3XI Annual Report – 2010
Thames Valley League – Division 6a
Played: 18 Won: 11 Drew: 2 Lost: 3 Abandoned: 2
I can best define this season, my first as captain, by the tough decision I faced when deciding who would win player of the year. We had no one bowler take more than 13 wickets, no batsman scored more than 379 runs and no one fielder was head & shoulders above the rest, and yet, with one game to go, we were sitting pretty at the top of the table with an unassailable lead; Champions of TVL Division 6a. That is not to say that there weren’t exceptional individual performances in almost every game, but everyone who played in the side throughout the year contributed with wickets and runs. Perhaps more importantly than that though in a league where, with two games to go, four sides were still in with a realistic shout of being promoted, there were maidens bowled, innings anchored and words of advice for an inexperienced skipper…and a real team spirit.
It’s not only difficult to choose one player to take home the coveted player of the season trophy, but also difficult for me to look back and say where we won the league; I think losing the toss early on and chasing suited us and then once we found our stride, winning the toss allowed us to post good scores courtesy of Jordaan, O’Hara and Morris, and then apply pressure with the likes of Simpson, Petley, Gouws and Prentice. If someone asked me for my favourite performance however, it would be at Wokingham half way through the season. The fact that Jordaan was out in the 14th over for 80-odd, the Rev scored 120 and even I scored some runs meant that Wokingham were chasing 280 for victory. On a friendly surface, Wokingham looked good at 100-2, had plenty of time to spare and the match was far from over. Hiren Patel then produced a spell of lethal away-swing which, combined with some excellent catching in front and behind the bat, saw us home and him take 7-fer. After two disappointing results against Stoke Green and Chalfont in the previous weeks, this was the catalyst we needed, and a fitting way for Andrew to leave the club for pastures new.
I couldn’t possibly mention every individual performance which warrants merit, but Dan Lyall’s 125 against Hayes was top-drawer, particularly given the match situation; 10 for 2 when he arrived at the crease, 121 when the next wicket fell and 269-5 at tea. Not bad for his first competitive game in five years. From the old to the new…as a team, something we benefited from was the club’s ability to attract new players. Jaco, Hiren, Harshen, Scotty, Tucker, Deep, Nikky and Grant Morris all contributed to our success whether directly in the side or indirectly by then playing at a higher grade and feeding players down. The new facilities at the Dairy, the excellent hospitality and the improved standard of cricket the 2s, 3s and 4s will be playing next year will hopefully allow us to retain these faces and keep attracting more. I will be glad to captain the side again next year, complete with old faces and new, should the committee deem appropriate.
Winning the league surpassed even my high expectations this year but it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the players, the support of the elder statesmen and the support of club officials who I now realise put much more into this club than they take out. Thank you for all your efforts.