St Albans Cricket Club 3XI v Berkhamsted III on Sat 01 May 2021 at 12:00 midday
St Albans Cricket Club Lost by 7 runs

Match report Don’t let that sunshine fool you - it’s still chilly. Well, it is when a cold wind whips across the vast expanse of the Verulam School playing fields compelling one to offer up silent thanks for deciding to wear a base layer and bring a coat.

The last of the 3XI pre-season friendlies then was against familiar foes Berkhamsted who brought with them, for the most part at least, a young and athletic side.

Winning the toss, they elected to bat on an excellent wicket, which is improving by the game. A great job done in pre-season by Craig Ringsell and his team.

The pace of Saud Fattah and wily swing of Tim Winfield started proceedings for St Albans and it was clear from the off that Berko’s openers didn’t fancy either, blocking and leaving relentlessly throughout the Saints pair’s excellent spells and adding just 26 to the scoreboard in the first 12 overs.

It was clear as well that we have a new wicketkeeping star on our hands in the form of young Thomas Reydon, whose poise, footwork and exceptional hands behind the stumps mark him out as one for skippers in the higher league teams to keep a very close eye on. A solitary pair of byes conceded in the entire innings, which contained some early season wayward bowling was remarkable.

Eventually it was a change of bowling, with Sam Davey stepping into the breech, that saw the first wicket fall, the medium pacer beating the defences of the obdurate Lewarne. Winfield snared the other opener soon after and the game was swinging decisively in Saints favour.

To the crease though came Baring – a pugnacious hitter who took an immediate liking to anything short or wayward with Dave Ashton particularly finding a new nemesis as his off spin was punished. Just one of those days, the ever-reliable Ashton just encountered someone who had his number on that particular day. It didn’t help that a simple catch was put down when Baring was on just 7 – he went on to score a brutal 74. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but had he departed then it would have been a much quicker game with a completely different result. Catches win matches and all that…… one to put down to pre-season rustiness- we’ve all been there.

With Baring looking unstoppable into the attack came another youngster, James Church, one of those colts who seems to have doubled in height since last seen , to try his hand with some controlled medium pace – his first over was a loosener but thereafter he dominated, taking the top of Baring’s off stump with the second ball of his second over and thereafter carving his way through the Berko middle order with some exceptional bowling and finishing with a highly creditable 4-23 from his 8 overs.

Davey claimed a second to cap an excellent spell and skipper Andy Saunders took his place with his slow left armers, finishing things off with 3 LBWs to end on 3-10 in his 6 overs.

Berko had reached 155 from their 40 overs, almost half of those scored by Baring – that dropped catch occupying the thoughts of the St Albans fielders as they came off for tea…….still, it wasn’t an insurmountable target on a good batting track .

The veteran Humayune Hussain and young gun Zach Tarrant took guard to open the St Albans innings and it was Hussain who took the attack to the bowlers playing a series of classy shots to keep Saints well above the run rate in the early exchanges. Tarrant departed early after playing around a straight one, which brought the destructive Dave ‘Herbie’ Hancock to the middle . Sadly for him, after a couple of contemptuous boundaries he clipped a tame one to mid-wicket and was on his way back to be replaced by Saints debutant James Grant .

Hussain and Grant put on a solid partnership off 44 before a disastrous mix up let to Hussain being run out on 38 as he was poised to take the game away from the opposition. A classic bat and helmet chuck was witnessed on his return …….time for the youngsters to step up.

With Grant going soon after, James Church and Thomas Reydon were left to start the rebuild and both showed flashes of technique – Church was undone by a decent delivery but Reydon stuck about playing some confident shots before he too had to go after racking up a useful 15 runs.

Sam Davey decided attack was the way forward and hit a quickfire 17 before holing out and St Albans were well and truly into the tail with a significant amount of runs still to find. First Dave Ashton notched 11 of them and when he went bowlers Andy Saunders, Tim Winfield and Saud Fattah were left to get the rest. Saunders and Winfield faced up to the task stoically and managed to put together a partnership of 20 but with Saunders departing and 8 runs left to find for victory from the final 4 balls Winfield’s resistance was over after he was bowled and Berko claimed a narrow win.

One of those good games that swung in both teams favour throughout the day – Saints will be left regretting some sub-standard fielding and suicidal running between the wickets and may want to reflect on shot selection at times but overall, as a prelude to the start of league season this coming weekend this was a very decent warm up. Well not warm exactly but you know what I mean…..

Berkhamsted III Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
5w 2b  
for 10 wickets
155 (40.0 overs)
J Lewarne b  Davey 7
O Todd ct  Winfield 17
C Wilcox ct  Davey 10
M Baring b  Church 74
J Williamson b  Church 12
J Clarke lbw  Saunders 5
A Clarke b  Church 0
P Dudley lbw  Saunders 12
T Reconni b  Church 0
J Klosterman lbw  Saunders 3
H Hunter Not Out  6

St Albans Cricket Club 3XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Saud Fattah6.021200.002.00
Tim Winfield8.0126126.003.25
Sam Davey8.0133216.504.13
David Ashton3.004200.0014.00
James Church8.012345.752.88
Andy Saunders5.511033.331.71

St Albans Cricket Club 3XI Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
1nb 15w 7b 1lb 
for 10 wickets
Zachary Tarrant b  Peacock 1
Humayune Hussain Run out  38
David Hancock ct  Peacock 9
James Grant ct  Baring 14
James Church b  Klosterman 2
Thomas Rayden b  Todd 15
Sam Davey ct  Todd 17
David Ashton ct  Klosterman 11
Tim Winfield ct  Williamson 12
Andy Saunders b  Williamson 7
Saud Fattah Not Out  0

Berkhamsted III Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy