Obviously winning the 2nd XI County Championship was a very pleasing way to finish the season for our young players and was an outstanding achievement. We know we are not solely in a results environment at this level of the game, but the way the players built and maintained a level of consistent performance in this competition was a major factor in their success.
Fabian Cowdrey was the leading run scorer with 442 runs in 13 innings, hitting four fifties at an average of 44.20 while Ivan Thomas was the leading wicket taker with 20 wickets including a five wicket haul at an average of 16.80. In their first full season on the professional staff they both can be very proud of their progress in this format of the game. They were well supported by Daniel Bell-Drummond with 366 runs averaging 40.60, Alex Blake with 360 runs averaging 40.00, Simon Cook with 14 wickets averaging 31.71 and Callum Haggett with 11 wickets averaging 21.91.
Our One Day Trophy performances were far more inconsistent as a team than I expected given the sides we were able to field at the various stages of the competition. Skill execution in batting, bowling and fielding can be improved significantly on what we delivered this summer. By returning to the basics and devising definitive game plans this can be easily rectified. Daniel Bell-Drummond was the leading run scorer with 304 runs in 6 innings including a hundred at an average of 60.80 while Simon Cook was the leading wicket taker with 8 wickets at an average of 22.38.
In the end our Twenty20 campaign was unfortunately decided by weather but saying that we would have had to win both of our final group matches against Sussex at Maidstone to have qualified for Finals Day. After winning three and losing three of our eight matches we finished in second place in our group. We competed well in the matches we played but the margins for error are so small in this format of the game that we need to become outstanding in executing at those critical moments when the results of matches can be defined.
Throughout the season there were some wonderful individual and team highlights:
We were very fortunate to have some outstanding leadership around the group. Simon Cook, Sam Northeast, Adam Ball and Adam Riley performed the captaincy role admirably at various stages during the season. The contributions of the established first class players Simon Cook, Michael Powell and Charlie Shreck also helped to give our younger players an understanding on a daily basis of the required standards to be a success at the next level.
The majority of our young players did continue their improvement and new potential emerged. The positive way we finished the season showed the players that hard work and perseverance will be rewarded. I very much hope that this era of young players can use the experience of this season as the foundation to go on to leave their