Offley & Stopsley v St Albans Cricket Club 4XI on Sat 08 Jul 2023 at 13:00
St Albans Cricket Club Won by 8 wickets

Match report Welcome to the British summer! The 4XI took a trip out to picturesque Great Offley near Hitchin for this match against Division 9A strugglers Offley & Stopsley with a view to reversing back-to-back defeats in recent weeks.

After heavy overnight rainfall and morning drizzle hopes weren’t particularly high of getting a game on at a ground without covers. As the rain got harder thoughts of abandonment crossed everyone’s mind, but a decision to delay things until 1.45pm paid off as conditions improved and the go-ahead was given to start proceedings with the overs reduced to 35 overs per side.

Remarkably, skipper Saunders won the toss - an important one to secure- and opted to bowl (obviously). On the soggy but now slowly drying deck the opening pace of Ash Dean and 14-year-old Tom Banks caused all sorts of problems as the ball did all sorts and they both beat the bat on numerous occasions, making it devilishly hard to get the ball away. And it was Tom who made the first breakthrough; a smart caught and bowled, removing the first opener for 8 and finishing with impressive figures of 1-10 from his permitted 5 overs. Ash was unlucky not get more reward and his figures of 0-17 from 7 don’t accurately reflect his excellent spell.The skiddy medium pace of Jithin George and the guile and accuracy of off-spinner Rajiv Surendraneth were the next bowling weapons to be deployed, Jithin grabbing the wicket of the number 3 bat and Rajiv bowling metronomically to lock down the pavilion end, conceding just 11 runs in his 7 over spell.

The second bowling change saw the wily veteran Saunders and young gun George Pelham combine in a dual left arm offensive, picking up three wickets between them – two for George and the other for Saunders as they saw out the remaining overs to leave the opposition to defend a somewhat undercooked 116.

A shout out too for Women’s 1XI wicketkeeper India Newman who stepped in behind the stumps for the 4s this week – a great performance, with only 2 byes conceded .

With the heat now penetrating the clouds and occasional outbreaks of sunshine the father/son partnership of Ash and 13-year-old Ahaan Dean opened the batting for Saints. With Ahaan facing the first ball the pair set about the early bowling with gusto, Ahaan slamming the ball to the boundary off the first delivery of the innings. The pair put on a decent partnership of 33 before Ash was caught behind on 16.

The first change bowlers slowed things up considerably – pace off the ball immediately harder to get away as Ahaan and Saints number three Najib Khan battled to keep the seemingly straightforward 3-an-over requirement on track. But tick things over they did, never falling behind the run rate and rotating strike sensibly, Ahaan digging in and Najib looking for bad balls to dispatch. With things moving along unfussily, Ahaan decided to play an ill-advised ramp shot , which went straight into the hands of the fielder positioned specifically for that shot (he’d tried it the ball before) and trudged back to the pavilion disappointed but having scored an excellent 33 to set up what was in the final analysis a comfortable chase. The boy is a serious talent with a big future at our club. Prath ‘PD’ Deshpande came out at number four and immediately took the game to the bowlers hitting a quickfire 11 which, with Najib knocking the ball into the gaps and finishing on an unbeaten 45, saw Saints comfortably home with 8 wickets in hand.

A solid win then in less-than-ideal conditions as the 4s now look to build a run of victories in the second half of the league season.

Offley & Stopsley Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
6w 2b 5lb 
for 5 wickets
116 (35.0 overs)
M. Ward ct  T.Banks 8
R. Barker Not Out  43
D. Goord ct  J.George 18
L. Munt ct  A.Saunders 20
J. Scott b  G.Pelham 8
S. Ahmed b  G. Pelham 6

St Albans Cricket Club 4XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Ashish Dean7.011700.002.43
Thomas Banks5.0110110.002.00
Jithin Kalarickal George7.0128128.004.00
Rajiv Surendranath7.011100.001.57
Andy Saunders5.0020120.004.00
George Pelham4.0023211.505.75

St Albans Cricket Club 4XI Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
1b 1lb 
for 2 wickets
Ashish Dean ct  D. Lunney 16
Ahaan Dean ct  S. Ahmed 33
Najib Khan Not Out  45
Prathamesh Deshpande Not Out  11
nasibullah Maroofkhel  
Jithin Kalarickal George  
Thomas Banks  
George Pelham  
India Newman  
Andy Saunders  
Rajiv Surendranath  

Offley & Stopsley Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy