Continuing our offering of league reports. here is the First Division report from CMC member Sai Majeed.
2018 was one of the best summers for a long time, surprisingly there was still a number of games rained off, with most clubs completing thirteen or fourteen games out of a possible eighteen other than GHK CC who completed fifteen.
Drumpellier CC wrapped up the First Division title with a week to spare when their game with Renfrew CC was washed out. The strength of the Drumpellier team was their bowling and fielding as they managed to bowl their opponents out in every game completed, losing only their first game of the season, a low-scoring game lost by 2 runs to Stenhousemuir CC chasing 72. Left-arm medium pacer Darren Pryde topped the bowling in the division with a staggering 38 wickets, off just 107.1 overs at an average of 8.53, with his team-mate, off-spinner Mohsin Khan picking up an impressive 30 wickets in taking their team to the title. Darren Pryde also had the distinction of having the best figures in an innings with a “6 for” off seven overs for just 12 runs. There were five other players picking up “6 for’s”.
Early pacesetters, and favourites, Kelburne CC fell away dramatically in the second half of the season, impacted by their Professional being called up for international duty, and losing to the three bottom teams eventually to compound a disappointing end to the season for them.
East Kilbride CC, another favourite for promotion, were always there-or-thereabouts and clinched second spot even though they lost their final game of the season to third-placed Stenhousemuir who mounted a late challenge for one of the two top spots. East Kilbride’s strength was their batting, racking up some impressive totals – two over 300 – with a highest of 354 when they defeated Glasgow Accies CC by 240 runs. 2018 was a superb first season for opening batsman Imran Mughal who finished with 638 runs from fourteen innings, at an average of 49.08, with a highest score of 164. He was closely followed by his skipper Moneeb Iqbal who managed 576 runs from thirteen innings, at an average of 52.46, with the highest score in the division of 180.
There was a three-way battle for the bottom two spots with Glasgow Accies and GHK CC eventually occupying these places on the final Saturday. Glasgow Accies actually defeated GHK in the last game, both teams going in to the game requiring a win and a Helensburgh CC loss to escape the bottom two places. Helensburgh did lose their final game after skittling out Weirs CC for just 49, only to be shot out for 47 themselves, but managed to pick up 9 points to escape the bottom two positions.
All in all, a competitive division with high-scoring and low-scoring games throughout the season, and a number of impressive performances with the overseas players all making major contributions for their teams, Rushdie Jappie of Stenhousemuir, in particular, topped the run-scoring charts with an impressive 707 runs from fifteen innings, at an average of 64.27, with a top score of 127. Rushdie Jappie also racked up 36 wickets with his wily off spin to, clearly, be the top batter and all-rounder in the division. Ahmed Said of Renfrew, having led the run-scoring table for a while, was unable to add to his total in the final two weeks as he had to leave early, and finished on 637 runs – with the top average of 91 – and was the only player to score two centuries during the course of the league season in Division 1 (out of a total eleven centuries in the division).
Mohammed Umair Khan of East Kilbride, having led the wickets table most of the season, eventually took third place in this list with a well deserved 34 wickets, with his pace bowling. Drumplellier’s overseas amateur Ryno Marais capped a fine season with 21 catches and six stumpings, with the gloves.