St Albans CC hoping to challenge on all fronts

WITH an impressive new nets facility complete with bowling machine, St Albans Cricket Club are well-equipped to challenge on all fronts this season.

Led by the well-travelled Martin Jones, the 1st XI is aiming to return to the Home Counties Premier League after a comfortable year of consolidation in the Saracens League last season.

Last year’s leading Division One run scorer, Alex Rajendran, will hope to continue his mastery of both bat and ball, whilst southern hemisphere imports Lloyd De Saint Pern and James Teague will strengthen the batting and bowling departments respectively.

The 1sts start their Saracens Herts League Division One campaign at home to Chorleywood on Saturday.

Under new captain Sam Rowlands, the 2nd team began their season in Division Four with a three-wicket defeat to Bayford and Hertford in a low-scoring affair on Saturday.

They are boosted by new recruits in the form of Joe Stallard, Hanief Mukkodem, Ashiq Shah and the storming fast bowler Tom Tempest.

Many of the Saints’ promising young players will also feature prominently, including all rounder Mark Telkman and left-arm swing bowler Dan Rosson.

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They will be looking to get a win under their belts this weekend as they head to Sawbridgeworth 2nds.

The May showers put pay to the 3rd XI’s first game of the season, however long-standing skipper Michael Eames is plotting his side’s promotion to Division Six, beginning at home to Old Albanian 2nds on Saturday.

Aided by an army of talented veterans such as Andy Walker, Steve Ferguson, Jon Little and Eames himself, the 3rds enjoy a near-perfect blend of youth and experience with which to mount a title challenge.

The 4th XI’s weekend game also fell foul of the weather, but under the newly appointed John Webber they will be looking to make up for narrowly missing out on promotion last year.

Their batting is bolstered by the addition of clean-hitting opener Toby Crisp, whilst Nick James and Manny Nisar should light up the top order with their usual pyrotechnics.

The bowling is to be spearheaded by Christian Hay, who took a career-best 40 wickets last year, along with wily off-spinner Jack Ypey.