22nd June – the final day of games included SA v WI, matchup of the middle chancers and recent improvers, and at Leicester Australia v Pakistan. For some reason, perhaps some kindaof press or other function, all the games started an hour earlier than advised – I was early for the first game at Oakham so was being more relaxed, but then they were publishing toss results on social media- cue frantic packing!
WI were without loss when I got there, pretty much the only spectator, others confused by the start time, but it went downhill rapidly… the opening bowlers had been replaced at both ends by the dangerous Khaka and Daniels, who had been wicketless in the first game, not today – she dismissed opener Matthews caught ‘keeper Chetty the top scorer with 19, 35-1. The introduction of the other dangerous bowler from the first game, Klass, brought wides and wickets – 3 and 2 respectively – Walters played on for 14, Boyce was caught for 10 low down at extra cover by Sune Luus the first of two catches for her today, 51-3.
This brought Dottin to the wicket, and a slight stabilisation to 60-3, but Klass was there again, straight through Dottin, for the first of the single digit scores, 6. 60-4 became 60-5 with Luus’ other catch, a replay of the first to remove Tryon. There then proceeded a collapse worthy of calypso collapso and English cricket – Daley run out by a de Klerk a direct glancing hit from square leg, 0, Aguillera 1 another run out this time Klass from fine leg – should have been two there, but she was slow to set off, Mohammed c Chettyb Klass 0, and Cornell run out attempting a single that was on if you were Greenway/Wyatt or Bairstow/Buttler, but not these two, de Klerk accurate again.
60-3 had become 63 all out…. including 3 wicket maidens… Not sure who got the record for the longest trudge off, it was a close run thing… One of the WIndies coaches was asked if he had a hot date somewhere…
Again the first innings was over so quickly that SA came straight out – once they could persuade the WIndies coaches to vacate the field. Cornell marked out her warmup but Dottin took the first over – 9 runs including two fours. For the first half a dozen overs it felt like the only fielder who could field the ball cleanly, without it going through their hands, their legs, falling over etc was keeper Aguillera, also captain in the absence of Taylor. By 10 overs, SA had carried on steadily to 40-0, the seamers Cornell and Selman not threatening, in fact Lee took a fancy to the seam of Cornell flicking her high over the rope and the hedge – it was alright, a schoolgirl let us have our ball back. Left armer Daley would have you believe that every other ball was a sharp chance, given the ooohs and aaaahs.
Dottin returned for the 13th, the score 43-0, to make the breakthrough, Woolvardt through the slower ball too early chipped it back to Dottin, out for 26, 45-1. Lee was bowled Daley behind her legs playing across the line, 18, 47-2. Chetty fell to the ever consistent Anisa Mohammed lbw 5, 56-3 and only 8 required, Tryon was then bowled for a blob in the same over, 56-4 but du Preez got them over the line without fuss.
SA won by 6 wickets with more than 31 overs left. There was much jollity as the WI players gathered on the field, the coaches had seemed far more frazzled and had been urging players to give nothing and show urgency – when the result matters we may seem a different level of urgency or passion from these players or WI chances will be slim.
Conclusions from the warmups??? Australia and England were as expected, though there were some variations in who performed compared to expectation, NZ were up and down but still have the talent and experience. Next SA and India both don’t seem to be likely given these performances, but they have at least put some decent performances on the park. Pakistan impressed beating WI, but they WI and Sri Lanka seem to lack the skills, experience and passion, this time – perhaps I’m wrong and Pakistan will do the double….!
21st June – todays games included the best matchup of the four days on paper – hosts vs NZ at Derby – plus a sub-continent fest – India v Sri Lanka at Chesterfield (where England had played SL on monday to the enjoyment of a good crowd at a hospitable location).
I’d been looking forward to seeing Sarah Taylor back where she belongs behind the stumps, but on Monday, having dismissed SL cheaply England allowed them to bat out their 50 overs, so England having chased down the SL total did the same, Knight passing 100 and Taylor getting 84. Therefore I was to be disappointed by Winfield fielding the gloves, Hazell captaining instead of Knight and Sciver opening the bowling instead of Brunt.
By the time I got past 4 enormous drum things clogging up the M1, Priest had already fallen and the England friendly spectators had already decided there was a lot more jobs-worths than in Chesterfield and a lot less facilities available – on the hottest day of the year spectators were not allowed to sit in the area of seats in front of the pavilion that was actually in shade most of the day.
NZ had gone for slight variation of the batting lineup I had seen in February as Devine was back, but she came in later than I expected. So after Priest falling the NZ skipper Bates and vice-captain Satterthwaite tried to stabilise and create a platform, but Shrubsole did for her, wicket number 2, Wyatt taking the catch, Satterthwaite fell to a sharp caught behind by Winfield standing up against the bowling of Gunn, NZs experienced top three back in the hutch (or back under the boundary side umbrella), for just over 50, would they manage the same kind of recovery as Australia the day before?
For a while, the signs were positive, two less experienced but starting to come into their own batsmen – Katey Martin (who had kept wicket on monday) and Maddy Green put on the kiwis best partnership, mostly to the medium pace of Gunn and Langston. However, stand-in skipper Hazell brought herself on and then fellow spinner Alex Hartley and both batsmen fell in subsequent overs, 95-4 became 95-5. This brought one of the worlds best allrounders Sophie Devine, fit again, to the crease, along with Katie Perkins who had made a couple of good stands against their old enemy Australia in the winter.
However, Hazell ceded her end to another off-break bowler Laura Marsh, who did for both of them; first the dangerous Devine trying to clear the legside sweeper Wyatt and failing, for just 7, and then Perkins was cleaned up 109-7. Marsh also snaffled Peterson c Elwiss at midoff, left-arm spinner Hartley got another – Newton got one back over her head clean and straight, tried the same again next ball but not so clean or straight and Jenny Gunn just does not drop those, 120-9 meant we were wondering whether the kiwis would be allowed to use up their overs, lunch could be taken, or England would bat before lunch. The final wicked of Tahuhu c Langston b Gunn for yet another single digit score showed us – the teams came off some at a trot to change gear.
Yet again, as with India, only 3 kiwis made double figures with extras of 11 (again) being the 4th highest score.
Winfield and Beaumont, England’s current standard opening pair faced 10 overs before lunch and dispatched 45 of the required runs, Winfield 27, TB 15. Both sides were very quick though their lunch, Beaumont was not safe to swim at about 15 minutes, keen to carry on. Winfield didn’t reappear – staff had been out about 2 overs before the interval with the magic bag of tricks – perhaps painkillers, so it was Sciver who joined TB to carry on much as before. They had to start again, but had also had a respite from the heat of the day. Perkins took two sharp and low down catches at midwicket to dismiss Sciver b Tahuhu and then Wyatt b Kasperek, but Wilson joined TB and with tons of balls to spare took her time and let TB carry on, as the kiwis went through their full repertoire of bowlers including Thamsyn Newton and her right arm medium-quick that I’ve not seen before.
With 22.4 overs to go, TB hoisted Kaparek back over her head to get her 50 and take the game for England’s ‘B’ team against pretty much the Kiwis ‘A’ team. Prospects for this young England team have gone up in the tournament – a very open field!
Todays weirdness was seeing Taylor charging on in her fluorescent vest with the drinks holder – when I congratulated her on being back where she belonged and scoring runs, she grumbled what good it did her in getting her rested – clearly in good spirit and wanting to play.
Some interesting matchups in more casual settings plus a few holiday days in the bank and finding a holiday cottage meant I was able to go and watch live a few of these… I went for the most interesting games, I thought!
19th saw England beat Sri Lanka easily in Chesterfield, and expecting this if they were to have any chance of the title, I selected NZ v India. NZ impressed in the winter vs their old enemy Australia and they were playing one of the old established teams of womens cricket – India. On a baking day in Derby, where it was too hot for many spectators even in the shade, the Kiwi bowlers didn’t give the Indian batsmen much to go on, and the fielders too – Hannah Rowe on what is probably her first overseas tour with her folks watching snaffled 4 catches to add to two wickets. Indian skipper Raj as the worlds leading run scorer (still playing) was not the top score, but she hung around and tried to hold the innings together but when 4 of the top 6 make single figure scores its always going to be hard – India were all out for 130, with extras the 4th best score.
In reply, skipper Bates and keeper Priest put on 50 for the first wicket, Priest having been playing for Berkshire in the county season going on to make 50, with Martin and Devine finishing the job – 4 of top 5 making 20 or more is always easier.
Two interesting occurrences – one in each innings, when India were batting, Verma was able to completely demolish her stumps in the wildest of swings and survive all to the bemusement of our group of spectators, known of whom had a clue. Turned out the ball before was a no-ball had presumably been signaled as such, and the free-hit signaled as such, but none of the admittedly small group of spectators had seen either signal! The other one was when the indian keeper claimed a low down catch off Priest – she wasn’t moving and neither was the umpire and there was no decent coverage that I was aware of to be checked… she didn’t seem overly aggrieved, or perhaps she knew her team was already considerably behind…
20th June saw WI v Pakistan, which I thought was one sided, how wrong would I proved to be as it proved quite a thriller with 14 balls left when no-hopers Pakistan turned the tables on the current T20 world champs..
At Oakham school, current ODI champs faces off against SA who have been making good progress since the last tournament, taking games against a number of the worlds top sides. SA won the toss and put the aussies in on a cooler day that lots of the country experienced with a low cloud level. Mooney got away ok, but early on scoring was a little slow against the opening bowlers Ismail and Kapp. The introduction of Khaka brought an LBW appeal, survived by Bolton, and her second over took the stumps of Mooney bringing in the aussie skipper Lanning. Last time I saw her she stuck one of her trademarked imperious centuries – not today, out without scoring caught by the opposing skipper at slip and trudged off straight to the nets. Bolton was out not soon after caught on the boundary by Lee and at 40-3 the champions looked a little ordinary, but this brought Villani to join Perry and a 167 run partnership took the game away from SA, with a 50 and a ton, with some damaging 10run+ overs including a number of large sixes.
The SA reply couldn’t have got off to a much worse start, Lee send back by inexperienced Steyn was run out 0-1 off two balls.
The aussies went through their repertoire of bowlers, given concerns about the dearth of aussie quicks they seemed to bowl 4/5’s of the overs, the in-experience of Vakawera who leaked a few runs early on but came back with two wickets of Luus and Klass later on, and Aley who bowled Tryon to break a 50+ run partnership with Chetty along with experience from Perry and Schutt – Perry got Kapp caught and bowled into her midriff and out, Schutt took the top-scorer and keeper Chetty caught by Haynes diving forward at short cover. Jonasson picket up 3 wickets and Gardner one plus Lee’s run out and SA kept the scoring rate low with only Chetty/Tryon the only partnership over 50 and ended all out 103 runs short.
Todays interesting occurrence was the addition to the small normally about 50 spectators of Mr Healy, known to most cricket fans as Mitchell Starc. He willing posed for selfies with a couple of people who spotted him, commented on the better weather now and made himself inconspicuous as normal and enjoyed the game.