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Fri 28th Dec 2018

By Paul Reynolds

Division 5 review 2018 - YMCA 3’s young guns victorious

Division 5 stats

Leading all time run scorer (2011-2018) - Brian Gilmore (Malahide) - 1316 runs @ 37.60
Most runs in a Division 5 season - Hamish Manks (Malahide) - 575 runs (2015)
Highest score - Timcy Khanduja (Merrion) - 207 - Merrion 4 vs Rush 2 - Kenure - 24 June 2018
Leading all time wicket taker (2011-2018) - Conor Gibbons (Malahide) - 79 wkts @ 20.65
Most wickets in a Division 5 season - Sheraz Tariq (Longford) - 35 wkts (2018)
Best bowling - Aidan McDonald - 7-29 - Clontarf 3 vs Balbriggan 2 - Castle Avenue - 17 Apr 2017
Highest team score - 406-8 - Mullingar 1 vs Terenure 2 - Terenure - 14 Jun 2015
Lowest team score - 29 all out - North County 3 vs Clontarf 3 - Castle Avenue - 5 May 2012

Most Matches in Division 5 (2011-2018) - Conor Gibbons (Malahide) - 58 (2012-2016)

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

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

Batsmen: Sainath Reddy (Merrion) (Div 4, 2017), Bradley Fernandes (Adamstown) (Div 7, 2018; Div 9, 2015), Wilhelm de Klerk (YMCA), Hamza Maan (Adamstown) (Div 11, 2014), Timcy Khanduja (Merrion)

Wicketkeeper: Shamas Sarfraz (Longford) (Div 6, 2015,2016)

Bowlers: Devansh Singh (YMCA), Sheraz Tariq (Longford), Alex Neary (Rush), Husnain Raza (Longford), Usman Arshad (Castleknock)


Runs per wicket for all teams - 21.40 Runs per over for all teams - 5.32

YMCA 3 - Champions - (Pos in league - 33 (2017 - 35)) - Batting Rating 140 - Bowling Rating 133 - RpO for 5.11 - RpO against 5.10 - Youth %age (by appearances) 52.6%

A brilliant run of eleven matches unbeaten, turned around a record of 3-2 at the beginning of June to give YMCA 3 their sixth league title, and first since winning Division 5 in 2013. Their 33rd place was enough to move them back above Phoenix 3 to the 3rd best third team in the province. Whilst Longford's bowling attack was judged to be slightly superior YM's batting was supreme. They scored well consistently, even in the two losing matches (scoring 273-4 in Rush and 172 all out at home to Longford). Seven players passed 50, with two of them going on to three figures. Jacques Zaayman scored his first YMCA ton in his 27th innings for the club, scoring 103 at home to Castleknock, whilst Tim Tector scored 124* in the loss away to Rush - his debut century for the club in his 73rd innings. The star of the YMCA show was undoubtedly Devansh Singh, who in his first full season in Leinster cricket dominated for YMCA 3, scoring 511 runs at 63.88 and 30 wickets at 9.97. It is likely to be the only player to pass the 500 run/30 wicket mark for a single team in a league season, but further research is needed! Although he didn't quite have the same success for YMCA 2 (189 runs at 27 and 3 wickets at 35) it doesn't look like he will be playing for YMCA 3 again next year! The other player to make the Team of the Year was Wilhelm de Klerk. The fourteen year old moved from Malahide over the close season, and clocked up 386 runs at 42.89 in the league to make his first ever Team of the Year. Those two dominated the batting, with (perhaps surprisingly) no other player getting to 200 runs. The bowling was shared around though, with 16 year old Michael O'Reilly coming second on the wicket taking charts with 20 at 19.80, followed by 17 year old Cillian McDonnell (19 at 14.53), 17 year old Max Collins (15 at 18.53), Muhammad Noman (14 at 20.57) and 14 year old Jamie Forbes (11 at 17.36). This column is never afraid to cut through hype, or to expose some unwanted truths, but the legend that is YMCA's youth system definitely holds true at this level. Over half of all appearances were by youth players - with those same players dominating. Expect more of the same in 2019.

Longford 1 - Runners up - (Pos in league - 34 (2017 - 33)) - Batting Rating 109 - Bowling Rating 135 - RpO for 5.42 - RpO against 4.53 - Youth %age (by appearances) 0%

A fall of one place from their 33rd place in 2017, and there wasn't quite a successful defence of their title. If Longford 1 had reversed any of their three defeats, they would have been crowned champions, and it is difficult to look any where but the three wicket defeat at home to Phoenix, when Longford were dismissed for 137 batting first to allow Phoenix a three wicket win. It was their fourth smallest total at home in the league ever, and their worst in 2018. But that is to find a grey cloud on a season that was mostly unbroken sunshine. A seven match winning start to the season was spoiled by successive losses to YMCA and Merrion, before a decent end to the season kept Longford on the up and up, and presumably to Division 4 cricket in 2019. It was Longford's awesome bowling attack that did much of the damage - only YMCA and Merrion managed to pass 200 and only YMCA and Merrion passed 150 both home and away. Before 2018, no one had taken more than 27 wickets in a Division 5 season. This year three beat that mark, with Sheraz Tariq coming out top, smashing the old record with 35 wickets at 10.66. He was instrumental in Longford keeping up the pressure on YMCA at the end of the season, taking at least three wickets in an innings five times in the last seven matches. Remarkably, it was his first Team of the Year in his 6th season in Leinster, and he became the 4th Longford bowler to take 100 wickets - after Fadi Khan, Danish Javed and Mehar Imran. Husnain Raza also made his first Team of the Year with 19 wickets at 12.79, including a career best 6-27 against Pembroke 3. Fadi Khan continued as the club's leading wicket taker (with 137 at 17.62 in all cricket) with 25 league wickets this season at 17.08, and Umar Sarfraz (18 at 13.06), Danish Javed (18 at 18.44) and Mehar Imran (14 at 25.14) were more than useful bowlers to have as support. Shamas Sarfraz makes our Team of the Year as the wicket keeper in Division 5 with most dismissals, but he is much more than that - talisman to the team and epic run scorer, contributing 509 runs at 46.27 across the season, one of nine players to have performed the feat of 500 runs in Division 5. Next on the run scoring chart was Ashir Javed (331 at 23.64), followed by the incredible Sheraz Tariq (320 at 20), Hamza Hamayun (295 at 22.69), Danish Javed (267 at 24.27) and Fadi Khan 206 at 20.60. It's a settled young squad with plenty left in the tank. 2019 should be another year laden with trophies.

Adamstown 1 - 3rd - (Pos in league - 35 (2017 - 38)) - Batting Rating 127 - Bowling Rating 113 - RpO for 5.50 - RpO against 4.82 - Youth %age (by appearances) 2.3%

It is a difficult to not feel a bit sorry for Adamstown 1. Another momentous season, the seventh straight season that they have improved their league position. And although they were well behind the top two clubs in the division, they finished the season as the 22nd best team in the province - a level where they should be challenging others to get a chance of playing in Division 2. But as it is they are stuck playing against other 2nd, 3rd and 4th teams, all bolstered by being able to drop players down from higher teams to help out as is needed. All Adamstown can do is keep their heads down, and keep rising through the ranks 0 unless of course the league structure changes. Adamstown 1 are as close to Terenure 1 as Terenure 1 are to Phoenix 1, but yet have to play several divisions lower. Something doesn't seem right. Whilst it is easy to blame others for 1st teams having a hard time of it in leagues, Adamstown can't be quite excused from the practice. Bradley Fernandes has already been named in our Team of the Year for Division 7, but had a quite extraordinary season in Division 5. He played for the Adamstown first team mainly at the end of the season, and in seven innings, scored 5, 43, 48, 41, 132 and 10, to finish with 279 runs at 46.50, being named on the third TotY in his career. Hamza Maan returned to Adamstown this year after a two year sabbatical in Railway Union, and dominated Division 5, with 420 runs at 42 and 32 wickets at 15.38, making is first TotY since making Division 11 in 2014 as a 16 year old. Only two players have done the 200 run/20 wickets in a league season for Adamstown 1, and Aman Yadav also achieved this feat this year with 354 runs at 39.33 and 24 wickets at 14.04. Only two others got to ten league wickets - Jimmy Bansal with 18 at 23.44 and Deepak Vijayan with 10 at 26.70. The run scoring was on a different level though, with a further four players passing 200 runs - Hamid Ali (264 at 37.71), Haseeb Khan (319 at 21.27), Harpreet Singh (249 at 17.79) and Bansal with 227 at 28.38.

Merrion 4 - 4th - (Pos in league - 36 (2017 - 39)) - Batting Rating 113 - Bowling Rating 95 - RpO for 5.73 - RpO against 5.29 - Youth %age (by appearances) 18.8%

One of the great players to have played cricket in Leinster in the last 30 years, Tipu Gull made a rare appearance for Rush 2 in June - his first league appearance at that level since September 2014. When he dismissed Andrew Kay for 12, Merrion 4 were not quite in trouble, but would have their work cut out against Gull and a decent Rush bowling attack. To the crease strolled Timcy Khanduja, who was to walk off later with the first double hundred scored for Merrion since Brad Spanner's 204* in 2000. Khanduja hit 207 with 22 fours and 13 sixes, as Merrion ran up 396-5 to win by 117 runs (Gull was supreme with 3-37 from nine overs). It was the 6th double hundred in Cricket Leinster's Open Comps since 2011 (the 7th was scored by Leinster's Abdul Sattar in August), and was the fourth of those seven to be scored in Rush's Kenure ground. Khanduja didn't quite match those heights again, finishing with 528 runs at 40.62, alongside 18 wickets at 23.94. Merrion's lower level strength means that it has been difficult for Khanduja to break into the 3rds (although he had plenty if chances - in eight knocks for the 3rds after his 200, he didn't get to 40). As it is Khanduja is the 4th player to reach 1000 runs for Merrion 4 (since 2011) - Vikas Dhiman, Hari Ramasetty and Sainath Reddy being the others. After making our Division 4 Tea of the Year last year, Reddy is perhaps not surprisingly on the Division 5 team this year, his demotion benefiting the 4ths, seeing him score 355 runs at 50.71. Two others got to 200 runs - Chirag Poddar with 257 at 23.36 and Hari Ramasetty (222 at 18.5). The bowling struggled in comparison. After Khanduja's 18 wickets, 18 year old Conor Austin was next with 17 at 16.29, followed by Vidit Sukhramani with 11 at 22.18. No club is seriously challenging Merrion 4th's position as the best 4th team around. Clontarf 4 are now 15 places behind Merrion, which is less than when Merrion were 21 places above YMCA 4 in 2016 and 16 places above them in 2017 - but not much.

Phoenix 3 - 5th - (Pos in league - 37 (2017 - 32)) - Batting Rating 102 - Bowling Rating 87 - RpO for 5.92 - RpO against 4.98 - Youth %age (by appearances) 20.3%

A season very much of two parts for Phoenix 3. From April 21 to June 17 they played six matches, winning two and losing four. They then had a two month break (mainly down to rain which was unlucky with the season that was in it!), before starting their season again on August 11 - winning four of their last ten. They never looked like being relegated, but were a long way from fourth place. It also saw them finish in mid table when looking at their league position historically - some way below their good years of 2015-2017, but better than the bad years of 2011-2014. Nitin Naik dominated on the pitch with 396 runs at 28.29 and 23 wickets at 17.43, but for someone with such a good record for Phoenix 2, he should have been better. Ian Anders was next in terms of runs scored (263 at 32.88) and wickets taken (13 at 17.62), followed by Abdullah Tariq (223 runs at 22.3), Muhammad Junaid Ashfaq (219 runs at 24.33) and Shazaib Ahmad (10 wickets at 18). The individual performances sum up the season as a whole. Not then end of the world, but a feeling that things should have been better They dropped to being the 4th best 3rd team around a position that they haven't been as low as since 2014. But 4th is still pretty good - still good enough to be at the elite end of things at this level.

Rush 2 - 6th (Pos in league - 38 (2017 - 43)) - Batting Rating 103 - Bowling Rating 83 - RpO for 5.39 - RpO against 6.43 - Youth %age (by appearances) 48.0%

After years of trying to get promoted to Division 5, 2018 must be seen as a success. 38th was five places higher than their previous best in the 2011-2018 period, so it is hard to find anything wrong in this review. Two matches just weren't played, which could well have added another 40 points to the league total, but in the end Rush 2 have to be pretty happy with their season. That last figure in the team's summary - 48% - signals the real reason for continued optimism, with the Rush youth structure matching YMCA's in terms of the number of players filtering through to teams. And as with YMCA's, those players made major contributions to the team's cause. Alex Neary is putting together some decent performances at an early stage of his senior career (210 runs at 17.5 and 21 wickets at 28.95) and so it is perhaps not surprising that the 18 year old is good enough to make our Division 5 Team of the Year this year with 14 wickets at 11.93, Rush's one representative. Another 18 year old, Aaron McGuire was leading wicket taker with 15 wickets at 28.40 whilst Daniel Coffey took 13 at 18.08 (and remember, this is on the highest scoring ground in the province). The batting was led by a player already mentioned, Saadat "Tipu" Gull who only played four matches, but scored 251 runs at 83.67. That is perhaps a little unfair though on 15 year old Nathan McGuire who was the leading run scorer with 374 runs at 31.17 - another brilliant player coming off the Rush production line.

Castleknock 1 - 7th (Pos in league - 39 (2017 - 42)) - Batting Rating 88 - Bowling Rating 92 - RpO for 5.01 - RpO against 5.78 - Youth %age (by appearances) 0%

For everything that we said about Rush, repeat for Castleknock 1. Promoted from Division 6 last year, they have finished the 2018 season in 39th spot, the highest in their history, and effectively towards the bottom of Division 3 - ie. the 23rd best 1st team in the province. The only black spot is that infamous last stat in the review. Whereas Rush are content that they will improve year on year due to their coaching and youth structure, Castleknock don't currently have that option, and hence can only improve by attracting new players. There were several of those this year that made an impression, but lots more will be needed to challenge for a league title in 2019. Sardar Rashid had his debut season in Leinster, scoring 230 runs at 23 (including a 50 away to Adamstown) and 10 wickets at 26.5. Deepak Jayachandran was also new to the scene, and was similarly solid with 278 runs at 27.8, with 50s against Balbriggan, Phoenix and Rush. Chirag Dolia arrived from Leinster, and although his returns were a bit below those in Rathmines, he contributed with 10 wickets at 28.2. There was one representative on the Team of the Year from Castleknock, Usman Arshad, who took 22 wickets at 13.05 - the 5th time that a Castleknock 1 player has taken 20 wickets in a league season. Several others had decent seasons with the ball, without being good enough to propel Castleknock up the table. Muhammed Nurulain Boda had a quiet season by his standards, with 14 wickets at 24.07; Bilal Chauhan took 17 wickets at 20.82; and Muhammad Sohaib took 10 at 27.20. The batting was a little weaker but Afkar Ahmed led the way (he was also the only player to play in all 15 matches) with 357 runs at 25.5. As with Rush, a good foundation to build on.

Balbriggan 2 - 8th (Pos in league - 40 (2017 - 37)) - Batting Rating 74 - Bowling Rating 94 - RpO for 4.42 - RpO against 6.52 - Youth %age (by appearances) 29.1%

A season in which the batsmen of Balbriggan 2 just didn't show up resulted in a disappointing season, and presumed relegation when the 2019 league structures are published. Of their fifteen innings, eight saw them being dismissed for under 155, with five of those being at home. However, all that needs to be tempered by Balbriggan 2 only once (in 2017) finishing higher than the 40th they finished in in 2018. So not a great season. but not a disaster either, and the team can regroup in 2019 whilst looking to bounce straight back to Division 5. Three batsmen had 300+ run seasons in 2017 for the team and for varying reasons, it didn't happen for them in 2018. Conor Fletcher probably shouldn't have played for Balbriggan 2 in 2017, but was definitely too good for this level in 2018. Abdul Samad shone with 375 at 31.25 in 2017, but scored only 141 at 10.85 this year. And Syed Mehdi went from 456 at 38 in 2017 to 156 at 26 in 2018. Sometimes, that is the way the cookie crumbles, and with no one stepping up to fill the gaps, the batting crumbled. The leading run scorer was Emad Uddin with 183 at 30.5. The bowling was a good bit better, but couldn't make up for the batting. Debutant Syed Haris took 19 wickets at 22.42, Abdul Samad took 15 at 19.33, 17 year old Justin Kavanagh Martin took 14 at 19.43, Emad Uddin had 10 at 15.6 and Aidan Murray took 10 at 27.9. Hopefully the sentiment expressed above comes through. Balbriggan 2 came exactly where you would expect them to be based on performances of their 1st team. The aim has to be for the club to move above Railway Union and Rush at all levels. Whether that is possible or not is a different story.

Pembroke 3 - 9th (Pos in league - 41 (2017 - 36)) - Batting Rating 64 - Bowling Rating 68 - RpO for 5.33 - RpO against 4.97 - Youth %age (by appearances) 25.9%

Sometimes it is just not fair to dwell on a season too much. Three matches were won, including an impressive 115 run home win over Rush, but two wins in the last three games was much too little, too late. The nadir was probably on June 17, when Adamstown walked away from Sydney Parade as 288 run victors. It would have been a lot worse were it not for Joe Prendergast who was leading run scorer with 196 at 15.08 and leading wicket taker with 15 wickets at 17.53. Faran Khan was next with 12 at 19.67, followed by Richard Hastie with 11 at 23. Those three are also the leading three wicket takers on the team since 2011 - Khan leading with 99, followed by Prendergast (80) and Hastie (72). There is no getting away from the fragility of the batting - only twice did they pass 142 all season. They finished in 41st spot, their lowest in the eight years on record ,and are now down to the 5th best 3rd team in the province.

The full Division 5 batting averages can be found here, whilst the bowling averages are here

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