Bristol - we came, we conquered, we left.
Today we travelled to Bristol for the regional stage of the ECB indoor National comp. The 6 were the 4 pictured plus Emily Waldron and Anisa Ansar. It is rare for there to be more umpires than bails on a cricket pitch, but this was the case for today! I won't go into the ins and outs of the whole format of the competition, but basically it is nothing like indoor cricket as we know it! It is a pairs/skins format that the ECB have decided to use to detemine the National champion of indoor cricket, and we had to quickly adapt our practiced methods to embrace the new challenge and work out how to win this style of the game. Our first match was against Cornwood. Stuck in, we scored a total of 106. Unsure at this early stage exactly what was a good score (in 9 overs), we took to the field to begin our defence. 106 proved unassailable for Cornwood as we bowled with discipline. Our next match was against a bogey team for us. In 2013 Taunton Griffins beat us in the final, and in 2014 they beat us in the semi final. Having never beaten them before they had a chance to make our progression to the National Finals very unsure by beating us for the third time in 3 years. Once again we lost the toss and were inserted.....(generally in this format you want to bowl first) We batted sensibly against a decent side, and posted around 70. In reply their middle order batters unsettled us for a while, but when it came down to the last over, they needed 14 to win. Dani bowled a noball first up, so they now needed 12 to win off 6 balls, but Dani pulled it out of the bag and was backed up in the field to leave them about 4 runs short. Our last match was essentially a final, we had played 2 and won 2, which matched the form of Plympton in the day. I finally won a toss, and was able to let the opposition bat first. Plympton had looked very strong thoughout the day, but our seamers were of such quality in this match, that Plympton could only clock up 24 runs. This sounds a very low total, but in a format where it is minus 5 if you are out, anything can happen. Baz and Emily opened the batting, and Baz who had looked the most orthodox and composed indoor batter of the tournament (despite looking like she had just wandered in from the high street in her designer trousers and new eyebrows!!) got us off to a flyer, meaning the rest of us had the luxury of just trying to not get out. I'm not going to lie, when I was facing their left arm seamer in the penultimate over, I did sort of pretend I was the last wicket playing out for a draw in an Ashes test match to win the series 2-1!! Anyway, job done. We indulged in the celebratory cupcakes Ellie had made before heading back to Hampshire where 6 more of our girls picked up a convincing win at Dummer....not a bad day!