Stevenage III v Radlett CC 4th XI on Sat 22 Jun 2013 at 1:00 pm
Match was Drawn

Match report In all my years of playing cricket, I have never seen an opposition give up a chase so early – and ruin what could have been an exciting game.

Turning out on an unpleasant afternoon weatherwise, and missing the Lions’s victory to boot, the least one might expect is for the opposition to want to play for a result, not least having put the opposition in. What’s more, Radlett had been bowled out for just 166 in 46 overs, meaning Stevenage 3s had 52 overs in which to get them on a wicket that was by no means difficult.

That only one over per side was lost to the rain was something of a miracle, given that the park pitch had no covers. With the game starting on time, and Charlie Randall stuck in traffic, Colin Warne became a reluctant opener and soon lost partner Dominic Ingram, square-cutting uppishly straight to point. 3-1 became 3-2 when Randall chipped the same bowler to mid-off.

Rob Millard, playing despite a dislocated finger, and Warne began to repair the damage, running well between the wickets. Indeed, a tight single that produced four overthrows gave the innings momentum and Warne began playing with increased fluency. Millard then gloved the dangerous Brown to the keeper, with the score on 34, but with Ben Thornhill (playing his first match for Radlett for three years) proving an equally good running partner, the score continued to tick along nicely. That is until Warne unluckily played on to the off-spinner having made a fluent 45 out of 71.

This season, this would normally signal a collapse, and it looked like business as usual when Thornhill flirted once too often with a ball outside off stump. However, young Yiannis Hanson immediately got stuck in, unreeling an array of classy shots. He lost partners Ramitha Meepagama, nicking an expansive drive for just 6, Shabbir Foyez, caught for 7, and Arumainayagam Harikaran, lbw for 2, before at last finding someone more durable in Ajay Gupta, who also attacked to good effect. Together, the pair added 33, before Hanson lofted another drive into the hands of deep mid-on. Gupta and Darren Fabray then added a further 14 before the latter became Brown’s fifth victim.

Radlett struck in the second over, Meeps' first Radlett ball of the season swinging away massively for Foyez to take a superb two-handed catch, low to his right at first slip. At the other end, Fabray was bowling with good pace, but with Meeps strugging to control his line, the total was building until Fabray induced a high catch to point, which Randall judged perfectly.

A double bowling change saw Ingram and Randall enter the attack. Randall bowled with excellent control, but it was Ingram who snared the next victim, caught behind of a thick, square-cut edge – 58-3. Runs continued to accrue at above the required rate until, with the score on 81, Randall at last got an lbw decision. Six runs later, the new batsman lofted a drive to Hanson at mid-off and, when Gupta took a superb low c&b to at last dismiss the opener, Radlett could sniff an unlikely victory.

What followed was, in my opinion, a disgrace. With 19 overs still to go, and less than 3 an over needed, Stevenage shut up shop. This was not immediately apparent, skipper Warne assuming they were just batting carefully before launching a late assault, still having the experienced all-rounder Brown at the crease and with just 6 wickets down. As it transpired, Stevenage were unwilling to risk ceding 30 points to a side who were already 59 points behind them.

Randall and Gupta both continued to bowl with excellent control and always looked like they could achieve a breakthrough, but simply blocking on what was an easy-paced wicket was not too difficult, especially when there appeared little chance of winning a second lbw. Just 39 were scored off 19 overs and there was little consolation in the fact that Radlett had accrued 10 points and Stevenage just 5.

If I captained a Radlett team like this, then I would be ashamed. I suspect I would also have plenty of players finding better things to do on a Saturday.

It was good to see Radlett playing with more spirit this week and to note that this was also an excellent fielding performance. And at least the equally excellent Casino Royale night (well done to all the organisers) made it, eventually, an enjoyable day.

Radlett CC 4th XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
for 10 wickets
Dominic Ingram Caught  0
Colin Warne Bowled  45 1
Charles Randall Caught  0 1
Robert Millard Caught  6
Ben Thornhill Caught  8
Yiannis Hanson Caught  41 1
Ramitha Meepegama Caught  6
Shabbir Foyez Caught  7 1
A.N. Other Lbw  2
Ajay Gupta Not Out  19 1
Darren Fabray Bowled  6

Stevenage III Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy

Stevenage III Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
for 6 wickets
126 (52.0 overs)

Radlett CC 4th XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Darren Fabray7.0121121.003.00
Ramitha Meepegama10.0235135.003.50
A.N. Other6.021800.003.00
Dominic Ingram6.0119119.003.17
Charles Randall13.071226.000.92
Ajay Gupta10.0319119.001.90