Stars aplenty in Team of the Year

Western Park star Troy Lehman has been selected in the Team of the Year. Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

With the home and away season now concluded, a team of the year can now be selected with a full season’s form to be considered.

This side is picked with large consideration to statistics, but also weighing up the strength of opposition in which individuals have performed against, and match situation when they have succeeded.

Jack Armour (Buln Buln) (WK)
510 runs @ 39.23 (16 dismissals)

After a scintillating start to the season, Armour’s performances had slightly tailed off post-Christmas (with two ducks bringing down his season average), however he still managed to amass a very impressive 5 half centuries along the way to be one of the most consistent performers of the season. Only a maiden WDCA Century is left to achieve to top off an exceptional season, which he will be hoping for in the next fortnight.

Jack Ward (Neerim District)
513 runs @ 42.75

A perennial top 5 run scorer in the WDCA, this year Ward took the step from being a consistent accumulator, to being an outright match winner for the much improved ‘Stags’; with his biggest moment coming in a match winning (first) Division 1 century vs. ladder leaders Western Park. On top of this, he also made match winning half centuries against Jindivick and Hallora, with other notable scores coming in wins against Buln Buln and Yarragon also.

Ben Spicer (Ellinbank) Captain

489 runs @ 44.45, 16 wickets @ 23.88

In his first season at Ellinbank, Spicer has already proven himself to be one of the best batsmen in the competition, with scores of 84, 96 and 102 all coming against finals opposition. Spicer has lead a rejuvenated Ellinbank side with aplomb, and has them well positioned to grab a Grand Final berth in the coming weeks.

Gamini Kumara (Yarragon)

561 runs @ 51, 22 wickets @17.27

Arguably the most consistent (and best) batsmen in league history, Kumara has yet again had a record season, with five half centuries and one century leading himself to the league batting aggregate yet again. In a much improved Yarragon side, Kumara was rejuvenated with the ball, being much more potent than recent seasons, claiming multiple 5 wicket hauls across the season.

Sanjaya Gangodawila (Western Park)
514 runs @ 10 wickets @ 18

‘Ganga’ has without a doubt the most destructive batsmen in the association since his arrival in 2014/2015, however, this season he has been able to spend enough time at the wicket to stamp himself as the premier batsmen through weight of runs. Finishing second in aggregate, it’s the manner in which he bats which sets him apart from most other batsmen in the comp, with his 514 runs coming at a strike rate of 103 across the season. Bowling leg spin this season, Ganga has also been a handy contributor with the ball.

Nick Fairbank (Ellinbank)

443 @ 55.38, 14 wickets @ 30.57

While Fairbank’s talent with the bat has never been questioned, in previous seasons he has typically found his success to have come with the ball. This year though, he has exploded with the bat, not only making large scores, but making them at a brutal strike rate. His 103* against Western Park was as good an innings you are likely to see in a run chase, with his placement of shots- both attacking and conservative- a joy to watch.

Nuwan Perera (Yarragon)

416 runs @ 34.67, 24 wickets at 19.67.

One of the big arrivals to the competition over the off season, Perera was a huge contributer with bat and ball for the Panthers, with 116* and 5/42 against Hallora sealing an unlikely victory pre Christmas. A destructive batsmen and an off spinner with plenty of guile, Perera recommitting to the Panthers next season will be a huge boost for a side on the brink of finals.

Hussain Ali (Jindivick)

278 runs @ 23.17, 22 wickets @ 21.86

In a pre-season recruiting splash which promised so much, Jindivick’s abysmal season had few positives to draw back on, however, the season of ‘Huss’ Ali was very impressive, with a range of contributions with bat and ball giving Jindivick some level of competitiveness in a handful of games.

Most impressively was his performance for the Wild Dogs at Country week, with his control with the ball a real feature.

Troy Lehman (Western Park)

22 wickets @ 17.73

After making the switch from Longwarry, Lehman has found himself in an all too familiar role in carrying the attack of his side. With Sam Batson (injured) and Leigh Diston (form) unable to lead the attack for most of the season, Lehman has taken charge, with his 6/41 in round 4 sparking one of the most incredible victories in WDCA history. Two four wicket hauls at GCL level also highlighting his form, and no doubt affirming his title as premier fast bowler in the WDCA. A big game player, expect Lehman to lead the league best Western Park attack well in the upcoming finals.

Dane Fawcett (Neerim District)

24 wickets @ 15.67

A late season surge (two five wicket hauls in the final two matches) has propelled Fawcett in to this side. A prodigious talent, Fawcett’s ability to move the ball both ways with precision was a feature of his game this season, and with improved consistency week to week, expect him to break the 30 wicket mark next season.

James Williams (Hallora)

29 wickets @ 11.55

Another fantastic year for the little off spinner, at times Jimmy played a lone hand with the ball in an uncharacteristically weaker Hallora team. Captaining the club for the first time, Williams has two big hauls across the season (including 7/51), but was as consistent as always, rarely missing out on the action

12th Man:

Matt Farthing (Ellinbank)

427 runs @ 42.7

Unlucky to miss selection in the 11 at both the half way point and seasons conclusion, Farthing has come of age this season, forming a formidable top order for Ellinbank. Four half centuries in 11 games highlights his consistency, however the most impressive thing about his game this season has been his improved stroke making. Expect to see Farthing at the pointy end of the run makers across future seasons.

Unlucky: Danny Sheehan, (Western Park), Gayan De Silva (Yarragon), Kody Wilson (Neerim District), Trevor Gardiner (Drouin)

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