St Albans Cricket Club 3XI v Bentley Heath II on Sat 01 Jul 2023 at 13:00
St Albans Cricket Club Won by 82 runs

Match report The last game in the first round of fixtures for the season saw us clash with fellow table toppers Bentley Heath, and with Heath having lost their last 2 games to see us sit atop 8A, this was a great opportunity to put some daylight between us and the competition at the halfway point this year. Another over qualified playing XI had been assembled, and with the Friday rituals honoured and good luck banked the mood was jovial in the warm up, aside from Lawrence’s insubordination which West put down to his keeper’s moodiness at his failure to put away half volley’s the previous evening.

Another toss was lost, but the desired result of batting first was achieved. At the forefront of West’s mind as he set off to open was the difficulty himself and Walker had in discerning which wicket was theirs for the day. All the Saints’ SLCG experience would have to be channeled in negotiating the surface it seemed. Partnering West was Wilton, stepping up to the position for the first time this year on the back of his good form and Boot attendance.

Wilton’s primary thought as he walked to the middle with his Skipper was that this was surely the tallest opening partnership that the 3XI had ever seen, whilst West was more occupied with the thought of trying not to spank one to mid-on/off again.
After a back foot flay through the covers to settle the nerves, the skipper failed to cease the aforementioned trend and trudged back to the changing rooms for a blow up, eventually joining his team on the sidelines where the sarcastic Berry was there to greet him.

On the other hand, Wilton was standing tall indeed, playing sensibly in the face of some tight opening bowling and building a partnership with Rory following Moksy’s quick visit.
Over the next 20 overs, watchful runs were accumulated with the odd burst in boundaries. Rory continued to exhibit the ‘Door then Score’ policy as he ramped up towards the end of his stay with Tom, in which time they’d put on 139 runs together, both notching 50s in the process. Rory’s leaves in the 31st over with 8 wickets in hand was all too much for Tooley to handle, as a chair went flying in protest - Zach shortly afterwards journeyed to square leg duties and adjudged Rory run out, a close but fair decision. Promise.

With that wicket falling the 3s sat on 163-3 with 6 overs remaining, and this started a flurry of attacking shots and dodgy running as the Saints attempted to surpass 200. James’ first ball 6 was something he couldn’t hide his smugness over as he glanced to his skipper at square leg for the instantaneous approval he was due. Berry was caught in a pad rush and eventually graced us with his presence, sauntering to the middle without a care in the world as Macca kept a steely eye on his watch.
Eventually he would arrive and see out the rest of the innings, as we closed on 197-8. A very competitive score on a wicket that looked to offer a great deal of variable bounce to contend with.

Winfield and the shameless West opened up the bowling, and instantly extracted some life after hitting the pitch. In his 2nd set, Zach snicked one through to James with the gloves, no doubt thanks to the early pressure Winfield had laid on with his testing maidens. After breaking his streak of 15 dot balls with a wide, he was unlucky to see a ball dropped at point, with Walker doing well to track it but unable to hold on. He would soon have reward, as Wilton stayed calm under a high one to see Bentley Heath 17-3 after 10, following Berry’s excellent catch off West at the other end the previous over.

Walks replaced West, and his first action was to spend Speller on a marathon chase to fetch a 6 hit with vicious top spin. Winfield claiming the wicket of their skipper soon after spelled the start of the procession, as at 37-4 the Bentley Heath top order sat back in the hutch.
A Tooley-West master plan was hatched for the left handers as Nick was let loose for a short devastating spell, and with his first ball he duly struck - Moksy taking the chance at point, not resting on his heels at the second time of asking…
Nick struck again in his 2nd over and was promptly removed to see Berry and his offensive trainers enter the fray - Rory’s warning to not bowl a half tracker was duly ignored and Berry served up the treat to the Heath batter, with the 5 man cordon watching on in disgust. In truth, the pair in the middle at this stage looked more capable than those that preceded them, so all the more credit to Lucas for castling one half of the duo with a good Yorker late on in his spell.
Following Walker at the other end, Speller eventually found his rhythm but in classic cricketing fashion it was the rank ball that got it done as a snick sailed to Tooley at slip, who parried it upwards before crashing to the floor and pouching the self assist.
After some lazy running from the experienced Bentley Heath statesman, Macca promptly ended proceedings to make his dinner date with Mrs. McKinlay in good time.

After bowling out the opposition for 115, a 35 point gap now separates the two sides at the top of the table. In truth, this match up was perhaps a tad underwhelming, but you still have to get the job done and the 3XI were good enough to do that in style, largely thanks to great performances with the bat from Tom with 86, and Rory with 63.

The next 2 weeks see us face off against those we are yet to play following the early season cancellations, Wheathampstead and Old Cholms. With 2 more wins, perhaps the 3XI can dare to dream of going golden?

St Albans Cricket Club 3XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
1nb 6w 1b 2lb 
for 8 wickets
Zach West ct Unsure b L Weerasinghe 12 39 1 30.77
Tom Wilton ct Unsure b L Weerasinghe 86 97 10 88.66 1
Moksudul Islam ct Unsure b L Weerasinghe 0 3 0 1
Rory Law run out  (Unsure) 63 80 12 78.75
Nick Ralfe ct Unsure b M Bird 3 5 60.0
James Lawrence b L Weerasinghe 7 3 1 233.33 3
Richard O'Toole ct Unsure b M Bird 1 4 25.00 1
Jacob Winfield run out  (Unsure) 10 4 2 250.0
Lucas Berry Not Out  3 5 60.0 1
Andrew Walker Not Out  2 1 200
Jamie Speller  

Bentley Heath II Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Lee Riley8.003100.003.87
Matt Bird8.0038219.004.75
Lahiru Weerasinghe8.013248.004.00
Nicholas Dunnett8.024800.006.00
Sam Ahangama4.001800.004.50
Anura Rajapaksa4.002700.006.75

Bentley Heath II Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
4nb 5w 12b 3lb 
for 10 wickets
115 (31.4 overs)
Lee Riley ct J Lawrence b Z West 4
Lahiru Weerasinghe ct T Wilton b J Winfield 4
Shabaz Hussain ct L Berry b Z West 1
Matt Bird ct J Lawrence b J Winfield 4
Sam Ahangama lbw N Ralfe 24
Anura Rajapaksa ct M Islam b N Ralfe 4
Zach Goddard b L Berry 19
Khuram Butt ct J Lawrence b A Walker 9
Ian Medway run out  (N Ralfe) 22
Senura Perera ct R O'Toole b J Speller 2
Nicholas Dunnett Not Out  0

St Albans Cricket Club 3XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Jacob Winfield8.021929.502.37
Zach West5.001125.502.20
Andrew Walker5.0032132.006.40
Nick Ralfe2.00824.004.00
Lucas Berry6.0021121.003.50
Jamie Speller5.4216116.002.82

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