Division 8 stats
Leading all time run scorer (2011-2017) - Nicky Fusco (Wicklow County) - 1331 runs @ 27.16
Most runs in a Division 8 season - Nadun Srimal Jasinghe (Bagenalstown) - 582 runs (2014)
Highest score - Umar Saleem - 166* - Knockharley 2 vs The Hills 3 - Milverton - 28 June 2014
Leading all time wicket taker (2011-2017) - Khalid Chaudhary (Leinster/Wicklow County) - 56 wkts @ 17.59
Most wickets in a Division 8 season - Ali Qasim (Balbriggan) - 29 wkts (2011)
Best bowling - Chris Siddell - 7-11 - Malahide 4 vs Dundalk 1 - Malahide - 27 Apr 2014
Most matches - Nicky Fusco (Wicklow County) - 51 - (2011-2016)
Highest team score - 293-5 - Balbriggan 2 vs Merrion 6 - Jack Harper Memorial Ground - 12 Aug 2012
Lowest team score - 32 all out - Dublin University 2 vs Knockharley 2 - Kentstown - 30 May 2015
Team of the Year (in batting order) - Benlee Muttathottil (Swords, wicketkeeper) (Division 9, 2016), Niranjan Shankar (Adamstown), Harry Archer (The Hills) (Division 8, 2015, 2016; Division 11, 2015), Rana Asad (Clontarf), Anas Khan (Leinster), Gursharan Singh Lubana (Adamstown) (Division 14, 2017), Muhammed Samran (Clontarf), Sean Devilly (Clontarf), Ahmed Zibran Shovon (Pembroke) (Division 7, 2015), Jinu George (Swords), Amir Shahzad (The Hills)
Runs per wicket for all teams - 21.47 Runs per over for all teams - 4.61
Clontarf 4 - Champions - (Predicted 4th) - Batting Rating 109 - Bowling Rating 109 - RpO for 4.59 - RpO against 4.38
The headline will say that Clontarf 4 won their 8th league table, and third this century as they won seven of their ten matches played, to pip Adamstown 2 by just under 2%. That wasn't quite the full picture though, as we rank the team as third best in the division, mainly due to the emphatic nature of those three defeats. The team managed to go from the awful (9 wicket defeat to The Hills in April), to the brilliant (an 8 wicket win over second place Adamstown, and a 173 run in the return fixture against The Hills) and then back to the awful again (a 10 wicket defeat to Adamstown, and handing bottom side Leinster their only win of the year). But let that not detract from the league title, the team bouncing back from the disappointments of 2016. Three players made our Team of the Year, and we'll start with their achievements first. Ten players passed 200 runs in the season, and three of them were from Tarf. Rana Asad led the way with 367 runs at 45.88, his best season with the bat for Tarf. Sixteen year old Mohammed Samran moved from YMCA and immediately blossomed, passing 40 in five of six innings and totalling 265 at 44.17, with the third star being Sean Devilly who had a career best 6-11 against The Hills, on his way to 19 wickets at 9.5. There was plenty of strength in depth though, with four more passing 100 runs, one of whom had a good season with ball as well. Rana Tariq was solid with both bat and ball - 207 at 30 and 15 at 13.47, Muhammad Rizwan Ullah hit 193 at 24.12, Rizwan Haider with 162 at 32.40 and Mohamed Busly Atham Lebbe with 121 at 17.29. Next year's aim will be to overtake YMCA 4 as the province's second best 4th team.
Adamstown 2 - Runners up - (Predicted 2nd) - Batting Rating 114 - Bowling Rating 121 - RpO for 5.01 - RpO against 4.38
The 5th season in a row that Adamstown 2 (pictured above) have improved their league position, resulting in yet another promotion. That wasn't a sure thing at the beginning of June though. After losing their first three matches, Adamstown were 126-9 needing another 44 runs, and staring a fifth defeat in the face. Manoj Monteiro and Shiv Sethi saw them home. They then won seven of the next eight to grab runners-up spot. The team was built around a phenomenal debut season in Leinster from Niranjan Shankar, who made 472 runs at 47.2 to make our Team of the Year. Their other representative was Gursharan Singh Lubana who perhaps wasn't as dominant, but made an impact in his five games for the team at the end of the season, taking 10 wickets at 6.90. Aman Yadav was the only other player to pass 100 runs and 10 wickets (10 wickets at 13.70 and 140 runs at 35), and three other bowlers took ten - Rajiv Diwan (14 at 12.71), Monterio (12 at 22.33) and Sethi (10 at 14.6). The batting was also strong (remember, we ranked them as better than Clontarf), SUnil Parashar with 192 at 21.33, Faisal Riaz Khan with 158 at 39.50 and Arun Kumar with 127 at 25.40. In the end it was all about those first three matches.
Swords 1 - 3rd - (Predicted 7th) - Batting Rating 117 - Bowling Rating 119 - RpO for 4.78 - RpO against 4.05
Boy, there must be some frustration in the Swords ranks. Predicted to struggle, the surged to their best ever finish in league cricket; were ranked as the best team in the division according to their scores - but yet still failed to get promoted, and remarkably the team have still never lifted silverware. As was noted above, our poor ranking for Clontarf was based on them being hammered in the matches they lost. Swords' good ranking is based on the opposite occurrence - their losses were nail-bitingly close, with the four blanks including two one wicket losses, one by 20 runs and one by four wickets. Ans to make it worse, those two one wicket losses had last wicket partnerships of 22 and 44 (see above). Player availability was also an issue - they only completed nine matches on the pitch, and no one played in more than seven of them. Two players eclipsed all others - Benlee Muttathottil with the ball (and gloves) with 337 runs at 84.25 and Jinu George with the ball (14 wickets at 9.21). With so few players playing a full season, it was difficult for others to do enough to gain a mention. No one else passed the 10 wicket requirement, and with the bat, Ebin Paiva (149 at 29.8), Shiju Nair (147 at 73.50) and Sibu Jose (125 at 31.25) made minor impacts.
Pembroke 4 - 4th - (Predicted 5th) - Batting Rating 96 - Bowling Rating 113 - RpO for 4.45 - RpO against 4.48
A sense that the ship has been steadied with Pembroke 4's 4th place finish. It was the lowest the team has finished in the league in the last seven seasons (61st place), but solidly mid-table is not the worst place to be, and the team won more matches than anyone but Adamstown. On top of that, they managed to beat all the teams in the league at some point - except for Clontarf. The bowling was a good bit stronger than the batting, but when you have one of the top left arm spinners to have played in the province in the last 20 years, that is no surprise. Richard Hastie put in another good year's work with 16 wickets at 12.56, albeit not quite good enough to make the divisional selection. That honour went to the leading batsman on the team Ahmed Zibran Shovon, who added to his appearance on the 2015 Division 7 Team of the Year, with a Division 8 medallion this year, after scoring 329 runs at 41.12. After that, there were some decent performances, with bat and ball, but they were not quite good enough to propel Pembroke towards the top of the league. With the bat there was Joseph Doherty (231 at 25.67), Viran Parmar (132 at 132 in the only three matches he played this year), Stephen Willis (121 at 11) and Alec Barrett (103 at 20.60). With the ball, Hastie found his support from Justin Doherty (15 at 22.67) and Rafe Garland (15 at 22.67). One more reason for there not to be doom and gloom down Sydney Parade way. In 2011, Pembroke 4 were the 4th best fourth team in the province.....and they still are. Pembroke are just experiencing the same downward trend (due to stricter starring enforcement) as most other 4th teams.
The Hills 3 - 5th - (Predicted 6th) - Batting Rating 109 - Bowling Rating 101 - RpO for 4.95 - RpO against 4.81
Quite possibly, The Hills 3 were the most talented team in the province to come in the bottom half of a league. This is a team that beat Champions Clontarf 4 by 9 wickets; they beat runners-up Adamstown 2 by 8 wickets; they beat bottom team Leinster 4 by 9 wickets, and brushed aside Knockharley 2 by 96 runs. How could such a team finish closer to the bottom than the top? Six days after stuffing Clontarf, they were stuffed by 147 runs by Pembroke. Six days after annihilating Adamstown, they were annihilated by Swords (7 wickets). Sandwiched between two big wins over Leinster, they lost to Clontarf by 173 runs, and Pembroke by 6 wickets. Consistency may have been something of a problem! Harry Archer made it three Division 8 Teams of the Year in a row with a masterful 331 runs at 55.17. The 16 year old probably signed off his Division 8 career with a brilliant 130 against Knockharley in August, and ended up averaging over 30 in Division 3. A great talent. Amir Shahzad also made the representative team, after moving from Balbriggan over the winter, and although we're not sure if bowling opportunities were the reason for the move, it resulted in his best Division 8 bowling season in four years of trying, his 12 wickets at 11.83 just about beating 9 wickets at 11.22 in 2012. Plenty of other youth players are worthy of a mention due to getting 100 runs or 10 wickets. Ryan Tobin put in another solid season with bat (271 at 30.11) and ball (11 wickets at 20.45), Heinrick Walser scored 140 at 28, and Andrew Kavanagh scored 119 at 59.5 at the start of the season. With the ball, yet another youth player, Killian Everard was leading wicket taker with 14 wickets at 23.79. A final mention to one of the older players - Ajaz Farooqui who scored 105 runs at 26.25.
Knockharley 2 - 6th (Predicted 1st) - Batting Rating 88 - Bowling Rating 67 - RpO for 4.58 - RpO against 5.22
Not quite the vintage season that many hoped for, as Knockharley 2 slumped to their lowsest league position since 2013. The rain was to blame in many respects - four times Knockharley had a match abandoned, and in all four they were in a position whereby a win wasn't impossible. With those four wins, it could have been very different, but as it was, they only completed eight games, being 1-3 at home and away. Only 18 players were used, normally a sign of a settled squad, but in this case it may have just meant stretched resources. The bowling was the worst ranked in the division (four of the ten highest totals this season in Division 8 were against Knockharley), and no bowler got to 10 wickets. The batting was a good bit better, with five passing 100 runs. Tahir Rasheed led the way with 188 at 31.33, followed by Kamran Mirza (154 at 20.71), Tayyab Rashid (142 at 23.67), Muhammad Furqan Saqi (135 at 16.88) and Rajesh Adi (124 at 31).
Leinster 4 - 7th (Predicted 3rd) - Batting Rating 75 - Bowling Rating 72 - RpO for 3.98 - RpO against 5.09
Another 4th team having a poor year. But whilst Pembroke have maintained their status within the world of 4th team cricket over the last six years, Leinster have fallen from being the second best in 2011, to the fifth best this year, with Phoenix and Malahide not too far behind them. The season was a bit of a disaster on the pitch. The only win was perversely against champions Clontarf, a victory masterminded by Anas Khan, who took 4-17 to bowl Tarf out cheaply. It was one of several impressive displays by Khan in Observatory Lane, who ended the season with 18 wickets at 9.94 and a place on the Team of the Year. That was the one high point. Whereas Knockharley possibly used to few players, Leinster used far too many, with 44 players taking the field, and remarkably 19 of them taking wickets. Khan led the way, but no one else took more than six. Five players passed 100 runs, although crucially there were only two 50s by the team all season. Tom Halliday came top of the pile with 198 runs 24.75, Ashok Yadav next with 142 at 23.67, and then Anas Khan (114 at 19) and Nitin Rajwar 112 at 22.4 .