Ickleford II v St Albans Cricket Club 2XI on Sat 25 Aug 2018 at 13:00
St Albans Cricket Club Won By 23 runs

Match report On this August Bank Holiday weekend, St. Albans travelled to Ickleford in search of a win that would maintain slim hopes of promotion heading into the final week of the season.

In credit to the Ickleford groundsmen, despite heavy overnight rain, the pitch on offer was one of the best seen in recent years – dry and hard for the bastmen with a covering grass offering pace and bounce for the bowlers. Saints’ skipper, Rajani, won the toss and elected to bat first – much to the surprise of many St. Albans players who, upon arriving at the ground, (and channeling their inner Nasser Hussain) claimed it “felt like a bowling morning” (it was the afternoon).

As it was, Rudlin and Murray opened the batting, and immediately found form, with loose deliveries punished and boundaries coming on both sides of the wicket. Despite a slightly anti-climactic run-up, Ickleford opener, Day, found good pace and carry to dismiss Murray, caught behind for 15, to leave Saints 31-1 in the 7th over. A period of consolidation followed Murray’s wicket with the usually aggressive Ahmed (33) taking 15 balls to get off the mark. Rudlin, buoyed by the chance to impress his cricket-loving Bumble date that evening, struck the ball with impressive timing, at one point striking three boundaries in as many balls to propel his strike rate into the lofty 60s. With the score 107-1 and drinks just a matter of minutes away, calamity struck. Rudlin, nudging the ball into the off side, called for a sharp single to which Ahmed was slow to react and was disappointingly run out a good 5 yards short of his ground, just as he was beginning to motor. Despite that, with the score 110-2 at drinks, Saints were hopeful of pushing on towards 230.

Following the drinks break, Saints were unable to find the rhythm that had been present in the earlier session, and struggled to maneuver the Ickleford spinners in a turgid spell that saw Wyldes (1) caught behind (“I was playing for the spin”), and Melling (12) caught at cover trying to break the shackles. The return of opener, Day, saw a flurry of wickets (including 3 in an over) – Rudlin bowled trying to crash another trademark boundary through extra cover for a well-made 66, Adshead (“Not sure I’ve batted since the 4th week of the season”) caught behind first ball and Rajani caught at mid-on trying to hit his third ball over the sight screen (“I just didn’t quite time it”). Having been given his chance in the ‘top order’ (no. 9), Smith looked solid before falling victim to the now trademark St. Albans 2s mid-pitch mix up and was run-out for 6. Telkman (being told upon entering the crease, by a now uncertain Islam, to “do all the calling”) was also dismissed first ball to put Saints in a spot of bother. Islam and Kumar did well to push Saints to an under-par, but competitive, 197 all out of their 50 overs. Resident actuary, Charlie Smith, pleased with the score owing to the fact it was a prime number (good pitch-side chat clearly at a premium for much of the innings).

With Rudlin keen for a prompt finish to make it into London for his big night, St. Albans were well incentivized to make a good start to the second innings. Smith and Telkman opened the bowling and both found early movement, beating the bat on countless occasions in the opening few overs. It was Smith that made the first break-through, bowling Watson for 4, a small mercy having tormented the Ickleford batsman during the opening exchanges. Telkman followed suit shortly afterwards, setting up the Ickleford no. 3 with a series of away-swingers before nipping one back to take the batsman LBW for 10.

Saints continued to take wickets throughout the first half of the innings, with Rajani and Kumar working well in tandem to rip through the Ickleford middle order and leave the opposition reeling at 98-7. However, with victory in sight and the rain starting to fall, Saints took their foot off the gas and allowed Ickleford to come back into the game, with no. 6 Archer punishing any bad balls on offer to push the run rate above the required 4 an over that would see Ickleford victorious if rain forced the players off. The rain continued to fall and St. Albans’ nerves began to tingle as concerned looks were shared between the umpires, and some unnecessary barracking from the sidelines encouraged the home umpire to call an end to play. To their credit, the umpires allowed play to continue uninterrupted and Telkman returned to the fray to bowl the Ickleford number 10, leaving Saints needing just one wicket for victory with 30 still required for the home team. Brought back, Kumar repaid his captains faith by pinning the last man with a full toss (still a good ball), with umpire McKinlay raising the finger to prompt wild jubilation amongst the Saints players.

Despite an decidedly poor 15 over period post drinks, St. Albans were pleased to come away with a win that leaves a slim chance of promotion going next weeks grudge match with Hatfield Crusaders.

St Albans Cricket Club 2XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
3nb 20w 14b 2lb 
for 10 wickets

(49.5 overs)
Stuart Murray ct M. Day 15 25 26 3 57.69
Andy Rudlin b M. Day 66 141 109 9 60.55
Naveed Ahmed Run out  33 63 49 6 1 67.35
Tom Wyldes ct G. Crouch 1 9 5 20.0
Peter Melling ct S. Crouch 12 39 37 1 32.43
Moksudul Islam Not Out  14 44 18 2 77.78
Amit Rajani ct M. Day 0 3 3 0
Ben Adshead ct M. Day 0 2 1 0
Charles Smith Run out  6 15 9 1 66.67
Jamie Telkman b M. Day 0 1 1 0
Sammy Kumar ct T. Brown 6 17 15 1 40.0

Ickleford II Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
M. Day10.022955.802.90
T. Brown9.5054154.005.49
D. Watson10.003500.003.50
S. Crouch10.0040140.004.00
G. Crouch10.0123123.002.30

Ickleford II Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
1nb 29w 9b 2lb 
for 10 wickets
174 (40.3 overs)
T. Willoughby b S. Kumar 49 9 1
D. Watson b C. Smith 4 1
M. Deacon lbw J. Telkman 10 2
G. Crouch ct A. Rajani 1
S. Howard lbw A. Rajani 4 1
T. Archer Not Out  44 8
M. Day b S. Kumar 0
C. Jupp lbw A. Rajani 4 1
H. Deans b A. Rajani 0
T. Brown b J. Telkman 7 1
S. Crouch lbw S. Kumar 12 2

St Albans Cricket Club 2XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Charles Smith10.0037137.003.70
Jamie Telkman10.0127213.502.70
Amit Rajani10.011042.501.00
Ben Adshead4.004200.0010.50
Sammy Kumar6.3046315.337.08

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