Great Gaddesden v St Albans Cricket Club 4XI on Sat 13 May 2023 at 13:00
St Albans Cricket Club Won by 85 runs

Match report As the grim weather conditions continue to plague the opening stages of the season and our home pitches remain waterlogged, the 4XI found themselves one of only two Saints league sides to be hosted by an opposition whose ground was adjudged fit to play on this weekend

The quintessentially English village setting of Great Gaddesden Cricket Club, situated on the outskirts of Hemel Hempstead saw a square that, although soggy, was just about firm enough to get a game on, and all credit must go to their grounds team for some sterling work over the past week.

It was a crucial toss to win and skipper Saunders duly lost it (of course), and was put into bat under steel grey skies with temperatures demanding double jumpers all round.

Ashish Dean and Saints debutant Safdar Zaman, a new recruit from Watford Town CC, opened proceedings. With the ball boomeranging around and holding up in the soft surface the going was understandably tough with Ashish struggling to get a feel for the bowling and falling early for just 4 runs. James Grant found things equally challenging and went for a duck, bringing Najib Khan to the crease to partner the already assured looking Safdar.

The two set about building a partnership, with Safdar the alpha presence and Najib playing a measured supporting role. The opposition were understandably upbeat at their early breakthroughs and with the batsmen battling the conditions every edge or toe-ended shot was greeted with (friendly) derision or sarcastic advice. All good fun with the batsmen taking the banter in their stride.

Gradually though , the pair began to build a formidable partnership and although there was some luck involved at times as the demons in the pitch made their presence felt they kept the pressure on the fielding team and quietened them down as the scoreboard ticked over.

The bowling was good , with the primarily pace-off-the ball tactics from the mainly veteran attack well suited to the conditions, but the ever watchful batting pair found the gaps, ran well and punished whatever bad balls were on offer before Najib was eventually caught on 40; an impressive and characterful performance.

After working hard to find a rhythm a debut ton was very much on the cards for Safdar but an ill-advised lofted shot saw the ball loop up and into the bowlers hands to see him fall agonizingly short on 99. A fantastic effort.

With less than 10 overs remaining and plenty of wickets in hand the handbrake was taken off and a further 36 valuable runs were added by Hugo Thomas , Peter Melling and an even more unfit than usual Nadeem Arif , as the innings closed on 195-5.

After a tea (I know , what a treat!) , Saints took to the field to defend what felt like a very competitive total (at one point we though 125 would be decent) with Tim Winfield and Sam Davey given new ball duties with instructions to bowl full and straight at the stumps; this was not a day to bowl a fifth stump line . Both acquitted themselves well with Tim snaring two wickets from his 8 overs.

The wobbly in-duckers of Nadim Arif were then brought into play in partnership with the quicker stuff of Ashish Dean . It was a fruitful combination resulting in four more wickets, three of them falling to Ashish for just nine runs.

Skipper Saunders then brought his left arm filth to the party and in his first over dropped a caught and bowled and took two wickets – eventful . He would end up with figures of 3.4-0-5-3.

A mention in dispatches for some excellent catching in the less-than-ideal conditions too - catches win matches and all that.

Uttam Vijender made a frugal contribution with the ball , snagging a wicket for his troubles and the accurate off spin of James Grant at the end of the innings restricted any scoring to a minimum as the runs ground to halt and the Saints total became unreachable.

With the last opposition pair understandably blocking out and nurdling for batting points the game hit an impasse, as thoughts of dry clothes and a warm pub began to dominate the Saints players thoughts.

More out of frustration than desperation Saunders bought himself back on and with his fourth ball bowled a rank full toss that hit the last batsman squarely in the middle of his pad. The finger went up and that was the end of proceedings.

A great start to the 4XI season following the team's promotion to Div 9A and a decent game against gentlemanly opposition.

St Albans Cricket Club 4XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
4nb 2w 5b 2lb 
for 5 wickets
Ashish Dean b Patel 4
Safdar Zaman ct Hulin 99
James Grant ct Humphreys 0
Najib Khan ct Crawley 40
Peter Melling Not Out  11
Hugo Thomas b Patel 15
Nadeem Arif Not Out  10
Sam Davey  
Tim Winfield  
Andy Saunders  
Uttam Vijender  

Great Gaddesden Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
P. Humphreys5.0114114.002.80
S. Upton8.004200.005.25
R. Pearce3.011600.005.33
R. Hulin8.0138138.004.75
J. Crawley8.0141141.005.13

Great Gaddesden Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
2nb 5w 1b 1lb 
for 9 wickets
110 (35.4 overs)
S.Crawley ct Arif 31
P.J Henry b Winfield 0
P. Humphreys ct Winfield 15
W. Hughes ct Saunders 21
M. Patel ct Dean 6
R. Hulin b Dean 12
A.M Henry b Saunders 0
R. Pearce lbw Saunders 10
K. Jana b Dean 0
S. Upton ct Vijender 2
G. Hutchinson Not Out  4

St Albans Cricket Club 4XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Sam Davey5.002300.004.60
Tim Winfield8.0125212.503.12
Nadeem Arif6.0032132.005.33
Ashish Dean5.00933.001.80
Andy Saunders3.40531.671.36
Uttam Vijender4.00616.001.50
James Grant4.00800.002.00

  • Umpire :
    all of us
  • Scorer :
    all of us