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Mon 31st Dec 2018

By Paul Reynolds

Division 4 review 2018 - Railway Union 2 end 30 year wait

Division 4 stats

Leading all time run scorer (2011-2018) - Furqan Ul Haq (Railway Union) - 2059 runs @ 29.00
Most runs in a Division 4 season - Mubasher Siddique (Civil Service) - 737 runs (2013)
Highest score - Rashid Mehraj (Laois) - 199 - Laois 1 vs North Kildare 1 - Togher - 29 July 2012
Leading all time wicket taker (2011-2018) - Mubasher Siddique (Civil Service) - 100 wkts @ 16.79
Most wickets in a Division 4 season - Yaqoob Ali (YMCA) - 36 wkts (2011)
Best bowling - Yaqoob Ali - 8-16 - YMCA 2 vs Malahide 3 - Malahide 1 - 10 July 2011
Highest team score - 396-5 - Railway Union 2 vs North Kildare 1 - The Maws - 4 Aug 2012
Lowest team score - 53 all out - Civil Service 1 vs North Kildare 1 - The Maws - 15 Jun 2013

Most Matches in Division 4 (2011-2018) - Furqan Ul Haq (Railway Union) - 75 (2011-2018)

Cricket Leinster's new website will be launching in the spring, but until then all player stats for the last eight seasons can be found at https://www2.cricketstatz.com/ss/web.aspx?mode=104&club=4530&team=.

Team of the Year (listed in the order, five batsmen/one wicketkeeper/five bowlers) 

Batsmen: Daneyaal Janjua (Knockharley), Neil Brown (Merrion) (Div 3, 2015, 2016, 2017; Div 4, 2011), Andrew Delany (Clontarf) (Div 6, 2015; Div 8, 2012; Div 12, 2011), Callum Riches (Malahide), Hashir Sultan (Railway Union) (Div 6, 2016)

Wicketkeeper: Daniel Monk (Laois) (Div 10, 2013)

Bowlers: Peter Saville (Malahide), Tim Clifford (Merrion), Tayyab Rashid (Knockharley) (Div 5, 2016; Div 9, 2016), Mohammed Afaq Khan (Civil Service), Mubasher Siddique (Civil Service) (Div 4, 2013, 2015, 2017)


Review

Runs per wicket for all teams - 23.92 Runs per over for all teams - 4.93

Railway Union 2 - Champions - (Pos in league - 25 (2017 - 28)) - Batting Rating 108 - Bowling Rating 100 - RpO for 5.18 - RpO against 5.06 - Youth %age (by appearances) 10.4%

A return to the promised land for Railway Union 2, who have finally won Division 4, 30 years after their last league title - Senior 2 in 1988. It was team's fourth league title, the other two being Senior 2 in 1967 and Senior 3 in 1923. In a pulsating league season, the table looks as if Railway dominated with 10 wins to runner up Malahide's seven. But a series of nail biting matches for Railway meant their bonus point haul was the lowest in the division, and the final winning margin was only 38 points. On top of that, we rank their bowling attack as the 5th best in the division (and the batting only joint second). But due to grit, determination and sheer bloody mindedness, the team dragged themselves over the winning line - repeatedly. An incredible six matches could be classified as "close". Away to Knockharley, Railway were reduced to 180-9, needing another 17 to win, before Muhammad Javed (15*) and Derek Carroll (0*) saw them home. In a 28 over game, Railway set Civil Service 172 to win, and although we don't have access to the final over details, Service came up four runs short. Away to Merrion, Railway collapsed from 108-0 to 155-6 again leaving them needing 17 runs. This time it was Shariq Khan (6*) and Mohnish Kriplani (13*) who saw them home. Then away to DLR County, and chasing DLR County's 287, it looked all over as Railway collapsed to 121-5. Then Mohnish Kriplani (102*) and Tyron Kritzinger (81) added 162 for the 6th wicket to nearly see them home. The biggest escape came away to Malahide when in mid August, the team were trying to win their last couple of matches to set a points total for others to chase. Chasing 273, it was all over for Railway at 223-9, when Gurdave Sihra entered. Sihra scored 33* and Eoghan Grehan (4*) to put on 51 unbeaten for the last wicket to win it. And finally, there was one more nailbiter left, a 10 run win over Clontarf, when Railway managed to hang on after having scored 312 in their 50 overs. Grit and determination may well have been the over-riding skill throughout the 29 man squad, but two players stood head and shoulders over the others, with one making our Team of the Year. Hashir Sultan made the Division 6 Team of the Year in 2016 whilst playing for Adamstown, and goes two divisions better in 2018. He scored 521 runs at 43.42 (the most runs scored in a league season for Railway Union 2, breaking Abdullah Hafiz's 2016 record of 471) and was joint leading wicket taker with 17 wickets at 24.82. Fakhar Zaman was better with the ball (17 wickets at 22.71) and decent with the bat (353 at 25.21). Muhammad Farooq scored 204 at 22.67, whilst several bowlers got to 10 wickets - Shariq Khan (16 at 22.75), Muhammad Javed (11 at 16) and Dhram Singh (10 at 20.6). Can Railway cement their Division 3 place in 2019?

Malahide 2 - Runners up - (Pos in league - 26 (2017 - 24)) - Batting Rating 113 - Bowling Rating 108 - RpO for 4.93 - RpO against 4.72 - Youth %age (by appearances) 25.3%

Our Teams of the Year are a bit of harmless fun, attempting to recognise those who are the best players at a particular level throughout the leagues. But we shouldn't kid ourselves that they are the definitive guide of who the best players in the province are. By definition, over 90% of all the players in the province could be playing at a higher level, and any person named as one of the best on a particular division should really have an asterisk next to their name, indicating "Pretty good at this level, but let us see how they do higher up". Against that are the brilliant cricketers who play in the top two divisions, but may not be quite good enough to go on to Lightning or Ireland honours, and don't quite make the Team of the Year at that level. Malahide 2 had two such players this year (and nearly three), players who had never been named on our Teams of the Year, purely because they have been plying their trade in Divisions 1 and 2 for a long time. Peter Saville has been doing his thing for Malahide for nearly as long as Conor Gibbons, and is still good enough to be playing at the highest level. In Division 4 he was the best bowler on show, taking 28 wickets at 10.64, the joint highest number of wickets for any Malahide team in a league season (since our records began in 2011) - joint with Ryan Gallagher's 28 for Malahide 1 in 2013. And alongside him was Callum Riches, of which exactly the same sentiments can be said. Riches scored 523 runs at 47.55 (the highest number of runs for Malahide 2 in a league season) as well as 18 wickets at 24.17. Nick Turner was also desperately unlucky not make the TotY, scoring 403 runs at 40.30. Debutant Agnibesh Paul scored 394 at 32.83 as well as 15 wickets at 20.47, and 18 year old David O'Halloran scored 206 runs at 22.89. The bowling returns were completed by Yastri Naidoo (Malahide's 17 year old Glenwood High School, Durban exchange student) with 14 wickets at 15.71, and 18 year old Zachary Woods-Oliver with 10 at 22.2. In honesty, it was the least that Malahide could have expected from the 2018 season. They got promoted back to Division 3, where the next step will be finishing in the top six. It sounds simple, but only in 2016 has the team achieved a top 22 finish, which is what is needed.

Clontarf 3 - 3rd - (Pos in league - 27 (2017 - 34)) - Batting Rating 108 - Bowling Rating 101 - RpO for 4.68 - RpO against 5.10 - Youth %age (by appearances) 22.7%

A brilliant season for Clontarf 3, who finished as the highest 3rd team in Leinster. Malahide (2011), Pembroke (2012-2013), Merrion (2014, 2016-2017) and YMCA (2015) have been the others to attain the spot, although only Merrion in 2017 have finished higher than Clontarf's 27th place. Historically, Merrion 3's 2006 Senior 3 title (effectively the fourth tier) remains the pinnacle of 3rd team achievement (24th in the league). Such was the closeness of Division 4 that is probably pointless reviewing which matches could have sent them higher or lower up the table. Seven clubs won either six or seven matches - 48 points covered 2nd to 7th. Presumably the aims of Clontarf 3 are to get as high a position as possible, to give adults members a game that matches their level, and to blood as many potential 1st team players of the future as possible, and the season delivered all three. Fifteen year old David Vincent was the star of the team with 21 wickets at 19.95, and looks sure to join his older brother Andrew on the 1st team in the next season or two. The team's one player on the Team of the Year was a player who already has three Teams of the Year, last played for Clontarf 1 back in 2014, but only turned 21 this week Andrew Delany made a return to Leinster cricket in 2018 after missing in 2016 and 2017, and instantly oozed class, scoring 293 runs at 48.84 including118* at home to Malahide. Rana Asad was leading run scorer with 309 at 23.77 (along with 10 wickets at 18.4) and Damian Gargan scored 214 at 35.67. The role of honour is completed by Ian Dent who took 17 wickets at 19.24.

Laois 1 - 4th - (Pos in league - 28 (2017 - 29)) - Batting Rating 84 - Bowling Rating 102 - RpO for 5.13 - RpO against 4.30 - Youth %age (by appearances) 6.5%

What to make of Laois 1's 2018 season? Turmoil off the pitch during the season has led to a new ground for 2019 in Stradbally, which has the potential to be one of best new grounds around. A 4th place in the league was one place better than in 2017, but was still worse than previous years, and promotion back to Division 3 wasn't achieved. But it could have been worse - we have them ranked as the 2nd worst team on the pitch, and if any of their four wins against Civil Service and Knockharley had been reversed, they would have been relegated. The team had just one player on the Team of the Year, Daniel Monk who was the keeper with most dismissals with 16 catches. The one player who contributed most was Armand Smit, who has gone from a bowler whose best days were in the past (like most of us!) and a batsman who occasionally contributed, to one of the best all rounders in Division 4. Smit was the only player in the Division to get the 300 run/20 wicket double - only Mubasher Siddique (Civil Service) and Richard Bisgood (Merrion) even got the 200 run/ 20 wickets double. After never averaging over 17 with the bat from 2011-2016, he averaged 25.18 in 2017, and an excellent 29.58 in 2018, at the same time as taking 20 wickets at 15.25 with the ball. Jawad Amin hit 297 at 29.70 as well as taking 18 wickets at 23.11 and Jonny Yasin hit 278 at 30.89. With the ball Kamran Sabrie took 14 wickets at 24.21, and as intimated in a previous article, a major record passed in to the hands of a Laois player this year. In the last game of the season, Usama Raees dismissed Knockharley's Joe Ingamells, taking his 279th wicket in Open Comps since our records began in 2011 (at an average of 18.27). That moved him above Malahide's Conor Gibbons, who has been top since the end of July 2016. Raees's league haul for Laois 1 for the season was 16 at 27.38. Laois 1 end the season as 17th best 1st team - ie top of a Division 3 of 1st teams, and challenging to move up to the next level.

Merrion 3 - 5th - (Pos in league - 29 (2017 - 25)) - Batting Rating 104 - Bowling Rating 98 - RpO for 5.33 - RpO against 4.73 - Youth %age (by appearances) 24.0%

Only twice in the last eight seasons (2014 and 2017) have Merrion 3 finished higher than this year's 29th place, and hence the season has to be seen as a success. We have them as the fourth best team in the division, with the batting being a little but better than the bowling. But as we have seen, margins are so small in Division 4, and if either the defeat by DLR County by 1 wicket, or the 2 wicket loss to Knockharley had been reversed, there could have been a top three finish. Eight players were instrumental in the season's success, two of them being youth players, one who was new to the club and two who made their way on to the Team of the Year. Neil Brown needs no introduction, winning his 5th team of the year (one of only 10 people to have so many) after scoring 308 runs at 51.33, including 167* away to Malahide in July. It is the highest score (since 2011) for Merrion 3 and the highest score on Malahide's main ground (in Leinster competitions). The other player on the Team of the Year was playing his first season for Merrion, after many seasons for Cork County. Tim Clifford took 14 wickets at 11.64 and will be pushing for a place on Merrion 2 next year. The two youth players were 17 year olds Jack Atkinson, who scored 220 runs at 24.44 and Richard Bisgood who had a brilliant all round season with 219 runs at 31.39 and 21 wickets at 16.95. Bisgood was the first bowler to take 20 wickets in a league season for Merrion 3 since Rex Walsh took 25 in 2011, and the first with the 200 run/20 wicket double. The remaining four are Timcy Khanduja (203 at 22.56), Rohit Pahuja (372 at 37.2), Sainath Reddy (391 at 35.55) and Vishal Singh (16 wickets at 17.06)

DLR County 1 - 6th (Pos in league - 30 (2017 - N/A)) - Batting Rating 94 - Bowling Rating 88 - RpO for 4.64 - RpO against 5.27 - Youth %age (by appearances) 0%

On September 22nd, a partnership of 16 runs for the last wicket, between Ghanshyam Godara and Joseph Anand was the difference between DLR County 1 finishing bottom of Division 4 and escaping relegation. Chasing Merrion's 259, all looked lost at 220-8 and then 243-9, before those precious sixteen runs saved the season. The first season as a result of the merger between Dundrum and Cabinteely therefore resulted in success. Former Cabinteely players didn't have too much to do with it though, with seven of the eight players who contributed most to the season coming from Dundrum - and the other from Clontarf! With most of their victories being close, and their losses being large, the team ended up being the worst rated of the eight teams, with the bowling being the weaker suit. As a result it is perhaps no surprise that the team was the only one without a player on the Team of the Year. Enough of the negativity though - eight players contributed to the season with sufficient quality to ensure safety, which is more than can be said for the two teams who finished below them. Leading run scorer was Arjun Chandrasekar who scored the team's first league to (112 vs Railway Union) on the way to 396 runs at 33 (as well as 10 wickets at 30.8). Not too far behind was Srikanth Boddu. Boddu lies at 15th place on the all time list of run scorers in the province, with 4128 runs at 29.49, and his league contribution to that total this year was 382 runs at 29.38. Also passing 200 runs were Ramji Padmanaban with 239 and 29.88 and Binson Thambi with 230 at 23. The top wicket taker was Abhilsah Sukumaran, who took 18 wickets at 28.11 (alongside 212 runs at 17.67). That just leaves bowlers Rahul Balabchandran (13 at 19.31), Sanket Patil (12 at 30.33), and Mitul Galav (10 at 22). DLR County finished 18th place in the Cricket Leinster role of 1st teams.

Civil Service 1 - 7th (Pos in league - 31 (2017 - 31)) - Batting Rating 101 - Bowling Rating 99 - RpO for 4.63 - RpO against 5.74 - Youth %age (by appearances) 0%

A second successive year in the relegation spots for Civil Service 1, who will now be waiting nervously for the new league structures when they are published in the new year. They managed to win five of their last seven games, but the damage was done earlier in the season, when they lost six of the first seven. Mubasher Siddique was once again the star of the team, making the Team of the Year with 283 runs at 25.73 and 24 wickets at 14.67. It was his 4th Division 4 Team of the Year and the second time he had completed the 200 run/20 wicket double (after 2016). He is also the leading all time Division 4 wicket taker, but quite simply needs more support. Gaurav Seghal also got to 20 wickets (20 at 18.650, the first time he has achieved that feat. Mohammed Afaq Khan took 17 at 12.53 and Ronak Modi took 11 at 34.45. We rate the team's batting as the 5th best in the division, and it really wasn't too bad. Five players passed 200 runs, without any going on past 300, and that is the difference between success and failure. After Siddique came Nilesh Joshi with 282 at 28.2, followed by Rajath Parashurama (267 at 38.14), Keith Webster (221 at 20.09) and Sachin Mistry (207 at 29.57). 19th place when all the 1st teams in the province were ranked, would leave Civil Service in the top half of the Division 3 table.

Knockharley 1 - 8th (Pos in league - 32 (2017 - 30)) - Batting Rating 94 - Bowling Rating 107 - RpO for 4.99 - RpO against 4.67 - Youth %age (by appearances) 9.1%

Heartbreak for Knockharley 1, who despite winning their last two games, fell 14 points short of safety - mainly due to two defeats before that against Civil Service. With hindsight, if either of those two losses had been converted to victories, Knockharley would have leapfrogged Civil Service and DLR County, but both defeats were comprehensive, with Nilesh Joshi taking the Knockhalrey bowling to the sword both times. Although they slipped on their 2017 final placing of 20th in the league, it was still the second highest Knockharley 1 have ever finished in the league. Player availability looks to have cost the team, with only Mark Ingamell playing in all 14 matches, and only seven players playing in more than nine. Remarkably (and again emphasising how little difference there was between top and bottom in the league), Knockharley had two players on our Team of the Year. Daneyaal Janjua hit 286 runs at 57.20 (but only played eight matches) to make his first Team of the Year in his fifth season, and Tayyab Rashid took 17 wickets at 12.41 (again only playing nine games) to grab his third Team of the Year. Tahir Rasheed scored 298 runs at 24.83, but eight batsman got to 100 runs for the season without going on to 200 runs, and that is always going to make success difficult to come by. Kamran Mirza was leading wicket taker with 20 at 15.40, followed by Rashid, Jack Condie (15 at 20.80), Anup Dambal (12 at 30.17) and 18 year old Daniel Swift (11 at 34.45).

The full Division 4 batting averages can be found here, whilst the bowling averages are here

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