- Chipstead Coulsdon & Walcountians
- Old Emanuel
- Trinity Mid-Whitgiftian
It was a successful year for the 3rd XI, finishing 5th in the league, matching last year’s position, but with slightly more points (209 vs. 199). As ever, the team featured a wide range of players and a good mixture of youth and experience, with a number of successful individuals gaining experience and eventually playing for the 2s. The 3rd XI also benefitted this year from a strong Addiscombe 4th XI, with a number of good players building their confidence before becoming 3s regulars.
Notable batting performances were produced by Ali Rajah (250 across the season from 6 games, top score 80*), Sadiq Mansour (243 from 11 games) whilst Ram Vijayaseelan’s cameos of 109, 75* and 63* were extremely useful.
Our top bowlers this year were Mohammed Hussein (14 wickets), Ali Rajah (13), Imthiaz (12) and Mathan Kumar (11). Mathan also had the best individual figures of 4 for 20 vs. Mitcham (A).
In terms of overall team performances, the most notable was vs. Woodmansterne (H), where Addiscombe managed to salvage a winning draw. Woodmansterne required 45 to win off the last 10 overs and only 3 off the last over for a winning draw before a devastating piece of bowling in the final over from Mokter Hussein took 2 wickets and went for 1 run (total match figures of 12-5-25-3).
Cheam 3rd XI
After successive relegations culminating in entry to the East Regional Division, there was only one way and it was upwards. The club offered the captaincy to Anirudh Ramadurai who had a clear agenda and understood the strengths of the team members.
The approach was to play attacking and resultorientated cricket whilst being polite and respectful towards the opposition. The team started the season with a thumping win over Addiscombe. This game was the spark needed to kick start the campaign. Cheam 3rd XI was bolstered by the presence of experienced players like Toby Aiston, Jamie Rix, Ed Stovell, Mickey Kim, Robert Airey, Charlie Mott, and Paul Fisher along with new members Karan Varma and James Adams. The younger players from U17s, U16s and U14s also made a notable contribution. Overall the team achieved an impressive 13 wins out of 18 games with only two defeats.
The formidable batting line up was headed by Toby Aiston (610 runs at 76) and Karan Varma (510 at 46) complemented by a razor sharp bowling attack spearheaded by Mickey Kim (23 wickets at 13), Ed Stovell (20 at 10), Jamie Rix (22 at 10) and Robert Airey (21 at 16).
The team won the last five games on the trot and secured promotion with one match remaining. The final game against formidable opponents (Trinity Mid Whitgiftians) was a formality statistically but was a well fought encounter, with the young guns Ishaan Shetty and Pranav Madan showing glimpses of Cheam’s bright future as the team cruised to an 8 wicket victory.
The captain would like to thank all the team members, club management, administrators and finally the opponents who played cricket the way it should be played, and that is “like gentlemen.”
Chipstead Coulsdon & Walcountians 3rd XI
Much like a Jason Roy innings CCWCC 3rd XI season started off shining brightly, promised so much, looked to be building to something of substance but ultimately flattered to deceive and ended in disappointment.
Lying second and well in the hunt for the one promotion spot in the league until the first game of August, a crunch match against league leaders Cheam saw the 3s beaten again by the same man who had also won the game singlehandedly in the away fixture a few weeks earlier. Over 100 overs bowled against Mr Toby Aiston in the 2017 season and CCWCC 3s are still to get him out! The 3rd XI will miss visiting Cheam next season but not to bowling against Toby!
From there the curse of August struck for the second year in a row as CCWCC 3s failed to win a game in August again! In the end a late rally saw a creditable 4th place finish but in truth a long way from the runaway leaders.
The regional structure for the 3rd XIs below Div 2 has its advantages in terms of travel time; however the lack of relegation and only 1 side promoted means that it is incredibly hard to get out of the league and the vast majority of games have absolutely nothing riding on them. This deserves some re-thinking.
Notable mentions should go to ‘evergreens’ Bruce Lane who scored over 300 runs in his 8 games (averaging 75) and to Paul Huitson with 26 wickets at an average of 12.8 and a strike rate of 25.8.
Thank you from the skipper to everyone who represented the 3s this season (all 40 of them!) and huge thanks to the regular scorer Barbara Heal and umpire John Penn who made everyone’s lives so much easier on Saturday afternoons.
Merstham 3rd XI
The final league standings saw Merstham 3rd XI sit comfortably in 7th place but a small cluster of teams in the middle of the table meant that 3rd place was merely 26 points away; not miles away from where the team strived to remain for the majority of the season, having occupied that spot for a prolonged period of time.
Results varied wildly over the course of the season due to poor availability, the constant chopping and changing of personnel and frequent lapses in concentration but there were plenty of noteworthy and positive moments in the season. A great start saw the side beat rivals Chipstead & Coulsdon at home before holding its nerve to cross the line by just one wicket against everyone’s favourite team, Sinjungrammarians. The euphoric celebrations were short-lived as the team crashed back down to earth the following week with a dire batting performance away to Old Emanuel where the side was rolled over for 58 attempting to chase down a very gettable 99.
The middle of the season saw the team hit a rough patch of five consecutive winless games where dropped catches and the inability to run through the tail to finish off games cost dearly, as three winning draws (where the opposition were down to 9 wickets) and two losses slowed progress considerably at a time where promotion was looking achievable.
The season finished on a more positive note as wins against both Woodmansterne and Addiscombe ensured that the team remained in the thick of the mid-table scrap.
Mitcham 3rd XI
The loss of a number of senior players from the club at the end of the 2016 season meant that the 2017 season got off to a difficult start for 3rd XI. The team unfortunately lost the first 3 games to Chipstead, Addiscombe and Cheam (despite fifties from Shanthosh and De Vos), leaving the side very near to the bottom of the table.
Mitcham then played a solid Woodmansterne team away, posting a slightly below par 184 for 9 in 45 overs. A combination of good bowling at the death and a little luck saw the team snatch an unlikely victory by 4 runs, defending 6 off the last over. Things brightened somewhat after that. At Sinjungrammarians, with a vastly weakened team the side expected a hammering, only to discover that the opposition was having similar problems; main strike bowler Hosseini took a magnificent 8-1-6-15 to set up a 6 wicket win. Away again in the next match against Old Emanuel saw a win by 3 wickets. After that, at home, the team fought bitterly and just managed to hang on for a losing draw against an excellent Merstham batting unit who had racked up 272! The next 2 matches were both away and the side managed a 3 wicket win at Addiscombe and a 128 run win at Wallington (De Vos 93*). Trinity arrived the following week and racked up 285! Again the team hung on bitterly, executing a belligerent rear-guard action to grab a losing draw. The next week saw a win against Woodmansterne before rain came in and disrupted the season somewhat. The only century of the season (Matt Carstens with a brilliant 117*) was achieved in the next match against Sinjungrammarians but the side then went on to lose 2 more games before gaining a concession in the last game.
The team finished 3rd overall and this can be seen as a positive in view of the early season struggles.
Old Emanuel 3rd XI
As with previous years, 2017 saw the issue of player availability impact on what the 3rd XI was able to achieve this season. When at full strength, the side was more than capable of challenging the majority of teams in the league and that has been seen in a number of the performances, however the inconsistency with which that side can be put out is reflected in the results.
Although results have not always been to the side’s liking, the way in which the team plays the game and the spirit within the squad has made for an enjoyable season and has been appreciated by many of the teams played against this year. That team spirit has been a hallmark of this side for the last few seasons and is something to look to maintain into the future.
With some late season recruitment and hopefully the addition of a few more players over the closed season the team are looking forward to an improved showing in the league next year. One thing is guaranteed, the side will enjoy themselves whatever happens!
SinjunGrammarians 3rd XI
The Jolly 3rd XI once again set out to see whether they could finish with the promise that they have so richly deserved for so long. Selection woes, with last minute player drop-outs, meant the team had to battle hard to stay the right side of the bottom half and three wins in the first eight games meant the battle would always be uphill.
The skipper Joey Crouse with his last season at the club will be sorely missed both with bat and ball, others will have a hard time trying to fill his boots. Kevin Mettam and Faruk Patel stepped up but with regular runs from Ettienne Massyn coming seemingly slower than normal, others had to prop up the run department. The bowling department helped with the spin of Shaf Malik (22 wickets) and Jeet (20); Kevin, Joey and Faruk all to chipped in with key performances.
The 2018 season could be interesting with the departure of Joey but it feels like this could also be the start of a new team with some serious all-round performances expected.
Trinity Mid-Whitgiftian 3rd XI
Reasonable availability and a more even league gave the 3rd XI hope for a successful 2017. Five straight wins propelled the team to the top of the table in early June and a nail-biting winning draw with Chipstead, Coulsdon & Walcountians followed by victory against Woodmansterne improved things further. Sadly, that was as good as it got.
Poor batting against Sinjungrammarians led to a first defeat and despite an excellent performance to dismiss title contenders Cheam for 150 on a good track, the batting imploded for a second week running under pressure from a steady and competitive attack. A disappointing, rain disrupted loss to Wallington put the title out of reach. A final day defeat to already promoted Cheam, where Mids made just a few more mistakes than the opponents, proved an appropriate conclusion. Finishing second should not mar what would have been a promotion winning performance in any other division.
The veteran bowling line up proved too wily for most opposition. Gary Revel-Chion led the way with 27 wickets, while Messrs Asbury, Roberts and Sutcliffe all contributed. Of the younger bowlers James Warburton chipped in with 15 wickets in fewer than 60 overs. Raheel Shafique made a welcome return and was unlucky to only strike 8 times.
Kevin Pacey (417) and the returning globetrotter Phil Mander (308) led the way in the batting. Varun Jain’s 284 runs at the top of the order showed considerable promise, whilst James Warburton added useful runs to compliment his bowling.
Three hundreds were scored, all notable in their own way. Kevin Pacey made 101* in the game at Woodmansterne when no one else wanted to bat number 3, Chris Perera struck a majestic 100* at Mitcham and Chris Maiden’s 105, in a fleeting appearance against Merstham, gave a hint that if his knees had remained stronger the League could have been won at a canter.
Wallington 3rd XI
Wallington entered the 2017 season hopeful of improving on the record of two wins the previous season; once again greeted by some new teams in a slightly rejigged East Division.
After a great first match of the season seeing Alex Burmingham score his maiden league ton (108) ultimately not being enough as the team lost with an over to spare, the season took a bit of a downward turn. The next two fixtures were conceded and the side did not experience victory until week 10 away to SinjunGrammarians.
With the hopes of things picking up again in the second half of the year, favours were called in and a few new faces joined the team as well as welcoming back some old ones. The mid-year rain deluge led to a cancellation, a scrappy winning draw and the unlikeliest of victories against promotion chasing Trinity Mid-Whitgiftian giving victory number two for the season. This was a real highlight beating a very good side in a brilliant tight match that has to have been one of the best games the captain has been involved in.
The penultimate game of the season saw the team host eventual champions Cheam. It was a great spirited match and felt a fitting way to play the game following the pre-game remembrance marking Effingham’s loss the previous week.
One more win, via the way of concession by the opposition, gave the team 3 for the season beating last year’s total and moving the side off the foot of the table for the first time. Wallington maintained this position despite conceding the last match of the season.
It was a mixed season in all but a great year for player development with people making names for themselves and moving up the teams in the club. After some years of hard graft, next year gives something for a new captain to build upon.
Woodmansterne 3rd XI
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