After its long absence from league cricket, Halverstown 2 did not have the triumphant return we had hoped for. My report on the season has already dealt with the issues involved. This is purely about the statistics - and despite the old warning, statistics do not lie. Just the way we use them. We often have fixed ideas about things which sometimes have to be re-appraised when faced with the actual stats. I have set out the top 10 performances under the same headings as last year. I have the full stats for everyone if you want to know more and am open to bribery if you want others to know less. We used 26 players in the season - and still did not have enough to call on at times. Minimum levels for inclusion are 3 innings for batsmen (or batters as we now call them), as last year.

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Anoop might feel miffed at being left out with his average of 19, but he only played 2 innings before being snaffled by H1, with Lijo suffering the same fate after 4 games. Worthy of note are the good averages of Brian and Ajesh over many games. Surprise package is Terry Gayle at 5, his fine 28 v Castleknock being the main influence. The disappointingly few players in double figures is the reason we did not do well - and when I again feature in our top 10 batsmen you know we have problems.

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It seemed churlish to exclude anyone from the top bowling list based on minima since it is purely on the metric of wickets taken; thus Mark Case only played one game but took 4 wickets in the process. Lijo tops the list whilst only playing 4 games, with Ahsan just one wicket behind. His 6 maidens was most impressive. Brian and Ajesh also carried a lot of the weight, doing much bowling - and taking of wickets - as they also done with the batting. Andy, too, did more than his fair share. Indeed we only used 15 bowlers all season, including 3 who only featured in one game. The figures are impressive overall and most heartening is that the 3 youngest bowlers, Mark, Mathew and Sean, all featured in the top wicket takers. Bowling was not our problem!

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One could argue that Mark’s one game (he was also promoted to H1) gives him an advantage in this category, but honestly he deserves it. It was a super performance. Lijo bowled a lot in his 4 games and excelled in his wicket taking, giving him an average of just under 10. Sean Conroy’s late season flourish is rewarded with 4th spot in the averages with me squeezing into the top 5, though both of us well behind Ahsan.  
Whilst economy is vital, I did put significantly more emphasis on it in last year’s T20. This is statistically correct: in 40 over games more of a balance required; wickets are of greater value than in T20. Our economy rates were very satisfactory, with Ahsan’s absolutely spectacular. Brian was only just behind and did it across 40 overs. Lijo, too, was close and Kevin and Andy excellent also. Last season the Oaks economy stats were cut-off at what I said was a tough figure of 5 runs per over. We have 9 below that point in the much more demanding environment of league cricket and Stuart Hayes, at 10, only just marginally outside that. Well done to our bowlers!

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 Our catch rate was 2.4 per match. My only yardstick is last season Oaks, with H2 just ahead. Lijo, outstandingly, took 6, Ajesh 3 and Andrew Williamson, Stuart Hayes, Barry Elshove (in just one game), Mathew Hodgson 2 each. There were also catches by Manik, David Braithwaite, Will Richards, Terry Gayle and Kevin Hodson. Behind the stumps Cecil took 2 catches and had one stumping.
What can we learn for the coming season? The important lesson remains: we need to work on our batting, and especially down the order rather surprisingly. Our bowlers have done well with the ball but we actually need them to contribute a little more with the bat. Thus if we can have 5 top order batsmen scoring 20-25 runs and 5 lower order batsmen with 10-12 runs each then we would have a score in 150- 185 zone- a level we never reached in 2022.
So much for statistics. They can get in the way of enjoying the cricket if you are not careful. We didn’t have a great season from a results perspective, finishing bottom but one, but I hope that the players enjoyed the season anyway. Thanks to Cecil for his help in captaining the side in my (unfortunately rather frequent) absences. Luckily there is no relegation from Division 19 and we live to fight on again in 2023 for a second league season!
Written by Des Drumm

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