- Oxted & Limpsfield
- Worcester Park
The 4th XI, once again captained by Qaisar Sheikh, were playing their second season in the Surrey Championship Division 1. The team was a combination of seasoned veterans like Safdar Butt and Keith Pryke as well as younger players, who will hopefully have benefitted from this experience as they were introduced to a more fast paced style of cricket.
Star bowlers, Parakum (22 wickets, best figures of 5 for 54) and Sean Cully (24 wickets, best figures of 5 for 52) led the bowling attack. Alongside the experienced Safdar, the U14s’ captain Bilal Sheikh joined the bowling force. Shezad Raja and Kam Singh were the two new debutants in this team.
The batting was led by the captain himself Qaisar Sheikh (338, highest score of 89), with good contributions from everyone in the team. Shehzad Raja and Niwanka were amongst the main batsmen for the team.
The season had its ups and downs; however the struggle to gather players was reflected in the final position in the league table. Despite all this, every player fought until the last ball in every match giving everything they had.
Ashtead 4th XI
As is tradition for the 4th XI, the club’s early season availability issues had somewhat hampered their progress having been promoted to Division 1 in 2015. This, combined with several weeks of unpredictable weather, meant at the halfway stage there was only one win to the 4th Xl’s name; largely down to a quite brilliant hundred from Jordan Nichols vs. Ashford.
With players gradually returning from schools’ cricket and university, the side began to show glimpses of the form they demonstrated at the back end of the 2015 season. Notable wins were recorded against high flying Normandy and Oxted & Limpsfield. However the team was never quite able to get a run of consistent strong performances together, ultimately resigning them to a mid-table, 6th place finish, despite having toppled many of the teams that finished higher.
On the batting front, the two Nichols brothers led the way in run scoring, with Jordan in particular (Av. 47.86) showing his class in several match winning knocks, including an unbeaten 107 against Ashford, and a vital 82 in a run chase vs. Oxted & Limpsfield. Richard also contributed amply to the teams runs again this year (Av.24.40), notching up 74* vs. Sutton and 58 vs. Purley. Other notable innings were provided by Daniel Trout, hitting 40 at No.9 vs. Sutton, and Nick Williams hitting 73 against Beddington.
Bowling-wise the team’s pace attack again served them diligently; James Hill being the pick of the bowlers taking 18 wickets @ 15.63. Dominic Lloyd (Av. 16.83) and Daniel Trout (Av. 12.00) also continued to take wickets in this higher division, whilst the spin of young Daniel Geddes, who took 7 wickets @ 12.43, became a more than useful weapon in the team’s arsenal. Regular contributions from Dave Whitely, Karamat Bhatti, Tom Calverley and Tom Gallagher further helped making the Ashtead bowling unit one of the most potent and economical in the division.
Beddington 4th XI
Beddington’s 4th XI followed up last season’s mid-table finish with a mixed season. Selection difficulties played their part, as the team used 42 players in 16 games played, including a remarkable nine different wicket keepers. The cricket was played in excellent spirit throughout, but a seventh place finish was ultimately disappointing. After losing the first two games, Beddington’s 4th XI went 10 games unbeaten, but only won four of those games. At the end of the season the 4th XI struggled against some strong opposition from the top of the league, losing four of the last six. A chance of a win in the final game was lost to rain.
Two convincing victories early in the season against Sutton and Ashford gave hopes for a promotion push, but consistency, particularly in the batting, meant that the 4th XI were only able to challenge in patches. Two improbable losses against Worcester Park summed up a frustrating year - in both games, with Beddington well on top, the opposition put on determined last wicket partnerships to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Other season highlights included a close fought 2 run win over Ashford at home, a century stand to chase down victory against Normandy and three determined rear-guard actions to avoid defeat against Purley, Oxted and Ashtead.
Three batsmen, Dan Bainbridge (377), Gulraiz Farrukh (296) and Jonathan Cowlin (197) finished in the top 10 of the league’s highest run scorers, but as a team we just did not score consistently enough all season.
Beddington’s opening bowlers finished number one and two in the league’s wicket takers, Dan Bainbridge taking 31 @ 11.8 and Mick Loveridge 30 @ 8.0. Nick Farley offered excellent support taking 16 @ 16.8. Anthony Jose, Harry Richards and Bilal Ahmed all bowled well at times with little reward, despite great effort.
Hopefully the 4th XI will learn much from this year and be far more clinical in those close games next season.
Normandy 4th XI
In a season that was to ultimately fall away in the last three matches there was much to be proud of for the 4th XI with the successful transition of the young Harris brothers to the promotion winning 3rd XI being the highlight of the developing youngsters.
With the first two games being conceded by the opposition the 4ths season did not start until game three and the long trek to Oxted. It was here the team pulled off the bowling and fielding performance of the season whittling Oxted out for 26. Bowling again proved to be the team’s stronger suit and was once again led by Rev. George Newton with the outstanding return of 30 wickets at just 2.40 runs an over. George was ably supported by Alex Cook with 21 wickets @ 3.72. As Alex grows stronger in confidence and physicality and keeps the ball up in the interesting end of the pitch the team is going to see another bowler knocking on the selection door of the higher XIs. The best bowling figures of the season came from George Harris with 6 for 29 at home to Oxted.
For a second season the batting department struggled with only three players scoring over 200 runs; Mark Rosser 235 @ 21.36, Dave Edwards 219 @ 24.33 and Tim Jones 209 @ 23.22. Matt Medlock entertained the team with some big hits in the middle order scoring 169 @ 21.13. There were only six fifties scored; Mark Rosser and Dave Edwards with two each and James and George Harris with one apiece. The shining batting highlight was Will Sampson's debut at Sutton.
Next season is a big season for the newer colts as they look to build on their experiences of this year and push for promotion again next season. Thanks must go to Nick and Ella for scoring and Jill Scott who oversees what are debatably the best teas in the league.
Oxted & Limpsfield 4th XI
The OLCC 4th XI returned to the Premier Division at the first time of asking, winning the Division One title in a brilliant season. After starting the season with two wins vs. an 8-man Ashtead and a concession from Walton, the side experienced a serious bump back to earth by being bowled out for 26 vs. Normandy (losing the game by 8 wickets). However, it is testament to the character and spirit of the side how performances went from strength to strength after this with many players contributing over the course of the season.
Player of the year Nigel Pearce bowled with beautiful control and patience taking 20 wickets at an average of 14.5 and an economy of not much over two. He also earned the side numerous wickets for the lucky bowlers at the other end, as oppositions tried to take advantage of bowlers with more ‘variation’ (such as skipper Dom Damesick).
Kevin Powell was ever dependable with bat and ball setting the platform for many a good score from the number three slot (238 runs @34, with two fifties). Ed De Vere Hunt was the find of the season bowling with precision and guile taking 10 wickets @13. Joe Thomas took two of the best slip catches 4th XI cricket has ever witnessed and was reliable in the middle order. Keith Tushingham was inspiring with the gloves and tenacious with the bat. Ed Heaver was full blooded with willow in hand, his 71 at Worcester Park a season highlight and Jack Dennison treated the team to three games of off-spin bowling that was a real cut above returning a brilliant 13 wickets @ 10.8 before he was poached by higher sides.
It was another good season for the colts to showcase their ability too with Bertie Heaver in particular standing out, relishing the responsibility of opening the batting to return 173 runs @43.25, with two fifties. Seb Gray, Matt Brown and Jack Plunkett (who took a memorable hat-trick vs. Sutton) were other notable contributors from the colts’ set-up.
Next season will pose plenty of challenges, but if the spirit and application of this season can be maintained there is every reason to believe that the side can not only retain its place in the Premier Division but compete with anyone.
Purley 4th XI
Purley 4th XI’s season, like the rest of the senior sides within the club, proved to be a challenging one. The team did not start the season particularly well and won only three out of the first twelve games. This was due to a number of reasons including a concession due to poor availability throughout the entire club at the beginning of the season and the generally poor form of some of the senior players within the side. This meant that the team was looking at a realistic possibility of being in a relegation battle particularly as the side still had to play a significant number of games against top of the table teams.
The season was turned around by mid-July as the side went on a winning streak of five games which involved beating most of the top of the table teams. Suddenly, having avoided a relegation battle, the 4s found themselves in the unlikely position of an outside chance of promotion. However the final mid table position was, on reflection, respectable especially given the poor start.
Notable performers throughout the season included Ben Cox who scored over 600 runs while Nick Hunt and Michael Thake took 25 plus wickets apiece. Hopefully the 4th XI will be able to make a better start to the 2017 season and be able to field a fairly constant eleven week in week out with a view to mounting a challenge at gaining promotion. This should be the 2017 season goal and it is what the 4th XI team is more than capable of achieving.
Sutton 4th XI
Another difficult year for the 4th XI ended in finishing bottom of the table.
Out of 18 scheduled games, only 10 were played, Sutton conceded on four occasions, the opposition twice and two were rained off.
When the side did play, it relied largely on the youngsters to perform, Aiden Sheridan took 10 wickets in four games and scored a fine 61 against Purley, Callum Furmidge scored 101 runs in three innings including a match winning 71* against Ashtead. Sam Mannion was leading wicket taker with 13 wickets @ 24.38. 12 year old Brindon Ratna kept wicket very tidily and showed huge potential with the bat. Achal Srivastav averaged 31.50 in his 3 innings. Of the older generation Steve Hall took 10 wickets @ 14.40, Milind Keer recorded a 5 for and captain Dan Krayenbrink scored 119 runs.
Thanks are due to all of the players, especially those that helped out at the last minute and to Helen and Caroline for the wonderful teas.
Walton 4th XI
Having been promoted from the West Division in 2015, the 4th XI’s very youthful squad secured back to back promotions with a second placed finish in their first season in Division 1. Eleven wins and five defeats was a fine return from a side with an average age of 19, and sees Walton join just five other clubs in having their 3rd and 4th XIs in the top flight, a fact which demonstrates the strength in depth at the club.
The team’s success was a statistical curiosity in that it defied a clear weakness in the batting department. Only twice did the side reach 200 and, of the batsmen, only 18 year old opener Tom Cates managed 200 runs in the season. Between the whole side, only five half centuries were scored all year. This was perhaps a symptom of so many of the team being teenagers. Nonetheless, there were many gutsy displays from individuals throughout the season, with George Sharpe, Alex Minshull and George Cates all playing substantial innings and the tail often providing just as many runs as the top order.
However, the weak batting was more than compensated for by the exploits of a formidable young bowling attack. From the 15 completed matches, the bowlers restricted the opposition total to less than 100 on no fewer than eleven occasions, rendering the side’s own lack of runs fairly incidental. Under 16 spin duo Alex Minshull and Daniel O’Connell were utterly dominant and can take almost all of the credit for the team’s promotion. O’Connell’s slow left arm took 24 wickets @ 6, including two six-wicket hauls, whilst Minshull’s ever-maturing off breaks brought 18 wickets @ 6 and were achieved with a remarkable economy of just 1.66 per over, the most miserly of any Surrey Championship bowler who bowled a significant number of overs. The young pair bowled brilliantly in tandem, winning many matches on their own, and clearly have a bright future.
The duo were well supported by the even younger spinner Lucas Watkins (11 @ 9) and U13 Uddhav Umakanthan (13 @ 9) also showed great promise. There was good support from seamers Connor Hobbs and Cameron Allen, whilst captain Oli Clarke managed 13 wickets @ 15 with his own left arm spin. Standing down after five years, having led the side into the Premier Division, he can be justly proud of his young charges.
Weybridge 4th XI
The 4th XI season was full of frustration and difficulties for Sheldon Cummings, the captain. Availability was poorer than in recent memory and, despite some promising bowling performances, no one seemed to be able to hold a bat.
Four games were won and that was enough to keep the 4s up, just! 12 bonus points earned in the other 14 games showed just how uncompetitive and easy to beat the team became. Toby Ashley-Collins top scored with 128 from 3 innings and Sheldon was the only other batsman with 100 runs to his name.
Sheldon led the wicket haul with 16 and was joined by Matt Orledge as the only other bowler with double figures. A sorry tale but with some positives.
Lots of the younger colts played in their first games of senior cricket and there was plenty of fun and enjoyment had on match days. Sheldon Cummings received the President’s Cup for his efforts in organising the 4th XI and most of the 3rd XI too) during a very trying season.
Worcester Park 4th XI
Five wins from the first five games gave the 4th XI the dream start carrying on the momentum from the previous season.
Baxter Catford scored a superb 122* to help see the side home against Ashford and Luke Sapey also showed his skill with the ball in the same game as he took a 5 fer in his first adult game for the club. Credit also goes to Larry Streeting for seeing the team home twice against Beddington with 36* and 45* (also putting on a 10th wicket partnership with Salmon Mahmood of 90* during the latter).
Due to lack of availability and difficulties having a core group of players, the 4s struggled and found it hard to stay at the top of the table but still finished in a very respectable 4th place behind some very strong teams.
At the heart of the team, John Rivenell led the way with the ball claiming 15 scalps @ 14.33. Luke Sapey and Tom Cronk both took 9 wickets with Matthew Browne, Azeem Haider taking 8 apiece. With the bat, John Rivenell led the way again scoring 281 @ 40, with Baxter Catford 271 @ 90.33. Dhilan Patel and Larry Streeting followed with 159 and 106 runs respectively.
There is a lot to look forward to from the 4s next year with a few of the younger colts looking ready to play more adult cricket under the guidance of the experienced side.