St Albans Cricket Club 5XI v Rickmansworth CC 5th XI on Sat 02 Jul 2022 at 13:00
St Albans Cricket Club Won by 9 Wickets

Match report The 5s rocked up to Sandpit Lane seeking an immediate response following last week's disappointment in Bedfordshire. Optimism was certainly strong with it being one of (if not) the strongest 5 XI outfits since records began.

After the Rickmansworth skipper correctly called heads out in the middle, Saints took to the field in the early July sunshine. The breakthrough proved hard to come by, despite Kleiner-Mann (N) bowling an excellent intense opening spell, drawing out the springy bounce off the astro to impressive effect, beating the bat on multiple occasions. And was unlucky not to claim a scalp. At the other end, O'Leary was finding it hard to get a consistent rhythm going. Rickmansworth's opening pair Paul (c) and Harish certainly had their eye in from the off and were looking in impressive knick, particularly Harish who hit a few spectacular huge straight 4s.

Into the attack arrived rascals Vikas and Townend to try and prompt a breakthrough. But the oppo openers continued to keep the scoreboard ticking. Chances did come though – particularly with Harish's tendency to go aerial: both PD and O'Leary having superb attempted catches in the deep, covering lots of ground and very nearly seeing the back of Harish, O'Leary's resulting in a nasty gash for his efforts. Before we knew it however, Rickmansworth had posted 100 on the board, and Saints feared it could be a very long day in the field..

A big moment was needed to shift this momentum to the home side, and it came with the next bowling change, prompting a freak incident to give Saints some luck their bowling deserved. Skipper Melling turned to Mr Tarrant, who came steaming in with renewed confidence off the back of his fresh Lisbon haircut. A shorter delivery popped up off the astro onto the skipper's face via his top edge (not wearing a helmet!). The skipper was rattled and fairly immediately had a shiny war wound planted on his cheek, prompting an early retirement – Tarrant's aggressive approach with the ball had worked and albeit not returning a wicket, still proved a huge turning point in the match.

Shortly after drinks, Saints finally claimed the opening wicket – courtesy of Vikas' straight and full bowling, dangerman Harish swinging, missing –and his middle stump certainly knew about it. With both openers now vacating the crease, a Rickmansworth collaspe followed – losing the final 9 wickets for less than 40 runs. Which was just as testament to the resilience and perseverance of the bowlers, as it was to an undoubted top heavy batting line up from Rickmansworth. Tarrant claimed 2 wickets in a very tidy, tight spell, his shaved sides facilitating a more streamlined run up, whilst Vikas saw middle stump ping back once again, in an excellent spell.

O'Leary then came back on for his 2nd spell, this time finding greater success and consistency, putting the ball on a excellent spot, and beating the bat regularly, before claiming 2 deserved scalps! A good day's work for the mullet man. But the pick of the bowlers went to Kleiner-Mann (J) who quite literally ripped through the rest of the Rickmansworth batters in devastating fashion! His (wind assisted apparently!) flight breaching the defenses with 3 quick wickets for little runs. So with Rickmansworth now 9 down, it was time for the return of the injured skipper to the crease to try and boost the total. Amazingly despite the inflated face and now knowledge of the infamous bounce of the SLCG astro, he elected not to wear a helmet again. The temptation to bring back Tarrant into the attack to finish the job was outweighed by sticking with intense spells of O'Leary and Kleiner-Mann (J) to bring the Rickmansworth innings to a halt. And that Kleiner-Mann (J) did with minimal fuss – the skipper barely adding to his pre-injury total to give Kleiner-Mann (J) his 4th victim in a superb jug avoidance spell, restricting Rickmansworth to 144 - after being 105-0 at the halfway point.
An excellent effort from Saints, characterised by great concentration in the field. Shout outs to Tom Wilton and Marcus for sharing the keeping duties, keeping things very tight behind the stumps.

With 2 of the most in form batters at the club tasked with the commencement of the run chase, Saints were in a quietly confident mood that the victory could be achieved. And the openers didn't disappoint, getting the chase off to a flyer, with Knill-Jones dispatching his first ball to the boundary with a rocket straight drive. Cunnington, fresh off the plane from his family holiday started in similar fashion – seeing the red like a beach ball and giving the young opening seamers no rest-bite. The pair got things ticking at 8 an over, and were cruising along and it wasn't long until Cunnington bought up back-to-back half centuries. A quick glance and acknowledgement over to the energised spectators, knowing the job was not yet done. Bowling changes to put the openers out of their misery initially was met with punishment from the Saints openers, but this did then prompt the Rickmansworth breakthrough. Viren, the pick of the bowlers trapping AKJ in front of his stumps LBW for a very well made 27 – both in support of the explosive Cunnington and exercising some fine stroke play himself.
With runs still needed, in came PD – looked to reinvent himself as batting allrounder after many hours collaborating with Pies this summer. With this in his armory, PD continued in the same vain as the openers, looking solid in defense and executing some fine shots on the offside. Saints got over the line with 9 wickets intact, with nearly half the overs left. A ruthless innings!

Player of the match: Marcus Cunnington. Another match winning innings from the young man, making a 144 run chase looked far simpler then it perhaps should have been – well done Marcus!
Great effort and concentration in the field from all to restrict Rickmansworth in their innings.

Rickmansworth CC 5th XI Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
2nb 11w 3b 2lb 
for 10 wickets
144 (33.2 overs)
Paul ct  J. Kleiner-Mann 42 7
Harish b  V.Narula 45 7 2
Tom ct  Z. Tarrant 10 1
Ronesh b  Z. Tarrant 2
Ethan b  V.Narula 4 1
Ramesh ct  O'Leary 5
Richard lbw  J. Kleiner-Mann 0
Charlie b  J. Kleiner-Mann 0
Sohan b  J. Kleiner-Mann 6 1
Josh ct  O'Leary 4 1
Viren Not Out  8 2

St Albans Cricket Club 5XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Nathan Kleiner-Mann5.012200.004.40
Frank O'Leary7.0243221.506.14
Vikas Narula8.0133216.504.13
Tom Townend3.001400.004.67
Zachary Tarrant6.011427.002.33
Joshua Kleiner-Mann4.201243.002.77

St Albans Cricket Club 5XI Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
1nb 10w 3b 1lb 
for 1 wickets
Marcus Cunnington Not Out  81 14 2
Andrew Knill-Jones lbw  Viren 27 5
Prathamesh Deshpande Not Out  23 4
Tom Wilton   1
Peter Melling  
Tom Townend  
Nathan Kleiner-Mann  
Joshua Kleiner-Mann   1
Vikas Narula  
Frank O'Leary  
Zachary Tarrant  

Rickmansworth CC 5th XI Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy