AGSFP 3rds v. Portcullis - Saturday, 08 August, 2015

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

AGSFP 3rds : 202 for 4 from 45 (23).

Portcullis : 170 for 9 (16).

Portcullis battle through to entertaining draw.

Match Nine of Portcullis’s Grade Four Season saw them make the short trip to Harlaw to take on a rapidly improving AGSFP 3rds.

I say rapidly improving as AGSFP 3rds had went on a decent run since the pair last met. When they last met Portcullis escaped with a six run victory. AGSFP 3rds since then had an impressive tie against Siyapa followed by the best of a draw against Johnston Rose Bowl Finalists Turriff.

With form like this Portcullis knew they were going to be in for a tough match.

Mitch lost a toss that he was not sure what to do with had he won it anyway and was told to have his team field first. Although most Grade teams favour fielding first, this did have a slight disadvantage to the City Centre Green Caps. They took to the field without their inspirational opening bowler Muhammad Bilal Farooq. Mo was running late so the Portcullis bowling attack would have to do without him. It would be until the 15th over before he could bowl.

With this in mind Skipper Dave Mitchell decided to open with himself and Simon Winstanley. Simon got the nod after an impressive six over spell away to Crathie had yielded 2 wickets for a miserly 5 runs. It was hoped he could be as successful again!

It was not until the fourth over until Portcullis made a breakthrough. It came through the form of Winstanley. He managed to get Norwood to flash at one outside off-stump. The ball shot low towards Falconer at gully. He stuck out his right hand and grabbed at the ball. In his haste he spilled it but, as jammy as he can be, it fell onto his forearm and then onto his right moob. Enough flab was present and Falconer had the wherewithal to keep the ball off the grass and within his clutches.

AGSFP 3rds 9-1.

In the 7th over 9-1 soon became 20-2 as Winstanley contributed to the second wicket to fall as well. Skipper Mitchell got Opener Lord to nibble at one and Winstanley was on hand to take a fine catch at first slip.

With both openers back at the changing rooms it was the turn of M. Garratt and A. MacDonald to take to the crease. The pair looked to be in fine touch as they took the challenge to the Portcullis attack.

It was very much a one way battle as Portcullis were put to the sword during this passage of play. Both batsmen impressed during this spell as confidence grew within the Grammar camp.

The introduction of Farooq did little to change the onslaught although it did show a fantastic duel between batsman and bowler. Farooq, with his excellent pace, saw that MacDonald was comfortable and began bowling a few shorter deliveries. MacDonald, to his credit, was fit to the challenge and bar one delivery to the ribs, handled the fiery spell of Farooq with aplomb.

The partnership of Garratt and MacDonald soon passed fifty as Portcullis began to struggle in the match. Garrett, in particular, offered the odd chance but was put down.

With Mitchell and Winstanley rested, Falconer and new boy Chris Poolman were tried. Falconer had one of his dross days and was soon hooked. Poolman, though settled down and bowled some useful spin bowling. On this artificial track Poolman still got turn and drift.

It was Poolman who indeed got the next, and his first, league wicket. He encouraged MacDonald to cut at an away drifter. The ball did for MacDonald and he glanced it into the waiting gloves of Wicketkeeper Richard Collinson who was on hand to take a good catch.

AGSFP 3rds 97-3. A fantastic partnership of 77 had been enjoyed by messrs Garret and MacDonald. MacDonald, leaving the field to applause after a fine knock of 44.

It was the turn of J. Di Costa to enter the contest. With Garratt taking the leading role the pair added 35 runs for the 4th wicket before Mitchell struck again, trapping Di Costa lbw for 10. AGSFP 3rds 132-4.

As far as wickets went, that was it for Portcullis. Next man in M. Blues played the anchor role perfectly as the tall Garratt continued to tuck into the Portcullis bowling. His well deserved fifty soon came up with a fine off drive for four. He did have a couple of chances put down but they were not easy and this did not deter him. He batted, like MacDonald before him, with impressive technique.

The pair of Blues and Garratt had an unbeaten partnership of 70 in the last eleven overs, taking the result further and further away from Portcullis.

The innings closed after 45 overs with AGSFP 3rds on 202-4. It was the first time since the opening game of the season that Portcullis had failed to take all of their opponents wickets in a match. Garratt finished unbeaten on 78 not out, scoring four 4’s and one 6, whilst Blues remained unbeaten on 15 not out. For Portcullis skipper Mitchell took 2 – 33 in his 12 overs. The other wicket takers were Winstanley 1-55 from his 12 and Poolman 1-39 from 7. Mo Farooq was perhaps a tad unfortunate not to get a wicket though his figures of only conceding 35 runs from his 11 overs was impressive enough.

As the total to chase was a colossal one, skipper Mitchell decided to change tact with his batting order. The normal pairing of the once quoted “42 stone of brute strength” – namely Falconer and Forbes, were moved down the order. In their place were Richard Collinson and Muhammad Farooq. This move was seen as a positive one. Portcullis still had aspirations of surpassing the huge total set at this point. It was a big ask , but one that Mitchell had faith that he and his troops could achieve. This new pairing would be seen as more aggressive and considerably less weight than 42 stone!

For AGSFP 3rds, with the impressive J Thomson promoted to the 1sts in recent weeks, the new cherry would be placed in the hands of J Di Costa and R. Monnapillai.

The early forays belonged to AGSFP 3rds. The score had moved to 7 when they struck. A confident looking Collinson mistimed a pull from the bowling of Di Costa. The ball stayed up in the air for young Monapillai to take a comfortable catch.

This brought skipper Mitchell to join the mercurial Farooq at the crease. Mitchell soon added impetus to the innings, scoring freely whilst Farooq took his time to play himself in. Farooq determined to hold onto his opening batting spot it would seem.

The score moved onto 25 before disaster struck for the Green Caps!

It came in the form of the improving J Di Costa. He was working up a head of steam to bowl at an impressive pace. He combined this with some excellent inswing and this was to do for Mitchell as he was bowled all ends up by the impressive Di Costa. Portcullis 25-2. Mitchell back in the hutch for 13.

Andy Philip was next in. With Farooq growing in confidence and potency, the pair took the score onto 53 before AGSFP 3rds struck again. It was that man J. Di Costa , bowling Philip for 5. Doing unto Philip as he had done previously with Mitchell.

Ronnie Falconer was next in. He hung about long enough to see a confident Farooq issue a pair of swashbuckling boundaries, one landing before the rope, the other beyond it. The one beyond the boundary being shot of the day – an ill-judged slower ball from Blues being gloriously dispatched back over his head for seemingly miles. Then Falconer too fell to a J. Di Costa inswinger. The ball catching the inside edge of his bat before careering onto the stumps. It may have appeared hard luck for the ginger one but in reality it was a cracking ball!

Portcullis 65-4.

It was the other half of the “42 stone” partnership that was in next – Dave Forbes. He dug in long enough for a partnership of 24 with the now ebullient Farooq to take the score to 89 before he was trapped lbw by M. Blues – the replacement bowler for young Monapillai

Portcullis 89-5.

It was the turn of Simon Winstanley next. Simon has spent this season with the bat gutsying out partnerships. He has batted more meticulously than in previous seasons, valuing the partnerships he has made. More than once this season he has been involved in batting out time or runs for the Portcullis cause. In the face of building pressure it would be hoped he would again.

Farooq was now flying at this point. Boundaries aplenty were dispatched with ease. At this point he chose to apply two switch hit boundaries through square leg (which became point) against the unfortunate young L. Di Costa.

Winstanley had arrived at the crease during the 23rd over and enjoyed a 58 run partnership with the now spectacular Farooq until the 37th over. This brought the score onto 147 and, at this point, Portcullis were eyeing the possibility of sneaking a win. The return of Monapillai was to do for him though, Monapillai managing to get one to move enough to brush Winstanley’s bat. Wicketkeeper Lee was on hand to take a good solid catch.

Portcullis 147-6.

This brought about the welcome return of Portcullis stalwart Alan Dobey to the crease. It was heartening to see him march onto the field of play. He too enjoyed a partnership of 21 as Farooq continued to create merry hell. Unfortunately it was the turn of Farooq to depart the field of play and with him Portcullis’s slim chances of victory. Monapillai got enough on his delivery to invite Farooq to mistime one drive too many. The ball went skywards and towards Lord who, it has to be said, always looked confident about taking his catch. He duly did with little fuss as Farooq went off to rapturous applause after a fantastic knock of 77! His knock had included seven fours and four sixes and really brought the house down.

Portcullis 168-7.

Farooq departed during the 41st over. It had been a wonderful knock and hopefully enough time had been spent by him at the crease to ensure the draw.

It had but only just!

Alan Dobey fell next. He misjudged new bowler and AGSFP innings hero MacDonald slower flighted ball and was stumped by keeper Lee.

Portcullis 169-8.

Bob Adie came to join the other new batsman Chris Poolman. Adie, facing a rapidly encroaching close field, managed to jab a MacDonald lifter towards silly point where young Thanga was on hand to take a good catch.

Portcullis 170-9. Andrew Blackwell in next.

Thankfully for Portcullis, the final pair managed to survive no further scares and this was how the innings finished. The last 10 balls as nerve jangling as any I have seen in my time.

Who said draws were boring!!!

It had been a wonderful day’s cricket. 372 runs and 13 wickets had fell in a fine match. AGSFP 3rds, like the first duel between the pair, take most of the plaudits. The records show for 2015 that Portcullis enjoyed one win and one draw from their two encounters against AGSFP 3rds. It so could have easily but for 7 more runs and one more wicket, two wins for AGSFP 3rds.


MUHAMMAD BILAL FAROOQ takes the honours for this one. His rousing knock of 77 being the mainstay of the Portcullis fightback.


The 58 run partnership between Mo Farooq and SIMON WINSTANLEY. The pair changed the complex of the match from a looming defeat to an unlikely victory. Simon’s innings will show only 6 runs but to Portcullis it was much, much more.


The tall Garrett, with his splendid 78 not out, narrowly misses out to A. MCDONALD. His 44 runs set up AGSFP 3rds innings and his late 2 wicket flurry nearly won the match for them.


It goes to a unnamed AGSFP player. It happened during the over of young L. Di Costa. Young Di Costa bowled one to Farooq that was somewhat 5-6 feet wide of the left-hander’s off stump. Farooq decided to switch hit this ball. Alas he mistimed it and the ball careered into his pad. From the depths of gully a guttural cry of ‘HOWZAT’ was met with one Umpire and , at least, one of his AGSFP team mates to burst out laughing in derision.

Please dear reader do not think this appeal was done as a lack of sportsmanship – it wasn’t. It was far too ridiculous for that! It was thankfully done on a moment’s impulse by one young man thoroughly enjoying his day of cricket!

And in doing that he made the rest of us enjoy that day a little more too!

Tuesday, 11 August, 2015

Innings of AGSFP 3rds

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
4M.Crarratt7841Not out
5J.Di Costa102LBWD.Mitchell
6M.Blues151Not out
7J.LeeDid not bat
8L.Di CostaDid not bat
9A.ThangaDid not bat
10R.MonapillaiDid not bat
11I.JohnstonDid not bat
Leg Byes3
No Balls0

Innings of Portcullis

#NameR46How OutBowlerKeeperFielderComments
1R.Collinson4CaughtJ.Di CostaA.Macdonald
3D.Mitchell152BowledJ.Di Costa
4A.Philip5BowledJ.Di Costa
5R.Falconer0BowledJ.Di Costa
9C.Poolman1Not out
11A.Blackwell0Not out
Leg Byes2
No Balls1
1J.Di Costa122003448.52.833
6L.Di Costa3000110-3.67-