could get. AGSFP 3rds 62-4. Dave Mitchell having taken three of the four wickets.

Sensing a breakthrough Mitchell brought Farooq back into the attack as Portcullis sensed an opportunity of victory.

It proved a good move as Farooq bowled Monapallai who failed to trouble the scorers.

At this point the match swung firmly back in Portcullis’s favour. Mitchell taking three quick wickets to, at last, swing the match back in Portcullis’s favour.

First he got Gopal to pop one up high towards mid-on where Mundin held onto a good catch. He then trapped Blues and R. Monapillai lbw to reduce AGSFP 3rds to 72-8.

With AGSFP 3rds having only ten men, it meant that Portcullis only needed one more wicket for victory. For AGSFP 3rds they needed 41 runs to win. Surely too much for the Grammar side.

Or was it?

Incoming batsman Thomson did not think so and took the attack to the tiring Portcullis attack. Mitchell finished his spell whilst Mostfa and Falconer came and went. Thomson and Dharamani, in particular Thomson went at the Portcullis attack. Thomson played some fine shots, executing the pull shot behind square for some excellent fours. Despite Portcullis’s best efforts the score soon rose to 106.

AGSFP 3rds only seven runs short of an unlikely victory. Could they dig out an unexpected victory?

The match was in the balance but also in the hands of Muhammad Bilal Farooq. His first ball of his eleventh over thankfully breaching the defences of the dogged Dharamani to leave AGSFP 3rds 106 all out.

Portcullis won by six runs.

The victory was welcomed with a huge sigh of relief as the City Centre Green Caps knew they had been very fortunate.

All credit went to AGSFP 3rds. It is puzzling to see them in the position they are in in Grade Four. They are a team who are bringing on new players. They have a very good opening three bowlers, as good as any attack I have faced in this Grade. Their batting is laced with some good batsmen as well. Continue in this vein and they will quickly climb the table. They played very well and have every right to feel unlucky. It was a very tight game that fortunately went Portcullis’s way.


Skipper DAVE MITCHELL takes the plaudits. A top score of 39 was backed up with a herculean 6-21. Fantastic all-round figures from the Captain.


Once again it goes to MUHAMMAD BILAL FAROOQ for the final wicket. The collective sigh of relief was there for all to see.


J. THOMSON just edges out L. Di Costa. His 30 not out and bowling figures of 1-7 (which could have been more) sees him with the honours. L. Di Costa did bowl very well for his 4-23.

Tuesday, 23 June, 2015

Innings of Portcullis

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
1R.Falconer10BowledJ.Di Costa
3D.Mitchell398CaughtJ.Di Costa
4S.Mostofa2Run Out
5M.Farooq1421BowledL.Di Costa
6A.Blackwell0CaughtJ.Di CostaJ.Di Costa
8A.Mundin0CaughtJ.Di CostaA.Macdonald
10B.Adie51Not out
Leg Byes0
No Balls4
3J.Di Costa71002345.753.291.75
4L.Di Costa6000401406.676

Innings of AGSFP 3rds

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
2J.Di Costa131LBWD.Mitchell
3L.Di Costa0CaughtD.MitchellS.Winstanley
10J.Thomson305Not out
Leg Byes3
No Balls0