- Old Rutlishians
- Reigate Priory
- Streatham & Marlborough
- Woking & Horsell
Banstead's 4th XI had an excellent start and had a mixture of youth and experience throughout the season. For most of the year the side was at the top of the league, however towards the end of the season the team struggled for numbers and finished 3rd.
Irfan Sultan (441 runs @ 29.4) top scored and Siva Kugathas (38 wickets @ 13.5) took the most wickets in what was overall a successful season.
Dulwich 4th XI
The 4th team enjoyed a rollercoaster of a season, which ended with them being pipped to the title, losing to Spencer on run rate in a washed out decider on the last day of the season. Despite being dominant at times, several inconsistent performances cost the team dearly, with the home defeats by Banstead and Wimbledon particularly raw memories.
The batting was generally strong despite a very changeable line up as players who performed well were rightly promoted to the 3s as well as the usual availability and injury issues having an effect. Seven players averaged over 30 for the team, with Will Cooper (255 @ 63.75) scoring most runs, despite only playing four games. Other notable performers included James Chudley (107 against Old Rutlishians), Darren Cason, Simon Bailey, Julian Dean, Zeeshan Chaudhry, Jonny Stone, Mathew Dixon and Prasanna Callaghan (a blistering 97 not out against SinjunGrammarians).
The bowling was led by the threatening David Knightbridge, who regularly took early wickets and was able to bowl long spells. He finished with 25 wickets @ 9.65, an impressive effort. He was well supported by the accurate away swing of Sunil Isaac, taking 14 wickets @ 11.71 in a strong debut season. The team relied on seamers with Prasanna Callaghan, Andrew Swain, Will Burgass and Paul Charlton all making good contributions. Spinner Ben Lester took 11 wickets in the 5 games he played.
Despite the big disappointment of finishing second, the team has strength in depth, a tight bond and excellent spirit. With better concentration at vital moments, they will be title challengers again in 2017.
Old Rutlishians 4th XI
2016 can only be described as a rough season for the club in general. For the 4th XI it was particularly severe with only 2 games won throughout the whole season. Many of 2015s standout players in the fours had been promoted to the higher echelons of the club leaving a very young and inexperienced team to battle its way through a full season of Premier Division cricket. It really was a baptism of fire for a lot of them.
There were very few bright spots and standout performances to note. However the emergence of several youngsters and their performances throughout the season helped show that the club's fantastic youth system has got a lot of talent that will be paying dividends in the next season or two. The main standout performances of note were Mudasser Mubashar's 5 for to win a game against Sunbury, Louis Cohen and William Donegan's 100+ stand which included the former's maiden senior half century to chase down an improbable target against Banstead and Ayush Patel's maiden league half century in a losing effort to Sinjuns. All 4 are products of the club's youth system and are in either their first or second season of adult league cricket but have shown that they have the skill and toughness to succeed and progress the fortunes of the club as they grow.
Reigate Priory 4th XI
The 4th XI started the season well with four wins from the first six games including a confidence boosting win against Wimbledon. The three consecutive wins over Banstead, Sinjungrammarians and Woking placed the side towards the top of the table. Unfortunately, the team was unable to maintain this form and finished the league in mid table after only securing three more wins from the remaining 12 matches. As such it ultimately proved to be a disappointing year for the Priory in finishing 7th in the league.
There were some excellent batting performances with the highlight being Pete Mitchell’s 106* against Banstead. Pete averaged 73.6 for the side. Matt van Staden continued his form from last season with some attacking innings and finished with a season average of 34. Mention must be made of Andy Hoad who scored his highest ever score of 48 against Wimbledon.
The highlights in the bowling department go to Sumair Qasim and Owen Morris for taking five wickets each against Sinjungrammarians and Woking respectively. Mentions must also go to Irfan Hameed, Murali Bhat, Justin Dempsey and Bevan Lester for their consistent bowling throughout the season.
In the field, Justin Dempsey’s athletic caught and bowled against Banstead was a sensational catch.
A number of colts players represented the team throughout the season. Ollie Thilo and James Dodsworth played a number of games and deserve a special mention for their excellent contribution to the side.
After three years as captain Owen Morris stands down and he is thanked for his efforts as a skipper and opening bowler.
Congratulations go to Spencer for winning the League. The team is already looking forward to the 2017 season.
SinjunGrammarians 4th XI
A new team and a new skipper sound all too familiar for Sinjuns in 2016. But Shaf took up the mantle and building a team from scratch did not prove too difficult as some players who had played in the 2nd XI helped to provide the core of the team. Some solid wins against teams that are represented at all levels predominantly in the Premier section of the league helped to give a lot of confidence to the new faces who had shown decent team spirit.
Amir Shah scoring over 300 runs stood out as one of the newcomers and as ever Shaf taking 34 wickets helped the team. The team finishing mid table, at times showing the ability to fight for the top spot is an encouraging sign and has a lot of promise for the club.
Spencer 4th XI
“And then they were champions”. After narrowly missing out last season Spencer 4th XI had finally done it, for the first time ever.
Spencer started off their campaign at home against Streatham & Marlborough with a defeat in a last wicket thriller but showed plenty of signs of what was to come. Spencer went on to win the next five games with considerable ease including the usual big guns Dulwich and Wimbledon. Runs were scored and wickets were taken by various individuals, showing a collective team effort as Spencer marched to the top of the table.
From week 7 everything changed; an abandoned game at Old Ruts, escaping defeat at Reigate, losing heavily at home to Sunbury, gifting them their first win of the season. Next a draw with Sinjuns at home in a high scoring thriller, another heavy defeat to Banstead before losing a close battle at Wimbledon. Six games in a row winless, yet Spencer only fell from first to fourth in the table thanks to other results going in favour. However, even the thought of retaining the 2nd place was fading quickly. The equation was clear but monumental at the same time. Win the remaining games. The top three were Dulwich, Banstead and Streatham. Spencer was yet to play all 3 in the 2nd legs which simplified the equation a touch.
Game 13, skipper Hussain Jafri led from the front picking up a career best 5 wicket haul as Spencer secured a comfortable win at Streatham. Game 14, George Roberts, the youngest player (U13s) to score a ton in league cricket for Spencer, stole the show along with James Lipscombe at home vs. Woking. Game 15, unheard of back to back tons scored by colts in the 4s, this time Daniel Willis (U15s) showed how it is done with the bat in partnership with skipper Jafri, while Rehan Malik caused destruction with the ball vs. Old Ruts.
Game 16, bowlers Wasim Malik and Alex Spencer rip through Banstead while Daniel Willis bags another fifty. Game 17, crucial knocks by Aun Naqvi and Omar Shad see off Sunbury away while Dulwich lose to Wimbledon the same week which set up the final showdown of winner takes all in game 18.
In the rain, Spencer came out on top in an historic battle to become the champions of 2016. Dan Willis the bowler for the U15s walked away with the batting award scoring 325 @ 41 and Rehan Malik is awarded the best bowler with 25 wickets @ 15.
Streatham & Marlborough 4th XI
Having avoided relegation by a single point in 2015, a new look team got off to the perfect start winning a thriller on day one away at Spencer. Vital knocks from Justin Sbresni and Mark Bartolo helped chase down 234 to seal a one wicket victory. That win set the side on its way and it proceeded to win the next four, including a home game against Dulwich when tons from Stuart James and Harry McNeil Adams helped put on 318. Next came an away game at Wimbledon where a superb 5fer from Raj Patel helped restrict the hosts to 144 before the side scraped over the line with two wickets to spare; Mark Davis and Patel putting together a crucial 50 run 8th wicket stand.
Having beaten the previous season’s top three sides the team was starting to feel confident this season could be one of real achievement, only for the rains to come for the next three weeks to stop the winning run in its tracks. Going into July the side rediscovered the sun but not the form as it lost five of the next six games. A couple more wins in the last four saw the team attain a top half finish, a real improvement from the season before but disappointing given the way the team had started.
Aside from the league position, the discovery of new talents (Harry McNeil Adams played just 4 games but scored 2 tons and finished 4th in the league run list!), improved performances from established players (Raj Patel stepping up with both ball and bat, Mark Davis leading the way with 22 wickets) and the ability of players from the 5s and 6s to step up and perform in this league gives the side confidence for the 2017 campaign.
Sunbury 4th XI
Another tough year for the 4th XI saw the team competing at the wrong end of the table once again. Had it not been for the performances of Nobby Clarke and Jerry Smith, both of whom finished with 23 wickets at 11.78 and 12.83 respectively, it surely would have been a tougher campaign. Spirited performances in the second half of the season saw the side finish in 8th position.
Runs were hard to come by all season and only once did the team cross 200. Leading run scorers were Manvinder Sehmi (190 runs @ 31.67), followed by Anoop Manro (178 @ 22.25). Notable contributions with the bat were Aaryan Pillai who scored 158 runs in 5 innings including match winning performances in crucial run chases towards the end of the season and Kieron Crichard, who scored vital runs in the first success of the season. All-rounder Mark Ventham continued to impress in his comeback year with both bat and ball and his season's haul of 12 wickets and 187 runs do not fairly reflect his contribution.
Along with Pillai, other colts that did themselves proud this year were Lukas Brierley, Daniel Finlay and Josh Taylor, all of whom have bright futures ahead of them. As always, availability and continuity in team selection is vital. They certainly have the talent at their disposal, getting them on the pitch is the key.
Wimbledon 4th XI
As no report was submitted by the club the following was written by the Editor.
The 4th XI finished 6th in a very competitive division. With all teams beating each other, the top seven sides ended up separated by less than 60 points.
With only one win in the first five matches, the side was struggling at the foot of the table, however an eight match unbeaten run in June/July meant the Championship was well within reach. In the return to limited overs matches, two defeats in the last four games against Sunbury and Banstead resulted in the final mid-table finish.
The main contributors with the bat were Ehtisham Qadir with 257 runs @ 32.13, Oliver James (244 @ 34.86) and Ishan Rajan (218 @ 54.50). With the ball Arthur Crocker took 17 wickets @ 13.06, Kane Lawrence (12 @ 23.92), Oliver Davis (14 @ 9.50) and Salman Ahmed (12 @ 10.17).
The team will regroup in 2017 and plans to be pushing hard to regain the 4th XI Premiership title again.
Woking & Horsell 4th XI
Twelve months after promotion, Woking & Horsell 4th XI find themselves back in Division One. The harsh reality is the team was not good enough throughout the season and a return to Division One is perhaps in the best interest of the side.
Although the margin between staying up and relegation was only three points (congratulations to Sunbury on avoiding the drop), there were several games where the 4s struggled to compete with those sides that finished higher up the league. Conceding 279 against Spencer and 338 against Dulwich are just two examples of this, unfortunately there were a few more!
The 4s also failed to get over the line in close games against Wimbledon (both home and away) and a win in either would have meant avoiding the drop.
There were good moments to the season, chasing down 200 against fellow strugglers Old Ruts the week after failing to chase down less than 100 against Sunbury stands out, as does the win away at Streatham & Marlborough.
In such a tough season there were few standout performances but Tom Harlow (290 runs @ 22) was the leading run scorer for the second season in a row, although a long way off his 500+ runs from last year. John Price also made match winning contributions (210 @ 35) and was greatly missed when not in the side. No other batsman scored more than 150 runs.
Vice-Captain Peter Smith led the way with the ball (27 wickets @ 14.85) and was well backed up by Johnny Ayling (15 @ 25.47). A notable mention must go to Ed Smith who took 9 for 46 against Spencer at home before heading off to spend the rest of the season in the 3s, unfortunately the side still got nowhere near winning that game (sorry Ed!).
Under new leadership and with some promising colts coming through, 2017 should be a more successful season.