St Albans Cricket Club 4XI v Boxmoor II on Sat 24 Jul 2021 at 12.00
St Albans Cricket Club Won by 21 runs

Match report In many aspects, this was a weekend of firsts for the 4XI, and a select few of the individuals involved.

The COVID related cancellation of the 2XI fixture in midweek had resulted in a rare outing at CP for the 4s - their first at the main St Albans ground for a couple of seasons. Stand-in skipper James Lawrence also had his first taste of senior captaincy, and encountered the administrative challenge of a few late drop outs during his first morning on the job. Time would indeed tell that his selection of stand-in’s would be a stroke of genius… for one of them in particular anyway.

Skipper Lawrence had made his intentions to bat first clear to his fellow teammates, if the coin should fall his way, despite the dewy outfield and the threat of rain throughout the day. A great show of confidence in his newly inherited batting unit. Like a skippering virgin, James tossed the coin for the very first time and came quickly with his declaration to the Boxmoor IIIs skipper that St Albans would be having a bat.

Faz and Pete headed in to get the 4XI started against the Boxmoor III side, who coincidentally like St Albans, had also seen their own 2XI’s fixture cancelled due to COVID. Their opening bowlers started well, and were able to restrict the Saints to 8 runs off the first 6 overs prior to Pete’s dismissal.
Zach joined Faz, adding 1 run to the total before Murph’s proclamations of his ability on the side line inevitably jinxing his innings, with him then proceeding to stop a full and straight yorker from hitting his stumps with the toe end of his foot, and not his bat.

Unfortunately, skipper Lawrence was not able to stem the tide of wickets as he was castled on his 2nd ball with an “actually quite good delivery”, leaving his 4XI side struggling on 10-3 in the 9th over.

Adam Murphy had just a few hours prior been comfortably tucked away in bed, mulling over his decisions in St Albans’ finest nightlife establishments prior to an ominous phone call from friend and skipper James summoning him to Clarence Park. Murph strolled out at no.5 to rebuild the 4XI innings, and got to work with the solid and determined Faz in doing just that.
After seeing off the Boxmoor opening bowlers, who’s opening spells were to be applauded, the Saints batsman were able to pick up the rate and ran well between the wickets on what was a painfully slow outfield coupled with a long boundary. The first boundary didn’t arrive until the 18th over, highlighting the hard work required from the Saints pair in the opening stages of their partnership.
Murphy pressed on as the aggressor, and converted his 34th 40 for the club to his first Saturday league 50, much to the pleasure of the watching spectators. Club President Peter Mardle arrived shortly after, having had enough of the 1XI game at Redbourn for the timebeing, and upon his arrival Murph had moved on to 65 prompting his calls for a the supply of water and fresh gloves.
The score was now 133-4 from 32 overs, and as Faz departed the field after adding a solid contribution of 41 in his 123 run stand with Adam, the incoming James Church wasted no time in showcasing his own ability – a lofted check-drive over mid-on bringing plaudits from the President and Westy in particular.

As the innings entered the closing stages, the excitement rose as Murph motored on in hopes of converting his first 50 to his maiden 100 at the first time of asking. As he moved on from 80, to 90, Churchy supported him with great awareness and rotated the strike well with every opportunity.
A perfectly executed sweep to move on to 96 at the end of the 35th over prompted everyone to remain firmly in the spots they were residing, but they weren’t sat there for long, as after the reintroduction of their opening bowler at that same end, Murph went to his 100 with a controlled dab down through backward point. An excellent achievement, and outstanding knock given the context of the game which ensued mad celebrations from all in the pavilion.
Murph’s scoop attempt saw him return to the sideline soon after. Joe Button and Churchy saw off the innings well leaving the 4XI on 202 and putting them firmly in the driving seat.
James Revill and Finlay Kilner bowled well in their opening spells after finding their rhythm, with both being unlucky not to have many an edge drop to a St. Albans fielder.

The progress of one of their opening batsman was cause for concern however, and after Joe Button had removed the less threatening partner with a rank long hop with his first ball, the motoring no.2 was snared for 47 by Prath.
Button soon had another, and the score lay at 82-3 off 18 overs. This brought their very competent looking no.5 to the crease who prompted concerned looks between Murph and Zach after his first shot – he was clearly one to watch out for if the 4XI were going to claim the victory.

Skipper Lawrence showed good initiative to give the no.5 easy singles and bowl mainly at their other batsman, with James Church bowling well in his spell, unlucky to not take more than one wicket. He did however, claim the run out of a non-striker after palming a drive onto the stumps to send their no. 6 packing.
The key moment of the innings came when James showed excellent skills with the gloves to remove their danger man no.5 stumped off of Murphy’s bowling. From here, the required rate was always climbing and the result seemed a foregone conclusion given the excellent bowling spell of Vikkas who proved very difficult to get away. West came on to finish off the duties at the other end with the ball, and wrapped up a 22 run win for the 4XI.

All in all, a great first outing as skipper for Lawrence who showed his ability to lead from the front in a game that at points looked to be in danger of escaping the Saints. Another strong showing from young players Finn and James Church also deserves a mention. But of course, the final mention must go to Adam Murphy – his maiden century will live long in the memory of all in attendance, and as Nick Button aptly put it in the interval between innings, it was certainly an “I was there…” moment to be remembered.

St Albans Cricket Club 4XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
22w 3b 5lb 
for 5 wickets
Peter Melling b Young 3
Faizan Nisar ct Taylor 41
Zach West lbw Giryappa 1
James Lawrence b Giryappa 0
Adam Murphy b Cottrell 101
James Church Not Out  28
Joe Button Not Out  6
Vikas Narula  
Finlay Killner  
Prath Khatavkar  
James Revill  

Boxmoor II Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy

Boxmoor II Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
2nb 8w 5b  
for 7 wickets
181 (40.0 overs)
Byron ct Button 8
Ashburner ct Khavaktar 47
Bisgrove b Button 1
Smith Not Out  60
Cottrell Run out  6
Giryappa st Murphy 29
Williamson b Church 2
Lintott ct West 6
Taylor Retired Not Out  6
Rance Not Out  2

St Albans Cricket Club 4XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
James Revill5.012000.004.00
Finlay Killner6.012600.004.33
Joe Button4.0025212.506.25
Prath Khatavkar5.0224124.004.80
Adam Murphy4.0021121.005.25
James Church7.0027127.003.86
Vikas Narula7.002500.003.57
Zach West2.00818.004.00
Photos and video of St Albans Cricket Club 4XI v Boxmoor II on Sat 24 Jul 2021 at 12.00

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