Oakfield Parkonians Cricket Club - OPCC 2010 Report

Old Parkonians Cricket Club 2010


This was a youthful year!  Or rather, a year when colts were entering and sustaining senior sides in strength.

New Club skipper James Foley lead a young 1st XI squad that included four colts.  It certainly helped to have Sabir Ali from overseas to provide experience and maturity together with Peter Nightingale serving again as manager.

The new 50:50 format took time to adjust to and wasn’t kind to the Parks.  We were competitive but had narrow defeats and two early games were affected by rain (and the distortions of rain affected match rules) when looking to be heading for good wins.

Consistency is important in team selection with such a young team, (aging 15-24).  Rushan Pandya and Josh Gordon, James Foley, Jai Patel, Hermes Solomonides, together with Sabir Ali, Anton Buntin and Baldeep Mann were the mainstays of the side.  Alan Bouquet was there when needed, sharing his season with the seconds.  Overall this was a better all-round team performance than last year when the results revolved around just two or three players. 

Sabir’s 87 against Ongar in September, Hermes’ 80 against Epping in June, Syed Hasan’s 78 against Ongar also in June, Rushan’s 74 against West Essex in August and Sabir’s 72 away against Old Brentwoods in July were the pick of the innings.  The last mentioned saw several balls clear the trees into the adjacent golf course!

The bowling honours went to Sabir, with four 5-wicket hauls (best 6-21 in 10 overs against Southend EMT in August), and 44 wickets in 16 matches to top the Divisions’ bowlers.  Rushan Pandya had two 5-wicket matches (including a best of 5-20 against Belhus in May that brought about the Parks’ first 50:50 win), and Anton Buntin with 5-32 in 8 overs against Old Brentwoods the following week.  The most remarkable over of the season was Josh Gordon’s 4 wickets against Ongar that included a hat trick and nearly brought off a win before rain ended proceedings.  

The young second team finished 8th, disappointing after a bright start.  40 different players were used, 14 playing only once, and it was difficult to maintain a settled team. We struggled to bowl sides out, especially at the start of the season but performed well against the higher sides – drawing twice against the league champions Walthamstow – and lost only two away matches.  There were many positives in the season, however, as a young team still getting to know each other.

Dave Rai was the leading run scorer with 435 runs at 36.25 and two 50’s.  Mat Court hit 99 against Woodford Green, being run out after leading the chase to a near win.  Harry Markatis got a terrific 86 not out in the last league game against Ongar.  This was a truly remarkable performance showing the progression from a colt to a senior player during the season.  In Kiru Jaya’s 86 against Southend EMT it was great watching him clear the club house into the small boating lake!

Dan Shalom also scored 249 runs with an average of 19.15, and Janagan Vijayanathan scored 193 runs average of 27.57 before promotion to the first eleven.  They both promise much for the Club in seasons to come!

The leading wicket takers were Ian Simpson with 21 wickets at 29.00 (with a best of 6 for 39) and Andrew Beaven whose 10 wickets came at 34.30 (with a best of 4-44).  The return of Amit Kalley from his studies with 9 wickets in 7 games along with the introduction of Lakshman’s pace (8 wickets in 5 games) made a difference later on in the year - things look more promising for 2011!

The 3rd XI won the first two games but lost the next two and then struggled to make an impact, suffering from inconsistencies in availabilities throughout the club.  In the end they finished 7th in the league.

In contrast to the young guns of the two top squads, the 3rd eleven mixed long experience with youth, often fielding over 40s with under 20s in equal numbers. Forty players turned out for the 3s during the season, including 19 who played only once or twice.  However, the side stayed in contention for promotion until late in the season.  They achieved 6 wins with 2 draws and 9 losses (with one game abandoned), having sometimes to put out weakened sides due to ‘calls from above’. 

Y Karuna (398 at 33.17 with two fifties) and Tariq Jameel (391 at 39.1 with four fifties) were the batting mainstays, with the latter’s loss to the second eleven in the last few games sorely missed.  Vijay and Mannicks Shankar starred with the ball at 20 wickets apiece and best with 5-20 and 5-44 respectively.  But the bowling performance of the season was by Ilyas Baruchi with 8-32 in 11.2 overs against South Woodford 4ths in June.

The 4th eleven were our best pound-for-pound competitors, under skipper Tony Keen, and ultimately were disappointed not to gain promotion.  Their cause was not helped by slow over rates, reducing the time to chase moderate totals or to bowl sides out.  It was only the last two results that denied them promotion as they finished 4th with 7 wins, 7 draws and only two defeats.

29 players turned out, with Tony Keen, Sachin Fing and Dave Tack taking the field on most occasions, followed by Nick Weekes, Tahir Mahmood, ‘senior pro’ Jim Gambleton, young Luke Coates and Marc Friday.

Indeed, Marc topped the batting with 345 runs at 34.5 including 92 against Orsett 5th in June and 63 against Loughton 4th in May.  Luke Coates charmed everyone with 200 runs at 25 (top score of 45*).  Max Solomons hit a magnificent 91 against Ilford 4th in June and Tony Keen took 61 off them in July.  In a one-off appearance for the fours, due to not being able to play away, Alan Bouquet hit 113 against Loughton 5th in June in a total of 307 for 6, in 44.4 overs, winning by 181 runs.  This was the heaviest win by any Old Parks team all season.

Sachin Fing and Jim Gambleton both claimed three “5-fers”.  Jim had 7-15 in 7 overs against Orsett 5th in May and Sachin had 5-20 in 8 overs against Harlow 4th in June.

Under the leadership and brilliant organisation of Pete Simpson, the Colts continued to flourish.  The U11s, managed by Nav Kalley, had an unprecedented season, winning the Nasser Hussein trophy (by beating both Ilford and Wanstead), the Metropolitan midweek league and the Metropolitan (Winter) indoor league. The U13s, under Manni Bawa, just lost the Len Stentiford Cup semi-final after 8 regular players went on holiday in August. The Under 15s reached the second round of their National Cup and did well in the Cox & Kings competition.  The U16s missed out on a place in the Matchplay quarter finals only on run rate.

Pete’s fantastic work, supported by Manni, Nav, Sandra Osborne, Thiru Vamadevan (Vam), and ever present Vijay is a credit to the Club and the County’s approach to development.  A pleasing number of colts were selected to play for their District and County age groups, recognition of the talent of the players, and also of the contributions of coaches Adrian Rollins, Tom Clark, Andrew Beaven, Josh Gordon, Sabir Ali among others through Winter and Summer.


December 2010