On the longest day of the year (21/06/2018) Bushy Park Girls CC faced Ashford CC in an epic batting struggle at the Short Lane ground in Stanwell. It was the most perfect of evenings for batting, the light was true and golden, and the outfield lightning fast. Both teams had been reduced to 9 players each so it was a hard task for the bowlers to keep the scoring down.
Ashford batted first and faced Bushy Park Girls opening bowlers Erin Goodwin (4overs/19runs) and Simrat Khaira. Both were on excellent form, Khaira (2o/1maiden/6r) opened with a maiden over (the only of the match) and Goodwin (E) only conceded 4 runs in her first two overs. In retrospect this spell was exceptional, as the sun slowly dipped toward the horizon the batters on both sides plundered the runs. Ruby Oakley (4o/29r) and Sophia Stapleton-Parslow (3o/1wicket/22r) also kept the runs at bay in their opening salvos. Both are proving a great asset to this team. Stapleton-Parslow took the first wicket of the match, unleashing a beautiful ball that bowled Ashford’s dangerous No.2 batsmen. This was followed up in Oakley’s over with a run out from Imogen Higgins with a direct hit.
This signalled a change in attitude from Ashford CC and Bushy Park Girls’ subsequent bowlers came under a sustained attack from their opponent’s middle order. With the added pace of Higgins (2o/14r), Jess Low (2o/19r) and Paige Goodwin (3o/28r) the ball pinged to the boundary with ease. It was a dominant performance from Ashford’s No.4 Neel Bakshi, whose poise and timing was a thing of beauty, he scored a fabulous 63*. Bushy Park Girls battled hard in the field with their 9 strong team, Amy Banner fearlessly patrolling the boundary rope. Jess Low and Kerrie-Ann Dcunha combined for a fleetfooted run out in the 16th over, but Ashford were heading for a big total. Dcunha must be praised for her wicket-keeping , the ball was swinging prolifically and she saved BPG twenty or more runs with her dexterity. The BPG team left the field after 20 overs a little deflated. Captain Paige Goodwin had the unenviable task of rotating a team 2 players short but she was brave and resolute. Ashford scored an impressive 137 for 3 in their 20 overs.
In past seasons Ashford’s total would have been overwhelming for Bushy Park Girls as they played in the MCA Boy’s league. But this team has grown in resilience and now has depth in talent and spirit. Kerrie-Ann Dcunha (10) will always go out fighting and she shot from the hip in an opening stand of 20 with opening partner Paige Goodwin. It was a captain’s innings from Goodwin (P), she was the glue that kept everything together. She scored a smart 23 before succumbing in the 12th over. Amy Banner made her debut in the boy’s league with a rapid fire 8, including a fine cut to the boundary. Facing some fiery bowling she held her own at Number 3.
Although Bushy Park Girls were keeping up to the run rate of 7 runs per over, they needed a special innings from one of their nine players. Jess Low’s knock of 51 was a 10 over affair that crackled with aggression and power. Accumulated through audacious running (and a few trademark dives) but also with some hard-hitting that raced to the boundary and beyond. Low scored her maiden half-century and had taken Bushy Park Girls to within 5 runs of victory by the time she lost her wicket. Alongside her, Simrat Khaira played a pivotal support role, running hard to push ones into twos. Imogen Higgins looked unflustered with an excellent 13*, and with partner Erin Goodwin they steered BPG over the line in the 18th over. The final runs coming with an all-run four. The longest day of 2018 will be a day to remember for Bushy Park Girls, they finished on 140 for 5. The highest total they have chased to win in the MCA Boy’s league.
A big thank you to Ashford CC for hosting us and for playing on a grass wicket, something BPG don’t often get the chance to do. Thank you to Alex for umpiring, to Ted and Alban for scoring, and to Dawn for managing. As always a big thank you to parents for making the trek through the rush-hour traffic. Well done girls!
Full BPG stats HERE.