Last Saturday, the W&G ventured to Wellington College to take part in the Kia Summer Smash, which is a new national T10 club competition. T10 is an interesting format to play - it lends itself to some serious tight matches as every ball is an event. The W&G were drawn in a very tough group and had a very young team, our U15s plus Lyndsay. First up was Ansty, who are currently second in the regional Premier League. They scored 113-1 off their ten overs - it was an interesting experience. At this level the margins for error are small and you need pace to trouble the batsmen. In reply, they opened with a spinner (who has played for England) who dismissed Alice, our one quality batsman of the day. The rest found it a struggle against a very high quality attack and we finished on 21-7.
Next up was Hutton, currently top of the Middlesex leagues (who were dismissed for 30 by Ansty). They batted first and scored 80-1 and to be honest one of their openers was the best bat we have faced this season. In reply the W&G gave a better account of themselves, finishing on 49-5.
Next day the W&G played Mersham in the top of the table clash in the Kent league. Mersham were an unknown quantity to themselves as they have not been able to get games before this season. They were however a quality side, led by Helen Fagg who runs women's cricket in Kent. Following overnight rain on an uncovered pitch, the W&G had the joy of batting on a sticky wicket, which was a novelty for most of the girls. Fortunately the W&G had Kira and Alice but once they were gone, the rest struggled with the lift and turn and we limped to 108-6. Lacking any spinners, we struggled to control the Mersham batsmen to begin with but once Helen Fagg retired, Eleanor and Liv imposed some discipline but Mersham just got over the line.
On Sunday, the W&G faced SMCC in the top of the table clash in Surrey. SMCC were strengthened by two Trinidadian rep players and one of Surrey's opening bowlers. The game was effectively over from the second ball when Kira played around a straight one. The pitch at Burbage Road was not good - the bounce was highly variable with balls keeping very low and also jumping shoulder high from similar lengths. There was also a lot of turn for their spinners. It's the first time we've seen this, this year. The W&G were quickly reduced to 9-4 and 18-6 before first Alice and Eleanor and then Eleanor and Aman gave the scorecard some respectability before a late clatter with 58 all out.
In reply, Lyndsay and Kira opened the bowling and took regular wickets including one brilliant running catch of a skyer by Eleanor to dismiss one of their Trinidadians, which they had practised in training on Wednesday. Eleanor then bowled a very hostile over dismissing the dangerous Monica Hariharan but ultimately we had too little to defend with SMCC winning by 5 wickets.
I should also thank the mums for the tea produced today - it was truly exceptional. It's been an interesting experience for the W&G to play so many high level players in the space of 12 days.