"Figures often beguile me," Mark Twain wrote, "particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Benjamin Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: 'There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
However in the case of the 2020 NCU season, the statistics don't lie and paint a clear picture of the players and teams that were successful in an abbreviated campaign.
TOP TEN BATSMEN
|1||R Pretorius||N Down||10||10||4||409||120*||68.17||377||108.49||1||2||1||27||17||409|
|3||A Shields||N Down||10||10||2||260||59||32.50||287||90.59||-||1||-||21||5||260|
Ruhan Pretorius came good at the right time and his runs in the final weekend of the season were one of the prime reasons that North Down ended their seven year drought for a major trophy.
I must confess having watched the South African this season I wondered where the destructive batsman of previous campaigns had gone? Qualifying for Ireland? He's lucky to be on the Knights...
However, step forward the real Ruhan who obviously had done a lot of soul searching after his less than fluent display in the LVS T20 final loss to CIYMS and we saw a glimpse of just what he may have to offer in the green of Ireland come late 2021.
Chris Dougherty as one of my colleagues wrote "is the glue that holds CIYMS together". Solid, dependable, reliable in a team full of strokeplayers, the left-handers offers a comforting presence in a format of the game he's not renowned for.
Ally Shields, James Hall, Greg Thompson and Shane Getkate all passed 200 runs, while the strike rate of Ross Adair earmarks him as one to keep a real eye on if he continues to develop. The real test will be as he progresses up the ranks and teams start to work him out.
TOP TEN BOWLERS
|2||C Robinson||N Down||10||36||3||163||14||3-17||11.64||4.53||15.43||-||-||6||-||14|
|3||Ryan Haire||N Down||10||20||-||108||13||4-20||8.31||5.40||9.23||-||-||1||-||13|
|5||R Pretorius||N Down||10||33.1||1||159||12||2-7||13.25||4.79||16.58||-||-||9||2||12|
|8||P Davison||N Down||10||25.2||-||161||10||3-18||16.10||6.36||15.20||-||-||3||1||10|
|10||P Stirling||N Down||4||12||1||39||9||4-18||4.33||3.25||8.00||-||-||4||-||
Batsmen might win you matches but bowlers win you leagues and cups, and testimony to that is the presence of no fewer than five North Down bowlers in the top ten wicket takers.
Carl Robinson, Ryan Haire, Ruhan Pretorius, Peter Davison and Paul Stirling made a powerful quintet, and with Peter Eakin also in their ranks the Comber side had a versatility which served them well.
In a land where spin is king, Warinsgtown paceman James Mitchell wouldn't have been many people's first choice to be leading wicket taker, but he really emerged as a real spearhead for the Lawn side.
Jacob Mulder and Ted Britton were the two leading CIYMS bowlers, with the Belmont side also having Nigel Jones, Allan Coulter, James Cameron-Dow and Mark Adair to call upon, it wasn't a surprise to see them also collect silverware, and it won't be a surprise if they also defend their All-Ireland T20 crown over the next few weeks.
|1||J Magowan||N Down||10||6||12||4||16|
Jamie Magowan was a clear winner in the 'Golden Gloves' award with no fewer than 16 dismissals, seven clear of his nearest challenger Marcus McClean.
You can view all of the NCU statszone compiled by John Boomer here.