St Albans Cricket Club 4XI v Sandridge 2XI on Sat 27 May 2023 at 13:00
St Albans Cricket Club Lost by 9 wickets

Match report The 4s marched on at the home of cricket, SLCG on a sunny Saturday. The ground setup started at 12:10 PM with the skipper Tim Winfield taking charge and almost all of the players gathering around 12:40 PM. With this week’s availability a bit low, the 4s were missing their usual playing elevens; two of them making their league debut! Winfield won the toss against Sandridge 2X1 and duly elected to bat after inspecting the mostly dry wicket.

Manny Nisar and Ashish Dean started off the proceedings and raced to 15 off the second over with Nisar picking up from where he left off at the previous game pulling back-to-back boundaries much to the dismay of the opening bowlers. Ash started off slowly and found his rhythm and was watchful of the outswing. There were a few yes/no calls between them but all looked good before Manny getting run out after a quickfire 22 (smashing 4 boundaries) and the opening stand broken at 27. In came Najib Khan at number 3 and looked solid in defence. There were a few LBW shouts from the bowler after Najib being hit on the knee roll and the other on the toe, but all was going down the leg side, said the umpire. Unmoved by the shouts, Najib hit a boundary and huge six to long on but was soon caught at midwicket on 13, a rather unexpected and untimely dismissal as he was looking good. The score being 54/2 off 16 now.

Prathamesh Deshpande joined Ash at number 4 and both stayed on till the drinks break as the first bowling change saw an off-break or a leg-break or was he a pacer with a 3 step runup. Nonetheless the score reading 60/2 at drinks. Interesting discussion happening between drinks with the opposition wicket keeper sporting a hockey helmet or was it a baseball umpire mask(?). The pros of it being one doesn’t sweat much for the good part of a 40 over game as the air-flow is advantageous, the cons being you don’t have any protection at the back of the head while keeping wickets, but that ain’t a necessity or is it.

Post drinks, Ash and PD started to build on a partnership by taking singles, converting them to doubles as all the fielders were spread out on the boundary lines. Ash was looking in good touch and smashed a couple of boundaries and it looked like the momentum was building on. However, as luck would have it, he was bowled on a good bowl which came back in a bit after hitting the deck and he was out on 32, a great knock. The scores now being 82/3 off 25.

Tom Banks on his league debut joined PD in the middle and a left-hand right-hand combo disturbed the bowlers line and lengths a bit. Tom did strike the ball well, looked at finding the gaps and was dropped twice! Tom in his own words - I am very lucky today - but the joy was short lived as he was eventually caught by the keeper on 1, an unlucky dismissal. 87/4 off 28.

Right after that John joined PD to up the rate and both of them continued taking singles, sometimes doubles. PD continued to find the boundaries now with regular intervals bringing out hooks,cuts, lofted shots against the really slowish bowling attack, slower than the tennis balls. With John rotating the strikes and two of the overs fetching 9 runs it felt like 170 was achievable. But soon enough he pulled something around his neck and looked a bit discomfortable before getting bowled on 9. Scores now 122/5 off 35.

Nadeem Arif joined PD at the death overs. Sensing the urgency of running out of batting partners, PD started going at everything, heave-ing the slow balls and sending them to the fence, the highlight of them being an inside out one-bounce four above covers, the keeper really amused with the display and sending all the fielders to the boundary. Soon after, PD was done in by an off-cutter, missing the pull shot and getting 40, a valuable effort. 138/6 off 37.

Nadeem was joined by Rajiv Surendranath, who was on his debut. Nadeem smashed a couple of boundaries along with a few singles to take the score to 153/6. Nadeem (17) and Rajiv (2) remaining not out. A good recovery after drinks but we were around 40-50 runs behind at the halfway mark. Pondering over the thought that 149 was defended by the 3s last week at SLCG, the hopes of getting a win under our belt looked achievable and Winfield encouraged the fielding unit. The plan was to take on early wickets and go quickly between overs and see how it goes.

The second half started with Tom and Ash opening the bowling. Both of them started well and were trying to find their lengths and when they did, it was too little too late. The opposition batsmen soon raced to 41 off 8 overs finding boundaries with much more ease. Tom bowled at good areas along with Ash with some half chances of LBW’s, but it wasn’t convincing for the umpires. The first change saw Vikas Narula and Rajiv. Vikas bowled wicket to wicket and there were some half chances. But the opening pair was now well settled in and hitting it all around. The first breakthrough was off the bowling of Rajiv, slow off break, with one of the batsmen (out on 24) getting extremely frustrated with a string of dot balls and deciding to go after him.

What came was a screamer of a catch from our skipper Winfield running to his right on mid-on, the ball seemed to be going above his head and no one fancied it being caught, but wrong we were! Leading by example, Winfield extended his arm and caught it one-handed, much to the applause of his teammates and the opposition alike. For the first time it felt like we were back in control and as they were 61/1 off 14.

Winfield came in at second change and bowled really well, but was unlucky to get a wicket too. Rajiv was still looking for another breakthrough and it looked like we might get the middle order out but we lost out on the dropped catches and hence the match. He bowled at the right lines and was unlucky to get more wickets but closed out on 1-39 off his 8 overs. Nadeem and Fin McNab also tried out their luck but at this point the opposition were already cruising to the target and we were beaten by 9 wickets.

In retrospect, great learnings all around, but to be fair we weren’t up to the mark with our batting, bowling, fielding and running between the wickets. We lost to a side who were better than us in all departments. Hoping we gain something from this game, get ready for our next fixture and back to winning ways against Luton Town & Indians 4XI !

Fineable moments:

Tim Winfield, taking a splendid one-handed catch at mid-on, running sideways.

The opposition bowler, saying “Ask the batsman”, after the fielders prodded the bowler where he wanted them, as Ash was hitting it everywhere.

The opposition leg umpire, asking us to appeal for a run-out when the same batsman came in the way of a throw, twice! He was well outside the crease!

St Albans Cricket Club 4XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
1nb 7w 5b 4lb 
for 6 wickets
Nauman Nisar Run out  22 4
Ashish Dean b Murphy 32 2
Najib Khan ct b. Qamar 13 1 1
Prathamesh Deshpande b Murphy 40 4
Thomas Banks ct b Harris 1
John Webber b  Qamar 9
Nadeem Arif Not Out  17 2
Rajiv Surendranath Not Out  2
Tim Winfield   1
Fin McNab  
Vikas Narula  

Sandridge 2XI Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Andrew Hallsy8.002400.003.00
Callum Miller8.003700.004.62
John Murphy8.0026213.003.25
S Harris8.0036136.004.50

Sandridge 2XI Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
3w 6b 4lb 
for 1 wickets
155 (27.3 overs)
P Rothery Not Out  79
A Temple ct ct Tim, b Rajiv 24
A Norman Not Out  39

St Albans Cricket Club 4XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Thomas Banks4.002000.005.00
Ashish Dean4.011600.004.00
Vikas Narula5.003000.006.00
Rajiv Surendranath8.0039139.004.88
Tim Winfield3.001900.006.33
Nadeem Arif2.00700.003.50
Fin McNab1.301700.0011.33