- Trinity Mid-Whitgiftian
2017 saw another difficult season for the 2nd XI marked by inconsistent selections and performances. Over the course of the 16 games where play occurred, the 2s fielded 53 unique players and 5 different captains, not generally a recipe for success which unfortunately saw the 2nd XI finish last in Division 3. A special mention should go to Player of the Year Obi Niazi, who was an ever-present over the season, club president David Moore and Daniel Mears both of whom played 12 of the 16 games for the 2nd XI.
Another common theme for the 2nd XI in 2017 was good batting, bowling and fielding performances throughout the season just never in the same game. Often a strong bowling performance would be followed up with a batting collapse or a good total being woefully defended both by loose bowling and at times fielding that even the West Indies would consider very sub-par.
The season was not all doom and gloom though despite the overall poor results, as various players, many of whom had never played for the 2nd XI before put in personal performances to be extremely proud of. Three half centuries from Obi and 52 from Ash Tandon on his 2nd XI debut were particular batting highlights. A match winning bowling partnership in the first game of the season courtesy of Young player of the Year Ollie Armstrong and Moktar Hossain who bowled 20 overs (8 for 58) between them with Ollie getting an adult career best of 6 for 29 saw the 2s record their first of only 2 wins during the season. The second being an impressive victory at the tail end of the season against Camberley.
Fresh blood was ably supported by some 2nd XI stalwarts, with Charlie Nash recording two half centuries in 7 innings, David Moore, Nazim Mahmood and David Roche all scoring a half century a piece. Ali Rajah took the only other five wicket haul during the season, a 6 for 52 against Ashford which was ultimately in vain unfortunately.
It would be hard to argue that the team’s second successive relegation was down to anything other than simply not being competitive enough over the course of 18 games. However, the team will look to build upon the silver linings found during the 2017 season and crucially try to put out as consistent a team as possible over the course of the new season.
Ashford 2nd XI
The season finished with the 2nd XI finishing 3rd in the league. A season which could have offered so much more but the 3rd place finish reflected the season. There were some really memorable games; all out for 132 against Chertsey and then bowling the home side out for 130, another was all out for 115 against Kempton and winning by 24 runs and 289 all out against Addiscombe and winning by 64 runs in the penultimate over. These games highlighted the season with a great bowling attack but a weaker batting line up.
The highlight with the bowling was Ali Syed finishing on 30 wickets just one behind the leading wicket taker in the division. He had great support from Riaz Khan with 19 wickets, who single-handedly won and saved numerous games; if he had played more matches he could have been up in the wickets tally and Gurpal Hundal, who finished on 15 wickets but bowled a great line all season often testing batsmen but never got the rewards in wickets.
With the bat Waseem Ahmed top scored with 479 runs (1 hundred and 3 fifties) supported by Chris Evans with 310 (3 fifties), Sravan Thatta 174 runs (1 hundred) and Ian Doggett 179 runs (1 fifty).
A lot of positives to take into next season and ambitions of winning the league, a key factor which cannot be ignored is Ashford, along with Addiscombe, were the only two teams in the league to have three games abandoned. Another is all games lost came against teams in the top half of the table, more positive results against the top teams could have changed the final table standings. Having a lot of the key 1st XI players unavailable this season meant a weaker team for the teams below and with the 1st XI relegated and 3rd XI just avoiding relegation finishing third was a great achievement for the 2nd XI.
Camberley 2nd XI
The 2nd XI’s 2017 season followed a familiar pattern to recent seasons, as a strong start tailed away towards the end. Five wins from the opening six games left the side clear at the top of the table, however availability issues meant only three of the remaining 12 games were won and the side ended up fifth in the table.
Of the four teams that finished higher in the table, Camberley recorded convincing wins against three of them, as Trinity Mid-Whitgiftian were bowled out for 62, Dorking for 77 and Ashford were beaten by seven wickets. These results were viewed as equally positive and frustrating, as they showed the side had the ability to get promoted but the lack of consistency in availability proved costly.
Over the course of the season, six different players captained the side, as official captain James Reeves played just five 2nd XI games due to first team numbers.
With the bat, Nick Carter led the way with 342 runs from eight games at an average of 68, featuring three 50s and a vital 40 against Kempton which helped the side post 119, which was then defended.
Other notable batting performances featured a century from Mac Syed, a match-winning 76* (and 4 wickets) from Dominic Peter, a maiden senior 50 from Adam Carter, battling 50s from Josh Halsey and Tim Hughes and consistent runs from Richard Pottinger and Richard Faulkner.
With the ball, Chris Pike took 30 wickets from 12 games at an average of 13, the highlight being 7for 43 against Dorking. Equally important was the nagging line and length of Neil Piper who took 20 wickets at an economy of 2.8.
Josh Halsey and Irfan Hameed both took six-wicket hauls and captain James Reeves took a game-changing five-for in the opening game.
The target for 2018 has to be promotion.
Chertsey 2nd XI
Having moved into Division 3 as promoted champions this season, it was unclear how the 2nd XI would fare in the higher league. Any doubts would be washed away by the end of the 18-match schedule, as the side secured consecutive league titles and secured a place in Division 2 for 2018. A close-fought battle with Dorking for top spot became the theme of the season, with Chertsey prevailing by just three points in the end thanks largely to an eight-game unbeaten run between June and August that set the tone. League titles are not won by one man and, as such, the entire 2s squad can look to a contribution they have made in one match or another to help achieve this title.
The bowling unit was particularly impressive, with four of the regulars in the attack finishing the season inside the top 11 wicket takers in the division. Josh Jackman topped the lot, claiming 31 wickets at 15.03, while impressive leg-spinner Tom Drage, in his first full season in the side, took 29. Support came from Jamie Chapman (23 at 14.17), Stuart Eagles (23 at 18.22) and Jamie Anthony (20 at 21.90).
The batting was guided by the veteran pair of Phil Boast and Steve Bussey who were the fifth and seventh leading run scorers in the division. Boast’s 488 runs and Bussey’s 451 contained six half centuries combined, including two scores in the 90s for the latter. Matt Wiggins, Jamie Anthony, Luke Robertson and James Richards, who returned from injury to score the side’s only century, all chipped in over the course of the campaign.
Dorking 2nd XI
The 2017 season proved to be a successful one for Dorking 2nd XI as, after more than three years of trying, the team have been promoted to Division 2. In previous seasons the 2nd XI had always started strongly and continued to be strong contenders at the half way point of the season but unfortunately had fallen away with consistency of availability but not so in 2017. Even before the season began, the team had added to its already strong squad with the development of a handful of junior players increasing their skillset during winter nets.
The team started the season in typical fashion, winning the first four games in the favoured 50:50 format and from there on confidence grew. The side knew that no matter who was played, there was a very good chance of beating them. The team was playing a much tougher brand of cricket, with players making an impact throughout the entire batting and bowling line ups. The team had a fight to win that just was not there in previous seasons and this saw the side winning games that in previous years it would have lost.
There were some season-long notable performances with both bat and ball. Andrew Homewood scored 619 runs in 15 innings with an average of 44.21 and finished 2nd top run scorer in the league. Jack Homewood finished with 26 wickets from 88.4 overs with best figures of 6 for 24. Steve Quinn and Max Riddler were just as impressive with the ball, picking up 25 and 24 wickets respectively.
To be a successful team at any level you need to have consistency with your batsmen and bowlers but for the captain, the main reason promotion was achieved was down to one player; the wicket keeper, Wilbur Edwards. Wilbur performed consistently well throughout the season, taking some unbelievable dismissals and he turned games for the team taking catches he had no right to. For this reason he was voted the captain’s Player of the Season and is the first player on the team sheet for 2018.
The side looks forward to testing itself in Division 2 in 2018.
Egham 2nd XI
After a slow start with narrow defeats and comical run outs, the team established itself as one of the most competitive in the league. Early fifties from David Drage and Harry Morris saw them promoted to the 1st XI. This saw opportunities for youngsters Wright, Bax and the Manwaring brothers. Stu Turner was the lynchpin in the slips, not missing a catch all season. The commitment and effort on the pitch was a key driving force for the improvements made in the second half of the season.
The heart of the team was a strong and consistent bowling unit. The team took over 130 wickets and averaged over 8 wickets per game. Harvey Moyne, Amod Pandit, Dan Telford and Brad Straight all put in match winning performances. Healthy competition meant promising young stars also performed well, including Cam Rose and Elliot Hook. The platform is set for a title challenge next year with a team packed full of promise and ability.
Huge thanks go to the ‘backroom’ staff, including Carol (scorer), Roger Dix (umpire) and Janet (Nutritionist). Coaching from Richie Hall paid dividends at the back end of the season too. Thank you all.
Kempton 2nd XI
Victory on the final Saturday ensured the 2nd XIs survival in Division 3 after a tense season with several close games and unhelpful interventions by the weather in a couple of others. Six wins and eight losses led to a seventh-place finish, four points clear of relegation. The statistics reflect the fact that almost 50 players appeared for the 2nd XI during 2017, owing to the availability problems noted elsewhere. Only Vishal Singh (254 runs at 23) passed 200 runs while Chris Page again led the bowling with 21 wickets at 19. Many thanks to Roy Beard and Ian Haddow for their umpiring and scoring efforts.
Purley 2nd XI
The 2nd XI started the season with hopes to play high quality cricket and try to get back in to Division 2 but due to very poor availability throughout the season and some of the key players out of form, the 2nd XI was unable to convert many close losses to wins and ended being relegated in the last game of the season despite scoring a record breaking 401 runs against Addiscombe and winning by 245 runs.
There were good performances throughout the season, most notable was new entrant Chris Cooper, who scored 676 runs in his first season for the club and showed his fantastic skills in batting, bowling, fielding and wicket keeping. Skipper Asif Ali and Adeel Rehman scored 397 runs each, supported by Yasir Wahab (212). Bowling, Mitchell Gaitskell finished with 22 wickets, followed by Asif Ali (16) and Farhan Ghalib (15).
There were a few promising performances from young players Jack Yull (197), Michael Short (177) and Mitchell Gaitskell (155) giving the hope that the 2nd XI will have the strength to fight hard for promotion next year.
Despite relegation, good performances were acknowledged by the awarding of the year end trophies to; Chris Cooper, Batsman of the Year for his 676 runs averaging 45.07 (676 including 1 hundred and 5 fifties). Mitchell Gaitskell, Bowler of the Year for his 22 wickets at 25.68 and both Chris Cooper and Mitchell Gaitskell shared Player of the Year award for their great performances.
Sanderstead 2nd XI
The season started with promise with the 2nd XIs first game against Trinity Mid-Whigiftian. Sanderstead set a target of 285 and won by 96 runs; Christie Sullivan (96* plus 4 wickets). Egham was another comprehensive win by 85 runs; Robert Hollands (70 runs). Unfortunately Sanderstead lost to Kempton (107 all out). In a close game Camberley were chasing 175 runs which Camberley won with 2 balls to spare; Tariq Syed (75 runs)
Availability was starting to make selection interesting with players being moved through the sides. This made it difficult to keep the balance of the 2nd XI with just a few core senior players in the side.
The fourth game saw a good win over Addiscombe. Over the next few games there was a mixed bag of performances from the team and it was tough to keep the team spirits high. A few winning draws and losses and then thanks to the British weather a couple of games were called off.
Chertsey was the highlight of the season with Chertsey on a promotional run with Dorking. It was the innings of the season for Liam Azer (139 runs) setting Chertsey a target of 221 runs. This game also saw the inclusion of a number of young players. The highlights were Miles Brookes taking his 1st wicket for the 2nd XI and Matt Harris picking up another 3 wickets to add to his sensational tally of 28 wickets.
With 2 games still to play it was essential to pick up points. Ashford were the final opponents and bowling them out for 156 was a gettable target, Sanderstead won by 2 wickets to secure a mid-table finish.
Many thanks must go to Sarah-Jane Sherlock for scoring and Derek Rushforth for umpiring.
Trinity Mid-Whitgiftian 2nd XI
The 2nd XI finished 4th having been in the promotion hunt until the penultimate game. Another year in Division 3 could well ultimately benefit the team, getting used to winning regularly again following a couple of chastening years. Availability helped as it was stronger and more consistent than in 2016.
Two early defeats set alarm bells ringing but a solid run chase against Ashford followed by a thumping of eventual champions Chertsey calmed nerves. The team hit form in the middle of the season with wins against Addiscombe (twice), Purley (twice) and a reversal of the shambles first time around against Camberley. These successes straddled the best game of the season, a 1-run victory against Kempton, who looked dead and buried at 149 for 9 chasing 216 but got themselves within one shot of victory only for the number 11 to hit a long hop straight to the only man in the deep. Rain affected games did the side no favours as momentum was checked and promotion chances ended with a penultimate game loss to Egham.
The batting was generally solid with large contributions from stalwarts Graham Cobbett (524), Rob Warne (424) and Stuart Clarke (361); schoolboys Sam Williams and Joe Baxter ably fitting into the line-up once available. With runs on the board the attack performed well; Ben Ives, Russ Henley, Nick Bradwell and James Wilson all went at just 3 an over throughout which applied pressure allowing the slow bowlers to clean up. 14 year-old Joe Baxter’s debut was a highlight as he took 5 for 31 to go alongside his 82. Stephen Self had a really good season in all 3 disciplines. The skipper was the main beneficiary of the tight bowling at the other end, knowing the right time to bring himself on to claim 25 wickets.
Many thanks go to James Gibson and Andy Munsey for umpiring and to Andrew Smith and Nick Trend for scoring.