Datchworth II v St Albans Cricket Club 3XI on Sat 19 Aug 2023 at 13:00
St Albans Cricket Club Won by 182 runs

Match report With just 13 points required from the last 3 league games of the 2023 season, it was a case of ‘when’ and not ‘if’ the 3XI would wrap up their first league title and promotion since the early 2000’s. Remaining undefeated was now the golden aim for this super team, and with the ‘Last of the Summer Wine Tour’ doing the rounds of the grounds there wasn’t many a better day to secure the 8A trophy at the first time of asking, with Datchworth playing hosts at what is one of the more pleasant grounds in 8A.
Winners led what was one of the most village hitting displays in a warmup that would have only put the watching on Datchworth team at ease for their task ahead. It is therefore likely a blessing that upon losing the toss we were put in to bat, leaving the fielding for at least a few more hours.

With Moksy and Stu tasked with opening, this was very much an opening partnership of conflicting experiences. On one hand, you had the irresistible Moksy – his colleagues were left purring on the sidelines as he flayed the Datchworth attack to all parts. His dismantling offensive was a sight to behold as he raced to just 17 runs shy of a century at drinks.
On the other hand there was Stu. His approach was different, but equally as effective as Moksy’s in inciting comment from his colleagues on the sidelines. Nick and James were particularly vocal, but skipper West put it down to the ROT wheel of fortune placing them at 7 and 8 in the batting order respectively and their severe angst as a result. Nevertheless, Murray’s impassioned defensive was also a sight to behold, as he raced to 17 runs clear of a duck at drinks.
With a 1st wicket 100 partnership secured for the first time this season, the platform was set perfectly for an explosive acceleration in the second half. Moksy soon reached his first league 100 for the 3XI, having to negotiate his way through the final 8 runs on his own without senior partner Stu after he had departed for 22. Joking aside, Walks attested that Murray had received more than his fair share of good balls and dodgy bounces throughout his time in the middle, and his contribution to the opening partnership should be respected, and ridiculed, in equal measure.

Rory Law had joined the party, and had wasted no time in going large alongside Moksy until his excellent knock came to an end, out for 103 and greeted by the mightily impressed Mardelli and co. off the field of play. Here, the revolving door of batsman started to turn as with 15 overs left, the hunt for 300 was on. Hicks rotated well with Rory until Nick fancied a bat and gave him out LBW, running off the field alongside his fallen comrade to get his pads on. Adam, having located his bat in time to join Rory in the middle promptly stuck it to West on the sidelines and hit a MASSIVE one bounce 4. Bored of Rory’s badgery chat between overs, he then ran him out for the much better company of his captain. Zach was not as keen to spend any time with Murph, so selflessly showcased to the remainder of his team how he wished them to approach the last 8 overs by attempting to hit it back to St Albans and nearly doing so, just falling short of clearing the boundary rope and finding a fielder.

In walked Nick, and he was clearly up for showing West and ROT what he thought of the wheel of fortune’s batting order as he proceeded to hit some of the largest 6s seen in the 3XI this season. An astounding innings of 43 (15) followed. Well played by Ralfe, surely bagging himself the 6 spot in the order for next week.
VCs Winfield and Tooley saw us to the end of our allocation, hitting and running well as we closed on a mammoth 287. The equation was now simple: with maximum batting points secured, only 3 wickets were required for a guaranteed title win. Who would the honour fall to in the 3XI line up to take the prized wicket?
Winfield and West had the first crack, and after a few overs of dirty dross Zach struck first with Moksy taking a catch off a long hop at midwicket. Winfield was disgusted with his Skipper’s ability to repeatedly pull off this feat and decided to employ this tactic himself. After dropping one off his own bowling and attempting some slower ball bouncers to the capable Datchworth No.3, the Saints had some time to mull over their evening plans as said batter sent the 3XI on a long search for a lost ball. A new conker in hand, Winfield put us one away from the title and forced a standoff between ROT and West as the latter alpha’d the former, and kept Winfield on to finish his spell.

Walks having taken over from West had started well at the other end, and with 2 Winfield maidens leading to the chuntering Tooley looking especially smug, Nick was then introduced. A few overs of pressure built up as the 3s went in search of their prized league winning wicket, and in true fairy tale fashion, a floated up Ralfe delivery was chipped to the hands of the skipper at mid-off which was duly taken, cuing jubilant celebrations for all involved.
It didn’t take long for the remaining 7 Datchworth wickets to fall, as Walker cut through the middle order taking a good 4-fer following his holidaying hiatus, one of which seeing a genuine leg slip catch from Winfield. Nick also used his sliders to good effect to claim a cheap 3-fer, and Stu left the Datchworth field with something to smile about as his ever-improving leg spin was too good for the opposition skipper, leading to a near pitch invasion from proud dad Gordon.

With the ultimate goal of a league win achieved with 2 games to spare, the victory parade returned to CP to bask in their achievement. Naturally, a Tooley promotion cocktail special was prepared, Rum Sours this time, and the 3XI toasted to their special achievement this season. Unlike the cocktail, life itself has surely never tasted so sweet.

St Albans Cricket Club 3XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
1nb 6w 8b 2lb 
for 8 wickets
Stuart Murray ct Unsure b J Thompson 22 53 2 41.51
Moksudul Islam b P Nightingale 103 90 12 4 114.44 1
Rory Law run out  (Unsure) 46 34 3 2 135.29
Ben Hicks lbw J Thompson 12 18 66.67
Adam Murphy b J Thompson 9 6 1 150.0 1
Zach West ct Unsure b J Thompson 0 2 0 1
Nick Ralfe lbw T Braithwaite 43 15 5 3 286.67 1
James Lawrence ct Unsure b T Braithwaite 13 8 2 162.50
Richard O'Toole Not Out  19 10 4 190.0
Jacob Winfield Not Out  3 5 60.0 1
Andrew Walker  

Datchworth II Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Reece Pybus8.022200.002.75
Sam Bridgman8.004900.006.12
Edward Dowding7.007200.0010.29
Phil Nightingale6.0040140.006.67
J Thompson8.0071417.758.88
Tom Braithwaite3.0023211.507.67

Datchworth II Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
2w 2b 1lb 
for 10 wickets
105 (26.5 overs)
Nigel Pointing ct N Ralfe b A Walker 22
Michael Nash ct M Islam b Z West 14
Louis Heap b J Winfield 35
Andrew Manning ct Z West b N Ralfe 0
Rob Nash lbw A Walker 8
Reece Pybus b N Ralfe 9
Edward Dowding ct J Winfield b A Walker 0
Sam Bridgman ct A Murphy b A Walker 5
Tom Braithwaite b N Ralfe 4
J Thompson Not Out  2
Phil Nightingale b S Murray 2

St Albans Cricket Club 3XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Jacob Winfield8.0327127.003.38
Zach West4.0030130.007.50
Andrew Walker8.022145.252.63
Nick Ralfe4.002237.335.50
Stuart Murray1.50212.001.09
Adam Murphy1.00100.001.00

  • Umpire :
  • Scorer :