2021 Bowling Preview

Club Statistician, Stuart Coker has put pen to paper ahead of the 2021 season as he now previews the bowling milestones that various club members could reach during the 2021 season.

The 2021 season will be an exciting one. The return of a full set of league fixtures will give players plenty of chances to take wickets by the bucketful. But what records could be broken?

Let’s take a look at what might happen in 2021…

16 to go for DR
Dave Richardson this year is set to become to first Maldon bowler to take 1,300 wickets for the club- a staggering amount. 16 more will get him there, and it’s hard to bet against him- he took 28 wickets in his debut season in 1986, and has only failed to take 16 wickets in a season three times since.

The Top 10
Movement inside the bowling top 10 is rare- when four individuals (Dave Richardson, Jim Lionell, Eric Hawkridge and Geoff Newman) all have over 1,000 wickets, then it’s going to take a serious amount of overs for someone to make their way into that elite band. There are two potential movements that could happen in 2021 inside the top 10- Elmo (currently 8th with 735) needs 22 wickets to overtake the metronomic Chris Punchard, while Jack Riley needs just 18 wickets to enter the top 10 and displace Paul Bardo, who currently has 580 wickets.

500 Anyone?
In 2020, Toby Pugh overtook Paul Raymond’s haul of 466 wickets for the club. Toby’s joked that he could now retire happy having beaten Rubber’s total, although if he doesn’t Toby has the chance to become just the 14th player to reach 500 wickets in a Maldon shirt.

On the cusp…
Some players are near bowling records, and could reach them in 2021 – Ross Walpole needs 11 wickets for 200 while Matt Anderson and Jas Bains both need 17 for 100 wickets for the club. Matt Brooking is now 50th on the wicket takers list on 145- could he be knocked out of the top 50 by someone this summer? The closest player who took to the field in 2020 is Jake Collins, who needs 14 this summer to overtake Brooko. The next active players on the list are Matt Wild on 101 wickets, and James Gregory on exactly 100.

Team and Individual Records?
The club has had two 10 wicket hauls in its illustrious history- Eric Hawkridge (10/27 against Sprowston in 1978) and Paul Jefferies, who took 10/49 against Achilles a decade later. Since then only one bowler has taken 9 wickets in an innings- Paul Symons in July 1999 against Stowmarket took 9 for 52. Glen Batticiotto’s 8/23 against Fakenham in 2003 are the best figures since the turn of the millennium, with Tim Bache’s 8/24 against Elmstead in 2013 in fourth position on the list. Can anyone join the 10 for club in 2021?

The lowest score we have ever bowled an opposition out for is the 10 all out made by Birch in 1992. A repeat of that in 2021 could give someone the perfect chance to break into the 8-for club. Over limitations on bowlers now make these records harder to beat, but it’s not impossible!

Preview with thanks to Stuart Coker.

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