Stylish Aphale tops cricket club batting averages

BALLYMENA Cricket Club First XI’s batting averages clearly show just how much influence Kaushik Aphale’s performances had on the team in 2012.

The talented little Indian professional averaged 85.1 and batted with such style and assurance that he was universally regarded as the best batsman in NCU cricket.

Indeed there is little doubt that other clubs will be seeking his services during the close season, but initial indications are that he could well be back at Eaton Park again next season.

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James Kennedy , once he arrived home in July from his teaching job in Sri Lanka, gave Aphale good support and averaged almost 40.

And 18-year-old Robert McKinley, who was promoted to open the batting at the start of the season, took his opportunity well and scored over 300 runs with an assurance that suggests he will develop into a genuine all- rounder.

However the rest of the Ballymena batsmen were not at their best ,which played a major part in the team dropping from 3rd place

wto 7th in the Ulster Bank Premier League.

Ballymena’s bowling was steady without ever looking particularly penetrative. Steve Lazars topped the averages; at times he bowled his left-arm spin with real flair but still needs to develop more consistency.

Michael Glass continues to be the most reliable of the seam bowlers and is still capable of keeping even the wbest batsmen quiet.

However the lack of a cutting edge in the bowling is an ongoing problem for the Eaton Park side ; indeed they lost a couple of games in situations where a couple of early wickets would probably have made all the difference.

In retrospect, considering the fact that several batsmen were well below their best, Ballymena will be happy to have comfortably retained their Premier League status.

Their performances should always be judged in the context that Ballymena are operating as basically an amateur side in a Premier League which contains several semi-professional squads.

Looking forward to 2013, the Eaton Park side will be hoping that Kaushik Aphale returns and that the rest of a potentially very good batting line-up get back in the runs again.