Sandridge 2XI v St Albans Cricket Club 4XI on Sat 29 Jul 2023 at 13:00
St Albans Cricket Club Won by 62 runs

Match report The mighty 4s made the short journey down Sandridge Road to their opponents ground in Sandridge looking to avenge their loss earlier in the season. A strong team had been selected by Skipper Saunders, who seemed to be waging war on the St Albans CC Youth Policy, and expectations were high for a win. Expectations were also high at the prospect of another tea with 'British Tapas' firmly back on the menu.

Before the toss was held the question of whether to bat or bowl was raised by captain Saunders, with the resounding answer being “We don’t really know” and “Good toss to lose skip”. Luckily, Saunders called wrong, and St Albans were invited to bat.

Curtis and Nissar were entrusted with opening the batting with a strong line up to follow, something that hasn’t always been said about the 4s this season. Nissar took the first ball and looked to bat himself in against one indifferent opener, but the other an off spinner who was turning the ball miles. It wasn’t long before the Off Spinner struck, bowling Nissar in his second over for only two runs, this was one of the last times Manny was seen in this innings, some would say he smoked a full pack of twenty cigarettes reliving that ball. At the other end JD was accumulating runs well against the openers, but was dropped off just his third ball, a mistake Sandridge would come to rue.
Having been joined by Dean Sr the two batsmen seemed to settle into their work, both scoring frequently with an array of shots. Of particular note was Dean’s back foot punch, which gained many compliments from Saunders, a man who I would say is less adept at the back foot punch. The score ticked along at around 4 an over up to drinks. Throughout this period JD had looked imperious, and brought up his 50 shortly after the drinks break, having biffed many a ball to the boundary. At the other end Dean also brought up 50 at around a run a ball, a fluent innings from a man who has been in some serious form this season.

Unfortunately, Dean Sr wouldn’t last long after bringing up his half century, falling LBW to the second change bowler. A 120-run stand from JD and Dean, which had put the 4s in a brilliant position, a credit to both batsmen. With one Dean departing the crease another Dean arrived, Ashish sporting a brand-new set of braces, but displaying his classic style of batting. A number of fluent shots would go unrewarded for Dean Jr before chipping the ball back to the bowler on 2. All through this JD continued to accrue runs, moving swiftly through the 60s and 70s with a flurry of boundaries that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a Bazball England squad. What was to follow was what can only be described as the most blatant piece of jug avoidance ever seen in the 4s, JD smashed a 4 and proceeded to fall over at the other end of the pitch, claiming a hamstring pull. Not even a bottle of water or the magic finger offered by Mrs JD were enough to continue the innings, retired not out in the 80s, fineable. (In all seriousness a brilliant innings from JD, one that effectively won us the game and deserved a century.)

The St Albans innings was finished by a series of cameos, but within this period one innings stood out from the others, Khan swatted and flicked boundary after boundary to put the Sandridge bowlers to the sword, ending on a swashbuckling 33 not out. A total of 208 had been set, more than enough to win the match.

After a lunch spread not seen since 2018 the 4s returned to the field in buoyant mood, with the familiar opening partnership of Dean and Winfield taking the new ball. The 4s had been warned about the danger of the Sandridge opening batsmen, and those warnings would prove true. The opener proceeded to sweep at almost every ball, scoring multiple boundaries in the first five overs. A warning shot had been fired at the 4s, the game wasn’t won yet. But credit to both Winfield and Dean they persevered and found good lines and lengths that began to restrict the batsman and the first wicket would fall in the 9th over, a full ball with good pace proving too much for the set batsman, Dean had struck with the score in the 40s. This prompted a Braveheart-esque speech from Captain Saunders, “That’s passion boys!” he proclaimed, and the wicket also prompted a wager between JD and Davey, “All out for 120, or there’s a beer on me” the younger proclaiming.
In the next over the Sandpit Lane Swinger struck as well, removing the other set opener LBW, a trademark ball from Mr Winfield. Winfield would then return to his restrictive self, bowling great lines for the remainder of his spell, ending with figures of 1-28 off of his 8 overs. This was a real credit to the bowler, who could have easily let the early flurry of boundaries impact his consistency.

The first change of bowling saw Davey introduced to replace Dean, and he would strike in his first over, bowling the number 3 batsmen. At the other end Surendranath entered the fray, bowling his trademark leg spin with great consistency, beating the bat a number of times. Wickets began to tumble in this period, Davey picking up his second and third in consecutive balls, the first a bowled and the second a plumb LBW. At the same time Surendranath also took a pair of wickets, the first caught and the second doing the batsman completely to bowl him.

This put Sandridge 7 wickets down and the game was all but won. What followed was a lapse in St Albans concentration, with multiple drops and missfields around the pitch. Nobody to blame, but a worrying drop in discipline from the team that will have to be avoided in closer games. Davey was able to pick up his 4th wicket, bowling the batsmen with the last ball of his spell. He ended his 8 overs with figures of 4-18, and Surendranath similarly ending with figures of 2-30, a great first change combination.

After the introduction of Saunders and the return of Dean the 4s set about removing the stubborn lower order of Sandridge. A few more dropped catches later the 4s had expended Dean’s compliment of overs, figures of 1-31 following on from his 50, a brilliant performance from the all-rounder. This brought about the introduction of Vijender, who proceeded to winkle out a wicket and shortly after Saunders finished the game off with a wicket of his own.

A great game for the 4s with some really strong performances, all against a side above them in the table. Of particular note was JD’s batting, Dean’s all round performance and the openers bowling spells. Honourable mentions also for Crisps’ strong keeping performance, with very few byes and some great stops. Back to the clubhouse for a beer it was.

Fineable Moments:

Saunders for bowling in a cap
JD for retiring before a near guaranteed century
Davey not taking a 5fer and bouncing a child
Nisar for not speaking to anyone for 2 hours after getting out
Winfield for one of the worst drops ever seen

Peter Mardelli Sporting Moment:

Toby Crisp calling back a batsmen after a shocking LBW decision –

(Match report by Sam Davey)

St Albans Cricket Club 4XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
2nb 13w 3lb 
for 5 wickets
Nauman Nisar b Faraday 2
Iain Curtis Retired Not Out  81 13
Ashish Dean lbw Camm 54 7
Ahaan Dean ct & b Faraday 2 1
Najib Khan Not Out  33 5 1
Uttam Vijender b Camm 3
Sam Davey ct Camm 10 1
Toby Crisp Not Out  6
Tim Winfield  
Andy Saunders  
Rajiv Surendranath  

Sandridge 2XI Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.

Sandridge 2XI Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
2w 5b 3lb 
for 10 wickets
147 (38.1 overs)
P Rothery lbw Deam 31
M Harris lbw Winfield 18
W Rose b Davey 25
R Faraday b Davey 4
M Bisson ct ct Ahan, b Rajiv 6
B Braddon b Rajiv 0
I Miller lbw Davey 0
G Murphy b Davey 3
G Perrin lbw Vajinder 30
D camm ct ct Khan b Saunders 9
Halsey Not Out  8

St Albans Cricket Club 4XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Ashish Dean8.0031131.003.87
Tim Winfield8.0228128.003.50
Sam Davey8.031844.502.25
Rajiv Surendranath8.0130215.003.75
Andy Saunders6.0026126.004.33
Uttam Vijender1.10515.004.29