St Albans Cricket Club 5XI v Bayford & Hertford 2XI on Sat 03 Jun 2023 at 13:00
St Albans Cricket Club Won by 47 runs

Match report The Sandpit Lane Astro finally hosted its first 5XI league game with league leaders Bayford & Hertford 2XI the visitors. With the opposition having won their first 3 games a tough afternoon was expected. After some early panic due to the disappearance of the stumps, Nick Berry and Tom Hadden saved the day by sourcing some replacements. Captain Cocks won the toss and duly elected to bat with Fin McNab in a new opening roll with Matt Shadwick. The openers were given strict instructions by Captain Cocks to stick about and protect their wickets style of cricket that can was duly named ‘Cocksball’. The contrasting approaches saw St Albans off to a good start with McNab keeping the strike ticking over and Shadwick dispatching any width or length to all parts of Sandpit Lane. Shadwick’s departure saw St Albans at 43-1 after 10 overs, a solid start for Cocksball against good opposition. Imran Ahmed came in at 3 and carried on where Shadwick left off, hitting a big six over mid-wicket in the process. A run out that can only be described as chaotic saw the end of McNab for 10, but a great innings seeing off the new ball bowlers. Jude Berry joined Ahmed and steadied with his usual calm approach before eventually being bowled. Ahmed followed soon after with Tom Banks and Andy Melling taking the score past 100. Unfortunately, on this occasion Melling couldn’t accelerate the rate in true Cocksball style and only managed to spoon a catch to cover. Another comical run out saw Captain Cocks come and go for 2. Late call up Sud Suryavanshi in his usual style didn’t muck about hitting a number of boundaries including a huge six down the ground to take St Albans past 150. A flurry of late wickets saw St Albans all out for a very respectable 165 with an impressive innings 25* from Tom Banks.

Being a league side brings certain changes, one of those being the alien concept of ‘research on the opposition’. Tom Hadden’s extensive report on the opposition informed his teammates that Bayford had lost no more than 2 wickets in a game so far this season. Spurred on by the knowledge this was a batting team St Albans set about their bowling like men possessed. Finlay Killner came charging down the hill like a man that knew he wouldn’t be taken out the attack if he took too many wickets this time. Killner immediately caused the Bayford openers problems and slightly fired up by having an LBW decision turned down, took matters into his own hands and decided to make a mess of the stumps. The Bayford top 4 all met the same fate- ‘Bowled Killner’ to unplayable full inswingers for a combined 10 runs. At the other end Tom ‘Dot Cotton’ Hadden bowled a delightful 8 over opening spell that complimented Killner perfectly and tied the Bayford batting down. Hadden beat the bat consistently, eventually deservedly drawing the edge. Matt Shadwick at first slip was waiting to pounce until Captain Cocks came flying across the parry the ball for 4. The only explanation was that thought he was auditioning for the role as Man Utd’s new number 1. Despite keeping Bayford to under 2 an over and removing the top order the 5s knew the job was far from done. Suryavanshi and Ahmed came into the attack and continued to frustrate and test the Bayford batting line up before Ahmed picked up the 5th wicket. Bayford’s powerful middle order looked dangerous with some powerful blows to the boundary showing why they were unbeaten so far this season. Vikas Narula came on to bowl fueled by a wrap he described as ‘just as good as Tikka Nation’ and picked up two key wickets. The first was a fine catch from Suryavanshi with a big early call came charging in from the boundary for a diving catch. This was much to the relief of Andy Melling who stood about 5 yards from where the catch was taken and clearly didn’t’ fancy going for it. With the score only having just gone past 50, the 8th wicket partnership frustrated St Albans with Bayford finding the boundary more freely than they had done in their innings. St Albans very own court jester Ciaran Walsh kept spirits up from the sidelines clearly not effected by a day of drinking Guinness and blackcurrant at Lords on Thursday. With the required rate creeping above 9 an over victory was nearly in sight and the Bayfield batsman started to turn down singles to farm the strike. Andy Melling finally picked up the 8th wicket (the 7th bowled wicket of the innings) clipping the leg stump of the Bayford number 9. Suryavanshi and Killner came back to finish the innings with their pace too much for the batsman to connect with. Killner came into his last over to shouts of jug avoidance but much to his relief found the edge with his final delivery. This time Cocks decided he wasn’t going to be United’s new number 1 and held onto a sharp catch to give Killner his 2nd 5 wicket haul for St Albans. The celebrations were aided by a stampede/pitch invasion from Ciaran Walsh who was promptly told you need 10 wickets to win a cricket match not 9 (It's almost as if the man is an umpire). St Albans saw out the final overs to give themselves (and Cocksball) a well earned 46 run win.

Fineable moments:
- Whoever ran off with the stumps, leaving the brief possibility of playing with plastic stumps
- Imran and Fin for a run out for the ages
- Matt Shadwick pirouetting to chase a ball, and ending up on his backside
- Ciaran Walsh for his premature pitch invasion
- Andy Melling for lying on his face feeling sorry for himself after a misfield and then giving a gesture to his captain

St Albans Cricket Club 5XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
4nb 6w 9b  
for 10 wickets
Matt Shadwick b Sadat 25
Fin McNab Run out  10
Imran Ahmed ct Sadat 36
Jude Berry b Naveed 15
Andrew Melling ct Naveed 9
Thomas Banks Not Out  25
Tom Cocks Run out  2 1
Sudhanshu Suryavanshi ct Naveed 19 1
Tom Hadden b Higgs 4
Finlay Killner b Naveed 1
Vikas Narula ct Naveed 0

Bayford & Hertford 2XI Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy

Bayford & Hertford 2XI Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
3nb 4w 7b 1lb 
for 9 wickets
118 (40.0 overs)
Hetson b Killner 2
H. Baxendale b Killner 8
Slater b Killner 0
Wilson b Killner 2
F. Baxendale b Ahmed 10
Sadat ct Killner 33
Naveed ct Narula 2
Newall b Narula 23
Brooks b Melling 18
Higgs Not Out  5

St Albans Cricket Club 5XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Finlay Killner8.022054.002.50
Tom Hadden8.021700.002.13
Sudhanshu Suryavanshi8.011800.002.25
Imran Ahmed5.0112112.002.40
Vikas Narula5.011226.002.40
Jude Berry3.002200.007.33
Andrew Melling3.00919.003.00