One Day Competition - President Cardinals vs St Albans, Ilam Park, Presidents, 28th January 2017
On a very windy gusty day St Albans won the toss and put us in, the pitch was quite bouncy at times. Spencey was out early for 2 nicking a good ball to the keeper, then Laughts and Phil Walker (in front of a nice family group) put together a very good partnership against an accurate attack.
At drinks after 20 overs we were on 76/1, with Laughts on 47 including 2 sixes - one of these being a wonderful shot over extra cover from an off spinner! But unfortunately he was run out in the first over after drinks, backing up too far and not getting back. Ralphie missed out against Saints for once, LBW for 2, then Ski was very unluckily dismissed next ball with a ball going well down leg hitting his foot and rolling back onto his stumps. So at 90/4 there had been a momentum shift, but Tim came out and began hitting some elegant drives and with Phil still going well they got the innings back on track.
Tim hit 2 fours in a row but was then caught next ball for a well made 21, as he tried to accelerate, and not too long afterwards Phil was dismissed for a terrific innings of 58. He was out to the catch of the match as the lanky Brad Smith chased a lofted shot that initially looked well out of reach, but the strong wind held it up and he just got it at full stretch, a fantastic catch.
Mario got a bright 12, then Ken and Brownie finished the innings off in good style. Brownie hit the ball well right from the start and played a very nice cameo, while Ken took a while to get going but hit a well timed 6 over square leg in the last over - which gave us a useful bonus of 12 runs, from the usually parsimonious Potty Mason. So we finished with a competitive 170/7.
And we got off to a great start, as after Ralphie opened the bowling, Brownie got a wicket 1st ball at the other end, getting one of their dangermen Alabaster LBW with an excellent delivery. Brownie continued to bowl very well and eventually got Dean Read as well, to a nice caught behind by Paul Bennett. And when Ski came on to bowl his first ball cut back and hit middle stump, with the batsman playing right across the line, giving Ski a memorable double of first ball dismissals for the day! :-) This made St Albans 30/3 and we were well on top, although Mark Hampton was still there and joined by a guy I hadn't seen before, with Rich the name on his shirt.
They batted steadily and took them through to 58/3 at drinks - no chances but Hampton lucky to escape with 2 French cuts (off Brownie and Phil Walker), that both went very close to the stumps. And although the run rate was climbing to 6 an over they both got established, batted well and sensibly and simply took the game away from us. Laughts rang the changes, even trying an over of his nude offies, but we were a bit handicapped in that Kenny had hurt a calf muscle so naturally wasn't at his usual probing and miserly best, while the always versatile and valuable Mario wasn't able to bowl.
Eventually after they'd put on over 120 the Rich Guy began to struggle, apparently he was having arrhythmia (erratic heart rate) so he sensibly retired. But still no luck for us as the next batsman John batted sensibly, supporting Mark Hampton who by now was in total control and they eventually cruised in with a couple of overs to go, to win by 7 wickets.
So while we probably should have got closer to 200, after the excellent start we'd had and the position we were in at drinks, St Albans certainly deserved to win.. That was after a good bowling and fielding performance in the 2nd half of our innings and then the big and chanceless 4th wicket batting partnership between Hampton and Rich. The match was played in good spirits, with no incidents, although it didn't finish until 6.10 - everyone was sick of the wind by then! Brownie was Player of the day for us, after his excellent bowling and useful batting, while Phil and Laughts both did very well with bat.
Man of the Match: Jeremy Brown
Check out the scorecard from the game.