- Battersea Ironsides
- East Molesey
- Hampton Wick Royal
- Old Wimbledonians
- Woking & Horsell
An average season ended with Ashford 3rd XI finishing in the lower half of a very competitive league.
The season started by losing to Sanderstead before fine bowling against Battersea by U14 Suhi Tamilarasan and Taimoor Anwar earned them 3 wickets apiece. Losing to Wimbledon was followed by winning against Epsom. Rob Evans opened, ending on 66* with Manan Joshi taking 3 for 16.
Next, home to Hampton saw Ashford score 249 in 47 overs. Ciaran Lewis scored 105 and Taimoor Anwar 56. Simon Wilson and Taimoor Anwar both took 4 wickets. The following game was again high scoring, Ashford declaring on 222 (Sravan Thatta 104). A win against Purley (Ibrar Rao 6 wickets) was followed by a loss to Battersea. A win against Ripley with Mansoor Malik scoring 51 and Taimoor 67, finished with Joe Balmer taking 5 for 15. The game against East Molesey saw Chris Lunn and Yasir Khawar take 3 wickets, backed up well by Suhi Tamilarasan and Joe Balmer with 2.
Ashford scored 290 in a winning draw against Wimbledon with Rob Evans (64), Gareth Evans (70) and Paul Cousens scoring 64*, backed up by Paul Wilson taking 4 wickets and Joe Balmer another 2. The following game, again a winning draw, was played through constant drizzle with Ashford scoring 151 before the rain halted Sanderstead at 77 for 5 with Paul Wilson taking 4 wickets.
Final games included good wins against Hampton (Joe Balmer 3 wickets), losses against Woking (Chris Lunn 3 wickets), Molesey (Manan Joshi 4 wickets) and Purley, before ending the season with a win against Ripley ending a very enjoyable season.
Players scoring over 200 in the season were led by Rob Evans (236), Sravan Thatta (284) and Gareth Evans (310). Paul Cousens topped the scoring with 334 at an average of 32.
Five bowlers took 10+ wickets with Sravan Thatta (10), Manan Joshi (12), Taimoor Anwar (16) and Paul Wilson (18). Joseph Balmer was top of the pile with a fantastic 29 wickets.
Battersea Ironsides 3rd XI
Following promotion last year, the 3rd XI season started ominously with a defeat in the first game, however this provided exactly the wake-up call that the team needed as it ultimately ledto their second title in as many years. Ever inconsistent with the bat, it was the bowlers who often saw them home this time around. Spearheaded by Praveen Kolluguri, Harry Moore and Iain Gilhespy, each of whom claimed over 20 wickets, the team often rattled through opposition sides without many runs to work with. That said, the resident Welsh batting dragon Steve Evans did produce with the blade (352 runs at 44) and also came tantalizingly close to claiming his first maiden century, however he was ultimately pipped to the post by a wrong ‘un’. Elsewhere, Jonny “J Christ” Christopher again weighed in with performances with bat and ball (404 runs and 18 wickets). Lastly, there is a special mention for outgoing skipper David Clements, who has retired to spend more time “with his family”.
East Molesey 3rd XI
After a disappointing 2016 season that culminated in relegation, East Molesey 3rd XI was looking to bounce back at the first attempt. They were able to achieve this after finding the consistency that was sorely lacking in the 2016 campaign, winning 12 of 18 games, and losing just 3 times. This significant turnaround from last season was largely due to vastly improved batting performances, with East Molesey having 3 of the top 4 run scorers in the league in Jeremy Downer (451 at 50.1), Mark Collins (443 at 49.2) and captain Chris Wood (497 at 41.4). These runs were backed up by some magnificent bowling performances, from Jamie Bentley and Akash Patel in particular. Jamie finished as the leading wicket taker in the division with 31 wickets at 10.00 and Akash took 23 wickets at 12.39.
Three games in particular stand out as vital to the promotion including both fixtures against Old Wimbledonians (who finished in 3rd only 13 points behind the Moles) and one against Battersea Ironsides. In the home game against Old Wimbledonians, after East Molesey were bowled out for only 130, Senura Jayasinghe and Akash Patel took 7 wickets between them in just 15.1 overs to bowl Old Wimbledonians out for 105. In the return fixture at Old Wimbledonians, Kevin Ingram produced a gritty unbeaten 50 to secure a draw for East Molesey and ultimately promotion above Old Wimbledonians. The third stand-out game was the win in the penultimate game over champions elect Battersea Ironsides. Particularly pleasing were the performances of youngsters Joseph Lynch and Theo Talbot – Joseph taking 4 wickets and Theo scoring a quick-fire 64* in a pressurised run chase.
Epsom 3rd XI
The 2017 season saw the 3rd XI return to Division 2 after a successful 2016 season. The team approached the 2017 season with a much changed side which meant the continued emergence and heightened responsibilities for some of the colts and younger members of the side.
Adam Hlobil and George Compton enjoyed successful seasons restricting sides in the opening overs and bowling with consistency and accuracy. This has seen them both earn call ups to the 2nd XI. This has been highly positive as neither of the two were regular players in the 3rd XI last year. Further good bowling displays this year have come from Nik Vidler, Sam Buchan-Davies and Fred Thompsett, who all bowled well. The colts’ spinners have also come to the forefront this season with both Tom Keevil and George Beswick bowling tremendously well. They showed a maturity beyond their age, a positive sign for future seasons!
Although there were strong bowling and fielding displays, batting this season was the problem for the team. With an unsettled and much changed batting order, the side struggled to build innings and partnerships; especially in overs cricket. When representing the 3rd XI, Abdul Salam, Jacob Bird and Joe Gadilhe all batted well and gave the side much needed stability in the middle order. Steve Zwarts also contributed well when batting and furthermore took on wicket-keeping duties for the first time. This was successful and with a positive mind-set, it earnt him a call up to the 2nd XI.
Even though the 2017 season saw relegation from Division 2, team and personal skills were developed and there were successful points during the season. The squad look forward to the 2018 season!
Hampton Wick Royal 3rd XI
The statement, “We should have won that”, was repeated on numerous occasions post-match throughout the season. The Wick 3rd XI finished once again in 6th position, again losing some close games and also winning some. Kudos goes out to every player who played for the 3s this season. Everyone bowled and fielded excellently and there were some sparks in the batting too.
Early season the team chased down 250 at Ashford and restricted both Purley and Ripley, who were chasing 118 and 108 respectively, to under a hundred runs. At least three of the seven matches won went down to the last over, too close for comfort for new skipper Zubair Ahmed. Johnny Allen, Graham Smith and Zubair were the leading wicket takers with more than 15 each. Honourable mention must go to Peter Culham who took two 5-fers in the season with an economy rate of 3.20 and Nabeel Shahpurwala (U16) whose 5 for 18 won the rain affected match at Purley. Altaf Shahpurwala, Zubair and Alex Bilton made 200 runs or more in the season. Overall it was a good season for the Wick 3rd XI where there were a number of new faces including a few youngsters, as well as regular 3s stalwarts, who played competitive cricket in the right spirit and with great enthusiasm.
Old Wimbledonians 3rd XI
After last year’s disappointing 3rd XI season and consequential relegation to the 2nd Division for the first time, the objective was to consolidate.
Under new, inspirational captain Dion Redelinghuys the season started well with the side inflicting one of two defeats on Battersea Ironsides beating them by 44 runs. A late order batting collapse saw the team brought quickly down to earth by East Molesey in the next game losing by 25 runs chasing a mere 130 to win. The results in the next few matches were up and down and half way through the season the side was well placed in fourth position. From mid-June onwards there were no losses but a couple of rain abandoned games did not do them any favours. Having won the final set of limited over games when promotion was in sight the one result that was needed to go in their favour did not materialise; East Molesey, in second place, beat league leaders Battersea Ironsides in the penultimate game of the season leaving the OWs in third place, denying them the chance of promotion.
The batting was led by Russ D’Souza (323), newcomer Andrew Mallichan (285), Alex de Silva (246) and Mike Bolton (210). The wickets were shared fairly evenly between Vik Nigam (21), Dion Redelinghuys (20), Andrew Mallichan (17), Max Jacobs (17), Ryan Chishick (15) and colt Nick Blain (13).
Thanks, as ever, to Eddie Bell and John Austin for umpiring and the side looks forward to next season and another bid for promotion.
Purley 3rd XI
A bitterly disappointing season for the Purley 3rd XI culminated in a final day relegation at the hands of a strong Old Wimbledonians side. In truth, the season was beyond the team by the time the last game came around. The team failed to win in 7 consecutive games in the middle of the season with the only ‘positive’ result coming in the form of an abandonment. The main problem that the 3rd XI suffered this season was a lack of availability and experience which scuppered any hopes of forming any rhythm or consistency especially in this aforementioned 7 game period. All told, this resulted in the 3rd XI winning 5 of the 18 games and finishing 8th on 134 points, 24 points adrift of safety.
Despite this, with the problem of a lack of many senior players, the club was given ample opportunity to play colts and this became one of the shining lights of the season. The two main successes of bringing colts into the 3rd XI were 15-year-old Jahir Somerville and 13-year-old Alex Burcombe with the former even going on to take a first team wicket at the end of the season.
Other notable mentions must go to the only centurion of the season Ash Patel who made a brilliant 108 against Woking & Horsell and also to Alex Glass who scored his first senior half century at the age of just 16 with a score of 63 in the same game. George Webber must also be commended for his bowling efforts taking 18 wickets in just 62.4 overs at an average of 11.67.
All things considered it has been a season to forget for the 3rd XI however, with the continued development of the colts at the club and the addition of some much-needed experience, the players will be looking to bounce straight back and gain promotion next season.
Ripley 3rd XI
Having gained promotion in 2016 Ripley 3rd XI was looking forward to the challenge of playing in the Surrey Championship Division 2 against big clubs who get 5 teams out week in, week out.
The tone for the season was a mixture of poor availability and losing games when well set; which at the improved standard was always going to be crucial.
The team managed 4 wins against Epsom, Hampton Wick and Woking & Horsell twice. Conceivably the side could and maybe should have won 3 more when well set, including a rained off against Purley when very well set, and maybe with a bit of luck a few more on top.
This resulted in Ripley finishing bottom of the league and deservedly relegated. The team was able to give a number of youngsters increased game time which can only benefit them and the club in the long term.
There were some encouraging signs with young spinners James Clover and Charlie Parker finally getting the wickets they deserved towards the end of the season. It was good to see Olly Govey running in with good hostility and James Bell and Josh Thomas also bowled well.
With the bat it was very hit and miss, from the sublime to the ridiculous, 65 for 1 to 96 all out at Old Wimbledonians, to making a fist of it chasing 260+ against Sanderstead and Old Wimbledonians (second time around).
Ironically Ripley had the top runs scorer in the league in skipper Neal Panting, scoring 549 runs at 34 which was by far his best ever season, laying the foundations each week which were often not capitalised on.
Moving forward to next year, there is a lot to look forward to, a new challenge, a new league and the chance to go again. Hopefully availability throughout the club will be stronger, giving all 3 teams the best possible chance.
Congratulations to Battersea Ironsides and East Molesey for going up, best of luck to everyone for 2018.
Sanderstead 3rd XI
The 3rd XI achieved a top half of the table finish in Division 2 matching 7 wins with 7 losses. Using the services of 52 different players reflected the inconsistency of team selection with only Abhishek Sen playing in more than 12 of the 18 games.
In summary, other than for one game, the top teams were too good for the side even when fielding a strong team and the weaker teams could not match the side, sometimes even when the club were forced to field weaker teams.
The highlights were a seven match unbeaten run in mid-season and a convincing win against promoted East Molesey, revenge for having 300+ plundered by East Molesey in the reverse fixture earlier in the season
Steve Hackshall was the leading run scorer with 308, followed by Abhishek Sen (276) and Sandeep Kuckreja (228), the latter from only 4 matches before moving up to the 2s including, in successive weeks, innings of 87* against Purley on the Rec and 102* at Ripley. On both occasions he was partnered by Steve Hackshall 83 and 115* in partnerships of 122 and 203 respectively. Simon Porter (151) and Lance Harris (144) were the others to reach 100 runs.
Half centuries were scored by Abhishek Sen (59*) and Lance Harris (61*) in the opening day 9 wicket win at Ashford and by Abhishek Sen (59) at champions Battersea Ironsides. On the Rec, Tommy Sherlock scored 60 against Woking & Horsell and Steve Hackshall 54* against Hampton Wick Royal.
As might be expected when regularly fielding teams including 7 or 8 bowlers, the wickets were shared around with Mike Penfold (15) leading the way supported by Paul Funnell (14), Will Hurst (14), Jack Pettifor (13), Dan Carey (11), Simon Porter (8), Rajiv Dave (7), Sandeep Kuckreja (6) and Lance Harris (6).
Woking & Horsell 3rd XI
The 3rd XI season promised a lot with 4 comprehensive wins in the first 4 games contributing to a strong showing in the limited overs games of 7 wins from 9. Unfortunately the side could only muster 1 win in timed cricket with poor availability meaning understrength sides were often put out combined with some poor performances. For the 3rd XI to push on and challenge for promotion a settled side (or at least a settled squad) is a must. In the end the side finished a credible 4th but a long way behind the top 2.
Notable performances included Tom Harlow and Nick Tune at the top of the order with over 300 runs each and several 50 opening partnerships including one century stand. Yasir Shahid was also reliable as ever in the middle order with almost 300 runs. Matt Allan was the stand out performer with the ball (23 wickets) while Rehan Ahmad also made important contributions throughout the season. Peter Smith also made the step up from 4s cricket to 3s and took 16 wickets. Special mention should also go to Sam Styles who deservedly won the club’s Colt of the Year award; a great fielder and underrated bowler who will definitely go on to play in the higher sides.
A number of colts passed through the 3s this year to play in higher sides, rather than being integral members of the side as would have been the case in previous seasons. However, this must be seen as a positive especially when they put in excellent performances higher up.