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DISABILITY SEASON REVIEW

2 months ago | Squads

Disability season review

The Middlesex Cricket Disability Squad went into the 2021 season with a great sense of excitement for all three teams. Due to the pandemic, the players had not played together since the end of the 2019 season, which meant there had also been some changes behind the scenes.

We were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of our longest serving players, Chirag Kunverji, and one of our newest players, Aaron Green, over the course of the season.

Despite having both learning and physical disabilities and being deaf, nothing stopped Chirag playing the sport he loved. He always had a smile on his face, gave 100% whether on the field or in training, and loved being a part of Middlesex’s Disability side – regularly playing for the Super 9s squad. He was a hugely popular member of the squad, always supported his teammates, and made some wonderful friendships with all he played with.

Aaron joined Middlesex Disability in 2019 after a long time out of the game due to him having a major operation where he had both a heart and lung transplant. Before his operation he was a part of the England regional centre and a very popular member of that group, whilst also being Captain of the Sussex Disability First Eleven squad.

Both players will always be fondly remembered by all at Middlesex Cricket, and sorely missed.


D40 First XI season – Division One

The First XI were now training and playing their home matches using the brilliant new facilities at William Perkin School in Ealing. The 2021 season was also the first season that deaf players have been included into the Disability County League, which meant that we welcomed a number of new players into the squad. After a period of pre-season training, we beat Chiswick in a pre-season friendly to add further fuel to the squad’s ambitions.

On April 25 our First XI hosted Wales in the opening match of the season. The bowlers were exceptionally tight, restricting Wales to 97 all out within 24 overs. Matt Jones took an impressive 4 wickets for 4 runs, which was backed up by Sam Kumar’s 3 wickets for 11 runs. Our openers were equally up for the fight, with captain Luke Stoner-Lewis scoring a quick 30 before being caught, leaving Umesh Valjee (28*) and James Nordin (19*) to complete a 9 wicket victory. It was terrific to get the season up and running with an opening day victory.

Our second game, on May 9, was scheduled to be a trip to Shropshire. Unfortunately, with the weather that we experienced throughout May, the match was cancelled on the night before the game.

May 23 saw Sussex come to William Perkin School, on a cold and overcast, yet crucially dry, Sunday. Having lost the toss and been asked to bowl, Martin Henderson dazzled with a memorable 5 wickets for 18 runs in his 4.5 overs to bowl our visitors out for 93. The run chase was measured, with Middlesex always looking to be favourites despite losing frequent wickets, before Jones (22*) and Mohammed Farooq (10*) managed to chase down the Sussex target with three wickets remaining.

Having won two and having the other game cancelled, the Middlesex side were joint top of the league with Surrey when we visited them on June 6. Surrey batted first, and posted 155/6 from their 40 overs, with George Greenway (8-1-18-3) the pick of the bowlers. Valjee held down an end brilliantly before he was stumped for 49, but unfortunately only Jake Oakes (21) was able to offer some resistance as we were bowled out for 120, losing by 35 runs.

Our trip to Hampshire on July 4 was again cancelled because of the weather, which meant both teams shared ten points ahead of our final fixture of the season, at home to Essex on July 18. Bowling first, as we had done all season, some brilliant bowling meant that Essex were all out for 83. Kumar and Jones (both 2 wickets for 6 runs) and Farooq (2 wickets for 14) were all impressive. Like against Sussex, the Middlesex side never looked like they were going to lose the game, and eventually chased their target 5 wickets down (Jones 19, Moazzam Rashid 19) to complete a first victory against Essex for almost 10 years.

Middlesex finished the season in an impressive second place, behind an unbeaten Surrey team. Michael Wilson, Head of Disability Cricket, commented: I am hugely proud of how the squad has performed this season and the future looks bright for this group of players, everyone has been 100% committed to returning after such a long time and performances has shown this.”

Top run scorers: Umesh Valjee (80 runs), Luke Stoner-Lewis (78), Moazzam Rashid (52)

Top wicket takers: Sam Kumar and Matthew Jones (both 8 wickets), Mohammed Farooq (7)

Pos

Team

Played

Won

Lost

Canc.

Bat

Bowl

Points

1

Surrey

6

3

0

3

0

0

120

2

Middlesex

6

3

1

2

2

2

114

3

Hampshire

6

2

0

4

0

0

100

4

Wales

5

1

2

1

2

0

72

5

Sussex

6

1

3

2

7

9

61

6

Essex

4

0

3

1

8

4

22

7

Shropshire

5

0

1

3

3

1

19


D40 Second XI – Division Two

The D40 National League Division Two South saw the Second XI’s of Middlesex, Essex and Surrey face each other alongside Kent’s First XI, with all teams playing each other home and away.

The season started on May 2, as we hosted Surrey at Chiswick CC. Middlesex batted first, with Sunil Sagar (63) and Sue Benson (45) helping us towards a score of 178/6 from our 40 overs. Despite Sagar’s 2-24 and other wickets being shared around, Surrey managed to chase it down in the 33rd over as we lost by 4 wickets.

The rain meant that our away game against Kent on May 16 was cancelled, so our first chance to get a victory was against Essex on May 30. Batting first, Asif Patel (56) and captain Graham Sainsbury (36) scored the bulk of our runs as we posted 173/6 from 40 overs. With Essex’s top order struggling, Ben Mason came into the attack to take a brilliant 5-15, bowling our hosts out for 40 inside 20 overs.

On June 13 we visited Surrey in glorious sunshine. Surrey batted first and played some impressive shots as they posted 267/9. Wickets were shared between Mason, William Beerling, Jai Charan, G. Sainsbury, and 4 run outs. In reply, we scored 100/5 from 40 overs (G Sainsbury 40*), meaning Surrey won by 167 runs.

We hosted Kent on June 27, looking to bounce back from the previous game. We batted first and posted 152/1 from 21 overs, before declaring in an attempt to beat the threatening rain cloud. G Sainsbury top scored with 74*, supported by Benson’s 35*. Conditions then became favourable for the bowlers, with Ramchandra Lacmane (8-1-25-4) and Mason (4.2-0-15-4) bowling in some brilliant areas to dismiss Kent for 83 in 20 overs, as we won by 69 runs.

The final game of the season was at home to Essex on July 11. Essex batted first and scored 102/8 from their 30 overs, with Matthew Dix (4 wickets for 22 runs) and Lacmane (3 wickets for 4 runs) impressing with the ball. Our top order then chased the target in good time, with Benson finishing on 51*. Aryan Janjale was bowled for 23, before Ashan Rajashinghe (13*) saw us secure a 9 wicket win.

Again, Middlesex finished second in the league behind an unbeaten Surrey side. Alex Hughes, Middlesex Disability coach, commented: “To finish second in the first season for our 2nd XI is a fantastic achievement. In the first game there were several players making their debuts and settled into County Cricket brilliantly. In a squad with four U18 players representing Middlesex, the players can be hugely proud of what they have achieved this season, with the potential to make 2022 a very special year.”

Top run scorers: Graham Sainsbury (150 runs), Sue Benson (131), Sunil Sagar (81)

Top wicket takers: Ben Mason (12 wickets), Matthew Dix (4), William Beerling (3)

Pos

Team

Played

Won

Lost

Canc.

Bat

Bowl

Points

1

Surrey

6

6

0

0

0

0

180

2

Middlesex

6

3

2

1

7

6

113

3

Essex

6

1

4

1

5

6

51

4

Kent

6

0

4

2

1

2

23


Super 9s

The Super 9s squad were competing in the South East Regional League, facing Essex, Hampshire and Kent. Each team were scheduled to play 6 games, home and away against the other teams in the league.

The season started off on May 9, with a match against Hampshire at Chiswick CC. We were able to post 160/5 from 30 overs which looked to be a competitive score. Despite some early wickets, Hampshire reached their total with 6 overs to spare, resulting in a 5 wicket loss.

Our trip to Kent on May 23 was rained off, which was unfortunately about to become a common theme for the season ahead. Subsequent fixtures against Hampshire (June 20), Kent (July 4), and Essex (August 1) were all called off due to the grounds being too wet to play, giving us 10 points for each fixture.

However, we were able to play one more game, with Essex visiting on June 6. In a reduced overs match due to more wet outfields, Essex posted 47/8 in their 14 overs. This was a competitive score, but our batters did wonderfully to chase it down. The Middlesex innings finished after 12 overs, with the score 49/6 as we secured a 4 wicket win.

Unfortunately, those two matches were the only games that we could complete this season, with the 4 cancellations. The weather seemed to be more favourable in other areas of the country, allowing the other teams to all complete two victories each and finish the season above us.

Middlesex Head of Disability Cricket Michael Wilson commented: Quinten and Mikey have done an exceptional job with the squad this year and only bad weather on the last game on the year stopped the squad winning the league. The squad is still very young, so the future looks very bright for this group of players.”

Pos

Team

Played

Won

Lost

Canc.

Bat

Bowl

Points

1

Essex

6

2

2

2

3

9

92

2

Hampshire

6

2

2

2

5

4

89

3

Kent

6

2

2

2

5

2

87

4

Middlesex

6

1

1

4

4

2

76

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