Chandna scores 89 in St Albans defeat

Sandipan Chandna scored 86 runs from 96 balls but it was all in vein as St Albans lost their opening game of the season by 13 runs.

Chasing Northchurch’s 176-8, Chandna, in at three, put the visitors on the cusp of victory, and denting the 50-point deficit the club started the season with, but he was run out 18 runs shy of victory. Charlie Smith followed after a controversial LBW call to hand Northchurch victory.

Earlier in the day, after losing the toss, Smith went to work with the ball and took three wickets in 11 balls. It left Northchurch at 53-4 after Chandna had claimed the first wicket of the day, catching Stephen Meager for six off Dan Rossen (2-63).

David Pearce chipped Jim Chaudry, back in the side after a year out, to debutant Henry Tyler and John Barry offer Chaudry a caught-and-bowled opportunity, which he gratefully accepted.

Tyler rapped Steve Bateman on the pads to reduce Northchurch to 108-8 and put St Albans in sight of a measly total to chase.

Mark Hobley and Matt Suckling changed the rhetoric with 68 runs off the last eight overs to present St Albans with a difficult chase, especially on a green wicket.

The batting woes that have plagued St Albans in recent years have not been cured and the first four wickets fell with 30 runs on the board.

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Aaron Jones was mainly a spectator in a 42-run stand with Chandna for the fifth wicket, contributing five, before he edged the ball to the wicketkeeper. Phil Caley added nine and Mark Telkman batted cautiously for six runs from 34 balls before he was adjudged to have been caught behind despite seemingly missing the ball.

Chaudry joined Chandna, who reached a 72-ball half century with just three boundaries, and added a second-highest team best of 14 before he was run-out.

Chandna suffered the same fate. After smashing Pearce for successive sixes, he was run out for 89 and Smith fell foul of a marginal LBW decision to end St Albans’ chase.

This Saturday, St Albans host Holtwhite Trinibis at Clarence Park from 1pm. For live updates, follow @stalbanscclive.