Wanstead and Snaresbrook Cricket Club - Review Season 2011

2011 Season Review

For the Wanstead adult sides 2011 was a season of what might have been as the 1st XI finished runners-up in the Premier Division 1st XI and losing finalists in the Dukes Essex T20 Competition and the National Club Regional Finals.  The 2nd XI also finished runners-up in the 2nd XI Premier Division.  The 3rd XI became the first Wanstead side ever to suffer relegation, which meant that the 4th XI were also relegated despite finishing seventh in 3rd XI Division One.

A highlight of the season was 16 years-old Kishen Velani, who has been a junior member of the club for a number of years, being selected for the England U19 XI.  He then made a match-winning fifty against South Africa on his debut.  During the season he also made his maiden 1st XI League century against Colchester.


At the mid-point of the season the 1st XI were top of the League but then a run of disappointing results against South Woodford, Loughton and Ardleigh Green allowed a strong Brentwood side once again to finish top.  Main contributions with the bat in the League came from the ever reliable Arfan Akram (525 runs), John Chambers (510 runs) and Mervyn Westfield (409 runs).  On the bowling front the experienced Fayyaz Khan was again the leading wicket taker with 32 wickets, but the future looks promising with Zain Shahzad taking 30 wickets and Joe Ellis-Grewal 22 wickets.  Special mention must be made of the Akram twins, Arfan and Adnan, who both played over thirty competitive matches for the 1st XI as well as a number of friendlies.  A big thank you must go to Henry Chambers, not only for his scoring but also for his general support throughout the season.



When the 2nd
 XI lost four of their first five games, it looked as though Jon Cade’s men would be in for a long season as they languished at the foot of the table.  What followed however was nothing short of miraculous as, following an unbeaten run of no less than 12 games, they found themselves 2 points clear at the top of the table going into the final game of the season.  Unfortunately the fairy-tale comeback was not to be and Wanstead lost on the final day to Ilford, leaving the door open for local rivals Woodford Wells to snatch the title.  Of the top performers for the 2nd XI, old stager David Richardson rolled back the years to finish the season with 426 runs at an average of over fifty and 23 wickets, livewire Aron Nijjar continued his steady improvement with the ball finishing top of the League averages with 34 wickets at 19.82 with his wily left arm spin and hard hitting opener Hamza Ahmed had an impressive first season at 2nd XI level with 392 runs.

The 3rd XI had a very disappointing season losing six of their last seven League games, which resulted in them being relegated from the 3rd XI Premier Division.  Karan Singh with 412 runs tried valiantly to hold the batting together but the fact that no other batsman scored more than 250 runs showed what a poor season the rest of the batsmen had.  The bowling was not much better although junior Sameen Shirzay showed his potential with 16 wickets and Steven Baldwin was the top wicket-taker with 17 wickets.

The 4th XI finished a creditable 7th place in the 3rd XI Division One having fielded a young side with 17 first time 4th XI players during the season.  Shoab Iqbal had a great start to the season with the bat scoring 406 runs in eight games before moving to the 3rd XI and Giri Rathakrishnan, David Gibbs, Hasnain Khawaja, Sahir Akbar and Tahir Iqbal all contributed with the bat.  James Fitzgerald bowled well early in the season, taking 11 wickets before also moving up to the 3rd XI, while old boys Joe Coffey and Ron Fitzgerald took 12 wickets each.  U15 Conor Wade was player of year in his first season with the 4th XI being excellent behind the stumps as well as solid with the bat.

The 5th and 6th XIs consolidated their positions in their respective Leagues – the 4th XI Premier Division and the 4th XI Division One.  In the 5th XI Dev Patel ended the season on a high note scoring his maiden League hundred against Horndon-On-The-Hill while junior Inquiyad Chowdhury was the leading run-scorer with 265 runs, closely followed by the evergreen Ewan Ferguson with 258 runs.  The leading wicket-taker was junior Abubakar Janjua with 23 wickets.  In the 6th XI the Mead family again led the batting with Barney scoring 535 runs and Danny 319 runs.  Barney also took 22 wickets while the leading wicket-taker was Joel Morris-Ley with 23 wickets.

The club’s juniors had another good season, with more than 225 juniors playing in excess of 220 matches.  Kishen Velani, Rehan Hassan and Aron Nijjar gained entry to the Essex Academy.  The U16s won the Matchplay Trophy for the third consecutive year, beating a talented young Chelmsford team in a keenly contested Final.  The U15s retained the MECB Cox & Kings trophy.

The U13s were unfortunately beaten by Upminster in the final of the David Bradford Cup and by Brentwood in the semi-final of the Peter Coe competition.  The U11s retained their Hayden Davies Cup title.  After a gap of several years they won MECB mid-week League again.

The Women’s team went one place better than last year when they won the North London Women’s League title for a second time in three years.

The close community atmosphere at the club enabled the management committee to organise a very successful Benefit Event for club member and county captain James Foster, which was the icing on the cake for a frustrating but generally successful 2011.