SATURDAY 1ST XI

CAPTAIN’S REPORT

 

 

2015 - Final League Standings:

 

 

Played

Won

Abandoned

N/R

Lost

Points

Syresham

18

14

1

0

3

306

Marston St. Lawrence

18

11

1

1

5

265

Warwick Uni

18

11

1

1

5

262

Evenley

18

11

2

0

5

255

Middleton Cheney

18

10

1

0

7

244

Charlton

18

8

1

0

9

185

MK Air

18

6

1

0

11

169

Byfield

18

5

2

0

11

138

Bodicote

18

3

3

0

12

131

Afro Caribbean

18

4

1

0

13

121

 

Another exciting season came to an end in August this year, with the winners being decided on the penultimate weekend while the relegation battle went into the final weekend. As seen from the final league table, this was a very closely fought season with league standings and table toppers changing almost every week. In such instances, every single point becomes important and every single game won or lost (or abandoned) will have a major say on the league standings. It was the kind of season where you’d look back on the 5 games we lost rather than celebrate the 11 games we won (and won comprehensively). Or maybe only look back at the first two matches and the home game against Syresham!

We started the season with two massive defeats; against Afro Caribbean and Charlton, both away. We managed only 7 points from these games, we didn’t know what our best XI was, our batting order was unstable and I personally was still not sure of who our best bowlers were, which made me give up keeping and try a few overs myself.

The way we came back into the season after two big defeats showed, as Brendan Rodgers would say, ‘great character’.  We played good, positive cricket and looked much more settled as a team once our batting order was sorted out. Sourabh and Srikanth continued their good form with the bat from last season while Auto’s quick fire cameos and the fact that he also keeps wickets helped lend balance to our side. Danny picked up heaps of wickets, like he always does while Raghul was in the form of his life with the bat. The new comers Shiv, Ibrar, Abhijeet, Himanshu, Rupak and Shaurya (not exactly a newbie!) contributed in each and every game that they played in, either with the bat or with the ball.

Just as we were on a winning streak, came the batting collapse at home against Syresham that ended all our hopes of winning silverware. From 80 for no loss to 126 all out – I can tell you there were a few stunned faces in the opposition as well. We lost and the low score meant we only got 3 points from this game.

Eventually, Syresham went onto win the league once our win over Marston St. Lawrence meant that they could not catch up with Syresham even if they beat them in the final league game. Congratulations to Syresham – well deserved. They’re a very friendly team and play the game in the right spirit.

Overall, I’m sure everyone enjoyed the season as much as I did. We must look back at what we did wrong and improve upon it but we must also cherish the 11 victories which is no small feat. The standout victory, I’m sure all of you who played and saw that game would agree, was the one against Byfield. After a poor bowling performance, it was some brilliant batting from Auto, some clean hitting in the end from Ibrar (was Afridi batting?) and  nerves of steel from Danny and Abhijeet in the final two overs that helped us chase down 240. The team this year was also the best fielding side we’ve put out in a long time so well done everyone.

Looking back at my tenure as captain, since I took over in 2013, we’ve now won 36 and lost 11 matches (out of a possible 54 league games). As I mentioned last year, it is fair to say that the most important reason for that goes down to the fact that we have had a core and stable team, a team of experienced players and new players, players who understand their own game, play for the team and have a ‘there is no I in the team’ attitude!. We are a university club and while the core remains the same, it is the new batch of cricketers who help us compete and contribute in such a big way. So a big thanks to everyone who makes this team, a special team to play in.

This has been an enjoyable season for one and all and our consistently good performances on Saturdays as well as Sundays goes to show that as a club, we are moving forward in the right direction. I, on behalf of all those who played on Saturday, would like to thank our chairman Lincoln Allison for all the support this season, especially with the home umpiring –also, thanks to Saud, Billy,Nicky and Rafa for helping us with umpiring . I would also like to thank our league secretary Chris Cooper for helping us with all the league related communications and our coach/statistician Alan Lovell, who despite his ill health this season, has been a constant source of encouragement.

A big thank you to (Sir) Ali Faridi, for the constant (non-stop :-P) advice and support – you know you’re a genius

See you all at the AGM and wish you all a happy 2016 in advance.

Cheers

Ankur Chandra