Sunday XI End of season report 2014
2014 proved a far more enjoyable year than 2013, probably in terms of actually getting out a team easily, in general. The arrival of keeper, Brian Dixon, proved a great boon, as he played virtually every game, so I didn't have to worry about trying to persuade someone to don the gloves every Sunday! I generally had a core of around six and I normally had seven or eight confirmed after the game most weeks, which always makes the job easier. In terms of results in the SPL(rebranded this year to the Sunday Premier League by Yusuf Quershi)we just lost more than we won - eight defeats against seven wins. Five games resulted in close finishes in the last two overs, most of which seemed to go against us! Close finishes are what Sunday cricket is always about, I'd rather lose a close game than win an easy won. I dare say if one adopted the league mentality this would have resulted in more wins, but I was brought up on the philosophy that Sunday cricket is about giving everyone a game and that is my way. I would have liked to play a few more colts(actual age not mental age) but alas there were very few about. Having spoken to Jon Ward & Huw Buckle it would appear most colts are either playing district, county or have colts games(or exams in the early part of the year). Also in the current age a lot of the older colts/ students have jobs on a Sunday, so the make up of most Sunday sides is of the senior variety( OAP on the fielding side). Had to make do with only playing Jai Chopra(promising leg spin bowler) for three games, and Ben Ward(promising batsman and keeper) for also three games on the colts front.
Three matches were cancelled due to rain(first game of season, 11th May & 10th August). There was a surprising number of teams pulling out midweek in the early part of the year, which resulted in different fixtures being arranged via the CCC. Datchet Development X1 pulled out as Datchet had a match in the village knockout and Boyne Hill pulled out as they weren't currently playing Sunday cricket, according to their fixture secretary ! Rather surprisingly Gentlemen of Hampstead pulled out, long standing opponents, hopefully this was just a one off, as we have played them for many years. Sunday 17th August was rearranged as the Waitrose Day so North Maidenhead were dropped. Despite e-mailing the fixture secretary I got a call on Saturday afternoon saying they couldn't raise a side for the following day! So if the fixture had been on we wouldn't have had a game. I won't be entertaining North Maids again , you don't cancel games due to availability the day before a game. I will be dropping about three or four teams and endeavouring to get suitable replacements. Richard Lawrence has said his Sunday team, The Frogs, are keen for a game and Ambar Moorthy has said his former team, South Hampstead are keen for a fixture. As I have mentioned in the past getting Sunday fixtures is never easy when you can only put out one team and you want to play at home all the time!
Statistics & Awards
Played 15 won seven, lost eight and had three games cancelled.
Gunbarul - 14
Brian Dixon - 14
Raoul Cheema- 11
Chris Butler - 11
Atif Amin - 11
Yusuf Qureshi - 10
Highest team score - 287 for 3 v Ruislip Victoria
Highest opposition total - 218 for 7 v Incogniti
Lowest team score - 134 all out v Graveley
Lowest opposition total - 94 all out v Tabbard Pilgrims.
SPL hundreds for M&B
Raoul Cheema 116no v Fleet Street Strollers
Raoul Cheema - 115 v Ruislip Victoria
Raoul Cheema - 103no v Twigworth Travellers
Five wicket hauls for M &B
Ambar Moorthy - 5 for 21 v Graveley
Batting average- minimum 5 innings
innings not out runs highest average
Raoul Cheema 10 3 552 116no 78.86
William Cunliffe 8 0 344 82 43
Yusuf Qureshi 10 3 287 64no 41
Amit Giri 6 1 176 60 35.20
Brian Dixon 12 2 176 44 17.60
Atif Amin 6 2 54 27no 13.50
Gunbarul 10 1 85 36 9.44 most ducks 4
Me 7 2 36 17no 7.20
Bowling averages - minimum 5 wickets.
overs maidens runs wickets economy average
Ambar Moorthy 37 5 117 9 3.16 13
Yusuf Qureshi 20 2 81 6 4.05 13.50
Arul(Gunbarul)Appavoo 95 17 314 18 3.30 17.44
Sachin Moudgil 24 4 107 6 4.46 17.83
Me 60.2 6 251 14 4.16 17.90
Amit Giri 38 4 149 8 3.92 18.62
Thomas Allen 31 3 164 8 5.29 20.50
Atif Amin 61 6 266 12 4.36 22.17
Chris Butler 64.2 1 325 10 5.06 32.50
Batsman of the Year
No great surprise, for the second year running Raoul(Boycott) Cheema.
He wasn't as prolific as he was the previous year, but having looked at his figures they were better than I thought. 3 hundreds, only once out in single figures, 6 scores of 40+ in 10 innings. Average of 50+ when you just divide runs by innings, impressive. So good in fact on Sundays that people get bored with him and want to see him out ! A good example of this was in Bowler's game, once dismissed for 46 the rest of the innings fell apart ! For some reason he couldn't transfer his run scoring to Saturdays, even in the 2's in Div5A, must be a mental thing?
Will Cunliffe - another steady performer, only once out in double figures. Should have gone on to get a hundred but very fluent and good runner between the wickets(unfortunately most of the other batsmen are either not on his wavelength or not fit enough to keep up).
Yusuf Qureshi - serial under achiever, average enhanced with not outs, should be making 400+ SPL runs in 10 innings.
Amit Giri - handy middle order batsman, good leg side player, although improving on offside.
Brian Dixon - first season for a number of years, will hopefully double his run tally next year and score a couple of 50's. Too good a batsman to be averaging 17.
Bowler of the year and most valuable player - Arul(Gunbarul) Appavoo
Brilliant SPL performer, played every game apart from Bowler's game - not selected, big mistake(not me)! Opened the bowling from the River End and picked up wickets every time apart from two occasions. Probably didn't pick up the number of wickets he deserved, twice got 3 wickets, probably got wickets for other bowlers though. Intimidating bowler, tall and aggressive, bowling left arm round. Getting many wickets with balls angling into right handers as well as with balls angling in pitching and seaming away.
Two wickets spring to mind this season:
1. Dismissed Tom Mellor(Boyne Hill opening bat and captain) playing for Fiddlers in first over. Rapped batsman on knuckles, then pitched one which moved away, followed up with a full length ball which angled in and hit off stump as batsman shouldered arms!
2. Dismissed another opening batsman and captain against Thames Valley Ramblers, after being hit for 2 4's over mid on Gunbarul pitched the next one up, which then seamed and hit the top of off, leaving the batsman looking at the the stump and his bat in disbelief!
Although not his best analysis, his best performance was against a strong Fiddlers team, where he beat the bat on numerous occasions, with balls which swung in and moved away off the pitch. The only reason he conceded 28 runs was I had 3 slips, leg slip & fly slip !
Ambar Moorthy - top performer but didn't play enough, only five appearances.
Yusuf Qureshi - wasted talent, not fit enough and doesn't practice - can't trust him with the ball anymore.
Sachin Moudgil - most improved bowler, but again hardly played. Took five wicket haul for 1st X1, enough said.
Me - invariably bowled at death, occasionally went the distance, but occasionally hit the timbers.
Amit Giri - normally economical and ability to clean bowl batsmen with his quick skiddy deliveries.
Atif Amin - back in the bowling groove this year. Bowled 8 overs, 4 maidens one wicket for 9 runs against The Jesters.
Chis Butler - injuries hampered him this season.
Most improved player - Thomas Allen(GT, Drama Queen, Ginger Nut etc)
Benefitted from bowling many overs in the 3's, now bowling consistently probing line and length at an ideal pace. Handy SPL performer with bat, scoring 6,14, 40 & 17 in his four innings. Actually pouched a few catches this year but still work to do on his fielding and his SPL availability.
Sachin Moudgil - would have walked the award if he had played more - not available until late June and then made only made two appearances. Much improved bowler and fielder. Bowling a more consistent length, starred for 1's and 2's with ball in last two months of season.
Best new player - Amit(Mr Giri) Giri
Good all-rounder, averaging 35 with bat and 18 with ball. Should be playing 2's next year easily.
Brain Dixon - played virtually every game and indeed captained Sunday team in my rare absence. Good keeper and bound to score many more runs next year, now that he has grown accustomed to the Bray wicket.
Top fielder and purveyor of inane banter - William(Harry Potter) Cunliffe
Good fielder but to be honest not a lot of completion with SPL regulars, Waffle, Butler, Useless Yusuf, me(although I can catch) and GT in the side!
Ben Ward fielded well in the games he didn't keep.
Brian Dixon - fielded well in the one game he didn't keep.
As they used to say in cartoons, that's all folks! My thanks to all those who supported me by playing and to Pete Meade, who umpired 3 or 4 times(games always better with umpires). My thanks also to Tony & Max for their lunches and drinks and for keeping the bar open late.
Winter well and see you at the AGM or nets, if not before.
Matt Armstrong - Grim Reaper & Guru of Gloom.