St Albans Cricket Club 3XI v Wheathampstead II on Sat 05 Jun 2021 at 12:00 midday
St Albans Cricket Club Won by 72 runs

Match report The Herts League season moved into its second month, with the promise of better weather than May, as St Albans IIIs took on Wheathampstead IIs at Sandpit Lane.

The wicket was firm but green after Friday's showers, and with the sun set to dry the turf, this was toss to win - and bowl. Walker fell at the first hurdle, and so Saints were asked to bat.

Nisar and Eames found the early going tough, as Kayani and Sarrau both bowled impressively, assisted by some variable bounce. Having weathered the early storm patiently, run scoring had just started to get easier when Eames was dismissed. By and large, the Wheato bowlers continued to challenge the batsmen, though, as ever, Manny was ready to pounce on anything short. Having mustered a partnership of 56, Murray fell for a hard fought 23, and with the score of 80 in the 33rd over, there was work to be done if a defendable target was to be compiled.

With Nisar continuing on his way, and wickets in hand, batsmen were given a license to attack - Hussain providing an invaluable quick fire contribution of 26. And, although wickets fell with regularity, the 45 over total reached 149. The backbone of the innings was Nisar, who compiled a very well constructed 66 before being 6th man out. This was exactly the kind of knock around which a good team total is formed. The Wheathampstead bowling and fielding had stayed solid throughout, and also deserves commendation.

A target of 150 was neither here nor there, really. The wicket had settled down a little, but the cut grass made for a slow outfield, so the question was whether Saints could do as their opponents had - bowl straight. Broxton bowled with good fire - one or two head-hunting bouncers - but it was Smith who found the outside edge, the ball flying to Hussain at first slip for wicket number one, a proper wicket too. Broxton forced one through Evans' defences, and Smith (2/12) added another, with Malik hanging on to a cover drive smashed in the air. With the top three out of the way, Saints were ahead of the game, probably for the first time.

Keeper Rayden deserves credit for the next wicket, a stumping off the bowling of Walker that he seemed to know little about, the ball leaping off a good length to flummox Houlahan and leave him stranded. A couple of poor pieces of cricket yielded two further wickets, with 6/41 on the scoreboard. At this point, Khan was joined at the crease by youngster Birkwood, and the game turned; Khan looking to hammer anything in his zone, in contrast to the more correct Birkwood. In the face of Khan's attack, and perhaps relaxing a little too early, the momentum changed. A well timed drinks break, with Wheato needing another 80 runs in 22 overs, gave pause to reflect, and Walker took the important wicket of Birkwood upon the resumption to take the life out of the chase. Rayden enjoying another stumping off Walker who stole in for 4/20. Malik (2/9) chimed in with a pair of wickets, and the innings had folded quickly to finish on 77.

This was a solid game of cricket, which Saints, by and large, played with good sense to come out deserved winners. There's the makings of a good Saints IIIs team here, with key battles yet to come. Roll on the June heatwave.

St Albans Cricket Club 3XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
8w 2lb 
for 9 wickets
Nauman Nisar b Khan 66 6 1
Michael Eames ct - b Sarrau 9
Stuart Murray lbw b Vaile 23 1 1
Saqib Malik ct - b Danbury-Nolan 4 1
Humayune Hussain Run out  26 5 1
Thomas Broxton b Khan 1
Thomas Rayden Not Out  6 2 1
Sam Davey lbw b Khan 0
Andrew Walker Run out  2
Charles Smith b Khan 2
Fin McNab Not Out  0

Wheathampstead II Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy

Wheathampstead II Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
9nb 1w 2b 1lb 
for 10 wickets
77 (26.2 overs)
Bates ct Malik b Smith 8
Danbury-Nolan ct Hussain b Smith 7
Evans b Broxton 0
Houlahan st Rayden b Walker 4
Abeysekera ct Nisar b Walker 10
Ishaq run out Murray/Rayden 1
Khan st Rayden b Walker 25
Birkwood b Walker 8
Vaile b Malik 0
Sarrau b Malik 2
Kayani Not Out  0

St Albans Cricket Club 3XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Thomas Broxton6.0016116.002.67
Charles Smith6.021226.002.00
Sam Davey5.001800.003.60
Andrew Walker7.012045.002.86
Saqib Malik2.20924.503.86
Photos and video of St Albans Cricket Club 3XI v Wheathampstead II on Sat 05 Jun 2021 at 12:00 midday


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