Open Division 4 stats
Leading all time run scorer (2011-2019) - 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 - 199 - Laois 1 vs North Kildare 1 - Togher - 29 July 2012
Leading all time wicket taker (2011-2019) - Mubasher Siddique (Civil Service) - 100 wkts @ 16.79
Most wickets in a Division 4 season - Muhammad Sheraz Tariq (Longford) - 35 wkts (2018)
Best bowling - Yaqoob Ali - 8-16 - YMCA 2 vs Malahide 3 - Malahide 1 - 10 Jul 2011
Most matches - Furwan Ul haq (Railway Union ) (2011-18) - 75
Team of the YearBatsmen: Vikas Dhiman (Merrion) (Div 3, (2017), Div 5 (2015), Div 6 (2012, 2013)), Manpreet Monty Singh (North Kildare) (Div 7 (2017), Div 8 (2019)), Husnain Maroof (North Kildare), Jack Atkinson (Merrion), Armand Smit (Laois) Wicketkeeper: Fintan Moore (Laois) (Div 13 (2015, 2016)) Bowlers: Devansh Singh (YMCA) (Div 5 (2018)), James Smith (North Kildare), Vidit Sukhramani (Merrion) (Div 4 (2017)), Vicky Dalwani (Merrion) (Div 7 (2019)), Wasif Ali (North Kildare)
Review In Open Division 4, 49 games were played, there were two walkovers and five other games were not played for various reasons (including rain) Runs per wicket for all teams - 21.66 Runs per over for all teams - 4.79 - Division Competitiveness 88%
North Kildare 1 - Champions - (Pos in league - 23 (2018 - 24)) - Batting Rating 127 - Bowling Rating 133 - RpO for 5.45 - RpO against 4.33 - Youth %age (by appearances) 5.6% - Average age of team 31.6
The crown on the achievements of North Kildare's Open Comps teams in 2019. Four teams entered, with all four teams winning their respective leagues, a unique achievement by all accounts. However, there was a deep sadness to the season with the tragic passing of Mustafa Sidiqi, only weeks after he had taken 3-28 in North Kildare's historic win over Merrion 1. The rest of the season was very much in memory of Mustafa. As normal, there are plenty of oddities across the season, and thankfully enough to pen a few hundred words. On the surface, the league was a cakewalk, with the season being wrapped up in August, and the final margin over Merrion 3 being 38 points. But when we drill down into the stats, that dominance doesn't quite come through, and that is mainly down to a series of "close" matches - perhaps not on the level of Division 5, but certainly without to many North Kildare demolitions. Sure, there were 9 wicket and 160 run wins over Longford, a 168 run win over YMCA, and 60 runs over Laois, but there were four wins by four wickets or less, and a 21 run win when batting first against Clontarf. Obviously a win is a win, but it wouldn't be fair to anyone to say that North Kildare found it easy. Four players made the Team of the Year, two bowlers and two batsmen. James Smith joined North Kildare after a season in Railway Union, and was a huge success, taking 17 wickets at 10.94, possibly no surprise for a player with 64 career "senior" wickets. He was joined by Wasif Ali, who in many respects has a similar career record, albeit one that has been exclusively with North Kildare. 37 career "senior" wickets at 19.67 so far shows what he has done in the past and this year he took 22 wickets at 12.82, winning a Team of the Year position for the first time, which is a surprising stat. The bowling was completed by another playing with a productive past at higher levels - Hilal Asad (formerly of Old Belvedere) who took 20 wickets at 16.35, and Manjeet Singh (35 career "Senior" wickets at 26.40) with 19 at 17.42. That is an experienced bowling attack, and is perhaps no surprise that they were so successful this year. Whereas the bowling was relentless, and perhaps machinelike, there is a bit more intrigue to the batting. Manpreet Monty Singh was leading run scorer and makes the Team of the Year with 332 runs at 55.33. However, as was mentioned in our Division 8 review, how he was allowed to also play on North Kildare 2nds (picking up that Team of the Year as well), I'm really not sure. After his first three 1st team innings of 3, 68 and 123, that should have been the end of any Division 8 appearances. The next three of 39*, 59 and 30 should definitely have put a stop to the last three! Husnain Maroof debuted for North Kildare in April, scoring 18 for the 2nds, and then 123 on his 1st team debut. His next two scores in Division 4 were 11 and 76*, to see him averaging 105 at that point. That was as good as it got though, and the next five matches saw dnb, 2, 6, dnb and 1 to end with 219 at 43.80. Sumit Singh also scored 219 (at 24.33), followed by Manjeet Singh (205 at 29.29) and Hassan Mehmood (205 at 18.64)
Merrion 3 - 2nd - (Pos in league - 24 (2018 - 29)) - Batting Rating 124 - Bowling Rating 116 - RpO for 5.04 - RpO against 4.36 - Youth %age (by appearances) 13.3% - Average age of team 28.0
A new level of achievement for a Merrion team, with Merrion 3 ending up with the highest league 3rd team finishing position that we can find, perhaps since a North County 3 team in Senior 3 around the turn of the century. After losing to Laois in June, they never looked like catching North Kildare, but more or less secured their runners-up spot after beating YMCA 3 by 1 wicket in August, a result that was almost entirely down to Rohit Pahuja's 100. As with North Kildare, four players made the Team of the Year (not leaving many places for other teams!). And in many ways, Merrion's season looks quite similar to that of the champions with a lot of poor scoring by batsmen built around brilliance. Vikas Dhiman started the Merrion 2 season with a run of poor form, and so dropped down to the 3rds between May 18 and July 7, and provided a model of what a player being dropped should do (both from the player's perspective, and the club's). He scored 0, 95*, 9, 124*, 11* and 100, enough to show the selectors that he should be promoted back to the 2nds (where he averaged over 40 for the rest of the season). His 3rd team record was 339 runs at 113, to pick up his fifth Team of the Year. 18 year old Jack Atkinson has had a meteoric rise, playing for Merrion 8 in 2016, and quickly rising up through the teams. His 6th team debut came in 2016, his 4th team debut in 2017, 2nd team debut in 2018 and this year he broke into the 1sts. His 3rd team knocks were probably fairly unspectacular, scoring 251 runs at 41.83, with a highest score of 57, and looks a real prospect. Rohit Pahuja's seasonal highlight was very much that one wicket win over YMCA, with a total of 296 runs at 26.91, Timcy Khanduja scored 244 at 30.50 and Vaibhav Sapra scored 278 at 34.75. The bowling was dominated by one player - Vidit Sukhramani. Since making his debut for Merrion in April 2017, he has a phenomenal record for Merrion, taking 124 wickets in only 63 matches (and bowling in only 61 matches, so he averages over two wickets per innings in which he bowls). His league season this year was 30 wickets at 10, It is the 4th highest total in Division 4 (and the highest since Phoenix's Matt Lunson in 2014), and he is the only second Merrion bowler to take 30 league wickets in a season since 2011 - Tom Stanton took 31 for the 1sts in 2017. His 1st team debut will surely come in 2020.The big difference between Merrion and North Kildare was that the champions had four bowlers dominating, whereas Merrion only had three (although Sukhramani can almost be counted as two). Vishal Singh took 17 wickets at 16, which brings us to Merrion's place on the naughty step. Vicky Dalwani has already been named on the Division 7 Team of the Year for his exploits for Merrion 5, but shouldn't really be able to have been named on this one as well. The "crime" (and it really is only the opinion of this column) wasn't quite at the same level as North Kildare's, and Dalwani's 5th team career ended on July 6. For the 3rds, his very impressive league season brought 13 wickets at 12.62.
YMCA 3 - 3rd - (Pos in league - 25 (2018 - 33)) - Batting Rating 93 - Bowling Rating 107 - RpO for 4.41 - RpO against 4.80 - Youth %age (by appearances) 59.7% - Average age of team 19.1
An extraordinary season for YMCA 3. It was one of the most successful league seasons for a 3rd team, which was remarkable enough. But feast your eyes on the summary above, nearly 60% of all the appearances were by youth players, and the average age of the team was 19.1. That is simply unheard of in Open Competitions. Whilst the batting was a little suspect, time and time again, the bowlers produced the goods, with no one better than skipper Cillian McDonnell. He took 23 wickets at 12.22. McDonnell moves to fourth on the list of YMCA 3 wicket takers since 2011, and considering the top three, is Kamal Merchant, Callum Donnelly and Harry Tector, that is pretty decent company to be keeping. Daniel Swift took 16 wickets at 22.38, 16 year old Mikey O'Reilly 10 at 13.4 and Devansh Singh 10 at 10.39. Singh is the one YMCA player that sneaks into the Team of the Year, an whilst that may seem a bit unfair, as he only played the minimum number of games and took the minimum number of wickets, he has had a startling introduction to Leinster cricket. In the last two seasons, no one has taken more wickets in the province in Division 3, 4 and 5 grouped together. For YMCA 3, he is the leading run scorer over the last two seasons (708 runs at 50.57), and is second on the wicket taking list - although he has by far the best return with 49 wickets at 9.37. His 2nd team record (more of which in the Division 3 review, is nearly as good, being 4th in each of the lists). More 1st team matches in 2020 seem inevitable (on top of his TFC in his debut on June 9 against Malahide). There were a few matches when the batsmen didn't seem to show up - 84 away to North Kildare, 110 at home to Laois (and 116 in the return match). 17 year old Mikey O'Reilly was by far the best, with 365 runs at 33.18, but the only other plus 200 player was Ian Anders, who scored 203 at 25.38 in his first season since moving from Phoenix.
The Hills 2 - 4th - (Pos in league - 26 (2018 - 23)) - Batting Rating 108 - Bowling Rating 96 - RpO for 4.93 - RpO against 4.91 - Youth %age (by appearances) 16.5% - Average age of team 29.8
A slightly indeterminate, unquantifiable season for The Hills 2. 26th was their joint worst finish in the league, tying with 2016. But yet, they only played eleven matches (not getting round to playing Longford and Phoenix away, and not refixing the home match against North Kildare which was abandoned.) A couple of wins from those three games would have moved them up above YMCA into third place - a position that are rankings say they should have been in. But with the irregular matches (they didn't end up getting a result between August 4 and September 8), form dropped as well, and their last win ended up being the 2 run DLS victory over North Kildare i August - their best result of the season. On an individual level, there was a welcome return to a few old friends, but without the stellar performances needed to earn promotion. Manu Kumar returned after a couple of seasons away, finding consistency with 328 runs at 32.8 and 11 wickets at 31.27. Mark Dwyer (who along with Jack Tector is still the only player to take eight wickets in a "Senior" match in the last nine seasons) also returned to cricket, and scored 112 away to YMCA in June in one of the four matches he played. Bhavesh Lakhotia also scored big in his limited 2nd tea, appearances (one match, 101*), but no one else got to 200 runs. Cian Nulty was unlucky to not make the Team of the Year - he took 14 wickets at 10 each , but only played in four games. The leading wicket taker by a distance was Killian Everard with 20 wickets at 21.95.
Phoenix 2 - 5th - (Pos in league - 27 (2018 - 22)) - Batting Rating 103 - Bowling Rating 96 - RpO for 4.81 - RpO against 4.59 - Youth %age (by appearances) 20.9% - Average age of team 27.7
Phoenix 2 had a very similar season to The Hills 2 above them - except a little bit worse. They only got to play 10 games (they didn't play Merrion away, The Hills at home, or any match against Longford (being awarded a walkover in one of them)). And as with The Hills, those matches not being played could have cost them places, and in the end 27th was their lowest since 2013. Like The Hills, there were players scoring heavily in one match (Louis McDonagh's 120 against The Hills). Only Dhawan Mehta (224 at 28) and Nitin Naik (222 at 31.71) passed 200 in a slightly underwhelming batting line up. Naik continues to be at the centre of much of what the team does - he is now up to second on the list of team run scorers (since 2011) with 1535 at 23.98, and second on the list of wicket takers as well with 68 wickets at 19.84. But that is as inspiring as the season got. The leading wicket taker was 17 year old Theo Dempsey with 9 wickets at 13.11
Clontarf 3 - 6th - (Pos in league - 28 (2018 - 27)) - Batting Rating 86 - Bowling Rating 85 - RpO for 4.12 - RpO against 5.32 - Youth %age (by appearances) 13.6% - Average age of team 29.8
Only half of Clontarf 3's 38 player squad played more than half of their fourteen games, a fact that possibly limited the team's impact. Against that, I could now be seeing tables of cricket stats in my sleep, and I'm reading far too much into it. All three teams at the bottom of Division 4 can easily slide into thinking that they struggled all year whilst in reality, they have never been playing at such a high level. Tarf 3 finished a place below that of 2018, but it is still a major achievement. They are the 3rd best third team in the province - back in 2015 they were the 8th best, showing the huge strides the club has made. Four of those players who played in over half the games are the ones who passed our 200 run/10 wicket mark, and a fifth is a legend who can qualify for these things however many games he plays. By his own lofty standards, Mark Collier didn't have his best of seasons, after all this is a player who has been named on the Division 3 Team of the Year four times. After averaging under five on the 2nds, he dropped down to the 3rds in August and scored 186 runs at 46.5 and took 11 wickets at 14.09. Leading run scorer by far was Daniel Ashton with 399 runs at 36.27, who was nearly the second player to score 400 runs in a Clontarf 3 league season (after Bryan McDermott scored 519 in 2011), but fell agonisingly short. To complete the batting, Aidan McDonald had one of his best seasons with the bat, scoring 225 runs at 28.13. Ian Dent's record as leading Clontarf 3 wicket taker will last a good bit longer - he has 120 ahead of McDonald with 87. This year's contribution to that record was 13 wickets at 19. Finally Jimmy Bansal moved after six seasons in Adamstown, and took 10 wickets at 39.5
Laois 1 - 7th - (Pos in league - 29 (2018 - 28)) - Batting Rating 82 - Bowling Rating 93 - RpO for 4.34 - RpO against 5.02 - Youth %age (by appearances) 1.4% - Average age of team 32.3
The third season in a row that Laois 1 have been 28th or 29th in the league - a Division 4 and 5 netherworld that is in neither one nor the other. After a slow start to the season when they moved to Stradbally, things picked up with brilliant wins over Merrion, YMCA and Clontarf in June before another slump in July and August cemented 7th place. Since we started tracking all cricket in the Open Competitions, we have been able to look at all manner of records, many of them minor. But there are a few major ones, with leading wicket taker in all cricket being up there. It requires someone with commitment, fitness and skill. There are plenty with one or other, but the combination of all three is rare. Usama Raees has been the first player to break through the 300 wicket barrier, in a career stretching from 2011 to the present, taking 306 wickets at 18.16 to lead Greystones' Manpreet Singh by 19 wickets. This year he passed 100 career wickets for Laois 1, with 102 wickets at 20.26, with the season's return in Division 4 being 19 wickets at 19.21, and he was also the team's leading run scorer with 342 runs at 31.09. On top of his bowling, he also stands at 35th in the Cricket Leinster career run scoring chart with 3891 uns at 21.5. But the honor of being named on the Team of the Year goes to two other players, a good achievement for a team at the lower end of the league. Fintan Moore was the keeper with most dismissals (15), whilst Armand Smit has completed the transformation between young, nasty quick bowler, to a slightly older true all rounder. Since 2012, his seasonal batting average has risen every single year, from only 12.10 in 2014, to the point this year where he is named as one of the best batsmen in Division 4. He scored 306 runs at 38.25 to go with 14 wickets at 21.71. Completing the Laois review, Kamran Sabrie took 17 wickets at 26.76 and Jawad Amin took 12 wickets at 20.33
Longford 1 - 8th - (Pos in league - 30 (2018 - 34)) - Batting Rating 87 - Bowling Rating 74 - RpO for 5.84 - RpO against 5.18 - Youth %age (by appearances) 0% - Average age of team 29.8
Longford 1's triumphant 2019 Division 5 winning season was built on having lots of players contributing, ranging from the brilliant (Shamas Sarfraz and Muhammad Sheraz Tariq) to the very good (all the others). So what went wrong in 2019? Like many pther teams in this division that was blighted by rain more than any other, they didn't get round to playing many games. The Hills didn't get to travel to Newtownforbes, and Longford didn't get to travel to YMCA or Phoenix. Two wins in those games would have lifted the team to 6th. And two other reasons become quite apparent - key players who didn't get to play as much as in 2018, and simply players who found the step up from Division 5 to Division 4 to be tough. Leading wicket taker was Danish Javed with 13 wickets at 24.85, Fadi Khan took 12 at 18.08 and Muhammad Sheraz Tariq took 10 at 27.5 (down from 35 in 2018!) and also scored 265 runs at 29.44 and Adnan Sarfraz scored 226 at 28.25. Last year's leading run scorer Shamas Sarfraz scored only 154 at 30.80, down from 509 in 2018.