Wanstead and Snaresbrook Cricket Club - Review Season 2009

Wanstead & Snaresbrook CC

2009 Season Review

2009 was another successful season for the club with the 1st XI winners of the Essex League Cup and finishing runners-up in the 1st XI Premier League, the 5th XI winning the 4th XI Division Two League, the 6th XI winning the 4th XI Division Three West League and the U.16s winning the Matchplay competition.

 The 1st XI had get to grips with the new format of the Premier League and surprisingly, having won the league in 2008, struggled in the longer games, winning only one of their nine 120 overs games.  The team did better in the 50/50 overs games, however, winning six and tying one of their nine games. This meant they finished the season runners-up in the league. John Chambers was Mr Consistency again, scoring over 700 runs at an average of nearly 55.  The most exhilarating batting came from Adnam Akram, who played a number of memorable innings and finished the season as the leading runscorer with over 750 runs.  Arfan Akram with 600 runs played a number of captain’s innings.  The bowling was led by the evergreen left-arm spinner Mohammed Fayyaz Khan with 44 wickets and the last few games of the season saw the emergence of the exciting young leg spinner Rehan Hassan.  The medium pace bowling was less consistent although Zain Shahzad impressed in his first season.  A highlight of the season was the League Cup final against Upminster.  In an excellent game Mervyn Westfield scored 101 in Wanstead’s total of 232 – 9.  An aggressive spell from Maurice Chambers (3-25) looked to have put the game well beyond Upminster but a late flourish from Upminster’s lower order meant that the game was still in the balance going into the last over.  Wanstead eventually prevailed by 12 runs, however. Thanks must go to Henry Chambers not only for his scoring but also the administrative support he gave to captain Arfan Akram during the season.

The 2nd XI had a somewhat up and down season under the stewardship of new captain Jon Cade.  Despite entering the league campaign off the back of an encouraging pre-season, the Herons managed just the one win in their first 8 matches and soon found themselves languishing in the lower reaches of the table.  In the second half of the season, however, Cade managed to rally his troops and 5 wins saw them elevate themselves to a more respectable final 5th position in the league.  Arthur Jennings led the way with the bat averaging 31.27, Soyfur Rahman took 25 wickets at an average of 31.37 with his slippery right-arm seamers and Joe Ellis-Grewal bagged himself 31 victims at an average of 34.18 with his wily left-arm spin.

The 3rd XI had a frustrating season.  At the mid-point of the season they were well-placed to challenge for their league.  Two defeats in succession, however, left them too much to do especially as the excellent Chelmsford 3rd XI kept on winning, and they eventually had to settle for third place. The batting was led by Humza Ishtiaq with 590 runs including an exhilarating 154 not out against South Woodford.  Young Josh Hutchings started the season in explosive form with 161 not out in the first league game and despite struggling in the second half of the season he still averaged over 50.  The bowling was led by Gulam Sawant with 29 wickets ably supported by the two slow left-armers Aron Nijjar (19 wickets) and James Outram (18 wickets).

The 4th XI more than held their own in the 3rd XI Division One finishing in a very creditable fourth place.  Karan Singh ended the season as the top runscorer in the division with 648 runs.  He was ably supported by young Hayden Gayle with 432 runs and Steven Baldwin with 318 runs.  The main wicket takers were the medium pacers Ron Fitzgerald and Sahil Prabhakar with 17 wickets each.  Dave Ramdial decided to stand down from the captaincy at the end of the season and a big thanks must go to him for leading the side from the 4th XI Premier League to the 3rd XI Division One.

The club’s 5th XI enjoyed another successful season, achieving back to back promotions after winning the 4th XI Division Two.  An impressive start to the season saw the Herons win their first eight matches of the campaign and, despite a mid season stutter, the side wrapped up the title with a game to spare.  As ever the team was indebted to the club’s flourishing youth section, with two 14-year-olds leading the way with the bat and the ball.  Hamza Hussain had a fabulous debut season for the club scoring an impressive 504 runs at an average of over 50,  while James Fitzgerald continued his steady improvement finishing the year with 29 wickets at a miserly 12.83.  There were also  big contributions made by Ismail Dar (245 runs at 35) and young Aaron Nijjar who chipped in with 21 wickets (including taking 6-5 against Wickford) before being rapidly moved up the club’s teams.  Dev Patel (304 runs at 43) improved greatly and would have scored his maiden hundred had he not been left stranded on 98 when his captain Simon Osborn was out at the other end.  Despite the young players taking the glory it should be noted the important role played by the more experienced players, with Sanjay Batra, Ewan Ferguson, Saghir Malik, keeper Andrew Osborn and player of the year Syed Hasnain all making telling contributions over the course of the season.  Thanks from the team must go to Pauline Osborn for scoring throughout the season and the many parents who helped get the young team to games by providing transport.

In their first full league season the 6th XI had a fantastic season, winning twelve of their sixteen games and finishing well clear at the top of 4th Division Three West.  The team was a mixture of youth and experience and gave the club a great opportunity to introduce a number of junior players to league cricket.  The batting was led by the experienced Danny Mead with 545 runs including two hundreds, followed by young Jay Williams with 245 at an average of 64.  The leading wicket-takers were Giri Rathakrishnan (17 wickets), who also scored a fine hundred against Hornchurch, and young off-spinner Will Wade (14 wickets).

The club’s juniors had an excellent season - more than 200 juniors played in excess of 220 matches.  Our Under 16s won the Matchplay competition after a nail-biting start to the Final, when the Loughton attack had reduced us to 60 for 6.  Our Under 15s won the Peters Cup but went out of the National Competition at the Regional Finals stage for the second consecutive season.  Our under 11s won both the Nasser Hussain (40 over) trophy and the newly founded Hayden Davies Cup, but could only finish mid-table in the MECB mid-week League 

The Wanstead girls also had another tremendous year.  Our Under 13s started the year by finishing third in the National Final of the 2008 competition which had been held over from the previous season.  The 2009 squad won the Essex Lady Taverners competition but were unable to compete in the Regional final.  The section continues to progress but, as always, suffers by not being able to get sufficient fixtures.  There is now a path for our girls into adult cricket with our women’s team, which this year won the North London League with a 100% record.