17 Aug 2017
Habs Cricket 2017 Season Report

Cricket 2017: Season Report

Schools’ cricket in this country continues to struggle as a result of the ever-increasing impact of the examination system, not to mention the weather, although 2017 saw one of the drier summer terms at Habs and consequently fewer cancelled games. One encouraging development, which I referred to in last season’s report and which has the full blessing of the ECB, has been the introduction of cricket at the beginning of the Autumn term. Last September we played two T20 matches under warm, sunny skies at Merchant Taylors’, losing the first comfortably but almost defeating our powerful rivals in the second game, falling just two runs short of our target. We intend to repeat these fixtures this coming September and possibly add a third if we can find a ground to play on, perhaps at Radlett CC. As for the season proper, it is clear that cricket continues to thrive at Habs, despite the inevitable pressures of a busy summer term, thanks to the efforts of players and coaching staff alike. Overall, the 2017 season was another successful one for the Cricket Club as a whole and much credit is due to all involved.

As far as the facts and figures are concerned, of 143 matches played, 100 (70%) were won by Habs teams, 2 were drawn or abandoned as draws (both by the 1st XI, the only team to play old fashioned ‘declaration’ cricket these days) and 41 were lost. A further 24 fixtures were cancelled, half of them as a result of inclement weather but the remainder disappointingly because either we or the opposition were unable to raise a team. At the senior end of the school our lack of strength in depth, particularly in the Upper Sixth, was, unfortunately, much in evidence. While the 1st XI overall exceeded expectations, the 2nd and 3rd XIs failed to match their unbeaten records from 2016. Indeed, the 2nd XI lost for the first time since 2014 and, more worryingly, several 3rd XI fixtures had to be cancelled due to the unavailability of a number of players often for somewhat spurious reasons. Late withdrawals for dubious injuries/sudden illness, hastily arranged family weddings or grandma’s 80th birthday for the third year running are just some of the excuses offered, frequently with parental backing, and always at the expense of those players who are prepared to play. It should not be forgotten that universities/medical schools are well aware of the effort and commitment required to play team sport, particularly cricket in the summer term, and consequently look favourably upon those who display such commitment. Furthermore, research clearly shows that those who play cricket regularly with all the time demands that entails invariably perform at least as well in their exams if not significantly better than those who give up the sport. As for the rest of the school, there were more victories than defeats for the U15As and U14As, while the U13As won 12 out of 15 regular fixtures and all 3 games on tour. In so doing they reached the last 16 in the country in the national Bunbury Cup competition and also retained their county title. The U12As showed much promise for the future, winning all but one of their games with the solitary defeat coming in rather bizarre circumstances. Congratulations should also go to our U13B and U12B teams who enjoyed undefeated seasons, winning all their games. Hopefully, the success achieved in years 7, 8 and 9 will continue as these year groups progress through the school and, provided these young players continue to develop, we can look forward to a strong 1st XI in the near future.

1st XI With seven players from last year’s side having left Habs to go on to university, a rebuilding process was inevitable and initially the signs were not particularly promising as Merchant Taylor’s thrashed us in the first of two T20 games back in September. However, a much improved performance with both bat and ball in a second game gave cause for some optimism and when the 2017 season arrived the new-look Habs 1st XI began confidently under the captaincy of Jordan Urban, winning the opening four fixtures in some style. After the trial game against a Middlesex U17 side was cancelled due to unavailability over the Easter weekend, we opened our campaign with a 25 run victory over neighbours Aldenham in a 35 over game. Batting first, Habs got off to an excellent start with openers Amaan Lakhani (50) and Vinosh Jegatheesan (34) sharing in a partnership of 99 for the first wicket in just 15 overs. Unfortunately, both were dismissed in the space of five deliveries without further addition to the score. Thereafter, rather like England, we demonstrated familiar failings against good quality spinners, collapsing to 149 for 9 before an entertaining 10th wicket stand gave us some respectability as we were finally dismissed in the last over for 167. In reply Aldenham lost an early wicket, but were progressing well on 78 for 1 when a fine catch by Urban at short extra cover to dismiss our visitors’ best batsman turned the game in Habs’ favour. Further wickets then fell at regular intervals, four of them to man-of-the-match Lakhani and two to Naresh Rasakulasuriar as Aldenham were restricted to 142 for 7. A second victory in consecutive days followed, this time against Queen Elizabeth’s, Barnet and was achieved with ease, thanks to another encouraging opening partnership between Jegatheesan (38*) and Lakhani (24), who put on 50 in 6 overs. This was followed by the innings of the day from Freddie Wright (40*) in an unbroken stand of 71 for the second wicket with Jegatheesan as Habs chased down a modest target of 121 with nearly 20 overs to spare. Earlier in the day vice-captain Rasakulasuriar (3-20) and Saavan Shah (3-21) were the pick of the bowlers as Habs restricted the opposition to 120 for 8 in 35 overs. We continued our excellent start to the season with a third victory in five days away at Bedford Modern School, although the result on this occasion could easily have been different. In a tense and exciting game of fluctuating fortunes, Habs made a solid start after losing the toss and being invited to bat first, reaching 30 without loss in the
8th over. However, we then collapsed in alarming fashion, losing 5 wickets in the space of 15 balls for the addition of just 4 runs, including a hat-trick as our middle-order of Urban, Rasakulasuriar and Saul Kaye were all dismissed for ducks, clean bowled by swinging yorkers. From this low point, Wright (40) in partnership first with Sudeep Khadka (24) and then George Lawrence (24) added 43 and 34 runs for the 6th and 7th wickets respectively. Our total gradually rose, passing 100, but matters still looked bleak when the 9th wicket fell with the score on 132. Wicket-keeper Aril Pandya (25) and last man Nikhil Chavda (15*) then carved out a further 38 crucial runs for the 10th wicket, before we were finally dismissed for 170 in the 44th over, a more than respectable total in the circumstances. After the lunch interval, a fired-up Rasakulasuriar, bowling with great pace and hostility, claimed the first three wickets as Bedford Modern were reduced to 15 for 4. This soon became 31 for 7 with the spinners Chavda (2-22) and Shah (1-23) getting in on the act while Khadka produced a superb piece of fielding to effect a stunning run-out. When Lawrence captured the 8th wicket with the score on 55 the match appeared to be all but over. However, the opposition hat-trick hero R Bassin (71*) had other ideas and, with good support from his partner, proceeded to add 90 runs for the 9th wicket as our hosts inched closer to their target. Habs captain Urban switched his bowlers and fielders around but to no avail and the vital breakthrough remained elusive until Rasakulasuriar, returning for a third spell, wrapped up the BMS innings with the first two deliveries of his tenth and final over to finish with match-winning figures of 5 for 27. Another fine performance with both bat and ball against the MCC led to our fourth win of the season as we mounted a spirited and ultimately successful run chase to defeat our illustrious opponents for a second time in the last three years. Despite the sub-arctic conditions, with the occasional break in play for rain and hail, the school, with two young debutants Joe Granger and Saihaj Singh (both in year 9) in the side, stuck well to its task in the field. After an early breakthrough when Rasakulasuriar trapped the MCC opener Rishi Pandya (OH, 2005) lbw, a partnership of 172 for the second wicket threatened to take the game beyond our reach. However, a fine spell from Chavda which saw him capture four wickets after lunch, including Joe Williams (OH, 2004), put the brakes on to some extent and led to a sporting declaration by the opposition with the score on 225 for 5. In reply Habs lost two early wickets in the session before tea and a third wicket soon after the interval to leave us tottering on 37 for 3. At this point Rasakulasuriar (53) joined Jegatheesan (38) and the pair added a sparkling 63 at four an over for the fourth wicket. After the latter’s dismissal, Rasakulasuriar combined with Kaye (30) in a 40 run partnership for the fifth wicket during which he completed a fine half century. With the score on 158 for 7 and just nine overs of the last twenty to go, we still had work to do merely to save the game, but wicket-keeper Pandya decided to launch an attack, striking 37 runs off 24 balls, including eight boundaries. He found an ideal partner in Singh (23*), who played a very mature innings considering his age, and together the pair put on 68 undefeated runs to carry us to victory with four balls of the final over of the game to spare. Unfortunately, our winning sequence came to an abrupt end against a very good Magdalen College School side at their picturesque ground on an island in the middle of Oxford, surrounded by the River Cherwell. After winning the toss, Urban invited our hosts to bat first and was rewarded almost immediately when Rasakulasuriar struck with the first delivery of the 2nd over, but this was about as good as it got for us. The second wicket did not fall until the 28th over, by which time the total had risen to 131, and soon after the opposition number 3 batsman completed a fine century. Following his dismissal, the MCS captain took charge, scoring an undefeated 94 off 67 balls as his side posted an imposing 290 for 6 after 50 overs, with Chavda (2-42) the pick of the Habs bowlers. After the loss of two early wickets in reply, Urban (22) looked to be in good form until, following a sumptuous cover drive to the boundary, he was caught behind, playing an attacking shot when perhaps defence would have been the more sensible option. At this point we were well up with the required run rate, but the loss of two more wickets before the total had passed 100 certainly did not help our cause. Standin wicket-keeper Saul Kaye now joined Rasakulasuriar and the pair put on 75 runs for the sixth wicket to show what might have been had we kept wickets in hand. Both completed fine half centuries, but in the end we subsided meekly, losing our last three wickets for just one run to be all out for 209, still 81 runs adrift. We returned to winning ways in the first midweek T20 game of the season against new visitors to Elstree in Chigwell School, who asked us to bat first in somewhat chilly, overcast conditions. Rasakulasuriar and Urban got the scoreboard moving, but it was Kaye, continuing his good form from the previous game, who ensured that we posted a competitive total with a well-crafted 35. Wicket-keeper Pandya, back from GB water-polo duty, struck an explosive 26 not out, including three huge sixes over ‘cow’ corner, to boost our final total to 150 for 7 after 20 overs. In reply Chigwell never really threatened to get close to this target, losing wickets at regular intervals. Despite the poor conditions, with rain making the ball wet and the ground slippery, the Habs spinners all enjoyed success with Lakhani (5-12) undoubtedly the pick. Chigwell were eventually dismissed for 65 to hand us victory by the comprehensive margin of 85 runs. We next faced Felsted School, one of our tougher tests of the season against whom, after comprehensive defeats in all three of our previous encounters and memories of Rhys Hussain’s undefeated double century against us in 2015 still vivid, we were determined not to lose again. Following pre-match discussion and another correct call at the toss, Urban took the bold step of batting first, somewhat to the surprise of our hosts given the chilly, overcast conditions which still prevailed. After the loss of two early wickets, Urban (20) again looked to be in tremendous form himself before he misjudged the length and was bowled by the opposition left-arm spinner with the score on 66. Lakhani and Rasakulasuriar then added 78
for the 4th wicket to put us in a good position approaching the lunch interval, which, unfortunately, was delayed by 10 minutes, during which time the latter was adjudged lbw two runs short of what would have been a welldeserved fifty. Lakhani (56) completed his half century soon after the interval before becoming the 5th wicket to fall with the score on 163. However, the in-form Kaye (53*), with good support from Aayush Pindoria (21), playing only his second game for the 1st XI, and finally, a quick-fire 32 off 24 balls from George Lawence helped us to post a competitive total before the declaration, which came with the score on 259 for 6. Felsted began positively in reply, reaching 53 without loss off 14 overs in the 50 minutes before tea. The first wicket fell with the score on 75 when Lawrence trapped one of the openers lbw, but a partnership of 112 for the 2nd wicket gave our hosts renewed hope. Both batsmen struck the ball very hard, particularly Felsted’s Kent and England U16 star Jordan Cox (68 off 56 balls), but once they fell to Rasakulasuriar (2-36) and Wright (2-38), the game was always destined to end in a draw. Felsted finished on 208 for 5 and Habs thus avoided defeat in this fixture for the first time. Against St Albans it was a case of what might have been, but a disappointing all-round performance handed the opposition victory by 16 runs in a game Habs really should have won. We began well enough when Chavda bowled the opposition captain and best player Charlie Scott with the last ball of the first over and soon after St Albans were 22 for 2. However, too many poor deliveries and some sloppy fielding allowed our visitors to build a partnership of 83 for the 3rd wicket, which put them in control at the half-way point of their innings. Two wickets in successive deliveries from Rasakulasuriar brought us back into the game and, when Josh de Caires (son of former England captain Michael Atherton) was dismissed at 134 for 6 just before a break in play for rain, the momentum had swung back in our favour. When play restarted, the 7th wicket fell with the score on 144, but the St Albans 8th wicket pair added 45 crucial runs to take their final total to a respectable 189 for 7 in 40 overs. After the lunch interval, Habs too lost early wickets, but Jegatheesan (43) and Urban (38) looked to be in command of the situation before both rather gave their wickets away, Urban the 4th man out, caught on the boundary with the score on 104. Rasakulasuriar (19) and Kaye (27) tried hard to keep us on track as the required run-rate grew, but the task proved too much and we were eventually dismissed for 173. A week later, in the first encounter at 1st team level between Habs and Watford since 2009, Urban won the toss and, not surprisingly given the conditions, invited our visitors to bat first on a green track still drying after heavy rain during the week. His decision brought almost immediate dividends when left-arm seamer Lawrence had one of the openers caught behind at the start of the 3rd over with Watford still to open their account. All the batsmen found scoring difficult and when the 2nd wicket fell in the 14th over, the total was only 27. Two overs later the first shower of the day brought the players off the field for fifteen minutes and when play resumed Habs picked up two more wickets with the score on 36, Khadka distinguishing himself with a fine catch in the deep to dismiss the opposition’s best player off Lakhani (3-14). A 5th wicket fell with the score on 46 and, after a brief flurry of runs, at 69 for 5 in the 22nd over another shower sent the players scurrying for the shelter of the pavilion once again. At this point we decided to have an early lunch, during which time the sun appeared briefly before being replaced by more dark clouds. When we reemerged after the interval, it was raining again, more heavily this time, and so the decision was taken to abandon the match as a draw and allow the players to go home and revise! In the final game before the half term break and on the warmest day of the season so far Habs enjoyed a comprehensive 111 run victory in a T20 game against University College School. Captain Urban certainly enjoyed the game, taking the opportunity to register his highest score (72*) to date at this level. With good support from the reliable Kaye (22) and wicket-keeper Pandya (15*), returning from yet more GB Water-polo duty, he enabled Habs to post a total of 175 for 4 in 20 overs. This proved far too much for our opposition, who lost early wickets in reply and never recovered, all out for 64 with the spinners Shah (4-9) and Chavda (3-13) capturing 7 wickets between them.

Three weeks elapsed before our next fixture against Berkhamsted and the less said about this game the better. Urban won the toss and elected to bat first on a perfectly good wicket, but that was about as good as it got for Habs as we collapsed from 36 for 1 to 54 for 8 through a series of injudicious shots. Wright (24) and Shah added 26 runs for the 9th wicket, but our last two wickets fell with the total on a paltry 80. We needed a good start with the ball and got one as Lawrence removed the opposition captain in his first over with a full toss hit straight to mid-wicket and the safe hands of Taif Choudhury. In the following over Rasakulasuriar produced a fine delivery to find the edge and suddenly Berkhamsted were 4 for 2. They might have lost a third wicket soon after, but a runout opportunity went begging and, although Lawrence and Rasakulasuriar both bowled excellent opening spells, the batsmen weathered the storm and reached their target comfortably without further alarm. Four days later we managed to maintain our 100% record this season in the shortest format of the game by winning a third T20 fixture, this time against Forest School, who were visiting Elstree for the first time since 1993. In the absence of Urban, Rasakulasuriar captained the side and promptly lost the toss as Forest elected to bat first on a hot afternoon. They started well, reaching 40 for 1 in the 7th over before losing their 2nd wicket to a needless run-out. Thereafter, wickets fell at regular intervals, all to our three off-spinners, Shah (2-18), Choudhury (3-9) and debutant Freddy Nash (4-20). Play was briefly interrupted by the appearance of a swan (no ducks here!), who refused to field at extra-cover and waddled off to join in the pre-prep sports. When we resumed, Forest were dismissed for 99, the last wicket falling to the final ball of their innings. In reply, Habs lost Lakhani with the score on 15, but an
unbroken partnership of 89 for the 2nd wicket between Wright (40*) and Rasakulasuriar (36*) carried us to a comfortable victory, the latter finishing the game with a six and 32 balls to spare. The following Sunday, on the hottest day of the year so far, the Old Boys were too strong for our depleted and somewhat young looking side, who lost wickets at regular intervals, many to rash shots, and were dismissed for a disappointing 165. In reply, OHCC were reduced to 42 for 3 before an unbroken partnership of 124 for the 4th wicket between Rhys Jenkins and Athman Sivakukar, both of whom completed fine half centuries, proved decisive. By also winning the 2nd XI game comfortably, the Old Boys regained the newly restored Nobbly Tanner Trophy for the first time in a decade. After Mill Hill cancelled on us for a second time this term, our next match was at home against a strong Bancroft’s side and once again we contrived to lose a game we could and should have won. Unfortunately, to quote coach Dan Kerry, we were not ruthless enough and demonstrated a lack of mental toughness at key moments. Bancroft’s won the toss and elected to bat first, but lost both openers without scoring in the first two overs. Lawrence (2-9) and Rasakulasuriar (2-47) bowled excellent spells with the new ball as our visitors were reduced to 24 for 4 after 9 overs, but instead of forcing through our advantage we appeared to lose focus and allowed the opposition middleorder batsmen to stage a recovery. Partnerships of 64 for the 5th wicket, 63 for the 6th wicket and an unbroken 54 for the 8th wicket enabled Bancroft’s to post a competitive total of 228 for 7 after their allotted 50 overs. In reply, Lakhani (45) and Wright (50) began circumspectly and then gradually accelerated as Habs appeared to be in almost complete control. The pair registered our first century opening stand of the season, but then, with the score on 104 in the 23rd over, both were dismissed in the space of three deliveries, sparking an all-too-familiar batting collapse. Of the remaining batsmen, only Luca Ignatius (18) and Lawrence (23) reached double figures and we were eventually dismissed for 180, 49 runs short of our target. Another midweek game, this time against Merchant Taylors’, also had to be cancelled after MTs reached Finals Day at Arundel in the HMC T20 competition, but the following day saw the annual Fraser Bird Match. With the end of term and the Devon Tour in sight, this fixture is always one to look forward to and this year was no exception. After watching the rain fall all day on the corresponding date in 2016, on this occasion we managed to start on time and the Habs bowlers were soon amongst the wickets. First, with the total on 21, Habs cricket coach (formerly of Middlesex and Kent) James Hewitt was well caught at short extra cover by Urban off the bowling of Jack Ronayne. Then, two runs later, returning former Habs pupil Ollie Nathanson was caught behind by Pandya off Lawrence. Thereafter, however, normal service was resumed as the FSB XI piled on the runs. Kurtlyn Mannikam (100), Radlett CC’s overseas player from South Africa, and Adam Brand (91), father of Harry in Y7, added 185 for the 3rd wicket either side of lunch. Mannikam eventually retired immediately after reaching his century and the declaration came shortly after with the total on 231 for 4. Our reply began circumspectly against a hostile opening spell from Welwyn Garden City’s Aussie, which accounted for Wright (7), but gathered pace after tea. Lakhani fell victim to another former Habs player Shaniel Lakhani with the total on 50, but then Urban (119) and Saul Kaye (20) added 85 for the 3rd wicket, which put us in contention. After the latter’s dismissal, Jegatheesan followed almost immediately for a duck before Urban found another willing partner in Khadka (31*). Together the pair added a further 95 runs which took us to the brink of victory. The captain completed a fine and well-deserved maiden century at this level, but was then bowled with just one run required to win. However, Lawrence sealed a notable triumph with a boundary two balls later. Many thanks go to Nick Fielden (OH) for assembling and captaining the Fraser Bird XI and to all our visitors for playing in a manner which would surely have pleased Fraser himself. For the final home game of the season we welcomed new opposition, Wellingborough School from Northamptonshire, to Elstree. Our visitors proved to be a good side, reaching their target of 187, only four wickets down and with ten overs to spare. Earlier in the day Habs appeared to be well placed on 79 for 1 in the 17th over, but our all too familiar failings with the bat surfaced once again as we collapsed to 131 for 7. Most of our batsmen got starts, with Lakhani (33) and Urban (32) the main contributors, but none of them could go on and make a really big score as the excellent Wellingborough bowling attack tightened its grip on proceedings. Jegatheesan (27*) and Lawrence (24) combined in an entertaining stand of 52 for the eighth wicket which boosted our total to 186, but this was still some way below par. In reply, our visitors (whose coloured kit we discovered is very similar to our own) lost their opening batsman (son of their cricket professional David Sales, the former Northants batsman) for a duck on his debut, caught behind off Rasakulasuriar, but a 2nd wicket partnership of 99 effectively won the game for them. Two more wickets fell with the score on 153, but it proved too little too late as Wellingborough won in a canter, six dropped catches making their task even easier. Two days later we travelled down to Lyme Regis and began our annual Devon Tour with a comprehensive 141 run victory at Exeter School the following day. Details of this and the other three tour games may be found elsewhere. Suffice to say, we lost against Exeter CC and a strong Devon Dumplings side, but won the final game at Axminster against Devon U16s, with arguably our performance of the term, thanks to another fine century by Urban (106*), who was still there at the end when we reached our target of 230 with 6 wickets and 5 overs to spare.

Our season finished with an overall record of played 20, won 10, drawn 2 and lost 8 with a further 3 games cancelled, a decent return in the circumstances, but one which could and perhaps should have been better if we had played to our potential more consistently. Jordan Urban captained the side astutely and, after promising much
with the bat all season but finding ways to get out, finally came good towards the end of term, scoring two centuries and two half centuries (and 378 runs in all at an average of 75.60) in his final six innings for the school. He eventually topped the batting averages this season, scoring a total of 590 runs at 42.14, taking his 1st XI career total over the last four seasons to 1465 runs at a shade under 30. He also made the short extra cover position his own this year, often taking vital catches. Jordan has served Habs Cricket well and we wish him all the best for the future. His vice-captain Naresh Rasakulasuriar was the star all-rounder in the XI. He perhaps underperformed with the bat on occasions, but still scored 358 runs at an average of 22.37 with a highest score of 53 against the MCC. However, he will need to bat more consistently and make higher scores if we are to be successful next summer. On the other hand, Naresh enjoyed his best season yet with the ball, taking an impressive 29 wickets at 14.72 and was genuinely quick at times. He currently has 80 wickets for the 1st XI and occupies 12th place in the Habs all-time list. Hopefully he will pass the 100 mark in 2018. Regular opening batsman Amaan Lakhani (375 runs at 20.83) was not afraid to go after the opposition bowling and played several useful innings, notably a fine half century at Felsted. He also captured 17 wickets with his left-arm spin, although he should probably avoid bowling his quicker ball! Vinosh Jegatheesan (280 runs at 23.33) initially opened with him, but later appeared in the middle order and will have gained much experience from his first season in the XI. There is no doubting the ability of Freddie Wright with the bat. He has all the shots, but has frequently given his wicket away and struggled to meet the high expectations placed on him. He finally scored his first half century at this level, opening against Bancroft’s, and then repeated the feat with a fine 83 on tour against Exeter School. In all he scored 416 runs at 24.47 and also took 11 wickets with his medium pace as a useful third seamer. Perhaps the surprise package of the season was middle-order batsman Saul Kaye (381 at 25.40), who scored valuable runs (including three half centuries) consistently all summer, fielded well on the boundary and, when called upon, was a more than adequate reserve wicket-keeper (5 catches, 1 stumping) in the absence of first choice keeper Aril Pandya on GB water-polo duty and later on tour through injury. Aril himself (6 catches, 6 stumpings) was a lively presence behind the stumps and also contributed 116 runs, scored at a quick rate when often necessary. Another regular was Sudeep Khadka, who, although he did not achieve the success we had hoped for, was always a positive presence in the XI. Of the bowlers, left-arm seamer George Lawrence claimed 10 wickets and was unlucky not to take more, frequently passing the outside edge with his late swing. He also scored 131 runs, usually batting at number 8 or 9 in the order. Off-spinner Saavan Shah (22 wickets at 28.36) bowled more overs than anyone else and will surely come back stronger next season, as will leg-spinner Nikhil Chavda (20 wickets at 22.45). For various reasons more players represented the 1st XI in 2017 than previously, amongst them Luca Ignatius, Taif Choudhury, Jack Ronayne and Aayush Pindoria. Ignatius was expected to feature regularly but suffered a stress fracture in his back early on and was unable to bowl thereafter. Choudhury and Ronayne both earned their promotion after good performances for the 2nd XI, as did Pindoria, who showed once again that he has excellent technique and a good temperament. All four will be touring Sri Lanka with the senior squad in October and will no doubt be in contention next year along with a number of promising youngsters.

However, the success of the Cricket Club is not measured by the results and performances of the 1st XI alone. All the teams have contributed and everyone involved can take credit for the excellent results of the club as a whole.

2nd XI The strength of our 2nd XI is often a good measure of the strength of our cricket as a whole, particularly in the senior school, and results in recent years have been spectacularly good. After two unbeaten seasons, however, prospects for this summer were not that encouraging and so it proved, at least initially, as the side lost 3 of its first 5 fixtures, with our batting looking especially vulnerable. After a comfortable 30 run win against Aldenham in the opening game we suffered defeats at the hands of Queen Elizabeth’s Barnet, Merchant Taylors’ and Magdalen College School, although the third of these losses was a narrow one by just 5 runs as we were restricted to 190 for 8 in 30 overs in reply to the MCS total of 195 for 7. Sandwiched amongst these defeats was a comprehensive win against a poor Bedford Modern side. Aayush Pindoria (76) and Ritik Parmar (62*) were the chief architects of our imposing total of 224 for 5 in 30 overs and, once our spinners, Freddy Nash (4-17), Leeran Talker (3-14) and Taif Choudhury (3-31, following his 4 wickets against Aldenham), got to work, the opposition had no answer, all out for 73. The decision to promote captain Ben Wright to open the batting was perhaps the turning point of our season. He was able to strike the ball cleanly and without fear at the top of the innings, and, together with his partner Leeran Talker, was in in a position to get us off to good starts, establishing a brisk run rate from the word go. With this positive attitude, we won five of the remaining six games, losing only to a strong Old Haberdashers’ CC 2nd XI. Against Felsted we posted our highest total of the season, 263 for 8 in 30 overs, Sajan Shah topscoring with 70, the same score as the opposition could muster in reply as Talker (5-20) ran amok with his legspin. The margin of victory was a staggering 193 runs! A week later, Harry Cobb finally found some form, hitting a half century in our total of 191 against St Albans, who in turn were dismissed for 126, off-spinner Choudhury (5-31) the main destroyer. The first game after half term against Berkhamsted was a closer affair, with Habs coming out on top by the margin of 20 runs thanks on this occasion to another off-spinner Nash (6-16)
whose efforts helped to dismiss the opposition for 149 in reply to our 169 for 8. It was the turn of seamer Saneel Amin (6-21) to shine in our penultimate game against Bancroft’s, whose total of 117 was never going to test us. In the event it was two batsmen demoted from the 1st XI in the hope that they would find some form, Sudeep Khadka (52) and Vinosh Jegatheesan (47*), who combined to see us through to an easy eight wicket victory. The final game of the season against new opposition in Wellingborough School turned out to be a tight, low-scoring affair. After dismissing our hosts for just 75, we struggled in reply and eventually crossed the line with only two wickets to spare. So we finished with an overall record of played 11, won 7, lost 4 with just the one game cancelled as a result of inclement weather. Congratulations go to all the players involved, particularly during the busy exam period. In addition to those whose exploits are detailed above, seamers Jack Ronayne and Daniel Glinnan and reserve wicket-keeper Angus Clelland are all worthy of mention, as is coach Andy Simm, without whom 2nd XI cricket would not be the same.

3rd XI A school of the size of Habs and with our reputation for cricket should be able to field a 3rd XI on a regular basis without too much difficulty. Last year we were undefeated at this level, winning 6 out of 7 games, having lost on just one occasion in each of the previous two seasons. For some reason, however, 2017 was a bad year for 3rd XI cricket and the players involved must accept some of the responsibility for the decline. Disappointingly, an inability to organise one’s time and consequent unavailability for fixtures, often at short notice and for somewhat dubious reasons, lies at the heart of the problem. We all understand the pressures of exams and do everything we can to ease them, but it is perfectly possible, as research shows, to revise and be successful while at the same time play cricket or whatever else interests you. For the record, the 3rd XI played 5 games this term, with a different side selected on each occasion, winning the first game against Queen Elizabeth’s, Barnet, where we reached our target of 111 in 20 overs with 4 wickets to spare, but losing the other four against Merchant Taylors’, Magdalen College School, Watford and St Albans. The nadir came away at St Albans, against whom we plumbed the depths, mustering a team of only six players after late withdrawals the night before. Certain defeat duly followed in less than an hour. Three other fixtures were cancelled, all because, despite the best efforts of the staff, particularly Messrs Amlot and Kerry, we were simply unable to raise a team. No doubt other schools face similar problems and clearly we will need to look carefully at the situation next year, but it must be possible to arrive at a solution which keeps everyone happy.

U15A The U15As, under the expert guidance of new coach Jamie Hewitt, had a successful season overall, winning 9 of our 12 games. We started the 2017 campaign in convincing style with four consecutive victories in regular fixtures as well two further wins in the Hertfordshire Schools County Cup competition before losing a midweek T20 game against neighbours Aldenham by just one run! Prior to this a weak Bedford Modern side had been dispatched by 10 wickets and Magdalen College School by 7 wickets, with Jake Charnley (3-28) and Imran Kermalli (54*) the stand-out performers in the second game. Against Felsted, Saihaj Singh (63*), who along with Joe Granger (both from Y9) played up a year all summer, top-scored as we posted 170 for 1 in 30 overs before restricting the opposition to 107 for 7, with spinner Arun Herai claiming three wickets. Sarthak Panvelkar possibly regrets attempting a reverse sweep just two runs short of a maiden century! However, his innings of 98, with help from Arron Kennon (37), helped us to a total of 221 for 6 in 35 overs, which proved too much for St Albans, kept in check by Arian Khan (4-14) and restricted to 183 for 9 in reply. A poor performance, with the exception of captain Arjun Parmar’s innings of 49, against Berkhamsted immediately after the half term break led to a second defeat and we also lost disappointingly to a rejuvenated St Albans(boosted by the inclusion of former England captain Mike Atherton’s son, Josh de Caires) in the quarter-final of the County Cup. However, we won our remaining fixtures to finish the season on a high note. Bancroft’s were beaten by 116 runs with Panvelkar (78) and Parmar (61*) among the runs as we posted 208 for 7 in 30 overs before Parmar and Herai with three wickets apiece helped to dismiss the opposition for 92. Seamer Raunak Khanduja (3-5) took the bowling honours as Dr Challoner’s were beaten by 9 wickets in another T20 game and in our final fixture of the season against new opposition, Wellingborough School, Kermalli (82) and Singh (3-12) were the ‘stars’ in our 52 run victory, as Wellingborough were dismissed for 118 in reply to our total of 170 for 5 in 30 overs. Congratulations go to all the players involved for an enjoyable as well as successful season. In addition to those mentioned above, Alex Loan and wicket-keeper Ed Cleaver were regular members of the side and contributed much on the field, and, of course, many thanks must go to Mr Hewitt. Hopefully, the whole squad will train hard through the winter and put themselves in contention for places in the senior teams next year.

U15B Al Metcalfe took on the U15Bs this season, but before he had time to weave his magic we promptly lost our first game, going down by 7 wickets after being dismissed for a paltry 87 away at Magdalen College School in Oxford. A week later his wise words were beginning to have some effect, although perhaps on this occasion it had more
to do with the quality of the opposition as Felsted were bowled out for just 18, Ronit Anand (6-9) and Jack Davis (4-9) sharing the wickets between them. We lost just one wicket in reply and then spent the rest of the afternoon watching the U15As. In our next game Watford were defeated by 8 wickets with Tayin Lakhani (3-9) the most successful bowler and runs for Davis (34*), who then took three wickets against St Albans in a much more competitive match, Habs reaching the target of 165 with 5 wickets to spare thanks to a half century from Harish Gangadevan. Anand (50) and Nick Kenny (32*) starred with the bat as we posted 170 for 2 in a T20 game against Aldenham, who replied with 128 for 7, Sameer Somani (3-6)) the leading bowler. After half term we fell back into old habits, batting poorly in a disappointing defeat away at Berkhamsted, but then rediscovered our form to win our remaining three games against Queen Elizabeth’s, Barnet, Dr Challoner’s and Wellingborough. In the first of these games Somani (34) and Lakhani (3-11) were the main contributors in a 19 run win against QEB. Max Metcalfe (6-3), promoted from the C team, produced stunning figures to help dismiss DCGS for just 43, although we then struggled in reply before reaching our target with just 3 wickets to spare. Then in our final game against Wellingborough, innings from Somani (65*) and Rohail Millan (34*) enabled us to post a commanding total of 187 for 4 in 25 overs before restricting the opposition to 102 for 9 in reply. Our final record of played 9, won 7, lost 2 represents a successful season overall and congratulations and thanks must go to all members of the squad as well as Mr Metcalfe. Looking forward, senior cricket awaits us in 2018.

U15C Although the U15C season was a truncated one, the four matches played provided a great deal of success and even more drama. The opening encounter at Felsted was played under the hosts’ innovative four-innings format. This often builds to an exciting run-chase in the fourth innings and, on this occasion, Habs nerves were jangling before victory was secured by 14 runs. If this was a close encounter, the next fixture, at home to St Albans was an absolute thriller. Again, the split-innings arrangement built to a very testing target: Habs needed 82 to win from their final allotment of ten overs. With the score on 25-3 at the halfway point, victory looked highly unlikely. There followed a brilliant innings of 34 off 23 balls from Aryaman Bhuwania. Nevertheless, after his departure, 23 were still needed from the final two overs. Thomas Littleford was up to the challenge, however, striking an undefeated 22 from ten balls, including a boundary from the last scheduled ball (when two runs were still needed). Though less of a cliff-hanger, the third match of the season, away at Berkhamsted produced the best team performance of the term – a seven wicket victory. For most of the final game, at home to Queen Elizabeth’s, Barnet, an unbeaten campaign seemed certain. The visitors were dismissed for 56 and then Habs reached 19-0 in reply. There followed an extraordinary collapse, begun by excellent fielding and accelerated by uncertain batting against the turning ball. In the end, the margin of defeat was 19 runs. Bhuwania was undoubtedly the player of the season, comfortably topping the batting charts for run aggregate (131) and average (43.67), including 51* against Berkhamsted. He was able to score rapidly without undue risk taking, placing good balls for singles and punishing the bad ones. Deservedly promoted to the B team, he was much missed in the final fixture. Max Metcalfe was also elevated to the next level, following a remarkably rapid rise up the bowling ranks. Unused until the second innings against St Albans, he found himself taking the new ball next time out and garnered six wickets overall at just 5.33 runs each. This tally of wickets was equalled by Enuka Balasuriya and Ameel Salam: both made good all-round contributions, the former always calm and encouraging and the latter adding an unbeaten 55 with Bhuwania against Berkhamsted, the first of two matches in which he captained. Aditya Ranjan recorded the best figures of the season: 3-5 against QE Boys. The second highest run-scorer was Aswin Srikantharuban (66 runs at 16.50), who almost always got the innings off to a fast-paced beginning. The least impressive aspect of the team’s play was their fielding; had more chances been taken then the three victories would have been more comfortable. The shining exception was Littleford, whose agile glovework brought several excellent catches and prevented many byes. Congratulations go to all involved and we hope to see you in senior cricket in the future. MTC U14A There is no doubting the ability of the U14As, but without two of our number for much of the season (Joe Granger and Saihaj Singh played regularly for the U15As) the rest of the squad found it hard to play to their full potential on a consistent basis, as the overall results indicate. Of 14 games played, 8 were won but 6 were lost, including the semi-final of the Hertfordshire Schools County Cup competition against Watford, a side we had already beaten this season and despite the inclusion of both Granger and Singh on this occasion. The season started, however, with a huge 170 run win against Bedford Modern, who were dismissed for just 35 in reply to our 205 for 9 in 35 overs. Kiaan Patel, perhaps the most consistent of our batsmen, top-scored with an undefeated 68 and there were wickets for Riyan Lakhani (4-4), Chinmay Mullapudi (3-8) and Aarav Nicum (3-20). Any complacency soon disappeared, though, as we lost our second game to a good Magdalen College School side, despite a half century from Jack Cobb. Aaren Patel (4-10) was among the wickets as Felsted were bowled out for 77, resulting in a comfortable 6 wicket victory to restore confidence, but we then lost our next two regular fixtures away at Dr Challoner’s and then at St Albans, despite another half century from Cobb. The remaining fixtures before the half
term break resulted in wins as Aldenham were defeated by 148 runs followed by Watford, as mentioned above, this time the margin being just 10 runs in a closely fought game. Arman Malik (46*), Singh (55) and Lakhani (315) were the main contributors against Aldenham while Kiaan Patel (43) and Daksh Jain (4-24) took centre stage against Watford. We also made progress in the cup, defeating Beaumont School and St Albans for a second time. After the break we allowed Berkhamsted to score too many runs, 179 for 7 in 35 overs, and lost by 10 runs, despite the efforts of Mullapudi (62) and Kiaan Patel (31). Singh (56) was available for a midweek game against Queen Elizabeth’s, Barnet and helped us to a total of 141, which proved too much for our hosts, all out for 76 with Aaren Patel (3-8) our most successful bowler. After the disappointment of losing in the cup to Watford, despite the efforts this time of Granger, we restored some pride with a 30 run win against Bancroft’s, where Krish Nanavati and Kiaan Patel (both with 36) and Malik (32) were amongst the runs in our total of 169. However, we lost our final game of the season away at Wellingborough, where we batted poorly and our total of 112 for 9 proved no match for our hosts who won comfortably by 7 wickets. A somewhat mixed season, particularly in terms of results, thus came to an end on a slightly disappointing note. Nevertheless, congratulations go to all the players and also our coach Mr Haring, although much work lies ahead of the whole squad if they are to live up to their undoubted promise and produce the ‘goods’ consistently next year.

U14B The U14Bs had an excellent season, winning 8 of our 10 games and losing just twice, narrowly on both occasions when we could just as easily have won. Eshaan Ghei (44) led the way as we defeated Watford by 5 wickets in our opening fixture, but then we lost by just 2 runs in a ‘thriller’ against Magdalen College School (MCS 163, Habs 161-9). Mughi Muralitharan (5-6) was too hot to handle as Felsted were dismissed for a paltry 69 and we eased past our target with 9 wickets to spare. After a win against Dr Challoner’s, we came unstuck again in the game with St Albans, where our total of 138 proved insufficient, but only just as St Albans made 142 for 9 in reply to win by a solitary wicket. Thereafter, however, it was success all the way as we won our remaining 5 fixtures, most of them fairly comfortably. Aarav Nicum (93) and Nihal Faiz (41) helped us to post a huge total of 196 for 5 in 20 overs against Aldenham, who were then dismissed for 41, all the wickets falling to our spinners Daksh Jain (4-7), Kyle Perera (3-1) and Hans Mehra (3-8). Hamish Aitken (49) narrowly missed his half century as we successfully chased Berkhamsted’s total of 155 for 8 in 30 overs while Akshay Shah (36) top-scored in the T20 victory over Queen Elizabeth’s, Barnet. In an interesting two-innings format, Bancroft’s were defeated by 10 wickets (Bancroft’s 39 and 78-8, Habs 113-3 and 5-0) and in our final game of the season we defeated Wellingborough by 59 runs. Aitken (55) duly recorded his maiden half century as we set the opposition a target of 181, which proved beyond them as Perera (5-35) helped restrict their total to 121 for 9 at the end. Congratulations go to the whole squad and also our coach Mr Cooper.

U14C The U14Cs played 5 games this season, winning on 3 occasions (against Magdalen College School, Felsted and Queen Elizabeth’s, Barnet) and losing twice. After dismissing MCS for 81, we reached our target for the loss of just two wickets and then, in a two-innings match, we defeated Felsted by an innings and 29 runs (Felsted 59-5 and 43-7, Habs 131-0). However, we lost another two-innings match against St Albans and then were well beaten by Berkhamsted. Our final game resulted in a 9 wicket victory against QEB, where a fine innings from Amirali Hendi (71*) saw us pass the opposition’s total of 120 for 6 in 20 overs just one wicket down.

U13A The U13As had a long and eventful season, playing more games than any other side apart from the 1st XI. Having won the Hertfordshire Schools County Cup competition as U12s in 2016, we now represented the county in the national competition, the David English/Bunbury Cup, beating Aylesbury GS (Bucks) and Eltham College (Kent) in low-scoring games in the opening two rounds. We then faced a tough challenge away at New Hall School (Essex), where, batting first, we scored 137 for 5 in 30 overs (Niyam Shah 61, Kellen Dubignon 46) which our talented opponents overhauled with 8 wickets to spare. However, we did have the satisfaction of winning the County Cup again, defeating St George’s, Harpenden, Beechwood Park and Westbrook Hay along the way before proving too strong for Dame Alice Owen’s School in the final, reduced to 10 overs a-side due to impending rain. In this game our spinners, with captain Ashish Padki (2-9) to the fore, restricted Owen’s to 66 for 5 which Dubignon and Jacob Haynes, batting sensibly, knocked off without undue alarm. In our regular fixtures, highlights included wins against St Albans, where Haynes (56) top-scored as we posted 134 for 9 in 20 overs before off-spinner Neel Madan (5-17) helped restrict the opposition to 118 for 9 in reply, and Berkhamsted, with Haynes (43) again holding our innings together as we managed to reach our target of 76, 8 wickets down. A fine innings from Padki (78) enabled us to reach 143 for 4 in 20 overs against Highgate, which was far too much for the opposition who replied with 38 for 9, three wickets apiece on this occasion to Jaimin Sheth and Jack Teoh. Details of our Devon Tour may be found elsewhere; suffice to say we won all three games comfortably but had a great time nonetheless. Our defeats came against Magdalen College School by the narrow margin of 8 runs despite
the efforts of leg-spinner Rishi Markanday (3-14) and, in a particularly disappointing batting performance, Watford. In our final game of the season, against Bancroft’s, we posted 184 for 9 in 30 overs with Kabir MehrotraBhatia (63) and Zaid Kureshi (33) leading the way, before dismissing the opposition for 122, Sheth claiming 4 wickets. In addition to those named above, mention should also be made of the contributions of Avi Gogna, Kanishka Gooneratne, Zahid Nasser and Tom Sarrau, not forgetting Edan Gardiner, who unfortunately was unable to play this season due to injury. Congratulations go to the whole squad and in particular to new coach Mr Baird.

The U13As enjoyed a long, but successful 2017 season, winning 12 of their 15 regular fixtures as well as all three games on tour. The key highlights of the term were retaining the Hertfordshire Schools County cup, as well as the annual Devon tour, which was a brilliant experience for the boys (and their supporting parents!). The team also relished the opportunity of participating in the regional rounds of the national Bunbury Cup competition this year, where they reached the last sixteen in the country and had the opportunity to face tougher opposition and test their skills. From a batting perspective, Ashish Padki, Kellen Dubignon and Jacob Haynes led the way this season, all scoring around 300 runs. They consistently provided a stable base at the top of the order, which allowed us to build totals and win a lot of games by a comfortable margin. Having said that, the most impressive individual batting performance of the season would have to be Niyam Shah’s (7J) 61 against New Hall, in the 3rd round of the Bunbury Cup. We also saw a number of standout bowling performances this season, particularly from our spinners. Neel Madan and Rishi Markanday both took a significant number of wickets in the middle overs, whilst Zaid Kureshi captured key wickets when opening the bowling and restricted the run rate from the outset. However, Ashish Padki achieved the best figures this season of 6 for 7 against Westbrook Hay, to see us through the County cup semi-final. MB U13B The all-conquering U13Bs, captained by Jakob Evans and Hugo Bach, enjoyed a superb season, winning all 7 of the games they played and wishing they could have had more fixtures. Bedford Modern, Highgate, St Albans and Watford were all easily beaten before half term by 9 wickets, 110 runs, 8 wickets and 10 wickets respectively. Only Magdalen College School provided any real opposition as they finished just 3 runs short of our total of 105 in a closely fought T20 game. After the break we had another close game, this time against Berkhamsted, who reached 133 for 6 in 30 overs in reply to our total of 137 for 6, the margin of victory just 4 runs, thanks to some inspired bowling from Hugo Bach at the ‘death’. In our final game we defeated Queen Elizabeth’s, Barnet by 71 runs after dismissing them for 59. The spirit shown by this team throughout the season and particularly during the Berkhamsted game, was commendable. The boys conducted themselves well both on and off the field with all the appropriate etiquette, worked well as a team and demonstrated a desire to win. Well done to all involved.

U13C The U13Cs played 4 games this season, winning 2 and losing 2, with one other game cancelled. Our first game against Magdalen College School resulted in 53 run victory after we posted a total of 125 for 2 in 20 overs, Kyle Patel and Arman Somani top-scoring with 40 and 39 respectively. In reply MCS could manage only 72 for 7 with Param Vyas (4-6) claiming the bowling honours. After a narrow 7 run defeat at the hands of neighbours Aldenham (Aldenham 116-4, Habs 109-8), we beat Berkhamsted in a T20 by 20 runs after restricting them to 94 for 8 in reply to our total of 114 for 3. Unfortunately, a poor performance in our last game against Queen Elizabeth’s, Barnet led to a disappointing defeat, but that did not detract from our enjoyment of the season as a whole.

U12A The U12As enjoyed an excellent first season at Habs, winning 9 out of 10 games and suffering just the one defeat. Unfortunately, this defeat came in the 2nd round of the Hertfordshire Schools County Cup competition, a competition we really should have won. Having beaten Beaumont School in round 1, we faced Beechwood Park and produced arguably our worst batting performance of the term, all out for exactly 100 in the 20th over. However, this should still have been sufficient, particularly when Beechwood Park still required 28 to win off the last two overs and even more so when they needed 9 to win off the last ball! At this point our poor bowler delivered a no ball which was hit for an additional run, followed by another no ball which was hit for 6! Disappointing was hardly the word...but, this performance alone should not detract from an otherwise faultless set of results. In fact, we were rarely tested in our regular fixtures, winning most games by large margins. Magdalen College School were beaten by 112 runs and Highgate by 106 runs, with Bedford Modern, Queen Elizabeth’s, Barnet and Bancroft’s all more than 50 runs in arrears and Berkhamsted defeated by 7 wickets. Our biggest win, however, was against St Albans. Batting first, as usual, we posted a huge total of 240 for 3 in 25 overs with Jay Madan (91) and Tom Fielden (56*), both in P6 and playing up a year, the main contributors. We then dismissed St Albans for 43, three wickets apiece for Zuhair Hemani and Arav Oodit, to win by 197 runs. All-rounder Purab Garg captained the side, scoring 87 against QEB and bowling well enough to earn selection for the U13As in the Bunbury Cup games. Niyam Shah also played in these games and was consistently our best
batsman, making an unbeaten 80 against Highgate and three other scores in excess of 50. Aman Gogna and Yuvi Bajaj were others to feature with the bat. Of the bowlers, Ritvik Halder was definitely quick at times while leftarm spinner Anant Pathak bowled several successful spells, 5 for 12 against MCS his best return. There is clearly much promise and potential within this group, but they must now work hard through the winter months in order to emerge as better players ready for next season.

U12B The strength in depth of our junior teams was further illustrated by the performances of the U12Bs, who, like our counterparts in the year above, enjoyed a 100% winning record. Equally adept at either setting a target or chasing, we won most of our games fairly comfortably as the scores suggest. The narrowest winning margin occurred in our opening fixture against Bedford Modern, where we reached our target with just 1 wicket intact (BMS 83, Habs 86-9). Following this close encounter, Magdalen College School, Highgate, St Albans, Watford, Berkhamsted and Queen Elizabeth’s, Barnet were all brushed aside with relative ease and in our final game, having posted a total of 201 for 9 in 25 overs, we dismissed Bancroft’s for 120 to record a perfect eight wins out of eight. Hard hitting batsman Josh Levenstein made three half centuries during the season against Highgate, St Albans and Bancroft’s and received good support from Harry Brand, while others to deserve mention include Tanush Pandey and Yash Shah. Congratulations, however, go to all members of the squad and, in particular, to coach James Dobree-Carey. U12C After 4 games this season, the U12Cs emerged with a 50% record, winning 2 and losing 2. In our first game we defeated Magdalen College School by 139 runs after posting an imposing 171 for 1 in 20 overs. In reply MCS could muster only 32. However, defeats followed against Aldenham and Berkhamsted before we recaptured our form in the final fixture against Queen Elizabeth’s, Barnet. In another T20, our total of 118 for 5 proved just enough as QEB were dismissed for 106.


So, despite the constant pressure of exams and other activities, cricket at school is clearly alive and well and at the forefront of Habs sport. This is due not only to the skill and commitment of all the players at each age level but also to the dedication and sterling efforts of the staff who give up so much time to coach the boys and umpire all the matches. In fact Habs Cricket could not function without the huge input of a number of people and I should like to take this opportunity to thank once again my colleagues on the coaching staff, our Grounds Manager John Lewis and the rest of his team, Kathy Nolan and the caterers and everyone else connected with the Club. Dan Kerry and Jamie Hewitt deserve special thanks for all the work they do with all age groups throughout the year. Thank you also to parents and friends who watch from the boundary, your support has again been noticeable this season and is always welcome and much appreciated, and, of course, congratulations and well done to all the players! Stephen Charlwood (With assistance from MCT, MB and NW: July 2017)