St Albans Cricket Club 2XI v Redbourn II on Sat 07 May 2022 at 12:00
St Albans Cricket Club Lost by 21 runs

Match report The 2s performance at home to Redbourn was arguably emblematic of a fairly disastrous start to the St Albans year as the club secured a “dirty sweep” (to quote wordsmith Dan Rosson) on the first day of the season. With a strong line up on paper of experienced 1s players (including the skipper Oli Coulman making his 2s debut and Simon White playing his first 2s game since 1986), pre-match confidence was extremely high. However, as we were reminded, cricket is a game played on a green field, and not on paper.

Skipper Coulman’s tossing career began excellently, winning the toss and electing to the field given the overcast conditions and groundsman Caley’s predictions that the pitch would only get better. The start time of the match was inexplicably delayed by 10 minutes due to poor organisation, even though there had been a strong contingent of St Albans players at Clarence Park from 10am onwards. The start time did at least mean that White was on the pitch by the first ball after his 11:57am arrival and “happy new year everyone” greeting.

Indeed, it looked like it was going to be a very happy 2022 as the 2s got off to a flying start, with Dan Baylis (10-2-34-2) and Charlie Smith (4-0-12-1) both hitting the poles for the first time of the season in quick time. At 16-3, Redbourn’s number 5 decided it was time for a new strategy, namely batting a foot outside his crease and walking down to Baylis on his first ball without a helmet. This approach was surprisingly effective, as he slapped Baylis through the covers for four the next over, leading to Smith being preventatively pulled from the attack and skipper Coulman bringing himself on. Coulman’s (9-2-40-3) midweek claims that Shane Warne’s spirit had transfused into his body upon the legend’s passing were looking surprisingly accurate as he not only dismissed said batsman but also Redbourn’s number 4, with St Albans well and truly in dreamland as their opposition were now 32-5. This was especially so after the St Columba’s Holy Moment of the Day: O’Toole taking an excellent one-handed catch low down to his right at slip before celebrating like a mix of Alan Shearer and a giddy goat.

The immediate pressure began to slip somewhat as Coulman’s bowling all got a bit more Scott Borthwick than Shane Warne as his spell progressed, and his replacement Hall (8-0-35-1) followed suit with full-tosses aplenty. O’Toole took another excellent catch to keep spirits high with Redbourn 96-6, but even with the improving pitch, St Albans were disappointed that the opposition were able to get to 191 all out. Missed chances will undoubtedly linger in the mind, with Redbourn’s number 6 and 8 being afforded a missed stumping and dropped catch respectively off Hall’s bowling (note: Smith’s drop was a strong early contender for “drop of the season”.) After an over to forget for West (1-0-12-0), Hounslow (3.1-0-13-3) entered the bowling attack to mop up Redbourn’s tail like a leaky pond, including the important wicket of Redbourn’s number 8 who was now nearing a half-century. More than the 2s should have been chasing, but it was a strong finish to the fielding innings and St Albans certainly would have fancied themselves to chase down the sub-par total as the sunshine was now beaming down on the hallowed turf of Clarence Park.

The batting innings, however, was a litany of errors, with questionable shots in abundance. After openers Hounslow and Sharif were dismissed in almost identical fashions (leg stump half volleys nicely clipped to the “specialist square leg” fielder), Coulman and Hall went nicely about rebuilding the St Albans innings before the skipper decided to try and pepper the houses of York Road before being bowled. Branded as “the cat” by Hounslow in the first innings, Stuart Murray appeared to living up to his new nickname as he was dropped three times before being Macca added another batsman to his haul for the day. The tired cliché of drinks bringing wickets really did come true as Hall (30) was then bowled the very next ball after the rehydration period. West, Rosson, White, and Smith – batting at 10 due to his “good form” at Sixes Social Cricket earlier in the week – were then all dismissed cheaply, leaving the score 117-9.

Certainly not for the first time in history, it was Richard O’Toole (30) who helped restore some St Albans cricket club pride. Due to a partnership of 47 with the excellent Dan Baylis (31), for a little while it looked like O’Toole might be shepherding St Albans might to the unlikeliest of victories, with the 2s needing just 22 off 4.1 overs. Unfortunately, Baylis made his first mistake with the bat, being bowled by a low full toss. St Albans were thus bowled out for 170; evidence of what could have been. As Coulman remarked at the end of the game, let’s hope it is the low point for the season, as the 2s travel to familiar hunting ground (and maybe some familiar faces) at Holtwhite Trinibis next week.

St Albans Cricket Club 2XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
2nb 17w 4lb 
for 10 wickets
Adil Sharif ct D Flynn b H Amos 2
Adam Hounslow ct D Flynn b H Amos 6
Oliver Coulman b M Lloyd 20 1
Jonny Hall b M Lloyd 30
Stuart Murray lbw C Oriel 10 1
Zach West ct Unsure b M Lloyd 6
James Rosson b D Lennox 13 1
Richard O'Toole Not Out  30 2
Simon White ct D Flynn b B Roe 0
Charles Smith b D Lennox 0
Dan Baylis b C Oriel 31

Redbourn II Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Henry Amos8.0038219.004.75
Daniel Lennox10.0225212.502.50
Darren Bassill6.002800.004.67
Ben Roe6.0032132.005.33
Matthew Lloyd10.032036.672.00
Callum Oriel6.5122211.003.22

Redbourn II Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
1nb 8w 2b 1lb 
for 10 wickets
191 (45.1 overs)
Toby Ascroft b D Bayliss 9 21 2 42.86
Chris Godfrey b D Bayliss 0 3 0
Daniel Lennox b C Smith 4 10 40.0
Josh Snowden ct R O'Toole b O Coulman 2 6 33.33
Lewis Hewitt ct J Rosson b O Coulman 12 10 2 120.0
Ben Roe ct Unsure b O Coulman 61 75 8 81.33
Dean Flynn ct Unsure b J Hall 21 34 4 61.76
Henry Amos ct Unsure b A Hounslow 48 67 7 71.64
Darren Bassill b A Hounslow 6 10 60.0
Callum Oriel lbw A Hounslow 14 14 1 100
Matthew Lloyd Not Out  2 8 25.00

St Albans Cricket Club 2XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Dan Baylis10.0234217.003.40
Charles Smith4.0012112.003.00
Oliver Coulman9.0240313.334.44
Simon White10.004200.004.20
Jonny Hall8.0035135.004.38
Zach West1.001200.0012.00
Adam Hounslow3.101334.334.11

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