Division 9 stats
Leading all time run scorer (2011-2018) - Brian Gilmore (Malahide) - 1368 runs @ 39.09
Most runs in a Division 9 season - Eoin Lenehan (Greystones) - 545 runs (2015)
Highest score - Danny Hogan (Terenure) - 151* - Terenure 3 vs North County 4 - Inch - 14 Sept 2014
Leading all time wicket taker (2011-2018) - Monkur Ahmad (Phoenix) - 63 wkts @ 16.60
Most wickets in a Division 9 season - Saeedullah Azizi (Leinster) - 31 wkts (2018)
Best bowling - John Andrews (North County) - 7-16 - North County 4 vs Ringcommons 1 - Inch - 7 Sept 2014
Highest team score - 342-8 - Carlow 1 vs Phoenix 4 - St Patrick's College - 25 Jun 2017
Lowest team score - 15 all out - Dundalk 1 v Swords 1 - Newbridge Demesne - 17 Jul 2016
Most Matches in Division 9 (2011-2018) - Lineesh Ramachandran (Phoenix/Sandyford) - 51 (2011-2017)
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: Wamiq Siddiqui (Phoenix) (Div 13, 2018), Waqas Khalid (Slieve Bloom), Amir Mehmood (Carlow), Khurshid Anowar (Clondalkin), Bilal Iqbal (Slieve Bloom)
Wicketkeeper: Michael McDonough (Phoenix) (Div 12, 2017; Div 13, 2015)
Bowlers: Ikhtiar Sanzai (Leinster), Robi Alam (Carlow), Monjur Ahmad (Phoenix) (Div 13, 2018), Saeedullah Azizi (Leinster) (Div 16, 2017), Peter Auret (Slieve Bloom) (Div 10, 2016; Div 11, 2013)
Runs per wicket for all teams - 18.48 Runs per over for all teams - 4.79
Clondalkin 1 - Champions - (Pos in league - 66 (2017 - 74)) - Batting Rating 130 - Bowling Rating 117 - RpO for 5.35 - RpO against 4.66 - Youth %age (by appearances) 0%
A first ever league title for Clondalkin, with the Dublin side pipping Carlow in an exciting league where both teams won 11 matches and lost 3. Each side won their home match against the other, so the league title was down to bonus points here and there - not to mention a ten point penalty Carlow received for late submission of starrings. After beating Carlow at home, Clondalkin were in a decent position (6-1), but a loss the following day to Malahide followed by defeat in the return Carlow fixture meant that Clondalkin could not afford another slip up. They then strung together six victories in a row to seal the title. The success was built around a rump of five players, with one of those dominating and making our Team of the Year. Khurshid Anowar delivered in 2018 in way that he had't managed in the previous four seasons. His league total of 521 runs at 47.36, was the most for Clondalkin 1 in a league season, and was the highest total ever in Division 9 by a player who wasn't Greystones' Eoin Lenehan (who scored more in 2014 and 2015). Anowar is the second player to score 1000 runs for Clondalkin (with 128 at 28.33) standing behind only Syfuzzaman Khan on the all time Clondalkin charts. To complete his fine season, he also took 14 wickets at 15.36. Surprisingly in a title winning team, only one other batsman passed 200 runs - Clondalkin's other 1000 run man - Syfuzzaman Khan scoring 257 runs at 21.42 to go with 16 wickets at 19. Clondalkin 1's all time leading wicket taker, Khalid Hossain led the way for the league season with 21 wickets at 14.43, supported by Munir Khan (18 at 17.11), and Dipanker Saha (12 at 18.75).
Carlow 1 - Runners up - (Pos in league - 67 (2017 - 67)) - Batting Rating 130 - Bowling Rating 113 - RpO for 5.12 - RpO against 4.95 - Youth %age (by appearances) 0%
In any close run league campaign, it is very easy to review every single point that wasn't won, and to tear yourself up over the following winter, with a series of "What Ifs". The deduction of 10 points for admin matters obviously didn't help Carlow's cause, but it is really difficult to look anywhere but the last game of the season . Carlow travelled to Dundalk, knowing that a win against the division's bottom team would see them win the Division 9 title, their first league win since 2015. The first part of the day went well, as Dundalk were bowled out for 105 with Robi Alam taking 3-9. But that was only the first half of the job, and the difficulty of the next part of the day is best seen by looking at the first innings totals of Dundalk's other six home games - 56ao, 92ao, 177ao, 263-8, 79ao, 192-5. So it wasn't an impossible task, but with a league title at stake, even the smallest of chases seems very large. 19-0 became 50-6 before a recovery saw Carlow at 100-7, needing six runs to lift the Division 9 title. But with Carlow only playing ten, the last two wickets fell to see Dundalk winners, and Clondalkin 1 as champions. For the third year in a row, Carlow finished in 67th place, but hopefully this will be the start of a renewed push up the leagues. Two players made our Team of the Year - Robi Alam only played five matches, but took 10 wickets at 8.4, and Amir Mehmood scored 439 runs at 48.78, including two tons. Plenty of others contributed to the near success. Rocky Butt scored 381 at 31.75 and Jazab Azeem scored 206 at 22.89. Star of the team was probably Vishnu Vardhan Reddy Yannam who took 24 wickets at 12 along side 276 runs at 27.60. Plenty of bowlers had string seasons as well - Asif Butt took 19 at 13.53, Rocky Butt 14 at at 20.29, Sairam Mangisetty 13 at 12.69, Asad Ali 12 at 14.5, and Kiran Thokala 10 at 31.
Slieve Bloom 1 - 3rd - (Pos in league - 68 (2017 - 70)) - Batting Rating 110 - Bowling Rating 99 - RpO for 4.69 - RpO against 4.86 - Youth %age (by appearances) 7.7%
Only three teams have improved their league position every year for the past six seasons - Adamstown 1, Adamstown 2 and Slieve Bloom 1. It was another solid year for the Bloom, who were never really in a position to challenge for the title, but were never in trouble either. The first half of the season (6-1) was a good bit better than the second half (4-3), but neither was bad. The season was built around six players, with three of those excelling enough to make the Team of the Year. Peter Auret made his third Team of the Year, taking more wickets than any one else in Kilcormac with 22 at 11.64. Bilal Iqbal wasn't too far behind, taking 20 wickets at 16.70 alongside the small matter of 383 runs at 42.56. After only scoring 92 runs in 10 knocks in 2017, 2018 was a major breakthrough. The third TotY player was Waqas Khaild. Khalid is now only 39 runs and 4 wickets away from being the third Slieve Bloom player to do the 1000 run/50 wicket double (after Peter Auret and Shahzad Munawar Mirza) and 2018 was a fine year for him with 286 runs at 57.20 and 10 wickets at 14.40. Others of note were Abdul Rauf Rana (271 runs at 33.88), Shahzad Munawar Mirza (18 wickets at 20.28) and Faheem Shah (11 wickets at 25).
Phoenix 4 - 4th - (Pos in league - 69 (2017 - 68)) - Batting Rating 114 - Bowling Rating 99 - RpO for 4.67 - RpO against 5.20 - Youth %age (by appearances) 24.2%
You may have noticed that we have added a "Youth percentage (by appearances)" figure for each team in our reviews. The figure for 1st teams tends to be irrelevant (there isn't a single 1st team in Cricket Leinster that would forsake results for the sake of giving youth players games), but the four "lower" teams in this division - Phoenix, Leinster, Malahide and Longford put an impressive emphasis on youth development. A quarter of Phoenix's appearances were by youth players, and they achieved pretty much as they do every year - coming between 68th and 70th for the fifth season on the trot. But before we look at whether those youth players did much, a quick word about Phoenix's three player's on the Team of the Year. So far in our look through Divisions 10-16, no player has appeared on two Teams of the Year. And this is how it should be - the OCC's starring regulations mean that any player who is capable of being the best in a particular division, shouldn't be playing in a division. It looks as if perhaps the OCC has tried to clamp down on the practice. Phoenix are the first club to fall foul of this though, with Wamiq Siddiqui and Monjur Ahmad both also appearing on the Division 13 Team of the Year. Siddiqui played a full season of 12 games in Division 13 as well as 7 matches in Division 9, and dominated in both. He scored 261 runs at 65.25 in the higher league to go with his 430 at 39.09 in the lower league. Ahmad was a bit different in that he didn't quite play a full season for either team, taking 15 wickets at 8.6 in his eight Division 9 matches to go with his 17 wickets at 10.76 in his seven Division 13 matches. The third TotY player was keeper Michael McDonough, collecting his third "award" and possibly breaking some form of record, taking 2.5 times as many catches in the season as he scored runs. With a massive 38 players being used in the Phoenix 4 squad, there was little chance for any players to play enough to score well or take lots of wickets, and those that did were on the older side. The only other player apart from Siddiqui to pass 200 runs was Michael Godwin with 232 at 21.09. Three more players took 10 wickets or more - Aaron Joseph with 13 at 13.38, Denis Kearney with 12 at 17.5 and Vignesh Kannan with 10 at 18.4. Phoenix moved ahead of Leinster 4 and YMCA 4 this year, and are now the 4th highest 4th team in the province.
Leinster 4 - 5th - (Pos in league - 70 (2017 - 64)) - Batting Rating 88 - Bowling Rating 108 - RpO for 5.49 - RpO against 3.93 - Youth %age (by appearances) 55.6%
Let's start with the positives. Leinster used their 4th team as a youth development team with an outstanding 55.6% of all appearances in the team being made by youth players. They weren't just token appearances either, with the team relying on youth with adults filling in where needed. One of those players looks like a star of the future, with 18 year old Saeedullah Azizi breaking the record for wickets in a Division 9 season , breaking Carlow's Asad Ali's 2016 record of 30 wickets in a Division 9 season, and Susheel Kumar's 2012 record of 27 wickets in a Leinster 4 league season. Azizi took 31 wickets at 9.87, and is one to watch for 2019. 14 year old Joe O'Sullivan took 10 wickets at 17 and Ikhtiar Sanzai (a veteran at 19) took 11 wickets at an incredible 5.91 in the second half of the season. But the batting was no way near as strong, and as a whole, the team finished six league places lower than its previous worse (in 2017). Only Tom Halliday passed 200 runs with 222 at 37 (including one century). The team were bowled out ten times, six of those for less than 140.
Malahide 4 - 6th (Pos in league - 71 (2017 - 69)) - Batting Rating 85 - Bowling Rating 78 - RpO for 4.90 - RpO against 4.36 - Youth %age (by appearances) 29.3%
2018 wasn't really a vintage year for Malahide 4. Not a bad one either, but not one to be telling the grandkids about in 40 years time. A decent start to the season saw them winning the first two, before one win from the next six, followed by one win from the next five. It meant 71st place, which like Leinster 4, was their worst league placing in the eight seasons we have monitored. Their commitment to youth wasn't quite up to Leinster's standards, but was pretty impressive none the less, with nearly a third of all appearances being by those who are 18 and below. One player stood above the others though, and he is quite a player. Brian Gilmore was named as the 2018 inductee into the Cricket Leinster Hall of Fame, and whilst it may not have been his runs for Malahide 4 that were central to his honour, his unrivalled dedication to the club and to cricket is very much encapsulated by another brilliant season at this level. Gilmore was the side's top scorer with 316 runs at 31.6 although revealingly, next was Shamil Koottembeth's 129 runs. We have the bowling attack as slightly weaker than the bowling (mainly due to Gilmore no longer bowling!). Vikas Gulati was top with 12 wickets at 12.67, followed by two bowlers with 10 wickets over the season - 16 year old Jared Leonard (at 16.30) and Suhaib Naseem (at 20.2)
Longford 2 - 7th (Pos in league - 72 (2017 - 75)) - Batting Rating 77 - Bowling Rating 94 - RpO for 4.17 - RpO against 5.30 - Youth %age (by appearances) 18.8%
A horror start to the season saw Longford 2 lose their first seven games, before victories over Malahide, Phoenix and Slieve Bloom saw a form of recovery, and 72nd place overall - their highest ever finish in the league. A decent youth set up is developing in Longford, and on top of the 19% who turned out for the team, 19 year old Usman Naveed was leading wicket taker with 20 wickets at 17.65. CL Comeback of the Year probably goes to Neil Swaby who took 20 wickets at 24.08 and 200 runs at 18.18 - good to have you back Neil! The leading run scorer was Muhammad Afiq Ur Rehman Raza with 238 runs at 21.64, whilst the other bowlers of note were Mudasser Tariq (13 at 15.46) and Adel Aslam (12 at 15.17). Longford 2 remain as the 20th best 2nd team in the province.
Dundalk 1 - 8th (Pos in league - 73 (2017 - 73)) - Batting Rating 75 - Bowling Rating 91 - RpO for 3.75 - RpO against 5.48 - Youth %age (by appearances) 5.0%
Life as a Dundalk cricketer is an up and down existence. For each of the last four seasons, they have come either 71st or 73rd in the league. And in a league system that relies on eight team divisions that means only one thing - a yo yo existence between Division 9 and Division 10. If they came between 67 and 69 each year, or perhaps 75th and 77th, they would stuck in mid table boredom every year. Unfortunately 2018 is one of the years where Dundalk find themselves struggling in Division 9 - hopefully 2019 will be a Division 10 promotion season. Highlight of the season was probably the win over Carlow, and they finished the season well with three home wins in September. But the whole season was a bit of a struggle, with not too many highlights. The clubs all time leading wicket taker, Andrew Williams had yet another successful season with 14 wickets at 16, with Syed Ibnan Shah also being Mr Reliable with 237 runs at 29.63 and 14 wickets at 19.71. Muhammad Mudassar Zahid also took 11 wickets at 12.27, but overall the club struggled with availability.