St Albans Cricket Club 3XI v Datchworth II on Sat 17 Jun 2023 at 13:00
St Albans Cricket Club Won by 93 runs

Match report The 3XI returned to the fortress that is the Home of Cricket, with Datchworth 2XI the next set of victims carded in their quest for 8A glory. Yet again, the Skipper arrived early at CP to go through the motions as he planned an Ollie Coulman-esque display of faith in one’s own ability with both bat and ball. Unfortunately, he was so engrossed in his throwdowns with fellow keen bean Hicksy that he failed to take heed of loudmouth 2XI Make-a-Wish Vice Captain JC’s warnings to all in CP that a traffic warden was on the prowl. £25, and an f-word laden tirade on the existence of such beings who consider that an occupation later, West was ticking and ready for the heat of the battle. One man who was not as ready, was VC Winners – who was especially hungover by his own standards. But, with the knowledge of his presence in the Boot the previous evening, along with 4 more of the 3XI who had chosen to give it a go at soaking in the good fortune that is touted to flow through their beer lines - as T Wilts and Murph had done to such good effect a fortnight before - omens were surely positive for the day ahead.

Indeed, this seemed to be the case as the Boot worked its magic straight away with the toss falling in favour of the 3XI yet again. Once more, faith was placed in the batting unit’s ability to set a winning total, with experienced duo Manny and J.D. getting us off to a swift start – each crashing some looseners to the rope. Mrs. Curtis and son Riley arrived shortly after the start of play and remarked their surprise that he was still at the crease, and through this jinx or JD’s desire to join the picnic he slapped a half tracker to mid-on, finishing with a well made 25.
West joined Manny and early going was tough for the new pair as Datchworth’s openers strung together several tight overs. Perhaps this pressure building forced the unfortunate turn of events that unfolded. West snicking to slip which was duly parried away to the man at backstop (yes, backstop) with Manny advancing for a run. A ‘yes.. no.. yes.. no’ later brought both Saints batters together at the same end. Yikes. Manny nobly departed, and Wilton and West set about the rebuild.

West was now in full chew mode, making the dodgy SLCG pitch look worse than it was, a feat as impressive as it was frustrating for the onlooking Saints. At the other end, Wilton and Lawrence came and went both adding 6 before being caught trying to add some impetus to the Saints innings – one of these grabs an outrageous effort, with the young Datchworth Tom Broxton-lookalike running to catch up with a skied effort over his head and hardly looking up before plucking it out of the air. With only 12 runs having been added from the 12th over to the drinks interval, and Lawrence’s departure just after, Action Man Hicks entered and things improved with Ben rotating strike well, and Zach starting to score a bit more freely. They added 50 together, as the skipper then fell for an innings anchoring 40, bringing the wise owl ROT to the party at 142-5 with 5 overs remaining. Richard did Richard things, and advanced down the track to cart the Datchworth bowlers to all parts – six 4s and one moosed 6 over cow later he had added 41 off 26 balls, ably assisted by Hicksy who finished with 25.

192 was the target set for Datchworth, a very competitive total given the deteriorating state of the wicket and the variable bounce displayed throughout the 1st half. After a return to normality with tea – last week’s hot fajitas and prawn sandwiches swapped for the bog-standard meal deals - Saints were well up for it in the early exchanges in the field. After a stern peptalk from fellow VC Tooley, Winners knew that a repeat of last week’s first over (14 baller) would land him on the naughty step. Luckily, it had been the Boot he had posted up in the night before, and what followed was a return to vintage Winfield outswing – just too good to get near for the batters of 8A. At the other end, Davey was trusted with the new ball and he didn’t disappoint, taking their young opener with the help of Tom at mid-on, who admitted he was ‘pooing it' when waiting for the skied effort to come down. He needn’t have worried though, you don’t drop those when you’ve been to the Boot on Friday.

The stern talking roles were reversed for the VCs in Jacob’s 2nd over, with a snick heading to ROT at 2nd who palmed it down. One sheepish “sorry” and 2 balls later all was forgiven as another edge found its way to the cordon, but this time to the safer hands of JD who did the business.
At 6-2 off 3 overs, you’d have got a few strange looks from all in the 3s if you’d have said the next wicket would fall in the 27th over. But, the Datchworth pair dug in and saw off the spells of Winfield, Davey and Walker – all unlucky not to make another breakthrough, but nonetheless bowling well.
By this time, West had introduced himself and was well into his spell, bowling many a vicious seed. He’d taken heed of ROTs advice and hitting the deck was working, with Winners able to stop laughing at his captains run up in time to catch a mistimed low full toss at mid-off. Everyone but Tooley implored West to carry on charging in for his team, and he got his just rewards for doing so in his last set – finally removing their seasoned opener, well caught by Davey, and then enacting a run out as the new batsman tried to take a single to JD at slip, who threw to his skipper to charge back to the non-strikers and remove the bails.

Now 85-5 with 9 overs left the 3XI were well in charge, and Speller & Hicksy made short work of the remaining Datchworth batters. After JD dropped one three times in one go, he held on to one off Speller at slip. Jamie’s other 2 wickets were a pair of majestic catches, the first was skied past West at mid-off who recovered well and extended an arm to pluck it out the sky, much to Tooley’s amused disbelief. Jamie was obviously inspired by this display of athletic ability and re-enacted the dismissal when a ball was skied what appeared agonisingly just past him at the bowlers end and he extended a single arm to take the grab. At the other end, Hicksy who had bided his time exploded into action to finish the game in his 2nd over – Winners with a regulation grab at point, and perhaps the slowest bowled dismissal ever. Datchworth all out for 98, and Saints the 93 run victors.
This was yet again another impressive display from this red hot 3XI. Now 5/5 for the season, the sea of green on the website results list is ever growing, and long may it continue.

The win was made that much sweeter to hear of bottom of the table Hemel’s surprising win against table toppers Bentley Heath – one of the Hemel youths running through the Heath batters and taking 7! Only 1 point now stands between us and top spot, with Chipperfield Clarendon up next week followed by a huge showdown against Bentley Heath the week after, as the 3XI enter a pivotal point in their season looking to keep their undefeated record intact.

St Albans Cricket Club 3XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
1nb 11w 9b 4lb 
for 6 wickets
Nauman Nisar run out  (Unsure) 23 55 2 41.82
Iain Curtis ct Unsure b E Dowding 25 30 5 83.33 2
Zach West ct Unsure b L Heap 40 73 3 54.79 1 1
Tom Wilton ct Unsure b E Dowding 6 12 1 50.0 1
James Lawrence ct Unsure b B Akers 6 14 1 42.86
Ben Hicks Not Out  25 31 2 80.65
Richard O'Toole st R Nash b M Biggs 41 26 6 1 157.69
Jacob Winfield   2
Sam Davey   1
Jamie Speller   1
Andrew Walker  

Datchworth II Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Troy Sullivan8.003100.003.87
Mikey Biggs7.0045145.006.43
Edward Dowding8.0022211.002.75
Ben Akers8.0222122.002.75
Louis Heap8.0051151.006.38
Angus McGuinness1.00700.007.00

Datchworth II Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
1w 4b 2lb 
for 10 wickets
98 (34.4 overs)
Louis Heap ct T Wilton b S Davey 4
Tim Stephens ct S Davey b Z West 38
Chris Sharp ct I Curtis b J Winfield 0
Paul Linggood ct J Winfield b Z West 30
Billy Newby run out  (Z West) 4
Angus McGuinness ct Z West b J Speller 7
Edward Dowding ct I Curtis b J Speller 0
Rob Nash ct J Speller b J Speller 2
Troy Sullivan ct J Winfield b B Hicks 1
Mikey Biggs b B Hicks 2
Ben Akers Not Out  1

St Albans Cricket Club 3XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Andrew Walker6.002000.003.33
Ben Hicks1.40422.002.40
Jacob Winfield8.0017117.002.13
Jamie Speller5.001836.003.60
Sam Davey6.0210110.001.67
Zach West8.0124212.003.00

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