Chandima tops stellar season

By Oliver Lees

The Gisborne and District Cricket Association (GDCA) has called stumps on its season with its annual awards presentation night.

The big night last Wednesday also included award presentations for the 2019-20 season following the event’s cancellation last year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The night capped off a stellar season for Sunbury United Cricket Club (SUCC) star Dilan Chandima, who walked away with the biggest individual honour, the Sullivan Medal.

Chandima’s season batting average of 122, including a 115no knock in the final round of the regular season, went a long way to helping him narrowly edge out Mick Allen and James Lidgett for the regular season gong.

He finished the year polling a total of 19 votes, with Gisborne Cricket Club’s all-rounder Allen and Bacchus Marsh Cricket Club’s first change batsman Lidgett equal second on 16.

All three men featured in the GDCA Team of Year, with Chandima as the skipper and Lidgett his deputy. The trio were also all selected in the league’s best 11 the year prior.

But it was Bacchus Marsh captain-coach Lidgett who had the last laugh winning the final of the McIntyre Cup in March, with the home side mowing down Sunbury’s attack for just 123.

Chandima’s usual spark was snubbed that day, with the mercurial opener runout for just six runs.

BMCC’s stellar season was recognised at the awards evening with three of Lidgett’s teammates also named in the team of the year.

Despite not winning the final, Chandima’s stand-out season has etched his name into the club’s record books.

As well as being named club champion and best all-rounder, the Sri Lankan finished with the best season batting average in SUCC’s history.

His five centuries, including a season high knock of 197no, is also a club record.

Other award-winners from the GDCA’s night of nights include Romsey Cricket Club batsmen Ben Way and Chris Burkett, selected as batsmen in the team of the year.

Jayben Bannan and Nick Watson made the list representing Gisborne and Liam Sherlock and Lachlan Wilkins were named in the squad for their stellar seasons at East Sunbury.