Wanstead & Snaresbrook Cricket Club
Season Review 2010
Wanstead and Snaresbrook Cricket Club will remember the 2010 season as one of the most successful in its long and proud history. The Herons’ first XI completed a fine double, winning the Club Cricket Conference Cup and the Essex League Cup, as well as finishing runners-up in the Essex Premier League. The fifth and sixth XIs both won their respective divisions, while the U16s retained the Matchplay trophy and the U15s won the NatWest U15 National Club Championship for a record fourth time.
Beating Finchley in the final of the CCC Cup was without doubt the highlight of the season for the first XI. The performance capped a tremendous run to the final that had seen the side beat Kent League Champions Bromley and National Club Championship runners-up Ealing in earlier rounds. In the league the side were once again runners-up, again second best to the deserving champions Brentwood, but were able to retain the League Cup. Special mention must be made of Mervyn Westfield, who scored more than 1,000 runs and took 50 wickets in all competitions. Indeed, Mike Welch, Chief Executive of the Club Cricket Conference, described Mervyn’s spell of bowling in the semi-final victory over Ealing as one of the best he had ever seen in club cricket. There were also strong performances from the evergreen John Chambers, who scored more than 700 runs while Arfan Akram led from the front scoring in excess of 600 runs. Mohammed Fayyaz Khan was again the leading wicket-taker with 29 wickets. Opening bowler Maurice Chambers, who spent much of the season away playing for Essex, was selected for both the England Performance Squad which was based in Perth during the Ashes and the England Lions tour to the West Indies. Thanks must again go to Henry Chambers not only for his scoring but also the administrative support he gave the captain throughout the season.
Sadly the first team’s success could not be emulated by the second XI who saw a season that began with such promise eventually peter out into another year of mid-table mediocrity. At the halfway stage of their league campaign a run of five wins from six games had taken Jon Cade’s men into the top three in the table and had many people touting them as possible title contenders. However, a poor run in the second half of the season saw them fall away to finish in a disappointing fifth position. Leading the way with the bat for the side was Joe Palmer Jr, whose 386 runs included a stunning innings against Brentwood in which he carried his bat for 117 not out. Other notable performances came from Josh Hutchings who scored well in his first full season in the side and wicketkeeper Jonny Das who scored two half centuries in only four innings. However, the real stars of the side were the bowlers. Joe Ellis-Grewal had another good season helping himself to 35 wickets, a return that could have been far greater had he not spent much of the second half of the season in the first team. He was ably supported by Gulam Sawant, who picked up 23 wickets with his unique brand of aggressive new-ball bowling, and youngster Aron Nijjar who bagged 17 wickets with his wily left-arm spin.
It was a similar story for the third XI who also endured a frustrating season, eventually finishing sixth in the league. A total of 35 different players played in the thirds during the season which meant that the team was never a settled one, and struggled to find the consistency of performance needed to make a title challenge. On the bright side a number of the younger players impressed, particularly youngster Hamza Hussain who weighed in with more than 500 runs. Performances of the season were Karan Singh’s 132 against Chelmsford and spinner James Outram’s 7-39 against West Essex.
The fourth XI had a successful season finishing a creditable fourth place in the third XI Division One, which was a good result given that the core of the 2009 team had moved on to play in the clubs higher XIs. Stephen Ramdial had an excellent season scoring more than 500 runs at an average of over 40. U14 Hamza Ahmed played the first games of the season with the fifth XI before being promoted and continued his rapid development scoring 680 league runs at an average of over 50, including two centuries. Ismail Dar scored over 200 runs and was an excellent wicketkeeper. Leading wicket-taker was Sahir Akbar with 14 wickets followed by captain Ron Fitzgerald who claimed 13 wickets during the campaign.
It was another successful season for the club’s fifth XI, who made it three league titles in a row as they won the fourth XI Division One. The side will be the first fifth XI ever to take part in the Premier Division next season, thanks largely to their bowling unit who were easily the strongest in their division and bailed the batsmen out of trouble on a number of occasions. No more so was this the case than when, having been bowled out for just 101 against eventual runners-up Hadleigh and Thundersley, the team bounced back to dismiss their hosts for just 69 in one of the most dramatic games of the season. Dev Patel led the way with 33 wickets at an average of just over 10, while U15 Hussnain Kazmi also weighed in with 29 scalps at just over 13. Michael Griesel helped himself to 20 victims while there were also good performances with the ball from Ayaz Butt, James Fitzgerald and Aditya Goutam. Unlike previous two years Simon Osborn’s side struggled to find any consistency with the bat, especially after youngsters Hamza Ahmed and Ismail Dar were promoted up to higher teams, meaning wicket keeper Andrew Osborn’s 300 runs were doubly valuable. Thanks as ever must go to Pauline Osborn for scoring all season, and being the only person not to miss a game throughout the campaign.
Talented juniors and family togetherness delivered back to back championships for the sixth XI. Youngsters Waseem Qureshi and Misem Ali Syed Zaidi showed their promise and as did the slightly older Ramon Chesney, Armani Baig - a genuine no 11 contender - and Asif Khan. Danny Mead was once again the team’s leading runscorer with over 500 runs followed by his son Barney with over 300 runs. Meanwhile Joel Morris Ley has become unpleasant with the new ball, father Chris less so with the bat although his Herculean effort with skipper Len Enoch at Chelmer Park was commendable.
The club’s juniors had an amazing season, with more than 230 youngsters playing in excess of 220 matches. Three of the Under 15s - Rehan Hassan, Aron Nijjar and Kishen Velani – were all chosen for the England National Training Squad. The Under 16s retained the Matchplay Trophy after beating Brentwood in a keenly contested final. The Under 15s won the Peters Cup and went on to become NatWest U15 National Club Champions for a record-breaking fourth time. The squad also won the Cox & Kings and the Met Essex Twenty20 competitions. The Under 13s had a “nearly” season narrowly losing out in the latter stages of competitions but they did manage to win the Met Essex T20. The Under 11s retained the Hayden Davies Cup but could only finish mid-table in the MECB mid-week league.
Wanstead’s women’s section continues to grow, and the “Heronettes” enjoyed another strong season on the pitch. A slow start to the season saw the ladies unable to retain their North London Women’s League title and they finished in a credible second place. Melanie Leach led the way with the bat while captain Anjali Bamrah was the bowler of the year. The clubs girls had another tremendous year though, with the Under 13s and Under 15s winning their respective Essex Lady Taverners competitions. Both were knocked out of the National Championships at the Regional Final stages. The section continues to progress but, as always, suffers by being unable to get sufficient fixtures.