Luton Town & Indians 4XI v St Albans Cricket Club 4XI on Sat 03 Jun 2023 at 13:00
St Albans Cricket Club Won by 4 wickets

Match report The delights of Luton greeted St Albans 4th XI as they looked to immediately bounce back from their previous week’s defeat. A nice ground with great views was somewhat blighted by an undulating outfield, green wicket and multiple teenagers riding quadbikes around the outfield. It’s also worth noting at this point that the great views allowed for a gale to blow across the pitch all day, a factor which most bowlers struggled with all game.

A strong St Albans team on the day included a young Ahaan Dean, playing his first adult game for the Club. After being presented with a cap by his dad Ashish, who was also playing, St Albans took to the field under instructions of bowling tight lines and restricting runs. Dean and Davey would take the new ball, with the former coming down the hill and with the wind. These factors worked exceptionally well in combination with some strong pace and good lines meaning Dean Sr’s opening spell was quite something to behold. He would pick up two wickets in this spell, the first a classic opening bowler’s caught behind, the second a bowled which utilised all of the pitch’s demons. Davey on the other hand struggled for rhythm bowling into the wind, and ended his spell wicketless, he displayed some decent lines but couldn’t keep the consistency needed to gain wickets.

The first change to the bowling saw Surendranath replace Davey, with the spinner bowling some really strong lengths and lines which challenged the batsman constantly. From the other end Winfield bowled his trademark swing. The first four bowlers were all able to restrict the run rate that Luton scored at, and the first change bowlers also both picked up wickets. Rajiv would secure two wickets caught, and Winfield would bowl one of the stronger looking Luton batsman. At drinks Luton Town found themselves 61-4, well below the needed scoring rate that was required.

After drinks Winfield and Surendranath would continue where they left off, restricting runs to both Luton batsman. The pair ended their spells both having bowled 8 overs, Winfield with figures of 8-0-39-1 and Surendranath 8-0-23-2, a great middle spell for St Albans. The next change would bring Saunders and George into the attack. The former bowled his trademark challenging left arm spin which the Luton batsman struggled to deal with, he would pick up three wickets. One of these the important wicket of Luton’s best batsman on the day, bowled on 34. The second and third wickets were both caught as the batsman looked to score runs late into the innings. George also bowled really well, with strong pace, and was able to pick up two wickets himself, both caught.

Luton’s innings ended on 131, a score which felt about 50 runs short even on a challenging wicket. This was in large part due to a good St Albans bowling display, which despite a few extras was disciplined and well directed. It’s also of note that the St Alban’s fielding display was strong, with no dropped catches and few misfields across the innings.

Dean and Melling would begin St Albans’ batting innings in reply, chasing 132. From the start both players took the attack to Luton, scoring 13 off the first over. This shot making would continue for the first 10 overs, before Melling succumbed to a full straight ball that took his off stump, falling for 9 runs. Dean would continue to accrue runs having been joined by Khan, who scored freely once he went to the crease. At times this was aided by some ordinary Luton bowling, which tended to offer multiple bad balls per over. Dean Sr would finally fall for 23, with the score on 55. This would bring debutant Dean Jr to the crease, who from ball one looked at home in adult cricket. The youngster played with a delightfully straight bat, offering the full face to every ball, he left well and picked off singles when available. At the other end Khan continued to score at will, hitting multiple fours on his way to a well deserved 40.

The introduction of Luton’s best two bowlers would signal a slight change in momentum in the game, picking up the wicket of Khan with the score on 99 off 24 overs. With only 33 runs needed to win this should have been a walk in the park for St Albans, but some very tidy bowling would restrict St Albans scoring. In the next ten overs only 9 runs would be scored by Dean Jr and Thomas, who both looked solid but found rotating the strike tough. This lack of scoring rate was making the St Albans team tetchy, with Saunders pacing the sidelines for most of the second half of the innings.

The score was 116 when Saunders offered the sage advice of upping the run rate to ease the pressure, and this immediately resonated with Dean Jr, who smashed two fours off the next over. He was then unfortunately run out looking for a quick second run, ending his innings on 23. A brilliant debut for the young man who was treated to a well deserved Nando’s and Tikka Nation by his dad. George would briefly arrive at the crease, smashing a 4 to secure the win for St Albans, before a wide finished the game, Thomas finishing the innings on 9 Not Out. *Deshpande and Davey would like to confirm that they did not bat on this occasion and that the scorecard shows Ducks in error…

Overall, this was a relatively routine win for St Albans, who didn’t look challenged by the Luton team. Too much erratic bowling from the opposition allowed free scoring for St Albans at the start of the innings, which ended with 25 extras in total. A good 30 points for the 4s as they look to continue their promotion push, but sterner challenges will come over the next few weeks.

Fineable Moments:
S. Davey – Two golden ducks in a week
A. Dean Sr – Second best Dean in the team (Despite taking two wickets and scoring 20)
A. Saunders – Celebrating a Caught and Bowled wicket of a 12 year old.

Luton Town & Indians 4XI Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
4nb 5w 6b 1lb 
for 10 wickets
131 (39.3 overs)
Amad ct  ct Thomas, b Dean 9
Vireen ct  ct Winfield, b Rajiv 6
Sammad b  Winfield 19
Rosoin b  Dean 4
Soni ct  ct Desphande, b Rajiv 6
Zameer ct  ct Thomas, b Saunders 17
Mitesh ct  ct Khan, b George 8
Kailash ct  ct Thomas, b. George 8
Khaini b  b. Saunders 34
Krish ct  c&b Saunders 2
Walid Not Out  0

St Albans Cricket Club 4XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Sam Davey5.002100.004.20
Ashish Dean6.03221.000.33
Rajiv Surendranath8.0023211.502.88
Tim Winfield8.0039139.004.88
Jithin Kalarickal George7.0034217.004.86
Andy Saunders5.31732.331.27

St Albans Cricket Club 4XI Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
4nb 14w 6b 1lb 
for 6 wickets
Ashish Dean ct  Ahmed 23 4
Peter Melling b  Tailor 9
Najib Khan lbw  Khaini 40 6 1
Ahaan Dean Run out  23 2
Prathamesh Deshpande b  Patel 0 1
Hugo Thomas Not Out  9 3
Sam Davey b  Khaini 0
Jithin Kalarickal George Not Out  4 1
Tim Winfield   1
Rajiv Surendranath  
Andy Saunders   1

Luton Town & Indians 4XI Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy