St Albans Cricket Club Sunday 2nd XI v Phil Milton Memorial Game on Sun 02 Jul 2023 at 14:00
St Albans Cricket Club Won by 136 runs

Match report Sunday 2nd July saw our beloved Saints take on St John Fisher’s for our annual match in memory of former coach and chairman, Phil Milton. Both sides were privileged to have known Phil and have closely worked with him across both clubs, and so everyone took to the game with the gusto and good spirits we know he would appreciate.

After a conversation with the opposition skipper regarding the abilities of both teams, skipper Andy Saunders reached an agreement that saw the Saints bat first. Murmurings of money having changed hands were ignored and we sent out stalwart Nauman “Manny” Nisar and promising young player, Ahaan Dean.

Manny, hoping to actually score some runs this weekend, saw himself in safely for the first few balls, and then swiftly after saw himself bowled for nought. This brought the destructive Rory Law to the crease, having batted 60 odd the previous day and having made the bold statement: “it’s getting doubled today.” Strong words, considering an agreement had been reached that the batters would retire on 50.

Law wasted little time, unleashing powerful strokes that reached the boundary with ease, whilst also peppering in his favourite shot: the charge and block. Ahaan ably supported Law, batting more conservatively, showing respect to the good deliveries and dispatching the bad ones. Law retired on 53, and Ahaan was unfortunate to nick off and departed for a beautifully made 23.

Our next pair then strode onto the pitch: Moskudul “Moksy” Islam and Nasibullah “Maroof” Maroofkhel. Moksy had clearly taken heart from Law’s performance, knocking 52 in his lengthy innings, joining Law in retirement. Maroof batted with more composure, picking his shots carefully, and eventually got run out on 26.

This then brought Joel Saunders and Thomas Banks to the crease, a mixture of seniority and youth. Joel informed umpire Walsh that this was his first game in roughly three years, and Walsh wasted no time in giving Joel out LBW on his second ball. Banks was then joined by Sunday veteran Altaf Hussein; Banks batted brilliantly, keeping his wicket exceptionally well, striking sublime shots and making some fantastic run calls to see him end on his new high score of 43. Altaf was clearly in more of a hurry, bludgeoning several fours from the off and soon after falling to an impressive catch from the keeper to end on 19.

The bat was then taken up by the man, myth and legend: Andy Saunders. He was joined at the other end by stalwart Rajiv, and the pair set about seeing themselves safely in before taking some swipes at the bowlers. Saunders showcased shots that left the onlookers breathless, striking a powerful four before ending on a well-made 14. Rajiv, our injured hero, clearly decided he’d rather have a bowl today; he blocked the first two, smacked a four and then found himself clean bowled.

This then saw the bat taken up by potentially the most village player known to Hertfordshire and maybe cricket as a whole: Ciarán Walsh. Walsh had had a slow day at work on Saturday, and so had spent some time perusing his stats on the club website; he informed his teammates that he had discovered he hadn’t hit a boundary since 2017, and told anyone who would listen that he’d be changing that today. Out he strode, cap backwards, five vapes in his pocket and steely-eyed determination in his heart. Seconds later, the first delivery bounced off his considerable belly and ricocheted onto the stumps, giving him another golden duck. He stormed off the pitch to laughter from the audience, declaring himself as a “bowling umpire” and insisting that “cricket’s a bloody stupid game when you sit down and think about it lads.”

The final three deliveries were faced by a reintroduced Moksy, who wasted zero time by pumping all three deliveries for identical fours, while his partner Rory looked on impotently from the other end. This brought the innings to a close; the total was 267, an impressive score and one we felt very comfortable defending.

After a delectable Tavah tea, we opened the bowling with the combined might of Moksy and Altaf. The pair bowled tight, unforgiving spells with some loose deliveries, seeing Moksy claim 2 wickets and Altaf be unfortunate to go wicketless.

The first bowling change saw skipper Saunders bring himself on to bowl, accompanied by Rajiv from the other end. This change of pace proved decisive, with Rajiv claiming 2 well-deserved wickets and Saunders claiming none, but doing an excellent job of restricting the run rate.

The next bowling change saw Joel take up the pavilion end, while local village idiot Walsh assumed the other. Joel bowled like a pro, keeping the batters honest and taking 2 great wickets while conceding only 11 runs. Walsh managed to keep the run rate to a minimum, and walked away with 1 wicket to his name, mainly thanks to his little fan club on the boundary screaming encouragement towards him. It’s worth noting that one such shout of encouragement came from Walsh’s own father, who had been asked by skipper Saunders to provide such encouragement; Walsh Senior then decided to do just that, letting loose a primal scream of vague Irish noises just as Walsh was about to complete his run up. Village cricket clearly runs in the family, but the next ball did see Walsh clean bowl the batter, so who’s to say who was in the wrong? (Walsh Senior. Walsh Senior was in the wrong.)

The final bowling change brought Maroof and Banks to the crease; Maroof bowled some lovely deliveries, but they were seemingly to the liking of the batters, as they picked his bowling nicely and showcased some powerful shots to the boundary. Banks found more reward, conceding only 4 runs from his 3 over spell and claiming the final two wickets just moments after his father turned up to watch. Clearly we should have players bring paternal support along more often!

This final wicket saw the game come to a close, decisively in favour of the Saints with a whopping 137 run win. John Fisher’s were, as always, a lovely side to host, and they truly were a credit to both their club and to Phil. Both sides played with fantastic attitudes and exceptional class; a great day out had by all, which we hope to repeat next year!

Fineable moments:

Ciarán Walsh for telling Banks in the field he was acting very “village”, whilst ironically waving his vape to make his point.

Patrick Walsh for deciding to bellow at his son during a critical point in his run up to bowl.

Manny for continuing to refuse to make runs.

Rory Law for insisting on charging six steps down the wicket just to block the ball.

Rory Law for charging six steps down the wicket just to LEAVE the ball.

Andrew Melling, Peter Melling, Thomas Hadden and Sam Davey for not conducting a pitch invasion when Walsh took his wicket.

An opposition batter (who for the sake of his reputation shall remain nameless) who decided to come out to bat in chinos.

St Albans Cricket Club Sunday 2nd XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
2nb 13w 3b 2lb 
for 9 wickets
Nauman Nisar Bowled  0
Ahaan Dean Caught  23
Rory Law Retired Not Out  53
Moksudul Islam Retired Not Out  64
nasibullah Maroofkhel Run out  26
Joel Saunders Lbw  0
Thomas Banks Bowled  43
Md Altaf Husain Caught  19
Andy Saunders Bowled  14
Rajiv Surendranath Bowled  4
Ciarán Walsh Bowled  0

Phil Milton Memorial Game Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.

Phil Milton Memorial Game Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
1nb 6w 3b  
for 8 wickets
131 (35.0 overs)
K. Cormack lbw R. Surendraneth 24
S. Sreekumar b M. Islam 10
M. King b M.Islam 0
A. Watson b R. Surendraneth 22
D. Hoskins b C. Walsh 16
S. Wilson ct J. Saunders 17
J. Tatlock lbw T. Banks 20
J. Herbert b J.Saunders 5
I. Hazon Not Out  8

St Albans Cricket Club Sunday 2nd XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Moksudul Islam5.0023211.504.60
Md Altaf Husain5.002200.004.40
Rajiv Surendranath6.03723.501.17
Andy Saunders6.012100.003.50
Ciarán Walsh4.0016116.004.00
Joel Saunders4.001125.502.75
Thomas Banks3.00422.001.33