St Albans’ title hopes washed out

Adam Hounslow batting for St Albans. Picture: KARYN HADDON

Adam Hounslow batting for St Albans. Picture: KARYN HADDON - Credit: Archant

St Albans Cricket Club’s hopes of snatching the Saracens Hertfordshire Cricket League Division Two B title were washed away by heavy rain on Saturday.

Saints, who were already confirmed as having been promoted, needed to win and hope Bishop’s Stortford failed to pick up maximum points in their match against Bushey.

However, with almost all Herts League matches called off, it left Saints four points short in the title race.

Asked to bat on a green pitch, St Albans were struggling early on at 17-2, with Mbekezeli Mabuza out second ball in his last innings.

Adam Hounslow, with his third 50 of the season, and an overall haul of 399 runs, was the mainstay of the opening 20 overs. Tom O’Toole, making his first-team debut at 14, took a while to pick up his first run but determination and good technique brought 11 runs in a 50 partnership with Hounslow.

After they and Matt Howeson departed, James Rosson & Max Capaldi rebuilt until the latter was caught at mid-off from the seventh ball of an over.

Wickets fell at regular intervals with only Rosson (28), and a late flurry from Phil Caley (23*), saw Saints to 160.

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Cockfosters batted with purpose as rain threatened to curtail their innings early.

Charlie Smith made the breakthrough, removing skipper Sam Barker, before Jacob Winfield picked up two wickets in three balls.

At 39-3 a counter attack was launched by Tony Sayers whose 47 from 19 balls contained six fours and three sixes.

But it was in vain as the drizzle which had fallen during most of the visitors innings worsened to rain and the players departed after 14 overs.

Within the hour the game was abandoned.