Radlett captain reflects on dominate first half of the season

Radlett CC vs Sawbridgeworth CC

Radlett CC vs Sawbridgeworth CC - Credit: Archant

RADLETT CC is in the midst of an incredible season that has seen the first team win eight of their nine games – the other was abandoned due to rain – while attempting to rewrite the league’s history books. The Herts Ad caught up with captain JJ McLean at the season’s half-way point.

Radlett CC vs Sawbridgeworth CC

Radlett CC vs Sawbridgeworth CC - Credit: Archant

THE rich vein of form that Radlett have been enjoying this season continued on Saturday with a seven-wicket win over Sawbridgeworth.

Chad Barrett took a five-wicket haul as Sawbridgeworth were dismissed for 127. It only took Radlett 24.5 overs to surpass the total as Kabir Toor (27) and Fraser Crawford (65) put on 56 runs for the first wicket. McLean added 24, allowing Shane Burger (12no) to see Radlett over the line.

It is the fifth time this season Radlett have successfully chased down an opponents’ total and the fourth time they have done it while losing five wickets or less. They have been equally impressive when asked to bat first, winning by 158, 166 and 250 runs.

Radlett’s complete dominance of HCPCL Division Two sees them 69 points ahead of second-placed Stortford – this Saturday’s opponent.

With a three-game lead over their closest opposition, McLean is delighted with how his side has performed thus far.

“It’s fantastic to see how well the guys have done, and to win so many games,” said McLean.

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“They have kept up the motivation to play well and the high standards we set ourselves, which has been great.”

McLean admitted the key to the team’s success is due to the due diligence paid in the pre-season and the players simply enjoying their cricket.

“We had a much better pre-season preparation that last year. In the first game of last season we lost the toss and went on to lose the game and then the following week was rained off so we were 50 points behind.

“We didn’t want that to happen again; we wanted to hit the ground running so we got as many players back for the pre-season so we could take a winning momentum into the season.

He added: “The enjoyment factor within the team has also been excellent; plus we all get on great off the field as well as on it.”

While the overall team performances have been brilliant, 2013 has been a season of superb individual performances, most notably from the opening batting partnership of Crawford and Toor.

Crawford is in the top five of all the major batting statistics: runs (538 – 1st); average (76.86 – 5th); 100s (three – 1st) and sixes (12 – 1st), and is on course to beat Radlett’s single season best of 776 runs. He is not a million miles ahead of Toor, though, who has amassed 360 runs, the fifth most in the league, with an average of 72.

Radlett’s bowling attack has been nothing to scoff at either, though. Toor and Barrett are joint-top wicket-takers in the league with 16, and Stuart Browne has chipped in with 14.

“Getting Fraser Crawford back from university to play in those pre-season games was brilliant for him and the team, too, because he is topping the runs in the league, and adding another quality seamer in Chad has made a huge difference as he puts the other team under pressure.

“Both our batting and bowling have done really well up front and put other teams on the back foot, putting us in position to win.”

His team may have dominated every team in the division during the first half of the season, but McLean is not taking anything for granted.

“It has been a tough few years for Radlett CC so we want to keep winning, keep enjoying playing cricket and keep the momentum up for the rest of the season.

“The next two games against Bishop’s Stortford and Stevenage are big for us because they are two teams that could and should at the top of the league.

“If we can win these games to we’ll be in a great position.”

Radlett welcome Bishop’s Stortford to Cobden Hill, 11.30am start.