Bayford & Hertford 2XI v St Albans Cricket Club 4XI on Sat 28 May 2022 at 13:00
St Albans Cricket Club Won by 42 runs

Match report Bayfield & Hertford Nondescripts Cricket Club, to give them their full name, nestled deep in the Hertfordshire countryside is one of those classic sporting venues that are becoming rarer and rarer these days.

The difficulties of sustaining village cricket in the face of dwindling membership, rising running costs and the lure of other participation sports was laid bare in a plaintive email recently sent by the club to other members of the Herts Cricket League pleading for help to find new players as they fight for survival. It was against this background then that we arrived at their ground, at the end of long, winding lane, a bucolic vison of rural England , with the only sounds to be heard the whisting hunting cry of a circling Red Kite and the distant barking of a wandering fox.

We need to nurture and protect these village clubs , they are an important historical link to and legacy of the game we love. With that in mind we agreed yesterday to talk further about how St Albans might help them moving forward – watch this space.

To the game itself then – there was no toss, the opposition skipper confessed he would prefer to field and as the preference for Saints was to bat we proceeded on that basis with Nauman ‘Mani’ Nisar and Peter Melling taking to the field to open the innings .

On a well-prepared, flat, hard deck offering little to the bowlers both batsmen got off to strong starts putting on an impressive partnership of 94 before Peter was bowled on 31. Manny was joined by Sam Street , who after a tentative start soon got into his stride hitting some sumptuous cover drives (many straight at fielders unluckily for him) and the two continued the good work of the early overs with very good running between the wickets to pile the pressure on the opposition.

A momentary lapse in concentration saw Manny fall to a decent yorker on 83 and denied yet another century for Saints , something he was still bemoaning on Sunday, but his innings prepared the foundations for a formidable 40 over total of 234 helped by Sam’s 38, a quickfire 13 from Najib Khan and useful not out cameos of 29 and 20 from James Grant and Hugo Thomas respectively at the end.

Adjudged too far for a Tavah delivery tea was taken on the boundary and afterwards the Bayfield & Hertford openers took guard.

Their bowlers had toiled but it soon became apparent there were batsmen in their side as although they lost an early wicket to Prath Khatavkar , trapping Brooks LBW in front of his stumps, their next partnership put on 54 and the one after 125.

Saints were never in serious danger of their total being chased down , and indeed the winning margin was a comfortable 42 runs in the end, but wickets were very tough to come by and Saints bowlers found the batting friendly pitch hard work. To their credit though all stuck to their task well , not helped at times by some less than average fielding and comical dropped catches, particularly the chap who was dropped several times on his way to 97, something that prolonged the game for much longer than necessary!

Prath Deshpande nabbed a couple of late wickets to finish with creditable figures of 2-23, with Tim Winfield (1-26) and Prath Khatavkar (1-25) returning decent numbers given the conditions. Credit too to young Jamie Speller, an undoubted talent and definitely one to watch, whose mental strength and calmness in the face of some heavy hitting was an example to many of us.

In the final analysis a win is a win – the third in a row from the 4s who have started the season well and if they can iron out some of the deficiencies in their fielding, could definitely be there or thereabouts in the end of season reckoning.

St Albans Cricket Club 4XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
8w 5b 5lb 
for 4 wickets

(40.0 overs)
Nauman Nisar Bowled  83
Peter Melling Bowled  31
Samuel Street Caught  38
Najib Khan Caught  13
Hugo Thomas Not Out  20
James Grant Not Out  29
Prath Khatavkar  
Tim Winfield  
Prathamesh Deshpande  
Andy Saunders  
Jamie Speller  

Bayford & Hertford 2XI Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy

Bayford & Hertford 2XI Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
1nb 5w 8b  
for 4 wickets
192 (40.0 overs)
Brooks lbw Khatavakar 0
Satti ct Speller 33
Turlapati ct Deshpande 97
Newall Not Out  40
Clarke ct Deshpande 0
Nicholls Not Out  2

St Albans Cricket Club 4XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Prath Khatavkar8.0025125.003.12
Tim Winfield8.0126126.003.25
Prathamesh Deshpande7.0023211.503.29
Jamie Speller8.0043143.005.37
Andy Saunders7.004400.006.29
Najib Khan2.001800.009.00