St Albans Cricket Club 3XI v Wheathampstead II on Sat 11 May 2024 at 13:00
St Albans Cricket Club Won by 8 wickets

Match report Following last season’s flawless campaign, the 3s found themselves in the newly incarnated 7 East division of the Herts League, with the introduction of a regional structure in Div 7 meaning that promotion spots were at a premium across the new East and West leagues this year. No prizes are on offer for second place as things stand, but the league are still deliberating over exactly how this will play out – not that this 3XI will be satisfied with going up as anything less than champions that is…

All that bureaucracy aside, despite their new division the 3s faced off against familiar foes Wheathampstead on the opening day who had squeezed their way up along with them last year owing to dropouts in higher divisions. After a characteristically early West arrival at SLCG, a toss was soon lost with JDs unlucky coin, but surprisingly the 3s were asked to have a bowl – an ideal result given the appearance of the wicket.

A smooth pre-match warm up later, and gym lad Berry’s plank routine under his belt earlier that morning, 3s workhorse Chaz kicked off our season alongside new boy Basit with the new ball. In over 4, Basit had his debut wicket trapping Sykes LBW, and after a few testing overs later from the new ball pair, Chaz was in on the act with two in two to leave Wheato reeling at 10-3 and facing a hattrick ball which was just about negotiated by Houlahan after an LBW shout. From here, the Saints let Wheato off the hook slightly, as captain Li and Houlahan dragged their team to 84 before Winners, after moaning his way out of bowling up the hill, unleashed one of his famous knuckleballs to make the breakthrough shortly after the drinks break.

Tooley and Winners then dried up the runs as they so often do, after which Prath was given his first and final Macca warning for head high bowling which gave skipper West bad flashbacks of the same slap on the wrist at Chipperfield last season. Chaz then returned to the attack to remove captain Li for his key contribution of 52, which cued a regular fall of wickets thereafter. From 120-5, further wickets from Chaz and Basit topped off with the innings ending pole for young Banks closed the Wheato effort with 1 ball to spare, for what appeared a respectable total of 147 when considering the slow nature of the wicket and sticky outfield.

Captain West and seasoned veteran Curtis went about the chase, which nearly got off to a woeful start when West found the belly of short cover with a mistimed drive. With the catch looking to be held, the skipper was granted a reprieve as the Wheato fielder couldn’t hold on to finish it off when collapsing under the sheer force of the plinked drive. With renewed focus, the Saints openers punished the regular bad balls with some well timed backfoot drives and pulls as they motored to 67 off 14 overs until a frankly comical dismissal sent West packing for a well made 36. It appears slow waist high full tosses are an area to work on for the leader of the 3s, although quite how he managed to direct it back to the keeper is still a mystery…

Curtis soon followed West to the sidelines, as Macca’s winter long wait for an opportunity to pre-empt the appeals of the fielding side to declare a Saints batsman out was finally over. Boy it’s good to be back. 45 years young Rory Law, who had shocked sideline rizzmaster Basit when he found out they were somehow the same age, was partnered by his bookie buddy Lawrence in the middle with the score 68-2. As there stay at the crease lengthened, odds of victory shortened, as they sent the ball over the rope at regular intervals with each of them timing the pants off their own straight 6s on route to victory, which Rory secured along with his 50 in the 27th over.

A comfortable win to kick off our season in all the right ways with both bat and ball, whilst stretching the 3XIs winning run to a scarcely believable 14 straight games. It’s 618 days since the 3s tasted defeat, and there’s no plans to let up just yet.
Chaz scooped a well deserved MoM award for his contribution with the ball, with Basit derserving of a special mention for his tight bowling alongside him. Plaudits are also due to the top 4 for all contributing well to a chase that was made to look easy – roll on next week for this 3s machine!

Wheathampstead II Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
4nb 7w 13b 5lb 
for 10 wickets
147 (39.5 overs)
Tom Li ct  Unsure b C Smith 52 106 6 1 49.06
Alistair Sykes lbw  A Basit Yasin 3 9 33.33
Sam Ledger b  C Smith 1 6 16.67
Raheel Bhatti b  C Smith 0 1 0
Todd Houlahan b  J Winfield 20 47 3 42.55
James McEwen b  C Smith 19 31 3 61.29
Steve Booth ct  Unsure b A Basit Yasin 11 20 1 55.00
James Durno run out  (J Winfield) 2 10 20.0
Cameron Caldwell b  T Banks 7 6 1 116.67
Nic Winward b  A Basit Yasin 0 1 0
Changhaiz Ishaq Not Out  3 5 60.0

St Albans Cricket Club 3XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Charles Smith8.021543.751.88
Basit Yasin8.021635.332.00
Thomas Banks6.5127127.003.95
Jacob Winfield8.0044144.005.50
Richard O'Toole8.021500.001.88
Prath Khatavkar1.001200.0012.00

St Albans Cricket Club 3XI Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
2nb 12w 1lb 
for 2 wickets
Zach West ct  A Sykes b S Booth 36 55 6 65.45
Iain Curtis lbw  J McEwen 27 39 5 69.23
Rory Law Not Out  50 41 6 2 121.95
James Lawrence Not Out  23 31 2 1 74.19 2
Thomas Banks  
Jacob Winfield   1
Lucas Berry  
Charles Smith  
Richard O'Toole  
Basit Yasin  
Prath Khatavkar  

Wheathampstead II Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Changhaiz Ishaq4.011900.004.75
Nic Winward4.001600.004.00
Steve Booth8.0050150.006.25
James McEwen8.0036136.004.50
Cameron Caldwell2.001000.005.00
James Durno1.201900.0014.25

  • Umpire :
    Ian McKinlay
  • Scorer :