2007 was a frustrating season mainly because of the poor weather during the first half of season. This meant that it felt that the season only really started in July. This was exemplified by the 1st XI, who half way through the season were in the bottom half of the league only fifteen points above the relegation zone. They then won six of their last nine games to finish runners-up by only two points. Chris Murray (32 wickets) and Shahid Saeed (21 wickets) formed a potent new ball attack in their first season with the club. Fayyaz Khan was as consistent as ever with 27 wickets. On the batting side Arfan Akram (569 runs) was again the leading run-scorer and congratulations must also go to 17 year-old Andrew Joslin for scoring 510 runs including his first Premier League hundred. During the season John Chambers achieved the amazing feat of passing 10,000 League runs. Thanks must go to Henry Chambers not only for his scoring during the season but also for his general support.
The 2nd XI had a difficult season, which never really got going, and they finished the season fifth in the League. A total of 39 players were used by Mark Webb which shows that he never had a settled side. The inability to take wickets was a big problem as is shown by the fact that Dave Richardson was the leading wicket-taker with 16 wickets. Jon Cade was the leading run-scorer with 389 runs. The 3rd XI also had what was for them a disappointing season although they did eventually finish third in the League. The star of the team was young Mahesh Velani, who in his first season in the 3rd XI finished as the leading run-scorer (544 runs) and wicket-taker (21 wickets). The bowling performance of the season was Hitesh Tailor’s 8-65 against Hainault & Clayhall.
The 4th XI had another successful season finishing top of the 3rd XI Division Three by 33 points, winning fourteen of the sixteen games played. This was despite only managing to score over 200 runs twice. Replacing the opening pair of Karan Singh and Mahesh Velani from the previous season proved difficult, as several players were tried without success. David Gibbs 111* and Niezaam Adams 102 were the only players to score a hundred. Hayden Gayle scoring 340 runs at an average of 42.5 and Connor Brailey scoring 192 runs at an average of 64 were the best of the youngsters. Ron Fitzgerald, the vice captain led the way on the bowling front taking 20 wickets at an average of 13.85 with 14-year-old Hidrat Propal taking 15 wickets at an average of 9.93.The spirit shown by the youngsters was evident when the side were in a losing position against Brentwood at Nutter Lane. Brentwood needed only 15 runs to win with 5 wickets in hand and 10 overs left when Dave Ramdial (captain) gave the ball to Sarfaz Janjua, who immediately took a wicket with his first ball followed by 2 others in the same over. Hidrat Popal then took the other 2 wickets, leaving Brentwood 13 runs short. With the enthusiasm of Lee Vickers and Sunil Dwivedi and the all round ability of Shafaet Amin and all the other players, the season was a great success.
The 5th XI had a reasonable year but never really got into the season having 25% of their fixtures abandoned to rain, the highest figure in the SNEL. The team’s batting was once again led by a 14 year old, Josh Hutchings, who scored just short of 500 runs at an average of over 60 but the leading wicket taker was, once again, the not-so-young Len Enoch. Despite the monsoons, Trevor Hebden was able to give league experience to 22 juniors (from age 12 upwards) all of whom contributed to the team’s successes. The one distasteful note in this League is the continued level of cheating, none of which is necessary for success, as was demonstrated by Harold Wood 4th XI who were not only by far the best team in the league but also the fairest.
The club’s juniors had another successful season, despite every single one of our Junior Cricket Week fixtures being rained off for the first time in the club’s history! Despite the weather, 280 youngsters played over 150 games during the summer. We failed to get past the group stage in the Matchplay but our Under 15’s were runners-up in the Peters cup and lost to the eventual winners in the semi-finals of the Cox & Kings Trophy. Our Under 13’s were our outstanding squad, winning the David Bradford Trophy, the Nasser Hussain Trophy and the Peter Coe Cup (the last of these despite having three players unavailable for the final, as they were all away at South of England trials).
Our Under 11’s finished runners-up in the Nasser Hussain (40 over) trophy but could only finish mid-table in the MECB mid-week League Our girls had a tremendous year, with both our Under 15’s and Under 13’s finishing runners-up in the Essex Lady Taverners competitions. The section continues to progress but, as always, suffers by being unable to get fixtures. However there is now a path for our girls into adult Ladies cricket as Wanstead entered a team into the newly formed North London Women’s League where they eventually finished runners-up.