Aldenham v St Albans Cricket Club 3XI on Sat 04 Sep 2021 at 12:00 midday
St Albans Cricket Club Won by 16 runs

Match report Well, what a day.

The threes traveled to Aldenham, with nothing to play for but pride on the final day of Herts League fixtures - and the chance to crush the home team's promotion chances. Second in the league, Aldenham knew that promotion would be guaranteed with victory, but with Little Berkhamsted Sahibs were breathing down their necks, anything less would see them miss out.

Meanwhile, one eye was being kept on the progress of St Albans own 1s and 2s, fighting for their own promotions from 3rd in the league.

Unsurprisingly, the toss was lost, and so Saints batted first. The wicket was firm, and the boundaries within reach. Intel suggested that the home team was strong.

Nisar, confidence buoyed by the previous weekend's runs, was striking the ball well; perhaps it was that confidence which brought his downfall, well caught in gully. His departure brought Hussain to the wicket. On this occasion, Saints witnessed a relatively circumspect start from Hussain - just 1 run off the first 10 balls faced - as he seemed determined to make a contribution. Murray looked comfortable, as ever, but fell after a 50 partnership, and was sent off to boot. After that sedate beginning Hussain swung his way to a 41 ball half century with his usual array of clean striking. The run rate was in the ascendancy, with the 100 being reached inside 18 overs - at which point Hussain fell for 55.

By this juncture, Ralfe was in full flight, with some superbly timed strokes showing his class. Another 45 was added with Malik (13), before things really kicked on when Law arrived at the crease, 64 added in 7.3 overs before Ralfe was out for an excellent 73-ball 82; no bowler could contain him. Law, who looked on top of things from the beginning, was unfortunate to be run out for 26, but Rajani guided the lower order towards a target of 250 with his 20.

Aldenham had managed to keep a check on things over the last few overs, but a tally of 249 was the Threes’ best of the season - and represented a big challenge for the chasing hosts, who were compelled to pursue victory. With some short boundaries, a good wicket, and opponents who numbered three 2021 League centurions in their top five, facing up to Saints’ strong bowling line-up, it was game on.

The chase began gently, with the first notable event Malik’s dismissal of Khaliq, comfortably caught by Saunders. The ever-dangerous skipper, Chris Munroe, was joined by Knight and the pair built an accelerating partnership that took the total close to 100, before Rajani intervened to send back Knight.

Perhaps the best batsman in the league, Munroe was striking the ball firmly and had reached 65 when a pivotal moment in the game arrived. Rajani, who had curbed much of the batsman’s run scoring, put one in the right area. Munroe struck hard and flat, towards the man on the boundary at long off, the ball looking set to carry over the ropes in front of the Aldenham Social Club. However, Walker leapt and at full stretch held on to a stunning catch to send back the opposing skipper. Saints’ delight in the wicket was obvious.

With Rajani nabbing a third wicket shortly after, Aldenham were 4/115 exactly half way through their 45 overs, Saints having the edge. But now came the biggest partnership in a high-scoring match, the left- and right-handed pairing of Hale and Pich pushing the score beyond 200. With two well set batsmen, cometh the hour, cometh the man. Malik, having bowled a tight opening spell, was recalled to complete his quota. In a situation where 7 an over was required, he kept things in check again and then found a way through Pich’s defences to break the partnership.

Law held onto a skier off Saunders, just inside the boundary rope, and the game slid Saints way. Desperation yielded some final wickets, and the game was effectively over before the final over began with 28 required. Saints were understandably overjoyed with their victory. All five bowlers used should be satisfied with their contributions, with Rajani’s 3/48 and Malik’s masterly 2/18 the pick. The fielding, too, had proved tenacious, and crucial. In fact this was an all round team effort.

It was not without a touch of sadness that St Albans acknowledged their despondent opponents at the end of a fantastic game of cricket. Failing to achieve promotion at the last hurdle must have hurt.

Speaking of promotion - the first thing to be done upon returning, victorious, to the dressing room was to learn the fate of the 1s and 2s. The news of victories at Frogmore and Clarence Park, sealing dual promotions for St Albans, completed a fantastic afternoon for Saints.

Perhaps 2022 will see the Threes to follow those teams to League promotion?

St Albans Cricket Club 3XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
1nb 1w 6b 7lb 
for 10 wickets
Nauman Nisar ct Pich b Chudasana 4 13 30.77
Stuart Murray ct Hale b Letts 17 26 3 65.38
Humayune Hussain ct - b Letts 55 44 11 1 125.00
Nick Ralfe b Munroe 82 73 9 4 112.33 1 1
Saqib Malik ct - b Raj 13 24 1 1 54.17
Rory Law Run out  26 25 4 104.00 1
Thomas Rayden b Hale 0 7 0 1
Amit Rajani st - b Munroe 20 19 3 105.26 1
Tim Winfield b Ahmed 2 8 25.00
Andrew Walker ct - b Munroe 4 4 1 100 1
Andy Saunders Not Out  1 2 50.0 1

Aldenham Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
T. Hale9.0034134.003.78
V. Chudasana9.0245145.005.00
S. Ahmed6.0030130.005.00
B. Letts7.0143221.506.14
Chris Munroe6.0041220.506.83

Aldenham Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
1nb 10b 5lb 
for 10 wickets
233 (44.3 overs)
Chris Munroe ct Walker b Rajani 65 6 3
U. Khaliq ct Saunders b Malik 11 26 2 42.31
D. Knight ct & b Rajani 22 3 1
S. Pich b Malik 52 7
B. Letts b Rajani 2
T. Hale ct Law b Saunders 36 3 1
I. Haque b Saunders 3
R. Chandal ct Ralfe b Walker 6 1
A. Jackson lbw b Walker 8 1
V. Chudasana Not Out  0 2 0
Ahmed Run out  12 6 1 1 200

St Albans Cricket Club 3XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Saqib Malik9.011829.002.00
Tim Winfield9.004900.005.44
Amit Rajani9.0048316.005.33
Andrew Walker8.3252226.006.12
Andy Saunders9.0052226.005.78

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Photos and video of Aldenham v St Albans Cricket Club 3XI on Sat 04 Sep 2021 at 12:00 midday


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2021-09-04 Aldenham v St Albans III Innings of Aldenham