St Albans Cricket Club 3XI v Old Cholmeleians II on Sat 08 Jul 2023 at 13:00
St Albans Cricket Club Won by 78 runs

Match report With the soaked sheet covers tactically laid out to dry upon the SLCG outfield on the Friday evening, West completed his flawless preparation for the pending midday downpour early on Saturday morning, as the covers were placed just in time for some light 9am drizzle to emerge. Old Cholmeleians beckoned for the 3XI, who's recent form had seen them climb to 3rd position in the 8A table. Given our triumph over 2nd place Bentley Heath last week, this was another great opportunity to solidify our position as clear frontrunners.
The Old Cholmeleians skipper and a smattering of the 3XI team including Church, fresh from his holy pilgrimage to Kavos, arrived at SLCG just in time for the heavens to open in biblical fashion. The opposition leader turning to West at 12:20 and remarking that play was surely unlikely given the conditions was dutifully ignored – ‘wait on’ was the call.
St Albans enjoyed their delay - with typical Aussie bumpers flying in from the hands of Glazier in the changing room Ashes series, Lucas Berry offering his frank assessment of what he thought would be the best course of action for West to take every 5 minutes, and Tooley enjoying the sounds of the airwaves in his car, alone. Soon the rain ceased long enough for the covers to be removed, and a toss completed – West losing yet again, and being put into bat with 32 overs a side agreed, soon to fall to 27 overs as the rain arrived just in time for the first ball leading to another frustrating period of delay.

At 2:30 the game was underway, with West and Lawrence dealing with some testing early inquiries from their opening counterparts. Lawrence out cheaply to a shot he was told to park early on by his skipper, as he slapped a wide one to point – however, you can forgive him for not taking heed of this man’s batting advice given his performances this year.
Such performances continued, as after working his way to a busy 10, Zach fell to a speccy at short 3rd man, a catch that has no place in 8A - the Old Cholms fielder should be embarrassed and ashamed. Ralfe and Church now at the crease, some lovely shots were on display. Ralfe cover driving beautifully and Church depositing a full toss over the far side boundary onto the sodden covers.
Nick missed a straight slower ball and departed to the changing rooms for a helmet slam blow up. Unfortunately, the rest of the club will be sad to hear that the 2nd worst lid at the club remains intact for future use and our resulting collective disdain. Moksy who had eventually turned up after his meeting with the AA on a Windsor motorway, was in next and got to work peppering the Old Cholms fielders with dropped catch chances and the boundary in equal measure, all whilst showcasing an especially ‘lacks a daisy’ display of running between the wickets with Church. Following Church’s catching practice to the opening bowler turned WK, Benn arrived to add some improvement in the running department, despite coughing up half a lung after every 2 and 3 ran which caused widespread concern for his health amongst the outfield.

Benn found a fielder trying to accelerate, as did Tooley shortly afterwards. VC Richard adamant that the gifting of his favoured stick to son TOT for the day cost him his wicket. Even though a good workman should never blame his tools, a team should never blame their Tooley and he was quickly forgiven. With Moksy passing 50, Old Cholms heads dropped in the field and the last period of the game saw Lucas Berry pile on the misery with some exceptionally correct shots on display – half of which we wouldn’t have had the pleasure of witnessing, had the Old Cholms fielder at short extra cover not showcased the worst bit of cricket that SLCG has ever seen:
A late game drive being collected in the ring with non-striker Berry somehow already half way down the wicket, all seeming as simple as could be with the bowler standing at the stumps ready to collect the underarm and remove the bails. Think again. Clearly possessed, the fielder proceeded to simultaneously cock his arm back and charge towards the stumps that were barely 10 yards away from him, no doubt whilst internally screaming in a panicked realisation at what his body was doing, before unleashing a fearsome overarm shy which missed all conceivable targets in front of him. Opposition skipper aghast. Handbags in the infield. Buzzers ran. The moment itself was worth the near 2 hour wait for play to commence alone. St Albans eventually closing on a mammoth 194 in their 27 overs, a great effort in the first half.

To kick off our defence, Davey and Church took the honours with Davey delivering some early gifts to the Old Cholms openers. After some boundaries, and Sam taking exception to an early wide call (a fair one in truth) he proceeded to send off the umpire when trimming the off stump bails in the first set. The fire was very much alight for Sam, however West replaced him early with the opposition up with the required rate of 7 after 4 overs. He soon struck, confirming his transition to a bowler who bats a bit – their skipper snicking one through to Lawrence, with West and him combining for the second week in a row.
Old Cholms two down early, and their main partnership was now at the crease. With the rate always climbing some wild heaves were on show, and Alexis who bowled a fantastic spell to keep the batters guessing had his first victim with Sam taking a good grab at long on. West then called on Tooley to replace the unlucky wicketless Church, sensing that he was the kryptonite to their key man. Zach was right, as in his 2nd over a lofted drive sailed to long off where the skipper himself was standing. A puzzling misjudgement of the early ball flight followed, with West rushing forward then fiercely back peddling to see it bounce over his head for 4. Yikes. He was fined accordingly.

Soon enough, the blindman Richard had his man caught and bowled, before giving it large to the Old Cholmeleians contingent on the boundary – Tooley insists he hadn’t a clue where he was looking whilst pointing and cheering, and once many in the 3XI experienced the power of his spectacles prescription at fines, this was accepted as a feasible explanation. After this bit of theatre, the wickets began to tumble courtesy of Alexis, Ralfe and resident burglar Speller who opted to add to his list of crimes for the day with his rascal outfit on display for the Summer Social. Victory claimed in a shortened game in which everyone still managed to play a part, and with the 30 points in the bag it further adds to an extremely comfortable cushion we now have at the top of the pile in 8A. The 3XI go marching on to local rivals Wheathampstead next week, with dreams of going golden still intact.

St Albans Cricket Club 3XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
4nb 4w 7b 5lb 
for 7 wickets
Zach West ct Unsure b A Kahn 10
James Lawrence ct Unsure b E Tse 2 1 1
Nick Ralfe b I Saif 20 3
James Church ct Unsure b A Masih 20 1 1 1
Moksudul Islam run out  (Unsure) 66 6 2
B Glazier ct Unsure b A Masih 9
Richard O'Toole ct Unsure b G Chapman 4 1 1
Lucas Berry Not Out  30 3
Sam Davey Not Out  13 2 1
Alexis Awonuga  
Jamie Speller  

Old Cholmeleians II Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Greg Chapman3.0036136.0012.00

Old Cholmeleians II Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
5w 4b 5lb 
for 10 wickets
116 (23.1 overs)
Hector Boyce ct J Lawrence b Z West 11
Abdullah Kahn b S Davey 2
Eddie Tse ct S Davey b A Awonuga 19
Imran Saif ct R O'Toole b R O'Toole 50
Greg Chapman b A Awonuga 2
Asif Masih ct J Church b N Ralfe 3
Matt Knight b J Speller 3
Ollie Jenne b J Speller 2
Bilal Ahmed st J Lawrence b J Speller 0
Russel Young b N Ralfe 0
Jon Hamway Not Out  0

St Albans Cricket Club 3XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Sam Davey2.0020120.0010.00
James Church6.002800.004.67
Zach West3.00919.003.00
Alexis Awonuga4.0024212.006.00
Richard O'Toole4.0014114.003.50
Jamie Speller2.10431.331.85
Nick Ralfe1.00824.008.00

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