Glenmore Cricket Club Glenmore Taverners v Panthers on Mon 27 Aug 2018 at 5.30pm
Glenmore Cricket Club Won by 7 wickets

Match report As the shadows lengthened at Inland Large on a chilly evening, Shahzeb Khan came in to bowl at Riekert 'Big Cat' Panther. Rikki nonchalantly picked him up over mid-on for four and with that the Glenmore Taverners had clinched the Weeknight League championship for the first ever time! The players ran onto the field to celebrate another terrific victory that secured not just the title but also meant the Tavs had gone through the season unbeaten. A remarkable effort that speaks volumes about the qualities shown throughout the team this year; runs in the top order, wickets for all the bowlers, catches held, fantastic team spirit and togetherness, and a genuine sense of enjoyment from first game to last.

The final didn't quite live up to the high scoring thriller against Panthers in the 1st placed vs 2nd placed game the previous week (, but this was a fitting end to a season when the Taverners team has dominated with smooth efficiency and skill. Whenever the team has needed players to step up and put in a performance it has happened without exception.

Panthers were put in to bat first and had made a stable start when Tavs opening bowler Keith 'Balders' Baldock went down lame in his second over. 'Balders' has been a consistent performer with the new ball, but his calf gave out on him and he limped out of the game. Enter Brijesh 'Bruno' Mohankumar to finish the over and with his second delivery he made the key first breakthrough, having Mehboob (3) safely caught by Rajeev 'Wooster' Sharma at mid on. Early wickets against Panthers' strong top order were always going to be vital and it was 'Big Cat' who came to the party with the all important wicket of danger man Akshay Diwe (1). At this stage it was clear Panthers were conscious of the previous game in which Taverners chased down a big score. They appeared to become nervous and not sure whether they should still play their shots or nudge their way to a total. For the remainder of the innings they batted in a pretty circumspect manner, although that was also brought about about by yet another disciplined effort with the ball from all the Glenmore bowlers. Rajeev has been excellent all year and not had the luck his bowling has deserved, repeatedly passing the outside edge. He produced a sensational delivery in his final over to take out Faisal Tariq's off stump to completely hand the initiative to his team.

Rikki finished his own tight, economical spell with 2-14, after which point the spin twins...Colin 'Pro' Nieuwenhuizen and Quinton 'Southers' North...were brought into the attack. The control and wicket taking ability offered by these two wily off spinners has been a key component to the Tavs success this year, and yet again they did the business. While 'Pro' bowls pretty flat and attacks the stumps 'Southers' baits the hook, floats it up and trusts the batsmen to lose their heads. So it proved as Colin snared Mangattuparambil (7) lbw and was unfortunate not to see another decision go his way, and Quinton picked up 3 wickets; one caught behind, one stumped and one well caught by BJ 'Badger' Wolstenholme at cow corner.

One of the biggest changes this year for the Tavs has been the vastly improved fielding. In previous years catches were put down with alarming frequency but in 2018 it's been rare to see the ball go to ground. The ground fielding has also been excellent, with the likes of 'Big Cat', 'Pro' and Dan Freier 'Tuck' throwing themselves around in the infield to save many valuable runs. This was exemplified by a wonderfully smart bit of work by 'Southers' to run out Hasan for 9. Taverners' premier Casanova swooped in at mid-wicket, picked up one handed and whipped in a powerful throw over the bails. Of course, not everything in the field is perfect when it comes to the Taverners and so it would be remiss not to mention three ridiculous efforts. The first was by Iain 'Chappers' Chapman, our 12th man on the field for Balders. With the ball barely trickling toward him at short third man 'Chappers' decided to somehow dive/fall onto the ball with minimum grace! The second moment of madness came when 'Bruno', fielding at cover point, responded to a square cut placed just to his right by dashing off to his left. Perhaps a bee was chasing him. We don't know. Finally, what can we say about 'Big Cat'? Positioned at short cover he dived full stretch to his left as the batsman unfurled a textbook cover drive. The only issue was the batsman had completely missed the ball, which was safely nestled in the keeper's gloves!

It had been a great performance from all the bowlers, and when Bijju (2-20) claimed his second wicket Panthers were all out for a sub-par 98. The opportunity for victory was in Glenmore's hands, they simply needed to produce a mature, patient effort with the bat. And that is exactly what followed.

The run chase got off to a perfect start thanks to yet another superb opening partnership between BJ and 'Fartin' Martyn Challoner. The Canadian/Englishman, left hand/right hand axis at the top of the order has proved to be a highly successful one this Summer. 'Fartin' has been prolific, ending the season as the leading run scorer in the league with 223 runs. His final innings of the campaign was his usual combination of smart placement, maneuvering the field and the unleashing a big shot. His crunching straight drive for four was one of the finest shots of the year! Unfortunately the big fella didn't make it to 30 this time round, caught plum in front for a valuable 15. BJ has been in top form again in 2018, finding the perfect balance between just getting bat on ball to rotate the strike and then opening his shoulders when given some width. His was another enterprising, smart knock and when he fell for 20 the Tavs were only 38 short of victory.

The calm run gathering was continued by team captain Terry 'still no nickname' McGrath and team manager Alex 'STIck' Storey. Terry took on the captaincy reins at short notice just before the start of the season when Michael 'McLovin' Hooke left us for the idyllic surroundings of Medicine Hat. His cool, measured, composed captaincy has been another key ingredient to the Tavs success, not to mention his consistent performances with the willow. His 22 against Panthers took him past 150 runs for the season and got his team to the brink. And so it was left to 'Big Cat' to smash the winning runs and spark the celebrations.

It was a superb all round display to finish the perfect season. 13 games played and 13 wins. An unimaginable leap from the old days of the Tavs when one or two wins would be a successful year. Special mention must be given to Jonathan 'Lord smudgington' Smith and BJ who have been Taverners for a great many years, and endured plenty of tough times when wins were scarce. They made sure the Tavs kept going through thick and thin and we owe them a great deal. Being a Taverner is about more than scoring runs or taking wickets; the primary characteristic needed is to be a good team man who enjoys a laugh and always gives 100%. Two guys who are the epitome of those features are Jason 'Ding Dong' Bell and Danno. They've not always had the opportunity to bat much or bowl many overs, but they have never complained or grumbled, always put in a shift in the field and never let the team down.

All that's left to say is congratulations to the Taverners vintage of 2018 on a wonderful Summer, and to thank everybody who has played for the team this year; Aniket Desai, Chris Austin, Manav Attri, Wasim Naqshbandi, Kunal Makkar, Gurpinder Singh, Matt Honywood, Kapil Pupneja, Jason Bell, Jonathan Smith, Iain Chapman, Quinton North, Terry McGrath, Bijju Mohankumar, Keith Baldock, Riekert Panther, Alex Storey, BJ Wolstenholme, Colin Nieuwenhuizen, Martyn Challoner, Rajeev Sharma and Daniel Freier.

Panthers Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
1nb 14w 1lb 
for 10 wickets
98 (19.5 overs)
Daniyal Mehboob ct  Sharma b Mohankumar 3
Muhammad Durab Mansoor ct  Wolstenholme b North 29
Akshay Diwe ct  Storey b Panther 1
Ammad Tahir ct  McGrath b Panther 5
Faisal Tariq b  b Sharma 0
Ramzan Mohammed st  Storey b North 3
Ayem Gilani ct  Storey b North 5
Masood Hasan Run out  9
Amir Mohammad st  Storey b Mohankumar 16
Subair Mangattuparambil lbw  Nieuwenhuizen 7
Shahzeb Khan Not Out  4

Glenmore Cricket Club Glenmore Taverners Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Keith Baldock1.301000.006.67
Rajeev Sharma4.0017117.004.25
Brijesh (Bijju) Mohankumar2.2020210.008.57
Riekert Panther4.001427.003.50
Quinton North4.001936.334.75
Colin Nieuwenhuizen4.0015115.003.75

Glenmore Cricket Club Glenmore Taverners Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
19w 2lb 
for 3 wickets
Martyn Challoner lbw  A Tahir 15
BJ Wolstenholme ct  b A Tahir 20 1
Terry McGrath ct  keeper b A Diwe 22 1
Alex Storey Not Out  15 2 2
Riekert Panther Not Out  8
Colin Nieuwenhuizen  
Quinton North  
Rajeev Sharma   1
Brijesh (Bijju) Mohankumar  
Daniel Freier  
Keith Baldock  

Panthers Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Shahzeb Khan2.302300.009.20
Ammad Tahir4.001628.004.00
Akshay Diwe4.0023123.005.75
Faisal Tariq2.001700.008.50
Subair Mangattuparambil2.001300.006.50
Muhammad Durab Mansoor1.00700.007.00

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