Six wins from six leaves St Albans wondering about what might have been

Tom O'Toole took one wicket and hit 26 runs as St Albans beat Preston.
Picture: Karyn Haddon

Tom O'Toole took one wicket and hit 26 runs as St Albans beat Preston. Picture: Karyn Haddon - Credit: Archant

St Albans made it six wins on the bounce with a superb success over promotion-chasing Preston – although they will be left wondering just where they might have been in the table had they not lost four games in the middle part of the season.

After the rain in the week the Clarence pitch was expectedly green and damp and when Preston won the toss they unexpectedly decided to bat.

And the visitors found the opening St Albans’ bowlers in the same form which dismantled Holtwhites one week previous.

Simon White’s eight-over opening burst only conceded 11 runs and included the important wicket of the Australian Lewis Balcombe well-caught by Jamie Regan.

At the other end Mark Telkman was accurate, making the batsman play at everything with the odd one really gripping and bouncing.

And bowling 10 straight he took 2-27 to really turn the screw.

The introduction of Regan into the attack bought an immediate wicket as he was able to unsettle the batsman with his height causing uneven bounce on the drying pitch.

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His first five overs cost just six runs and by half-way Preston were 55-4.

A well-constructed 55 from Pluna held the innings together but Max Capaldi (3-19) bowled tightly at the end to slow Preston’s momentum and they finished on 175.

The chase started badly with St Albans 26-3 and then 47-5.

But the rebuilding came in the form of Tom O’Toole and Sandipan Chanda who were knocking the ball around the field and running well.

Chanda hit two delightful sixes over extra cover as the pair put on 71 runs before Chanda edged behind on 42 and O’Toole was caught at the crease on 26.

It left 50 to win when Harry Kendal and Phil Caley started their partnership with rain starting to fall.

Kendal worked the ball into gaps picking up the one’s and two’s while Caley at the other end decided that the long handle would be the most effective.

With the rain becoming heavier by the over St Albans were well behind the rate but the umpires didn’t once consider coming off.

And Caley’s bludgeoning, a six on the last ball, and Kendal’s nudging got St Albans over the line by three wickets.