Wheathampstead II v St Albans Cricket Club 3XI on Sat 15 Jul 2023 at 13:00
St Albans Cricket Club Won by 93 runs

Match report This week saw the 3XI face the last unknown entity of this season in 8A, with an away game at Wheathampstead – a team that twice got the better of the Saints last season. Keen to put this right, the Saints prepared impeccably by playing varying degrees of rain cards on the Friday evening, with the forecasts in the late week looking particularly bleak – Winners led from the front in that respect as he so often does, with White Swan Jägerbombs a plenty. Therefore, the sight of blue sky and sunshine early on Saturday morning would’ve been a particularly alarming sight for this man’s sore eyes, but seeing as he hasn’t woken up prior to 11:30 on a Saturday in the last 7 years he was none the wiser.

With a healthy amount of grass on the particularly green Wheato pitch combined with the forecasted downpour at around 2pm, West naturally opted to bat upon winning the toss. The batting line up as always was strong, as James and Stu commenced our bazball style approach to the innings. Unfortunately, Jim departed to a smart catch from the WK standing up to the stumps just prior to a passing shower forced the players off, and the covers on. With no overs lost in the short break, Moksy and Stu continued embracing the philosophy, sending the ball sailing to the boundary regularly. Before long the players were departing the field of play once more, this time due to the sight of lightning over Nomansland, but just as the covers were pre-emptively put in place the heavens opened for a sustained period of monsooning with thoughts quickly turning to the likelihood of a refund for the prepaid tea, as play looked unlikely to recommence. Surprisingly, the sun was soon shining once again, and after some handy groundsman work from the Wheato players and skipper West who ruined his whites in the process, play was restarted with a reduced quota of 35 overs a side.

With us at a healthy total of around 50-1 off the first 10, this reduction of overs wasn’t as damaging for the 3XI as it usually can be for the side batting first in these situations – with 8A league rules not including the D/L method for rain affected games. Stu yorked himself soon after this restart, and skipper West went in to watch Moksy hit a few maximums before he chopped a half tracker onto his own stumps, failing yet again with the bat. Hicksy and Ralfe played brief supporting roles alongside Moksy who had continued to motor, passing 50 in the process. Plaudits for Hicksy in particular, who hit Murph’s cricketing g-spot with his cover drive. The loud and numerous cries of approval from him lead to the skipper’s confusion as to what was developing outside whilst he rearranged his belongings in the changing room.

Adam joined Moksy to continue the good start made by St Albans, and he approached his batting with post-nut clarity of mind. With the score at 100-4 and around 20 overs remaining there was some questionable early calling from both parties, but they soon started to bat well in tandom as Murph joined Moksy in the onslaught of the bowling on offer. 10 runs short of what would have been a magnificent ton, Moksy fell for 90, made off of just 55 balls – a great knock. Alongside Tooley, Murph took on the senior role and commanded the running of three’s – one steely look later, and this was no longer the case. With 40 runs added as a pair, Tooley departed, swiftly followed by Adam with the score now at 200 – his contribution of 43 a valuable innings. Winfield was then in his element as he expertly gubbed the ball to the legside boundary for a quickfire 30*, cementing his coronation as the greatest tail end bat this league has surely ever seen, whilst also gaining plaudits for his BBQing of young rascal Berry. Closing on 240 the Saints were buoyant at tea, highly pleased with their over par total.

Winfield was straight back into the action alongside West with the new ball infront of the travelling Saints ultras, striking early to remove the in-form Wheato skipper very cheaply – bowling him around his legs in a confusing dismissal, the batsman not attempting a shot in the process.
At the other end, West continued his piss poor individual performance as he failed to find a consistent length and soon made way for Berry who had similar difficulties early on. Winfield continued to ride the wave of the lapping Saints fans, snicking one batsman off to Murphy who took a sharp grab at 1st slip and the combination could have struck again had Murph been able to hold on to an easier chance soon afterwards. Stu on the other hand was ready for his opportunity at gully, with father and girlfriend watching on he stuck a paw up to the sky as a ball destined to fly over him was snaffled leading to jubilant celebrations. Stu doing his best Imran Tahir impersonation ended up at extra cover giving it big ones. The 3s well on their way to victory.

Lucas Berry decided he wanted some fan adulation of his own, so he tidied up his lengths and started testing the Wheato batters, nearly having one caught at 1st slip but square leg adjudging it had bounced just in front. He didn’t have to wait long to claim his just rewards though, as James pouched a fine snick at the end of his eventful 5 over spell. Meanwhile, Winners was continuing to tear through the oppo’s top order taking 2 more wickets – at the time of writing a misplaced scorecard and foggy weekend memory means the exact means of these can’t be divulged, but there’s no doubt they were as impressive as the first two. Either way, Winner’s wasn’t at all pleased as he trudged off to fine leg at the end of his 7 over spell clearly disgusted with his return – Tooley would later scold him for this unjust grump, although his fierce competitiveness is something to be admired.

Exuberant youth was replaced with accomplished experience, as Walks took over from Berry and he quickly took two wickets prior to a gash developing on his bowling hand leading to West having to search for a replacement to finish the over. The crowd called for Murph, and they got their wish as they cheered every boundary. Nick having taken two at the other end following his introduction, there was just 1 wicket left required for victory. In truth, standards waned in the field as the Saints coasted to victory, but Berry took only 1 ball after his reintroduction to finish it off and see the 3s to both the bar, and top of 8A by 63 points. Still undefeated, morale is high and belief of going golden grows every week. Hitchin await next Saturday, yet another chance to put further space between us and our nearest competitor.

St Albans Cricket Club 3XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
4nb 12w 3b 2lb 
for 9 wickets
Stuart Murray Bowled  16 31 1 1 51.61
James Lawrence ct Unsure b Unsure 7 14 1 50.0
Moksudul Islam b Unsure 90 55 9 4 163.64
Zach West b Unsure 0 6 0
Nick Ralfe b Unsure 5 10 1 50.0
Ben Hicks Bowled  5 10 1 50.0
Adam Murphy ct Unsure b Unsure 43 45 5 95.56
Richard O'Toole ct Unsure b Unsure 18 18 2 100
Jacob Winfield Not Out  30 18 5 166.67
Lucas Berry run out  (Unsure) 2 2 100
Andrew Walker Not Out  3 4 75.00

Wheathampstead II Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.

Wheathampstead II Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
5nb 1w 5b  
for 10 wickets
147 (31.1 overs)

St Albans Cricket Club 3XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Jacob Winfield7.022145.253.00
Zach West3.001600.005.33
Lucas Berry5.1029214.505.61
Nick Ralfe7.0034134.004.86
Andrew Walker4.001025.002.50
Adam Murphy3.0018118.006.00

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