The 'Tour Showdown' Lowdown
Just a little (playing) summary of the tour, for those who weren't there as well as those who were. Day 1 v JG 45 overs a side Jem lost the toss and we were in the field. An early wicket for Ellie, and then some tight bowling by the off-spinners Tayz and Linz in tandem as we managed to contain the home side. Tayz bowled her 9 overs for 7 and Linz her 9 for 15, and two wickets each. Sian also picked up a couple as we dismissed them for 135. Jem became the club's all-time leading catcher with a one-handed effort. Tayz and Sian started brightly but were dismissed in quick succession and we were wobbling a bit at 65-4, but our two overseas recruits saw us home without further ado, Linz reaching a fifty on debut, including three sixes. Day 2 v Pershore T20 Skipper for the day Timms won the toss and batted and Hayley was again in good form this time in partnership with Dani. They batted most of the overs with the Kiwi reaching a brilliant first fifty for the club, but there was still time for a cameo from Emily (The Child) Windsor who added a quick fire 26 taking us to 125-4. The oppo were going ok, but Hannah Laurence took a wicket with her first ball on debut and finished with 3-15 from 4 overs, a spell which effectively won the game. Emily joined in with a couple of wickets too. Light curtailed the end but we had won on the D/L or in this case Green/Beesley method. Day 3 v Oxfordshire 45 over game Against a youthful Oxfordshire outfit Tayz lost the toss and we were in the field. Nicole struck first, her first wicket for the club, and Dani bowled impressively from the other end in a six over burst. The home side never really gained any momentum and Timms was able to wheel away and impressed with a four wicket haul. Baz took a wicket with her first ball, her 100th for the club, and the target was 103. Timms and in particular Tayz made short work of the target. The skipper reached 50 off 26 balls and finished unbeaten on 80 as we won in the 11th over Day 4 v Loughborough Uni 45 over game Linz lost the toss and once again we fielded. Ellie struck in the first over, and it was soon evident that runs would be hard to come by on a slow outfield. Baz struck next and all of the seamers bowled well, but it was the Linz/Tayz combination that again put the squeeze on in the middle overs, as they picked up five wickets and restricted the uni side to 125-7. Tayz and Sian both passed 20 and seemed to be seeing us home comfortably, but wickets then began to tumble against the spinners. Baz battled hard to hold the innings together, but when the 9th wicket fell we still needed 10. The two Ellies rose to the challenge and steered us to an exciting one wicket victory, a great way to end the tour.
Very remiss of me when writing about cricket matters on tour to not report on the fifth game : At Oxford on Saturday we witnessed an impromptu game that featured James and Rach learning to bowl straight, Sally Timms aka Trucker showing amazing ambidexterity by throwing and bowling with either arm equally effectively, and then batting one handed (either hand), Pauline bowling to an attacking field of four slips and a gully, Hayley displaying how to catch the ball in a beer glass (a skill Baz couldn't master) and although I have no recollection of the score we reached a situation where Tina needed four off two balls and decided to save time by hitting the penultimate ball for six over mid wicket. We must arrange more fixtures for the mums !