Bharat Olympians v St Albans Cricket Club Sunday 1st XI on Sun 25 Jun 2023 at 13:00
Match was Tied

Match report Sunday saw the 1s return to Chess Valley action, the superior Sunday format, with a trip into North London to take on high-flyers Bharat Olympians; The culmination of exam season presenting an excellent opportunity for a youthful but strong side to secure the first win of the season.

Having arrived at what was far from one of North London’s premier cricketing locations, the coin was tossed and landed in favour of the saints. After much deliberation and careful analysis of the conditions, the decision was made to bat first for the 5th time in a row on a Sunday.

Saints iconic opening pair of Murray and West swaggered to the crease, the batsmen to follow so confident in the abilities of these Sunday stalwarts that questions were raised whether Dhanuka at 3 should even have his whites on. Nevertheless, Krish did pad up and watched on with fears of pad rash as Stu and Zach made a steady start to the Saints innings. The highlight of the partnership undoubtedly came in the form of a textbook Zach West cover drive, Abbey Aquatics Shot of The Day secured in just the first few others of the day. Unfortunately West fell soon after which brought Sunday debutant Krish Dhanuka to the crease, fresh off the back of a huge ton for school the day before Krish was a man in form. Alas, a strong start to the innings became slightly nervier as Stu was caught behind and Krish departed soon after, the latter plinking one straight to mid-on after announcing to Sims at the non- striker’s end that the next ball was “heading out of the ground.” Even the most in form batsmen evidently aren’t safe from the different beast that is the Sunday Chess Valley Cricket League.

With Saints losing two wickets for no extra runs, Sims and Mulvaney were now tasked with a bit of a rebuild through the middle overs. Despite their best efforts to run each other out (some instances being undoubtedly intentional), as well as the time between overs spent discussing next week’s trip to
Amsterdam rather than thinking about the task at hand, Mulvaney and Sims put on 71 for the 5th wicket before Josh was bowled for 28. This wicket brought all 6’14” of James Church to the crease who, from his very first ball, looked in great nick. The ever sensible giant made sure Sims was aware that the drinks break was just an over away and sensible batting should be deployed. Three balls later and Churchy was bowled around his legs looking to find the train tracks with a slog sweep, Sims (50*) left to enjoy his poorly mixed squash alone.

Following a much needed drink, Sims and Skipper Lawrence resumed the Saints innings and began to raise the run rate. Boundaries flowed as the pair began to enjoy their time in the middle, piling on the runs and bringing up their 2nd partnership of 70+ in as many weeks. Keen golfer Lawrence unfortunately became so comfortable at the crease that he turned to his preferred sport, bowled for a well-made 27 playing a shot that wouldn’t have looked out of place at Augusta National. Joined by Ralfe, Sims kicked on and brought up his second consecutive Chess Valley ton, making full use of a friendly leg stump half volley to a man on 96. Ralfe then joined Lawrence in a two-ball looking to clear cow corner, the death rattle of the stumps drowned out by distant cries of “Fore!” Sims continued to find the fence until deciding to hit one straight to a fielder and jog to the other end, run out for the 4th time this season and dismissed for 123. Saints then looked to scramble to a score of 300+ from their 45 and, with Winners being dismissed, this was left to the 10th wicket partnership of Berry and JC. Striking at 200 and 100 respectively, the two proved why they are wasted down the order and helped Saints post 291/9 for Bharat Olympians to chase.

Saints could not have asked for a better start to the defence of their total, Curran removing the opener’s off stump before testing the number 3 with a short ball that picked out the only leg side fielder. Lucas Berry, opting for white football shorts over the traditional cricket trousers, made no mistake at mid- wicket and took a smart catch that must have lost certain punters with money on the ball a hefty sum. Church then looked to join the party, finding the outside edge but the work in the slips failed to complete the dismissal, Ralfe spilling the catch into the face of Winners which forced Saints to temporarily continue with 10 men. What followed was a period of chasing leather, misfields and a few dropped chances that allowed Bharat Olympians to pile on the runs. A below par performance in the field through the middle overs meant well over 100 was put on for the 4th wicket. However, rising from the dead, the returning one-eyed Jacob Winfield made the breakthrough as a ball skied to backward point was well taken by Joe Curran.

This gave Saints a way back into the game and, still with runs to play with, were back in the driving seat. However, some good batting from the Bharat Olympians 4 and 5, the former bringing up his century in the 40th over, meant we were in for a close finish. Death bowlers Winfield and JC were up to the task, restricting the scoring significantly in the dying overs; aided somewhat by a village field of 9 men on the boundary, Skipper Lawrence capitalising on the lack of rules in Sunday’s premier cricket league. Ultimately it came down to an equation of 8 runs needed from the final 2 deliveries, Curran oozing confidence as he charged in to finish off the innings... Short ball. Six. JC narrowly missing his yorker and being impressively struck into the trees. The rollercoaster of cricketing emotions still not complete, JC recovered well and bowled a tight last ball that could only result in a single for the batting Olympians. Nothing to separate the two sides and the Sunday 1s tied for the second time this season; a high-scoring game confirming the notion that Chess Valley cricket is very much a batter’s game.

Another Sunday, another enthralling Chess Valley fixture.

St Albans Cricket Club Sunday 1st XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
1nb 22w 4b 6lb 
for 9 wickets
Zach West ct Unsure b S Patel 14 24 3 58.33
Stuart Murray ct D Sheth b A Patel 28 40 5 70.0
Krish Dhanuka ct Unsure b R Garara 11 16 2 68.75
George Sims run out  (Unsure) 123 96 19 1 128.12
Joshua Mulvaney b D Patel 21 28 3 75.00
James Church b S Sheth 7 16 1 43.75
James Lawrence b S Patel 27 23 3 1 117.39
Nick Ralfe b R Garara 11 13 1 84.62
Jacob Winfield b S Patel 5 8 62.50
Lucas Berry Not Out  8 4 1 200
Joey Curran Not Out  3 3 100

Bharat Olympians Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Rahul Kothari10.025400.005.40
Shanil Patel10.0069323.006.90
Ankit Patel4.0029129.007.25
Rohan Garara5.0028214.005.60
Shahil Sheth8.0046146.005.75
Deepesh Patel8.0055155.006.87

Bharat Olympians Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
5nb 16w 8b  
for 3 wickets
291 (45.0 overs)
Dilan Sheth b Unsure 9 11 2 81.82
Shray Patel ct Unsure b Unsure 70 98 8 1 71.43
Kailum Patel ct Unsure b Unsure 0 3 0
Ankit Patel Not Out  128 126 15 1 101.59
Nirav Varsani Not Out  55 38 5 2 144.74
Nick Kothari  
Rahul Kothari  
Deepesh Patel  
Shanil Patel  
Shahil Sheth  
Rohan Garara  

St Albans Cricket Club Sunday 1st XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
James Church6.012500.004.17
Joey Curran10.0064232.006.40
Joshua Mulvaney7.014200.006.00
Nick Ralfe7.004500.006.43
Krish Dhanuka7.005500.007.86
Jacob Winfield8.0052152.006.50

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