St Albans Cricket Club 2XI v Shenley Village II on Sat 18 Jun 2022 at 12:00
St Albans Cricket Club Won by 158

Match report After a stinking-hot Friday, Charlie Smith was more than happy to wake up to a much cooler Saturday - the health of the [relatively] new father in serious doubt if the mercury gets much higher than 23c these days. Joey Curran on the other hand had looked at the forecast and decided that the game was in doubt - rain card played, game on Shenley Village this weeks opponents.

After some awful timekeeping from the skipper (arriving 15mins late), the toss took place after watching it drizzle for 20 minutes or so. Not in keeping with this current form, the toss was lost and St Albans were put into bat on what looked like a decent wicket - but the overheads and slick surface would make you think the decision was probably a fair one.

It certainly looked like the toss was right decision in the opening overs, Hounslow and Sharif facing some tough bowling with a decent amount of movement off the pitch. To their credit they were still there after 10 overs, the score on 22-0. However, their fortitude paid off and they had doubled the score after 15 overs. Unfortunately Sharif was the first man to go for a well made 25, a solid opening stand of 66 had laid the foundations for the middle order push the innings along. Hounslow followed a few overs after having really got the scoreboard motoring (some Capaldi-esque gubs a particular highlight), he unlucky to miss out on a 50 - missing a leg stump full toss for 48. This brought the wise-ish heads of Howeson and Coulman to the crease.

Having been spurred on by a Jonny Hall text of "You are due some runs", Coulman decided he needed to do something this innings to avoid the awkward conversation of dropping himself. After being fed a couple of 4 balls in his first few overs he suddenly had found himself in the 20s before he'd broken sweat - Howeson making it known that the skipper was making him look bad. The partnership continued in this ilk - Coulman putting the bowlers to the sword, with multiple overs going for double figures abd Howeson played some handsome shots to assist in a partnership of 109 from 14 overs. Coulman picking up his 50 in (if you believe Joe Curran) 35 balls. Bowl first suddenly looking like the wrong decision after the first 10.

Howeson fell in relatively hilarious fashion. After the bowler pulled out of his run up twice, he had obviously got into the St Albans veterans head. When he finally bowled the first ball of his over, Howeson spooned the ball high up into the air, heading straight back down onto his stumps (a true stick cricket dismissal for those who know). However the keeper, as he set off to make the catch, had managed to pull his calf, laid on the floor only able to watch on - the man at square leg in the end taking the catch. This brought Billy May to the crease to carry on the St Albans push for the rarely seen Clarence Park 300.

Coulman carried on sending the ball to the boundary - maybe he was trying again to follow in his fellow "would bowl a heavy ball" framed schoolmate Bairstow by racing to 3 figures. As it happened the skippers in laws were in town for the weekend and had come to see what all the fuss was about...."this happens every weekend" he lied after the game. Coulman reached his maiden St Albans and Herts League 100 to much confusion on the boundary - some believing his hundred was up, some believing he was on 99. As calamitous as the skippers late arrival earlier on.

Billy May at the other end, having been given the license from the skipper pushed on the score; requiring 25 off 8 overs for the 300. The rate having raised rapidly after drinks, this was surely on. Coulman then got rid of all that had got him the runs and then started to try and swipe the left armer to the ropes - this lasted 3 balls and his innings was done. A quick fire 117 and one that had seemingly taken the game away from travelling Shenley. Then as the push for the 300 went on wickets began to tumble, Murray running out the furious May, then himself being caught trying to land one in the centre circle of the the football ground. Nick Ralfe also having a swing to no avail, Simon White really the only man in the lower order finding the ropes with a speedy 17.

This meanr that St Albans finished with a huge 319 from their 50 overs - to say there was some confidence in the dressing room was an understatement, with a lot conversation turning to how quickly they could bowl Shenley out so Smith, Coulman and May (all with post-match engagements) could have a few beers.

This conversation unfortunately was misplaced. Shenley were off to an absolute flier, Smith now the victim of some aggressive batting, ball after ball being hit off the openers pads to the boundary. He did manage to pick up the opening wicket of the match, but the other opener still at the crease the skipper decided that death by a thousand boundaries was not how he'd like to see Chaz go. Broxton into the attack.

Joey Curran, following on from his fantastic spell at Hatfield Hyde carried on where he left off. The opener having serious issues facing his bowling and JC unlucky not to claim a snick. Broxton after having bowled an over of Smith-esque pump then found his length and the runs began to steady. However after 12 overs the score was 92-1, was the 320 target actually reachable? Coulman was questioning the imperiousness of his knock.

Luckily the partnership of Broxton and Curran yeilded the next wicket, Broxton picking up a classic away swingers caught behind. Having been in attendance for 1XI skippers dressing down at Letchworth, Coulman channeled his inner Regan and laid into the fielding side, better was needed. How embarrassing it would have been to lose with 319 on the board.

A reaction needed and a reaction he got, the next spell of play yielded the wickets of the 4 and 5 who barely troubled the scorers and most importantly Hounslow took the wicket of the danger man who had reached - in fairness - an outstanding and chanceless 69. This wicket felt like the game, however there was yet another twist in the tale.

Having ran himself out looking for a bizarre single as the rain started to spit, St Albans suddenly realised the run rate was an issue. The 2s rate of 6.38 next to Shenleys 6.31 after 22 showed not only the fragility of this particular scoring method but also the game if more rain was coming. The rain came down heavier and play was suspended, the 1s and 3s already back at CP (the first innings took an outrageous 4 hours) the attention turned to the run rate, Shenley on 142-6 after 22.

Luckily this equation was not needed as the rain relented and Coulman decided that winning by run rate was all a bit rubbish, the players headed back out. All it took was another 4 overs for the game to be done, Adam "3fer" Hounslow picking up yet another 3 wickets (equaling his junior best of 3-12) and May taking 4, two bowled on front foot no-balls unfortunately for him. Shenley ended up all out for 161.

A statement win from the 2s as they move up to 2nd in the table. Some great batting from the top five, the skipper finally realising that he can hold a bat. Some good bowling for little reward from Curran and well swept up by Hounslow and May at the end. On to Langelbury next weekend.

St Albans Cricket Club 2XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
3nb 16w 4b 7lb 
for 8 wickets
Adam Hounslow b A Thomson 48 1 1
Adil Sharif ct Unsure b O Andrews 25 5 1
Matt Howeson ct Unsure b A Thomson 37 4
Oliver Coulman b K Prajapati 117 20 1 1
Billy May run out  (Unsure) 31 3
Stuart Murray ct Unsure b S Iqbal 1 1
Nick Ralfe ct Unsure b K Prajapati 3
Simon White b L Mahalingham 17 3
Joey Curran Not Out  6 1
Thomas Broxton Not Out  2
Charles Smith  

Shenley Village II Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Peter Oakley10.024500.004.50
Oliver Andrews10.0155155.005.50
K Prajapati10.0252226.005.20
Alex Thomson10.0077238.507.70
Subhan Iqbal6.0045145.007.50
Lathan Mahalingham4.0035135.008.75

Shenley Village II Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
4nb 7w 1b 2lb 
for 10 wickets
161 (26.2 overs)
Humayane Hussain ct S Murray b C Smith 8
Lathan Mahalingham b A Hounslow 69
Richard Evans ct O Coulman b T Broxton 28
Anooj Vadgama lbw J Curran 6
Oliver White run out  (N Ralfe) 16
Subhan Iqbal b A Hounslow 17
Alex Thomson run out  (N Ralfe) 1
K Prajapati b A Hounslow 0
Oliver Andrews b B May 0
Peter Oakley b B May 3
Nick Vance Not Out  0

St Albans Cricket Club 2XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Charles Smith4.0037137.009.25
Thomas Broxton5.0225125.005.00
Billy May4.0024212.006.00
Joey Curran9.0158158.006.44
Adam Hounslow4.211234.002.77

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