1st XI

1st XI Season Review 2015

Harborne CC suffered a disappointing 2015 season, with both the Saturday 1st and 3rd XIs relegated in their leagues, but there was some slight compensation on Sundays: the 1st XI were league runners-up and cup winners.

 

1st XI SATURDAY

 
Only two years after winning promotion to the First Division of the Birmingham & District Premier Cricket League, a hugely disappointing campaign resulted in relegation, with just 173 points, 31 below Wellington, who survived, and 24 more than Oswestry, who finished at the bottom.

 

With the same format as last year, half the games - those at the beginning and the end of the season - were played as 50 overs win/lose matches, and the other half as 55 overs games with the option of a draw. We managed just five victories (one, a winning draw) all season, but lost 13 games, with just three abandoned.

 

In his first season at the helm, captain Andrew Lloyd lamented the loss of four players (including former captain Raj Sen, who moved to Leicestershire). He thought that seven or eight victories would have guaranteed survival. New overseas batsman Shehan Fernando started the season well, but too often failed to capitalise after his early runs. A talented player, he was our second highest run-scorer with 585 from 20 innings, averaging 32.5, with an entertaining 106 against Himley his top score, one of two centuries.

 

Tom Arnold led our batsmen with 637 runs at 42.4, and hit a magnificent 184 at Attock, the majority of his runs coming in the second half of the season when he opened the batting. Andy Lloyd scored 427 runs at 30.5, his best performance an unbeaten 132 against Smethwick, one of his two centuries for the club. Guriq Randhawa (331 runs), Darren Franklin (295), John Pemberton (268) and Jimmy Clifford (235) all offered support.

 

Spinner Dominic Badger took 22 wickets at 41.3, his best haul being 3-28; Darren Franklin's off-spin produced 21 wickets at 26.7 (best 3-39); and opening bowler George Land, who was injured at a crucial point in the season, captured 20 at 29.7 (best 4-49). Tom Arnold and Humais Butt, both with seam, each took 18; Tom's wickets cost 31.1 each (best 4-24) and Humais's 27.2 each, and he captured 5-61 against Old Hill. He, too, was injured, early in the season. Andy Lloyd's leg-breaks did not have the same impact as last year: his nine wickets cost a respectable 31.8 runs each, though, and he once took 4-45. Another bowler to capture four in an innings, Sean Rebbetts (4-54), was not available for most of the season, unfortunately.

 

1st XI SUNDAY

 

The team finished 2015 as runners-up to Knowle & Dorridge in Division One of the Warwickshire Sunday League, having been champions in 2014. We won the John Whitehouse Trophy for only the second time in our history, after an exciting final at Attock, a memorable finale to an otherwise disappointing season.

 

The match at K & D in August proved decisive to our championship ambitions. The hosts, traditionally strong at their Station Road fortress, overtook our total of 231 in 39.5 overs (Alex Kirkpatrick 59) with seven wickets to spare, in just 33.1 overs, after an opening stand of 95.

 

Previously, we had beaten Attock at home by 104 runs, after totalling 308-6, thanks to centuries by Tom Arnold and captain Andrew Lloyd. And K & D, who totalled 223-5 at Old Church Avenue, were dispatched by six wickets, Lloyd, Fernando, John Pemberton and Jimmy Clifford all contributing with the bat.

 

We ended the season on 66 points, just four fewer than the champions, with nine victories and two defeats (the same statistics as K & D), but we suffered two abandonments to their one. Our second defeat was at third placed Coventry & NW, having previously defeated them twice, in league and cup, a case of one game too many, perhaps. Midland Lankans were beaten by nine wickets in the cup semi-final, at Harborne.

 

In the cup final, at Attock, Guriq Randhawa took 4-39 with his off breaks as the hosts were dismissed for 260 in 39.1 overs. Fine batting by Shehan Fernando (85), opener Jimmy Clifford (56), George Land (41), Guriq (an unbeaten 30) and Lloyd (27) ensured a thrilling victory by four wickets with just two balls remaining. Shehan gained a cup-winners' man of the match award after his final Sunday game for Harborne.

 

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