- Oxted & Limpsfield
- Reigate Priory
- Streatham & Marlborough
- Walton on Thames
The 4th XI managed to retain its Premier division status with a vital win in their last match of the season. The usual struggle for players, with 40 different players playing during the course of the season, caused a poor start to the league campaign. However, a strong core of players helped the team stay together. Captain Siva Kugathas topped the league bowling averages with 40 wickets at 10.5, aided by Kogulen with 32 at 17.5, including five in one over! Kogulen also scored 561 runs at an average of 30, supported by Irfan with 449 at 34.
Dulwich 4th XI
Dulwich 4th XI staged their annual battle for the title once again, this time with just Wimbledon for company. The team won plenty of matches but it was the three losses that put paid to title hopes. The team spent all season on the coat tails of Wimbledon who, to their immense credit, never crumbled under the pressure.
A couple of early comfortable victories were followed by a tight victory over Banstead and then a surprising loss to Sinjungrammarians, followed by a comprehensive defeat by Wimbledon. The catch up game was on from this stage. Five wins then followed including a nail biter by one wicket at Walton-on-Thames. A comfortable win in the second match against Wimbledon put Dulwich right back in the mix but hopes were diminished after a close loss to Sunbury in the penultimate match.
The team’s strength was very much on the bowling front. Andrew Swain claimed 20 wickets at 14 including a superb 8 for 55. He was well supported by veteran David Woods (19 at 11) and the consistent Sunil Isaac (17 at 12). Good support came from various quarters including Ollie Tobin, Prasanna Callaghan, Ben Lester and Lawrence Taylor. The batting was less consistent, and often not really called upon to step up to the plate. Zeeshan Chaudhry led the way with 293 at 24 with only Andrew Inglis also topping the 200 run mark. Ben Lester showed his prowess finally to make some useful contributions with the bat and hard hitting newcomer Henry Turner showed he will be an asset to the Club in the future.
The team was led well by the popular Matt Dixon with an excellent team spirit. That is now three close title shaves in succession but all credit to Wimbledon for their consistency losing just the one match.
Thanks to Jackie and her team for the teas as we look to return next year to put right the very small shortcomings of the last three years.
Oxted & Limpsfield 4th XI
The 4th XI achieved its highest ever finish in the Premier league with 4th place, with the key difference being its ability to win the close games.
Reigate Priory 4th XI
The side enjoyed a more successful season than 2016 and finished in 5th position in their Premier League. There were few outstanding performances and 50 players represented the side during the year, only 4 of whom played over 10 matches. Of the 8 leading run scorers the pick were Paul Fisher and Felix Tiley, although they only played in a handful of games. Simon Morris and Justin Dempsey were the leading bowlers.
SinjunGrammarians 4th XI
The 4th XI, made up with some ex-2nd XI players as well as some fresh new faces, was competing with some heavy weight clubs in the Premier Division.
Four wins in the first seven games put the team in a strong position but selection problems and then only one win out of the remaining games just about kept the side afloat in the league so the early wins in the season proved ever critical. The stand out player was Amir Shah with 344 runs with four others securing 150 runs or more; Wayne Walters, Craig Presaud, Kash Malik and Roger Muzaker. The bowling department had an average day at the office with 6 players securing 10 or more wickets but worth noting Roy Lawrence, Latty Clunes, Abdul Khan and Babar Khan all helping out.
2018 will hopefully be the season when some upcoming talent progress from the colts section; watch this space.
Spencer 4th XI
Spencer 4th XI had a very contrasting 2017 compared to the previous year. The 18 games showed a return of five wins, three draws, an abandoned game and nine losses. The campaign never really kicked off at any stage and unfortunately ended with a disappointing relegation to Division 1.
On a more positive note, a staggering number of youngsters, totalling 59, represented the 4th XI in 2017 which is more than ever before. Giving youngsters exposure to senior cricket was always the main aim and many of them performed admirably. For a lot of them, it was also the first time they had played a senior game. Youngsters such as Jaffer Kazmi (U15), Moin Khan (U15), Felix Lamy (U15), Alec Kenningham (U15) and Mathew Hawthorn (U15) to name but a few have bright futures ahead of them and have the potential to become important players at the club in the future.
Runs and wickets were shared around the group and the top three leading runs scorer were Omer Shad (258 runs at 25.8), Aun Naqvi (233 at 25.89) and Tristan Hanson (199 at 66.33). The top 3 bowlers were skipper Hussain Jafri (22 wickets at 16.77), Wajahat Abbas (15 at 14.6) and Rehan Malik (15 at 24.07).
Next season throws up an intriguing challenge to maintain a strong development culture for the youngsters as well as to aim to bounce straight back up to the Premier Division. With an extra year under the team’s belts, and more and more youngsters knocking on the door, the future is bright and the club looks forward to this challenge.
Streatham & Marlborough 4th XI
The season started with much anticipation with the 4th XI looking to mount a serious challenge to winning the league. There was much change, with Mark Davis taking the helm as captain and the team started strongly winning the first 2 games.
A period of inconsistency in team selection and results meant the 4s were in the mix half way through but rarely threatened Wimbledon’s charge to glory. During mid-season a change of leadership occurred with Jack Hughes and Mark Bartolo taking over responsibilities in difficult circumstances and towards the final few games Rajan Patel led the troops home.
In terms of performances Mark Davis (179 runs at 35.8) and Andy Mills (156 at 31.2) led the way and Michael Rea scored the lone ton of the season with 102* vs. Spencer. In terms of the bowling Mitch Davies led the way with 21 wickets including a match winning filthy 6 for 10! Other match winning performances came from Will Kay (5 for 28 vs. Walton), Jack Hughes (59 runs) and Rajan Patel (4 for 12 vs. Walton). Special mention goes to Luke Harris for his 5 for 22 vs. Reigate in a game the 4s managed to contrive to lose after a great effort in the field.
A couple of cricketers promoted to the 4s showed great application and form in the final few weeks with David Cook showing his batting had come a long way with 124 vital runs over 5 games and Stevie Horlock with a couple of lusty innings of 47 and 37.
Overall the vagaries of selection meant the 4s were unable to field a consistently strong unit leading to a tame end of season run but mid-table mediocrity had been attained. If a consistent team can be forged next year, it is without doubt that this team can challenge for the league in 2018.
Sunbury 4th XI
The 4th XI enjoyed a largely successful campaign finishing the season in 3rd place with nine wins, six losses, two abandoned and just the one draw which was a vast improvement on the previous campaign. The team was undefeated at home all season and was involved in some excellent games of cricket that went right down to the wire.
The season started with five wins as a disciplined attack limited the opposition to under 140 in four of the first five games. Starring early with the ball was Jack Greaves (5 for 51 vs. Sinjungrammarians) and Mani Baines (5 for 20 vs. Oxted) and the evergreen Nobby Clarke (4 for 18 vs. Streatham).
Leading the batting was Manvinder Sehmi (452 runs at 35), followed by stalwart Anoop Manro (379 at 27) and Jack Greaves (262 at 52) which was a very impressive return from just 8 games. A special mention must go to the returning Declan Grey, who chalked up 162 runs in just 3 innings including an epic 89 in a heroic effort against Reigate.
Bowling was excellent throughout the side, led as always by Nobby Clarke (26 wickets at 14) with an economy rate of just 3.28. Mark Ventham and Ranjit Gopi took 13 wickets apiece. Three colts who deserve a mention are Shyam Patel (11 wickets at 14), Neral Gunawardene (9 at 18) and Jacob Amyatt-Leir (8 at 24 and 102 runs at 26) but their talents were needed higher up the club more often than not.
It was good to see a number of young colts either make their senior debuts this season, or push on from the encouraging signs last season. If Sunbury can keep the bulk of the side together, then hopefully, the team can push on for greater success next season.
Walton on Thames 4th XI
The Walton-on-Thames 4th XI went into the 2017 season knowing it would be a tough one, following back-to-back promotions, and so it proved; the team finishing with just 37 points. In a season where 8 colts were given their senior debuts, it was the (relatively) old heads of Dann and new skipper George Cates, scoring 277 and 257 runs respectively, (with the former bringing up his maiden senior century away at Sunbury) doing the majority of the work with the bat. This was supplemented by valuable contributions from youngsters Umakanthan and Simpson (who scored 56 on debut).
Umakanthan and Cates showed their value as all-rounders, taking 31 wickets between them, while Jack Bailoor and Sachin Wilde showed great desire with the new ball and were unlucky not to take more wickets. As most games were lost, the only game where a winning draw could be obtained was at home against Spencer in a game where conditions were less than ideal. While each week was a struggle the atmosphere in the team never failed to be enjoyable and it was inspiring to watch young players enjoying their cricket even when losing on a weekly basis.
A disappointing season for Walton 4th XI but there is much promise for 2018, with young players like Jake Bainbridge, Ollie Pascall, Ben Colwell and Callum Gurr no doubt taking valuable experience from a tough first season in senior cricket.
Wimbledon 4th XI
Wimbledon 4th XI had an excellent year in 2017 winning the 4th XI Premier Division title with 305 points, 21 points ahead of Dulwich, with a playing record of 13 wins, 2 draws, 1 loss and 2 games abandoned.
Wimbledon scrambled home by 3 wickets in the first game of the season against Sinjuns, setting the standard as the first 5 games were won. Individual highlights included 52 by Tom Cooper against Sinjuns, Salman Mahmood’s 5 for 25 and Nick James’ 63* against Streatham and James Page’s 58 and Amjad Husain’s 71* against Dulwich.
The excellent start was halted by a high scoring draw at Sunbury where young gun Tim Lloyd scored 68 on debut in senior cricket in an opening partnership of 102 with Victor Bakker (53) in a score of 242 for 8 declared. Sunbury’s innings got off to a flying start before being pegged back. The game ebbed and flowed before Wimbledon claimed a winning draw with Sunbury 31 short.
Winning ways returned for the next three games, notable individual performances being Dan Peck (62 against Walton), James Page (51), Andy Drummond (64*) and Simon Warrender (52*) against Banstead but a poor game against Spencer saw Wimbledon just hang on for a losing draw chasing a total of 258 for 7 declared, Andy Drummond scoring 76* in a total of 158 for 8.
A win against Reigate restored morale, with another young gun, opener Rahul Desai, announcing himself in senior cricket by scoring 57* as Wimbledon chased down a total of 133 but another poor game against Dulwich resulted in the season’s only loss.
Normal service was resumed for the final month of the season with the last four games all being won; George Thomas 54 against Spencer, Harry Crocker 6 for 14 against Walton (the best bowling performance of the season) and George Thomas (50), Andy Drummond (50) and Rahul Desai (98 – the highest individual score of the season) all against Oxted, providing the highlights.
The leading run scorers were Amjad Husain (333), Dan Peck (263), Andy Drummond (214), and Rahul Desai (203). The leading wicket takers were Salman Mahmood (21), Harry Crocker (18), George Whipple (16), Jamie Andrews (14), and Arthur Crocker (12).
The 2017 season has been an excellent all-round team effort with more than 40 players contributing and a good mix of experience and youth, many of whom produced excellent performances in their first season in senior cricket.
The 4th XI squad can look forward with confidence to defending the title in 2018.