Harpenden Dolphins v St Albans Cricket Club 3XI on Sat 18 May 2024 at 13:00
St Albans Cricket Club Won by 51 runs

Match report The first away day of the 3XI’s season took them to the quaint setting of nearby Napsbury Park to take on Harpenden Dolphins. The journey to the ground wasn’t too long (unless you were in Skipper West’s car), but on arrival at the ground it appeared that the wicket we’d been marked to play on was! Indeed, Macca did his measurements and couldn’t wipe the grin off his face when reporting to the SACC WhatsApp that it was 22 yards popping crease to popping crease. A truly village start to the day, which saw the start time delayed by 30 minutes as the groundsman sheepishly corrected his markings.

West yet again lost the toss and was asked to bat by the Dolphins captain. The desired result achieved anyway given the strength of the Saints batting line up.
Unfortunately, not only was the pitch incorrectly marked, but it also turned out to be full of mischief for the 3XI line up to contend with. After 8 balls, Skipper West was sent packing with one he couldn’t have done much about, hitting the stumps not far up from the floor. Stu then joined Rory following Rudders’ best efforts to battle through a difficult period against the Dolphins openers, who to their credit were bowling very tidy opening spells.

After hitting a rank long hop for four, Stu wasn’t able to repeat the trick when a similar length ball was gifted to him, with the pitch offering another unexpected variation to send the ball high into the safe hands of a Dolphin fielder. From here, Lawrence and 3XI debutant Jithin came and went in quick succession. The former having one hop on him off a length and off his glove through to the keeper – again, not much he could do about it, whilst Jithin was bowled by what Rory declared an outrageously good seed. Now 48-5 after 15 overs, it wasn’t pretty reading for any Saints faithful monitoring play cricket…

Rory however was finding his feet, and starting to punish the flow of bad balls on offer. Building small but valuable partnerships alongside Murph and Winfield who both fell to soft dismissals, Law’s second half century on the bounce dragged his team to 123-8, finally succumbing after chasing a wide one for a key contribution of 55 runs. A classic ROT cameo of 18* was complimented by young gun Banks’ 12, but the Saints failed to bat their overs, closing on 155 after 35. 30 or so comfortable runs left on the table, but nonetheless a defendable total to work with.
Basit and Winfield had the new ball, with the latter seeing a chance drop agonisingly past Rudders at point in the early stages. Basit and Macca were at odds on the matter of the wide line throughout his spell, but like Winners he had a few flashed edges sail just over or past Saints fielders. At 68-0 after 15 overs, it all looked a bit ominous…

With the introduction of Murph and verbal ‘encouragement’ from injured JD on the sidelines which Tooley particularly appreciated, the breakthrough soon came as the Dolphin opener Rayner tried to pull off his favoured sweep yet again, but fell bowled. Meanwhile, Banks at the other end had been working away and had his reward in the next over – both Dolphin openers now back in the hutch. Belief and momentum back with the 3XI.

Two overs later, it was Banks again. Trapping one LBW, and then giving West another angle of his own dismissal, as he bowled Roche with one shooting low to give the Dolphin opening bowler a taste of his own medicine. Unfortunately for Banks, a lame hattrick ball attempt followed – but from 68-0, the Saints had turned the game around and had the oppo 77-4, which was soon one better… Winfield taking a surprisingly athletic catch for his good mate Murph. The Saints now very much on top at 77-5.

From this point the game always looked in control, with runs drying up and wickets falling regularly. Murph soon had another, whilst Jithin was given a go with the ball and gave Rory his second catch, capping off a fine day for the Etonian badger. After a classic O’Toole contribution with the ball - 2 overs, 2 wicket maidens - Basit and Macca’s polite and cordial war of words over the wide line was resumed, but they eventually could agree on something with the final Dolphin batter adjudged LBW.

A well fought result to extend the winning streak to 15 games, but it’s a scorecard that may flatter the 3XI on this occasion. With the bat especially, the 3XI would do well to remember that they may not get away with lacklustre displays in this area for both the remainder of this season and for seasons to come, with their sights rightfully set on higher divisions. If we could all be a bit more Rory, it would serve us well – the Big Posh Giant putting in a commendable Man of the Match display, and capping off his day by heading into London to celebrate and shmooze with nieces and nephews of well-known Russian Oligarchs. (Yes, seriously)

Following a rare tie in another 7 East fixture and all other teams having won and lost once, the 3XI sit alone atop the Division by 10 points already, and will look to continue on that track for many weeks to come, with Letchworth the next team in the way of this 3XI freight train.

St Albans Cricket Club 3XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
2nb 19w 2b 6lb 
for 10 wickets
Zach West b A Roche 0 8 0
Andy Rudlin lbw A Roche 7 34 20.59
Rory Law ct G Finch b Z ahmed 58 87 6 66.67 2
Stuart Murray ct R Kershaw b J Glyn-Davies 5 5 1 100
James Lawrence ct D Lewis b J Glyn-Davies 0 2 0
Jithin Balan b R Kershaw 2 11 18.18
Adam Murphy lbw A Rayner 8 13 1 61.54
Jacob Winfield b R Kershaw 16 22 1 1 72.73 1
Thomas Banks b O Lacey 12 16 2 75.00
Richard O'Toole Not Out  18 12 1 1 150.0 1
Basit Yasin b O Lacey 0 1 0

Harpenden Dolphins Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Ollie Lacey6.02924.501.50
Adam Roche6.021427.002.33
Joe Glyn-Davies2.0020210.0010.00
Anthony Rayner8.0219119.002.37
Richard Kershaw8.0052226.006.50
Jonathan Lacey3.002300.007.67
Ziad ahmed2.0010110.005.00

Harpenden Dolphins Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
1nb 17w 1b  
for 10 wickets
104 (29.3 overs)
Anthony Rayner b A Murphy 28 49 2 57.14
Jonathan Lacey b T Banks 39 43 3 90.70
paul jackson ct J Winfield b A Murphy 2 15 13.33
Richard Kershaw lbw T Banks 0 2 0
Adam Roche b T Banks 0 1 0
Richard Heseltine ct R Law b J Balan 4 12 1 33.33
George Finch ct R Law b A Murphy 0 4 0
Duncan Lewis b R O'Toole 5 18 1 27.78
Ollie Lacey lbw A Basit Yasin 7 20 1 35.00
Joe Glyn-Davies ct R O'Toole b R O'Toole 0 4 0
Ziad ahmed Not Out  0 4 0

St Albans Cricket Club 3XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Jacob Winfield5.011200.002.40
Basit Yasin6.3031131.004.77
Thomas Banks5.011936.333.80
Adam Murphy8.012638.673.25
Jithin Balan3.0015115.005.00
Richard O'Toole2.02020.000.00

  • Umpire :
    Ian McKinlay
  • Scorer :