St Albans Cricket Club 2XI v Hatfield Hyde II on Sat 13 Aug 2022 at 12:00
St Albans Cricket Club Won by 112 runs

Match report Supreme Leader Coulman returned to the 2s this Saturday for the must win fixture against Hatfield Hyde, who were placed one spot above the Saints in the league in the second promotion slot. Coulman made an instant impact upon his return. Though he could not prevent the fate of the Hatfield Hyde skipper winning the toss, he had - after being inspired by watching The Empire Strikes Back with his fiancé the evening before - performed a cunning Jedi-like mind trick and implicitly persuaded the opposition captain to bowl first. A strange-looking decision given the flakiness of the pitch (oh how we miss groundsman Caley), but admittedly fully in like with the Hatfield Hyde ideology who had bowled first all season.

Initially, this looked like a wise choice. Coulman's Warnock-esque expletive laden team talk had seemingly failed to inspire the St Albans team, with both left-handed openers (Sharif and Rudlin) falling early to tidy opening spells from Hatfield Hyde's bowlers. Rudlin - who sadly departed in the period between his father's arrival and securing a treasured Clarence Park parking spot - could probably fairly feel that he was somewhat hard done by, given the surprisingly excellent grab from first slip. Though JR was undoubtedly sad to have missed this, he will no doubt be delighted by the rumours that he had become a grandfather to a fine young cricketer, with the opposition umpire assuming that Chennells was Andy's son. (Note: after contact for this report, Rudlin replied that "nothing was ever proved".)

After a two-week absence, Howeson's insatiable appetite for runs was clear to see, and he settled quickly into a good batting rhythm. Of course he hit numerous good shots straight at fielders (J Rosson describing his ability to do this as "genuinely world class"), but he also ran well and put away several bad balls with conviction. At the other end, Coulman struggled to find his trademark timing, including taking 14 balls to get off the mark. Indeed, Rosson correctly pointed out that Coulman had surely set a record by not scoring 10 runs in a "session" (due to the regular drinks for the day). Coulman eventually found his feet, making 35 (his first of the season) before being dismissed.

Next to the crease was Rosson, who well rested after his Friday day off, having taken at least 4 hours to complete a journey from St Pancras to St Albans on Thursday night, including the rites of passage trip to Bedford but also the less common revisiting of St Pancras afterwards. Minus his struggles against short and wide deliveries, Rosson brought an effective degree of impetus to the innings, including hitting Gordon Murray's shot of the day (thank you to yet another esteemed clubman for helping the 2s out and especially in that weather). With the score at 180-3 after 40 overs and two set batsmen at the crease, skipper Coulman loudly declared a target of 250 for the Saints.

Generally, however, the less said about the last 10 overs the better. Perhaps predictably, Rosson gently chipped a long hop to cover for 37, whilst Ralfe's golf swing shot was well caught at mid-off. Perhaps Ralfe should have been getting into the batting mindset rather than scoring in his pads directly beforehand? Howeson departed for “90-ish” (actually 80 something) after struggling to get away the returning Hatfield Hyde opening bowler, skipping down the wicket and being bowled despite later gleefully reporting that it was “right in the slot”. After a one ball innings from Hall (well and truly barbecued by May who suitably apologised to the former with a post-match pint), skipper Coulman was left to wonder whether his call for aggression was misplaced. Fortunately, May and Baylis – who fortunately showed no signs of concussion after Coulman had deflected a cricket ball into his eye in the warm up – finished the innings well, with St Albans posting 223-8 off their 50 in what felt like a slightly above par score.

Coulman’s second significant speech of the day was as reliant on expletives as the first, including 7 f-bombs by one count. Certainly, his usual wordsmanship as part of the St Albans CC match report writers club was amiss. Nonetheless, Coulman’s high-octane inspiration seemed to do the trick, with Baylis charging in and bowling a match-winning spell which included the first four wickets of the Hatfield Hyde innings, including three clean bowled dismissals. As Ralfe quipped, it was nice of Baylis to remember how to bowl when the 1s (who had returned to CP after their comprehensive win at OAs) were present. A change of bowling from skipper Coulman worked well, with Chennells striking in his second over after replacing Adshead, leaving Hatfield Hyde 29-5 off 11 overs and in a world of trouble.

The next bowlers of Hall, Sharif, and May have certainly all bowled better, but the damage was very much already done by Baylis. The wickets did keep on tumbling sporadically; Hall picked up three questionable dismissals (two catches to Coulman including one smart grap low to his right, and a leg-side strangle to Rosson) and May had the only Hatfield Hyde batsman to put up any resistance for 61. Despite Baylis’ concerns of Hall burgling a Capaldi-esque five-for whilst he was unable to bowl due to fast bowling regulations, Hall’s inability to bowl remotely straightly meant that Coulman was forced to call upon Tank who promptly snicked off the Hatfield Hyde number 11, claiming well deserved figures of 5-17 from 9 overs and a 112 run victory. Baylis celebrated these figures with several rum and cokes in the bar afterwards, and rightly so: it was a clinical performance by the 2s in the most important fixture of the year, with Howeson and Baylis leading the way. Though top spot remains unlikely with Chorleywood continuing to win, the 2s now have promotion in their own hands. As to whether the Supreme Leader (or Leaver?) is there until the end or not, it remains to be seen.

St Albans Cricket Club 2XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
1nb 10w 3b 4lb 
for 8 wickets
Adil Sharif lbw Manoj 5 4 1 125.00
Andy Rudlin ct Imzee 6 22 27.27
Matt Howeson b Imzee 85 112 8 75.89
Oliver Coulman lbw Omar 35 69 3 50.72 2
James Rosson ct Sharmin 39 46 5 84.78 3
Nick Ralfe ct Imzee 1 6 16.67
Billy May Caught  18 24 75.00
Jonny Hall Run out  0 1 0
Dan Baylis Not Out  14 11 2 127.27
Ben Adshead  
Aidan Chennells  

Hatfield Hyde II Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy

Hatfield Hyde II Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
2nb 3w 1b 2lb 
for 10 wickets
111 (33.0 overs)
Rosith ct May 61
Sohail b Baylis 1
Anthony b Baylis 1
Chatula ct Baylis 7
Omar b Baylis 0
Kasun lbw Chennels 3
Ajar ct Hall 9
Osman ct Hall 0
Miflin ct Hall 1
Sharmin Not Out  22
Imzee ct Baylis 5

St Albans Cricket Club 2XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Ben Adshead4.011400.003.50
Dan Baylis9.011753.401.89
Aidan Chennells3.0011111.003.67
Jonny Hall8.0031310.333.87
Adil Sharif5.021400.002.80
Billy May4.0021121.005.25

  • Umpire :
  • Scorer :