Civil Service 2 came out top of Division 9, in what was the most competitive division of the nine that we have reviewed so far. On August 6th, they only had a league record of 3-3, hardly the record of champions elect. Five wins in the next 18 days, set them up for a tilt at the title, before two losses in the last three matches made for a nervous end of season. In a division with all teams beating each other, there were plenty of opportunities for Civil Service to lose the title, but that is a problem for the other teams, and it is dealt with below. All Civil Service had to do was to get more points than anyone else, and we also had them as the "best" team in the league, with their batting and bowling both being stronger than anyone elses. Urvin Desai led the way, remarkably collecting his first Team of the Award nomination along the way. Only three players have passed 1000 runs and 100 wickets in all cricket for Civil Service since 2011, Desai, Mubasher Siddique and Gaurav Sehgal, and although Mubasher has four Teams of the Year, Desai and Sehgal were nominationless - until now. Desai took 22 wickets at 11.05, playing in twelve of the team's 14 matches. It is the joint second highest number of wickets in a Civil Service 2 league season, behind Praveg Arkadi's 26 in 2013. Unlike in divisions where one team dominates, with multiple players filling their boots with runs and wickets, performances were hard won in Division 9. Prasan Shah took 15 wickets at 22.13, and Pranav Desai took 10 at 18.6. Seven bowlers took at least three wickets in an innings once, showing that there were plenty of others who perhaps didn't play the full season (nine players played more than half the games). That pattern of a limited number of big performances is matched with the bat. Only two players got to 200 runs, with Simranjeet Singh scoring 300 runs at 33.33, including 113 against Pembroke in June (his first ton in Leinster cricket). The other hundred was scored by Civil Service's other member of the Team of the Year, Ronak Modi. Modi only played five matches for the team (our minimum threshold to be named on the TotY), but his third season in Leinster brought 317 runs at an incredible 158.50. His five innings were 78, 102*, 78*, 27 and 32. 64th place was a seven place improvement on 2018, and is their joint second best season since 2012, alongside 2013 and 2015.
This article is courtesy of Cricket Leinster. Read the full division 9 review here