Sabotage, tragedy and success: the best and worst of club cricket 2011

Dundalk CC - Leinster League division 11 champions

Every week a club cricketer or cricket club is doing something exceptional and the most impressive performances and achievements are reported in The Cricketer. But not every feat we hear about earns a mention in the magazine.  So with the season now over, we have collated some of the best stories below. If you think your club or team-mate deserves a mention, email

Success for former Club of the Month
Dundalk Cricket Club in Ireland were featured as The Cricketer’s Club of the Month in the October 2010 issue when a group of friends who had been getting together for a knockabout decided to found a proper team and enter the Leinster league. In an extraordinary debut season, the formerly ragtag bunch of cricketers (pictured above) went undefeated to win division 11. In a summer of vintage games, the champagne moment came on July 3 when Shibu Ittiavara hit every ball of an over for four against North County. Dundalk plans to enter a second XI into the league next season. “We’ve made quite a splash on the cricket scene in Leinster and we’re rightly proud of our unbeaten record,” said Eddie Bosano-Andrews. “The Cricketer clearly knew something when it made us club of the month last year!”

One over, five wickets, no hat-trick
How do you take five wickets in an over without recording a hat-trick? Ask Collingbourne captain Miles Averill, who managed to dismiss half the Hungerford team in the space of eight balls, going for 16 runs in the process. Admittedly, bowlers in the Savernake mid-week league bowl eight-ball overs. But even so, Miles’s ball-by-ball analysis is worthy of record: W…W…5wd…W…4…dot…2…W…W…5wd. In the same match, played on May 25, Hungerford’s Gideon Janse Van-Rensburg, a South African overseas player, took four wickets in five balls, this time including a hat-trick.

Country’s biggest cricket competition
A nationwide junior knockout has in the past few years become the single largest tournament in the country, with more than 130,000 players taking part. This year’s Asda Kwik Cricket national finals day was won by Churchfields Junior school from Essex. The Vale school from Sussex won the girls-only final. In total 12,000 primary schools entered the competition with the best 16 travelling to the county ground in Derby for the finals on July 19 and 20.

700 runs scored in game
Records were broken in July’s Lincolnshire premier league match between Market Deeping and Skegness, which brought a total of 714 runs from 100 overs for the loss of only nine wickets. Skegness made 417 for 5 and Deeping replied with 297 for 4 – the first time more than 700 runs have been scored in a game. Four players scored centuries, Skegness’s Paul Butler and Wade McCall and Deeping’s John McDougall and Chris Jones. In the return fixture in September, 602 runs were scored as Deeping made 296 in reply to Skegness’s 336.

185* scored in 66 balls
Paul Nice scored 185* from just 66 balls in a T20 match for Bodium CC at Westfield CC in Sussex. The opening partnership between Nice, 36, and his fellow opener and brother-in-law Pat Grace was worth 195. Nice struck 23 fours and 12 sixes as his team racked up 274 for 1 in the Observer Cup. “It was just a blur at the time,” the century-maker told the Hastings & St Leonards Observer. “Everything seemed to hit the middle of the bat and go for four or six or get me up the other end for the next over.”

Second cricketer dies on field
Helston CC was touched by tragedy for the second time in little over a year in July when Mark Stephens, a member of the opposition team, collapsed in the clubhouse and later died. The 46-year-old builder and father of four had recently finished renovating the clubhouse at Stithians, the club he had been a member at for 20 years. In June 2010, Helston’s Stan Cullis died of a heart attack while batting at the club. The second annual memorial match for the highly respected former professional boxer and television stunt man was held at Helston this September.

Deliberate ‘sabotage’ of cricket pitches
Two cricket clubs have suffered apparently deliberate sabotage of their squares. Vandals tore through covers and systematically dug holes in the pitches at Saltaire CC in Bradford in July but despite the setback, the club’s first XI went on to win division 2 of the Bradford cricket league. A similar attack occurred in June at Kirkstall Educational CC in Leeds when vandals poured oil and ground glass onto 11 wickets, rendering the pitches temporarily useless.  While vandalism at cricket clubs is common, it is unusual for criminals to specifically target the playing areas and raises the possibility that the attacks could have been sabotage.

Young buck dismisses old-timer
Thirteen-year-old Kieran Smith recorded hi first wicket in adult cricket on September 3 for Ampthill Town III vs Biggleswade II. The dismissed batsman was Biggleswade’s 68-year-old opener, meaning a possible record age difference of 55 years between bowler and victim. Furthermore, the wicketkeeper who took the catch was Kieran’s father, Richard.

Club hosts floodlit game
Temporary floodlights illuminated an end-of season fundraiser at High Easter cricket club in Essex on September 22. As night drew in, some 150 spectators turned up to watch a presidents XI, including the former England player Jason Gallian, narrowly lose to a club XI. An under-12s game took centre stage during the interval. The £900 raised will go towards pavilion restorations.

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2 Responses to Sabotage, tragedy and success: the best and worst of club cricket 2011

  1. Line and Length says:

    Re: One over, five wickets, no hat-trick

    W…W…5wd…W…4…dot…2…W…W…5wd – unless the second lot of 5 wides finished the game, how can an over finish on a wide?

    • Kitson Thomas says:

      In Wednesday league games it is quite common to have a two or three run penalty for a wide as this negates the need for an extra ball, thus saving precious moments for games that start at 6.00 – clearly a batsman can also run if the ball is not fielded, so I would suggest that in this instance the ball might have been a leg-side wide with the additional runs made before the ball was returned to the stumps and the over called.