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2016 was an enjoyable season on many counts;
a) both a winning tour (3/1) and a winning season (15-11)
b) exciting new comers in George, Binu, Aaran, Mehboob, Chad (well done to recruiters)
and c) an excellent atmosphere in legends game; definitely a good addition to fixtures
The pre-season tour of Cambridge was a great success, with record numbers of Superstars attending; Barry had a wide selection of players to choose from, albeit most of them were hung over from the exploiting the student bars the night before. We were thankful to club newbie and Man of Cambridge, George Moore, Ian Moxon for the Pembroke fixture and club veteran-legend Barry Gigg for the excellent hotel arrangements. Dan Forman wasted no time in getting himself on to bowling leader board by starting of the tour with an 8 ball wicket maiden against St Radegund. Vijay's 27* (first sambuka of the season, that cleared the ground) ensured we were always ahead of the game while but Mr Scarecrow ensured some last minute comedy by running out George M (playing his first game for Sups) when only 3 runs were needed of last three overs! Next game against Pembroke saw a top order collapse which required experience hands of Barry (19), Ian(16) and Mr Extras (a jug avoidance 46) to get us to a respectable total which turned out to be inadequate despite some spirited bowling later on. The loss was soon forgotten when superstars digged in to some excellent teas, beer, and food provided gratis by Pembroke! Next game against the best oppo of the tour (Jesus College) saw Simon Gundry take a five-for against a compact looking batting unit. Will Walker (45) & Rick Smith (36) ensured got us off to a good start in the chase which was finished by some late order entertainment by Vijay and Simon, with Simon narrowly missing a 10-er (refer tour pic) on the winning shot. This game also saw a customary drop catch off Mike's bowling but I'm not risking naming the flag bearer of this fine tradition. The last game saw us wobble a bit in the chase but were rescued finally by a Konrad-Gigg blind sprint on the last ball (needing 2 to win) where Konrad survived two run-outs before diving in to seal the victory. Great way to round off an eventful tour
After enjoying the sights and scenes of students bludgeoning each other with bottles of Bollinger and being air-lifted to safety, we returned to the regular season with a busy fixtures schedule in May. A convincing win against DWP saw the win tally increase with Rick Smith taking 3 quick wickets. Further comfortable wins against Albamorphics (Vijay Anand 30 runs, Adam Spencer 32 runs, George Warren 25 runs & Will Walker 32 runs) secured another victory. Green Sox were beaten twice in the month with Dan Forman taking 4 wickets in the second fixture and solid batting from Matt Conway (25*) Mark Anderson (30*) in the first and Vijay (30*) in the 2nd ; with last two retirements coming on the back of sambucas. We soon hit a mid season slump with losses to FCO (with notable batting performance from former captain-of-vice Paul (25*) and captain-in-waiting Gary (26*)) [Note from Ed - report written by Gary, he's after your job Barry!] and Dodgers (despite a stroke-filled 52* from Vijay and comical attempt of a catch by Chris which looked more like he was desperately trying to balance on a merry go round). There was also a crushing loss to friendly rivals Dodgers despite a trademark Anand half century.
June saw one of the wettest months in Superstar history with six of the nine fixtures being called off, the pain didn't stop there as the few games we did play resulted in two losses against DEFRA and Commons Old Boys (despite Alok's 3 wickets). We were determined to end the month on a high and recorded a prolific demolition job against Hounslow with Dan Forman taking 3 wickets and Paul Gaught scoring 27 runs and some cool headed finish from Simon in the last over. The Kent tournament was held in honour of The Brain Tumour Charity, a great effort and thanks to Paul Gaught, Penny, Oliver and everyone who attended to raise £400 for the charity that meant so much to them as Penny's mother struggled against the horrible illness that eventually sadly took her life later in the year.
In July the clouds lifted, the sun returned and cricket was definitely back on the menu with eight fixtures planned and seven of them played. The obligatory Merv Tournament was cancelled (#Shocking). We recorded three narrow losses against Full Tossers, TFL Pirates and Kai Dragons (at the B.O.E tournament). There were four great wins against Kenginston Wonderers with Plahe taking 3 wickets, HMT (B.O.E tournament) with Varghese taking his first 5-for for Superstars to win by 10 wickets, Ad Hoc (Rick starred with stroke-filled 34 runs) and new opponent's Slazengers by 8 wickets.
August began with June's bad weather returning with a cancelled fixture against CIPA ITMA and a cancellation against Dartford Harriers. Fortunately the sun shone through again and set up a thrilling victory over Dodgers in the Legends game which saw Superstars legends (Steve and Phil) stepping up to show how it's done. Two consecutive win against LT Dinos and Marauders ensured us a winning season with notable performance coming from Sandeep Goel scoring (26*, dinos), Alok (25), Vijay (25*, Marauders) and Matt Conway (27*, Marauders). Alok and Vijay helped themselves with 2 wickets each in an opening burst that left Dinos in tatters. We unfortunately recorded two losses against Kingston Taxes Matt Conway scoring 27 runs and Treasury & Co Alok Singh scoring 25 runs and Vijay taking 2 wickets.
September arrived and loomed the end of the season, with two fixtures planned, one being the penultimate Dodgers PM game and the other being Treasury Solicitors. A fine performance against a not so recognisable Dodgers team (which was formed of 5 Australians and 3 Kiwis) saw Vijay put on a fine batting display scoring 64 runs with some late order hitting from Alok (30*) we got to a par score of 159 on a tricky wicket. There was some spirited bowling performance to defend the total but fielding with 10 men in a low scoring game finally proved a bit too much with heart-breaking and trophy surrendering loss in last over. In a disappointing end to the year T Sol were unable to raise a side.
Overall, we couldn't replicate the success of last year as some of the regulars took time off from cricket for mundane things (Paul G & Will - more baby siting; Adam - getting married in the middle of the season, who does that? Alok - setting up business in India; Konrad and Rick taking long vacations to off-beat destinations like France and Iceland). Hopefully we'll see more commitment to the Superstars cause next season
Another cracking season nevertheless, if rather punctured by those 11 cancellations (and 2 Ken Block Trophy losses), thank you to those who do stuff like Adam (stats), Barry (virtually everything), Will (Chairman-like inspiration), George and Ian (tour), Steve Meyler (keeping spirits high) and Paul (fixtures and website).
Winter well, hopefully see you at the social and then it will be March nets before you know it. Here's to 2017, known in the Chinese calendar as "The Year of the Superstar".
Gary Plahe (who will have a player profile soon), Vijay Anand, Paul Gaught
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Related Links
2016 Results
2016 Stats
2016 Cambridge Tour Report
2016 Awards Night Report
2016 Ken Block Trophy
2016 History
Other Captain's/ Season's Reports
2015 Season Report
2014 Season Report
2013 Season Report
2012 Season Report
1999 Captain's Report
1998 Captain's Report
1997 Captain's Report
1996 Captain's Report
1995 Captain's Report
1994 Captain's Report
1993 Captain's Report
1992 Captain's Report