St Albans Cricket Club 3XI v Old Minchendenians on Sat 09 Jul 2022 at 13:00
Match was Tied

Match report We need to begin at the end here, as the 3s’ game against top of the table Old Minchendenians had an astonishing finish.

In a game that ebbed and flowed, the final over of the day began with Saints requiring nine runs for victory, with two wickets in hand. With no fielding restrictions in Division 8A, the field was set deep to defend the boundary. The first five deliveries yielded just four singles - might the batsmen have scampered twos instead? Now that left a near impossible five to win, a challenge even for the man on strike, the irrepressible Wilton, who had just raised his half century.

A word in the ear reminded the striker that a tie was a better result than a loss. “I’ll do my best” was Wilton’s pragmatic response.

The final ball of the day was a good delivery. Wilton was good enough to hit hard and straight - this was never going over the rope. A slight misfield allowed the batters to push for two, and with nothing to lose, Wilton turned for a third as the throw came in from the boundary, with spectators urging the runners on. Having taken the throw just metres from the stumps, the bowler now had a brain fade, electing to throw at the stumps with Wilton well short of his ground, when a couple of steps would have done the trick. Three runs completed, miraculously, and the bowler’s throw was wild enough to allow Walker and Wilton to turn for the tying run which was duly completed. With this final ball all run four, Saints had stolen a remarkable tie.

The hero of the hour was Wilton, who finished on 54 not out, a sensational knock.

The reality was that just a few hours before Wilton hadn’t expected to be playing cricket. However a late covid-positive test meant that Winfield Jr withdrew at the 11th hour, with Wilton good enough to offer his services at short notice, having spent the morning at work.

The skipper’s day didn’t get any better when he lost the toss, resulting in Saints fielding first, under sunny skies and with a wicket that looked set to crumble.

Winfield’s absence forced the bowling lineup to be rejigged, West and Button called upon to open up. As had happened in round one, Old Minchendenians played with freedom: twenty runs on the board in the first two overs. Fortunately the bowlers each claimed a victim to send the openers back to the shed, but with runs flowing, O’Toole was called into action early. Citing a dodgy knee, O’Toole pleaded for a short spell, but once he got going there was no stopping him, bowling eight overs straight for 2/16.

Nevertheless at the first drinks break - 14 overs - OMs had 84 on the board, the game really threatening to get away from Saints as the bowlers conceded too many four balls. Under Caley’s expert guidance, the field settings were adjusted to defend the boundary. Fielders were put under pressure, and there were a few lapses that should have been avoided, as well as highlights such as Wilton’s outstanding running catch. Behind the stumps, Lawrence put in another fine performance, with not a bye conceded.

Winfield (Sr) and Walker each picked up a pair of wickets, and OMs finished on 187/9, somewhat below what they would have hoped for after the early onslaught. Saints had done well to scrap their way back into the game.

However all that effort seemed to have been wasted when the top order collectively failed, the first four dismissed in single figures, to leave Saints 4/18 after 12 overs - a mountain to climb. Credit must go to the bowlers, who, as President Mardle noted, beat the defensive shots on multiple occasions. Though not quite giving up, the onlooking spectators found their attention drawn to the club’s three other League fixtures, each being scored live, as the three’s hopes seemed numbered. Success elsewhere would at least allow the team to revel in the club’s progress.

Over recent weeks, the team has shown willingness to fight, and Caley and Murphy set about a recovery. Caley’s shot making in his 26 quieted the fielding side, though when he and Lawrence were out in quick succession, Saints were still 126 from victory with four wickets in hand.

Of course this is when covid replacement Wilton arrived at the crease, striking the ball hard and clean, and running well with Murphy, who contributed 39. Confidence grew, and with the luxury of having O’Toole coming in at 9, Saints were well in the game. Wilton’s audacious ramp for 4 continued the run rush.

Saints might have expected to win with 20 runs needed off the last three overs, but O’Toole’s unusual departure near the end of the 39th over, swung the balance again - until that tumultuous final ball conclusion.

Old Minchendenians were crestfallen at the final outcome, having dropped points for only the second time this season. Saints battle on.

St Albans player of the match: Tom Wilton.

Old Minchendenians Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
2nb 9w 6lb 
for 9 wickets
187 (40.0 overs)
S. Pillai ct  Winfield b West 13 3
R. Depala ct  Walker b Button 5 1
V. Malgan b  O'Toole 43 7
K. Naaxa lbw  b O'Toole 25 5
W. Nawaz ct  Button b Murphy 8 1
C. Stead lbw  b Walker 28 1
R. Tadivaica ct  Caley b Winfield 26 4
A. Narisetti ct  West b Winfield 3
H. Tummalla Not Out  9
S. Shovakar ct  Wilton b Walker 0
S. Khan Not Out  9 2

St Albans Cricket Club 3XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Zach West5.0133133.006.60
Alfie Button5.0023123.004.60
Richard O'Toole8.021628.002.00
Adam Murphy8.0137137.004.62
Tim Winfield7.0041220.505.86
Andrew Walker7.0031215.504.43

St Albans Cricket Club 3XI Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
4nb 4w 1b 11lb 
for 8 wickets
Zach West b  Shovakar 4 1
B Glazier b  Khan 0
Stuart Murray lbw  b Khan 6 1
Alfie Button ct  Shovakar 2
Phil Caley ct  - b Tummalla 26 5 1
Adam Murphy ct  - b Tadiavaica 39 5
James Lawrence ct  Naaka 0
Tom Wilton Not Out  54 7 1
Richard O'Toole Run out  34 3 1
Andrew Walker Not Out  2 1
Tim Winfield   1

Old Minchendenians Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Sohail Khan8.041829.002.25
Sid Shovakar8.041427.001.75
K. Naaka8.0046146.005.75
H. Tummalla5.0034134.006.80
A. Narisetti4.002900.007.25
R. Tadivaka7.0036136.005.14

  • Umpire :
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