Ampthill Town II v St Albans Cricket Club 2XI on Sat 23 Jul 2022 at 12:00
St Albans Cricket Club Won by 75 runs

Match report The 2XI looked to continue their push for promotion against a mid-table Ampthill Town side with this Division 4B game seeing Saints travel 40 minutes to Bedfordshire in search of 30 points.

With lifts sorted and Andy ‘Rudders’ Rudlin eventually in the correct car park the football warm up was underway. The youngsters looked in good form before Joey Curran decided that the aim of football was to attempt as many nutmegs as possible. Where the ball ended up was irrelevant, resulting in numerous assists for JC, unfortunately for the wrong team. Another loss for the young guns.

With Olly Coulman demoted to the 1XI, Howsecaptain tossed up and the successful call led to Saints batting first on what looked like a decent pitch and lightning-fast outfield.

Adil ‘Dilly’ Sharif and Steve ‘Pez’ Perrin opened up, a pairing in which the top order had a lot of faith in, proven by Nick Ralfe’s late decision to head to the Shell garage for a spot of lunch a few minutes before play commenced.

Dilly fell early, bringing Howseskipper to the crease. He and Pez batted well together, scoring comfortably without too much risk involved. Pez brought up 50 with some textbook gubbing involved. Soon afterwards though he was bowled, but 52 from 45 had provided a good platform for the rest of the team to build on.

Ralfe came and went after being bowled to his bemusement. This brought Rudders to the crease who had promised ‘carnage’ from the sidelines given the strong position the top order (and Dilly and Ralfe) had provided. Rudders delivered this carnage with the ‘Abbey Aquatics Shot of the Day’, a beautiful lofted straight shot down the ground. Sadly the shot that followed was a rank slog sweep which saw him depart for 8 from 11. Carnage. Amongst the carnage Howse continued to tick along and he too brought up another 50. Howse then fell for a well-made 57 from 61 balls.

This brought knightwatchman James Caswell to the crease. Runs started to dry up as first Billy May fell for 0 then Jonny Hall walked past one. Dan Baylis claimed he was done by the pitch for another 0 and Saints were on the verge of a remarkable collapse with a score well below 200 on the cards.

Fortunately, Ben ‘ Badshead’ Adshead is a gun. He came in and biffed it, quickly overtaking Caswell who tried so hard to time a cricket ball, but bless him, the cleanest hit he managed all day was that of his glove against his thigh as he smeared another single - with each run he looked more and more dejected.

Nevertheless, he finished with an important 35* and due to the absence of a cow corner, Badsy finished on a swift 40*(although JC still claims he is the superior batsman).

Saints finished on 244-8 in their 50 overs. It seemed par given the strong start however, the saints couldn’t complain after the mini collapse.

After a quick tea break it was the deadly duo of Baylis and JC to open up.

Baylis, who had recently blamed the wicket for his dismissal proceeded to do the same for his bowling as he was pumped out of the attack pretty quickly. He remarked that ‘when he bowled it short it went for 4’ and ‘when he bowled it full it also went for 4’. Perhaps he could’ve opted for the in between option!? He did in fairness get the initial breakthrough but Ampthill were by now off to a flyer. Baylis then proceeded to throw the biggest strop ever seen on a cricket field after his eventful five over spell.

JC did claim a scalp but after the first drinks break, the game was at risk of slipping away from Saints. After a small telling off later, Badsy and Billy were brought into the attack. Both bowled exceptionally well and tightened things up when we really needed it. The pressure led to a run out and suddenly momentum had swung Saints way.

Ben was unlucky to see a couple of slip catches go begging but ended up with 1-18 in 8 including 4 maidens, a true all-rounder. Bill ended up with 2-24 in 8, each wicket accompanied with some fantastic celebrating. Spin was first introduced with Jonny who bowled a surprisingly good first over given his tendencies. He was fined however for bowling 4 dots in the over and getting slightly too excited at the prospect of a maiden over, but then conceding 7 from his final 2 balls.

The second drinks break was reached and Ampthill required 100 odd from the remaining 16 overs with 4 wickets in hand. A tight few overs would surely see the game turn Saints way??

Unfortunately, Jonny, who was bowling quite nicely, decided to revert to his usual ‘first over’ self, with 6 wides coming off the first 2 deliveries after drinks. With shouts of ‘self-captaining’ being made, Hall decided that was the end of his day with the ball. With the oppo running well between the wickets off Ralfe at the other end without many risks being taken, the game was far from done.

Fortunately, the end of Hall saw the introduction of golden arm Dilly who was straight into his work, picking up an important wicket in his first over, followed by a ferocious celebration. Dilly got another and finished with 2-2 from 3 overs whilst Ralfe cleaned up the other end with some interesting moon balls, proving once again that the full toss is a legitimate wicket taking delivery.

Pez was disappointed not to get a bowl but to his credit did stay very loose in case his services were required.

With Ampthill bowled out for 169, Saints ran out 75 run victors. Good and bad patches with both the bat and ball were enough on this occasion, but with a top of table clash next week against Chorleywood, the standards must go up a level for the 2s if they wish to win the league.

Tavah Player of the Match: Ben Adshead
St Columba’s Holy Moment of the Match: Dilly’s fierce arm pumping after his first wicket
Abbey Aquatics Shot of the Day: Andy ‘Carnage’ Rudlin lofted straight drive

St Albans Cricket Club 2XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
1nb 20w 4b 5lb 
for 8 wickets
Adil Sharif lbw O McLeod 6 5 120.0
Steven Perrin b D Ballinger 52 48 108.33
Matt Howeson ct T Amos b J Russell 57 61 93.44
Nick Ralfe b J Russell 4 11 36.36 1
Andy Rudlin ct D Ballinger b J Russell 8 14 57.14
James Caswell Not Out  35 54 64.81
Billy May b T Amos 0 4 0
Jonny Hall st S Ali Khan b J Russell 6 8 75.00
Dan Baylis b T Amos 0 3 0
Ben Adshead Not Out  40 27 148.15
Joey Curran  

Ampthill Town II Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Oliver McLeod3.0027127.009.00
Nick Welton7.004100.005.86
Fadil Jamal6.021500.002.50
Dominic Ballinger8.0043143.005.37
Daniel Bennett10.005300.005.30
Josh Russell10.003749.253.70
Toby Amos6.0122211.003.67

Ampthill Town II Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
1nb 16w 1b 5lb 
for 10 wickets
169 (41.1 overs)
Daniel Massa b J Curran 23 16 143.75
Ravi Booka lbw D Bayliss 11 17 64.71
Toby Amos run out  (Unsure) 8 8 100
Daniel Bennett lbw B May 21 25 84.00
Simon Morrall ct N Ralfe B Adshead 14 38 36.84
S. Ali Khan st Caswell b N Ralfe 37 74 50.0
Dominic Ballinger b B May 4 9 44.44
Fadil Jamal lbw A Sharif 26 39 66.67
Nick Welton b A Sharif 1 4 25.00
Josh Russell ct N Ralfe b N Ralfe 1 5 20.0
Oliver McLeod Not Out  0 5 0

St Albans Cricket Club 2XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Dan Baylis5.0038138.007.60
Joey Curran6.0032132.005.33
Ben Adshead8.0418118.002.25
Billy May8.0224212.003.00
Nick Ralfe6.1023211.503.73
Adil Sharif3.01221.000.67

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