Sunday saw BPG Women travel to Harrow Town CC for their 3rd match of the season. Having had plenty of players to choose from early in the week it was a scramble to find 11 once the start time moved to the morning and the prospect of a lie in for some seemed a little more appealing.
Anyway, thanks to Kate, we had 11. However, all good plans……. We arrived at the ground where your correspondent found he had a picture of a flat tyre on his phone. Sadly KJ who was due to make her debut for us had a puncture and she was trying to fix it. Having had 3 wicket keepers in the team we were now down to 2 and then that quickly became 1 when Molly said she would prefer not to keep. Fortunately, Kerrie-Ann was happy to do the role so she was gloves girl for the day.
Harrow were keen to get started as the ground had another game booked for 12.30 so Captain Paige did the toss with Harrow captain Khush. We lost. Despite telling us they had a weak side Harrow chose to bat!
Erin opened the bowling and the Harrow opener looked none too confident against her lively pace. With her 5th ball Erin struck sending the bails flying.
Simrat took the 2nd over and quickly joined the party by removing the other opener also clean bowled. 1-2
Paige shuffled things round and decided to bring her mum onto bowl first change. Her younger sister looked less than happy having just taken a wicket but it gave Dawn the opportunity to bowl her first ball in competitive cricket. Admittedly, it did take a few balls before she bowled her first legal ball in competitive cricket! Her action looked good so Ted’s coaching had not been in vain. I do suspect that they had been practising in their back garden as the length being bowled looked perfect for a 10 yard pitch!
Somehow Harrow’s ladies survived the guile and flight of that over but their joy was to be short lived. Paige became the third Goodwin to bowl and pegged their number 3 in front of the stumps to win an LBW appeal (could have been louder!).
At 11-3 I dropped a note to KJ saying no need to try a Formula1 pit stop as the game might be over before she arrived. Molly was the next bowler and her pace clearly troubled the bat, as desperate to get off strike she promptly ran herself out after a sharp throw from Erin to Kerrie-Ann.
Harrow looked to be in trouble and things weren’t going to get any better. Evie took the ball and won another LBW decision first ball as the batter tried to play foot cricket (very popular at school when I was a lad. Probably explains why I never made it as a cricketer!)
Next ball another running catastrophe. Paige was too quick and Kerrie-Ann did the rest. The next ball went for 4 byes. A welcome boost to the Harrow score but after another attempt at football Evie struck again. Foot cricket is honestly not the way to go.
At 16-7 the Harrow innings was in tatters. The Harrow captain, Khush, was next in. She guided her first ball nicely past point for a single off the last ball of the over. This was maybe a mistake as she kept the strike and Eve had now taken the ball and was steaming in from somewhere near the boundary. First ball and the stumps were in tatters. Eve reverted to her short run in sympathy and the rest of the over passed uneventfully.
Having had no wicket for 5 balls Paige turned back to Molly. That did the trick as with her 5th ball the bails (kindly supplied by Jess Low Sports limited) were lying on the floor.
Most fielding captains are looking to stem the flow of runs. In Paige’s case she was looking to stem the flow of wickets. So she bought back her mum to bowl! Sadly, this tactic didn’t work as confused by Dawn’s delivery that hit the ground and rolled along the floor the batter decided to run and Jess was way too quick and Kerrie-Ann did the rest again.
Dawn jumped around celebrating her first wicket before we had to sadly tell her that run outs do not count to the bowler!
So, 20 all out and England v India had hardly started in the World Cup.
The big decision from Paige was who to open with. She decided it was to be Kate making her full debut for the team and yes you guessed it Dawn! Fully kitted out they strolled to the wicket like Jason Roy and Johnny Bairstow. Hyped up and bristling with aggression fully intending to put this game to bed swiftly and decisively.
With neither having batted before in a competitive match they found that it was necessary for someone to face the first ball. Dawn took the honour (I think) and negotiated the first over from the opening bowler competently.
Kate was to face the next over. Kate also very successfully saw off the bowler and it looked like we might have found a natural opening pair to sustain Bushy Park Ladies for years to come.
5-0 off 2 overs (all wides). At this point Ben and yours truly decided to be very lenient on the wides in order to prolong the game. As long as the ball landed inside the M25 it was considered a fair delivery.
The first ball of the 3rd was an historic moment as Dawn scored her first ever run. A very nice shot towards cover. Kate not to be outdone quickly followed with her first run and the dynamic duo were off. It must be said calling and running between the wickets may need a little remedial work. Some of the moves and turns would have even got a 3 from Craig Revel Horwood.
The next couple of overs were both maidens (well they couldn’t reach most of them) but they were interspersed with a couple of nice shots which probably should have been run but more indecision resulted only in mini shuttle runs back and forth from the crease.
The Harrow captain Khush decided enough was enough and bought herself onto bowl. It proved a masterful move as Dawn popped a catch back to the bowler and we lost our first wicket after a fine opening partnership of 9. This bought Jess to the wicket and she was in no mood to hang around. The first ball was a single and then of the last ball Kate very cheekily stole the strike by taking another single. A single off the first ball of the next over and Kate was really motoring. Jess then smashed the next ball down the hill for 4. It went so far it should have counted double. A couple more singles ensued before Jess repeated the stroke. If anything it travelled even further.
That was it. Game over in one hour and 15 mins (about as fast as it took KJ to fix her tyre!). Bushy Park win by 9 wickets. Our first ever for Bushy Park women and points on the board.
Thanks to Khush and her team who were a very nice bunch of ladies who, like ourselves, are in their first season in this league. Thanks also to Ben for helping with umpiring and to Ted for scoring, although clearly either the umpires or Ted could not count. Given I hadn’t got home till 2am and Ben’s track record on maths from the previous match – I will generously say it was the umpires.