St Albans Cricket Club 3XI v Luton Town & Indians IV on Sat 28 Jul 2018 at 1pm
St Albans Cricket Club Won by 1 run

Match report After the previous week’s disappointment, Saints IIIs returned to home territory hoping for a much needed victory.

Weeks of warm weather had been broken by thunderstorms and Verulam School Playing Fields were feeling the full force of the strong winds that arrived with the change in weather. On winning the toss, the skipper chose to bat, figuring that setting a target was likely to be easier for a batting lineup with fragile confidence.

Once again, Ferguson played some terrific shots but his innings was all too brief, bowled by a fine delivery from opposition skipper Dalvi, who persistently challenged the batsmen with a good length. Indeed, all of the visitors bowling lineup gave Saints’ batsmen plenty to think about, and Knill-Jones and Melling toughed it out until the 20th over, when a cluster of wickets fell to leave the IIIs at 51-5.

Against the youthful leg-spin of Modak, Islam was able to open up and smashed a pair of sixes over mid-wicket on his way to 36, but the innings faded quickly, the skipper himself culpable in the run out of Winfield and deserving reproach for attempting to hit over the infield, but into the wind.

A total of 119 was clearly under par - credit to the Luton Town bowlers who had done well - but batting was not getting easier, with the wicket a little two-paced and the strong wind causing havoc. With good variety in the bowling line-up, could Saints defend their low total?

Early wickets to West and Walker, the latter a shooter, give Saints reason to be optimistic. A direct hit run out from Islam’s sharp fielding at mid on, and a stumping induced by Ralfe’s nice flight left Luton Town at 43-4: there was definitely a sniff of victory here, with a youngish opponent looking nervous against all the bowlers.

Saunders entered the fray, finding his line and length, assisted by the wind at the top end. That economical start lead to downfall of the threatening Khan, who perished to a well judged catch from Ralfe, running to his left at mid-on and taking the ball even as it looked set to pass him by. 79-5 - game on. Saunders added a further pair of wickets in his sixth over, while Walker found the stumps twice more in a spell that would be politely described as a mixed bag (3/23). Luton Town had edged their way to 99 as the last pair joined forces, and Saints felt unquestionably on top - but with just 21 to get anything could yet happen.

Saunders finished a fine spell of 10/2/12/3, but the visitors had hung in tenaciously. Every run was important now, with overs not a factor. The 43rd over saw five runs, and a brave and honest call from the visiting side’s umpire, as he correctly signalled that the batsmen had run one short. Victory for Luton Town and Indians was now just two runs away. Winfield then bowled a maiden, reprising his role from the previous Saturday. Ralfe, recalled at the bottom end, fizzed the ball past the batsmen, and then induced Patel to swing hard across the line. The top edge flew over the keeper’s head, with Ferguson racing back from slip for the opportunity, which he duly grasped as he crashed to the ground.

Ferguson was mobbed by his elated team-mates, Ralfe racing to the huddle in deserved triumph. Rarely have the IIIs enjoyed such elation as represented by this spontaneous, victorious group hug. Victory by a single run, and the defence of such a low total, felt very sweet. Contributions were many, and the commitment from all was laudable.

A vital thirty points was the welcome result, tightening the race at the bottom of the Division 8A league table. Now that the IIIs have found a way to win, they will look to take this into the last five weeks of fixtures.

St Albans Cricket Club 3XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
9w 13b 2lb 
for 10 wickets

(39.5 overs)
Nauman Nisar b Ikram 0
Steve Ferguson b Dalvi 14 3 1
Harry Knill-Jones b Hasan 16 3 1
Peter Melling b Hasan 7
Zach West b Hasan 0
Moksudul Islam ct Ikram 36 5 2 1
Alfie Button Run out  7
Nicholas (Nick) Ralfe ct Mahmood 4 1 1
Andrew Walker ct Ikram 9 1
Tim Winfield Run out  1
Andy Saunders Not Out  0

Luton Town & Indians IV Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy

Luton Town & Indians IV Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
3nb 12w 13b 4lb 
for 10 wickets
118 (45.4 overs)
Qamar run out Islam 7 1
Patel b West 1
Desai b Walker 5 1
Khan ct Ralfe b Saunders 21 3
Ali st Knill-Jones b Ralfe 6
Dalvi b Saunders 23 4
Singh b Walker 0
Shezad b Saunders 0
Patel ct Ferguson b Ralfe 5
Awan b Walker 4 1
Modak Not Out  6

St Albans Cricket Club 3XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Zach West5.0112112.002.40
Andrew Walker9.012337.672.56
Tim Winfield7.021700.002.43
Nicholas (Nick) Ralfe8.4220210.002.31
Moksudul Islam3.01900.003.00
Andy Saunders10.021234.001.20
Alfie Button3.00900.003.00
Photos and video of St Albans Cricket Club 3XI v Luton Town & Indians IV on Sat 28 Jul 2018 at 1pm

28/7/2018, St Albans III v Luton Town & Indians IV - Luton Town & Indians innings.jpg

28/7/2018, St Albans III v Luton Town & Indians IV - Luton Town & Indians innings

28/7/2018, St Albans III v Luton Town & Indians IV - St Albans innings.jpg

28/7/2018, St Albans III v Luton Town & Indians IV - St Albans innings