| Kinross kwik cricket festival - the official match report
Carlton girls primary school squad had their very own G8 summit on Sunday, where 8 Carlton girls (see photo) were one of the 8 great cricketing powers assembling at Kinross for a kwik-cricket tournament. In fact, there were only seven great powers the tournament organisers had been left stranded on an island by the late withdrawal of Falkland, due to objections from the tournament sponsor the Argentine government. Instead a scratch team was assembled - the sponsors wanted this team to be called El Malvinas, but hey, it's a free country and the team took a vote and called themselves the "Coalition". This was handy, because my first job was to turn down the offer of services from Nick Clegg to play for Carlton. Our deputy PM had turned up to the G8 summit at Kinross following the careful directions of Conservative central office. We tested him out in the nets. When it was wide outside off stump he had recently learned how to execute cuts, cuts, cuts but he couldn't handle a straight one up the middle and Charlotte kept trapping him right in front i.e. Clegg before wicket. Next trying to winkle his way into the Carlton team at the G8 summit was the Labour shadow chancellor. He fancied himself as a bowler, but his deliveries were too far, too fast and above waist height, so I kept having to signal No Balls against Ed.
Taking time off from solving the world economic crisis, the G8 gathered round and decided to take advantage of the surprise appearance of the sun and play some cricket instead. Little did the huge crowd realise this meant a new economic crisis quickly began to develop. In a moment of madness, Catherine's gran was offering a birthday gift of £1 for each run she scored. Perhaps she has not seen Catherine play before? In a moment of brilliance that will surely see her one day appearing in Dragons Den or the Apprentice, Catherine also deduced that every wicket she took was worth £5 due to the five run deduction for the opposition. Worried that Catherine's gran didn't have access to the borrowing available from the European Central Cricket Bank (ECCB) I quickly made contact. Granny Katerinas Milnoppolous said she would get in touch with her German relations and if they refused to help she would pay Catherine in drachmas instead.
So to the games. Our opening fixture was against Largo and turned into our most thrilling game of the day. Bowling first, Largo made an imposing total of 50 but Carlton girls put in a tremendous chase. Needing eleven off the last over, our Loretto duo of Catherine and Mairi took 7 off the first 3 deliveries, leaving us poised for victory. The next delivery was the turning point. Mairi was really unlucky, as she smashed a ball through mid-wicket. One yard either side would have given her a 4, but the Largo fielder was in the right place and took an excellent low catch. Our second match was against Kinross girls, the days only all girls fixture. This was the big one, but Carlton put in their worst bowling and fielding performance of the day and conceded 60 and took no wickets. Too many leg side deliveries gave easy scoring opportunities. Batting, the game was quickly out of reach as poor running between the wickets cost us some early wickets. However, we recovered well with Iona and Cara adding 15 as third pair. With only a few mid-week practice sessions to her name, our P3 Cara batted fantastically, and never lost her wicket once in 4 games. In this game, having a bat as tall as her led to an unfortunate trip and a headlong dive into the stumps. Luckily, medical assistance was on hand as the Kinross umpire was a doctor. Even so, the situation looked critical until your correspondent assured Cara she was not-out, and full health was achieved on arrival of a special Cara sized bat. Final pair Catherine and Jennifer also played well and added an impressive 18, but we still fell well short of the Kinross total.
On to match 3, by which time the temperature was in double figures for the first time since March. This was against Freuchie, and I spent the pre match talk explaining to some inquisitive squad members how Freuchie was spelt and their place in Scottish cricket history. We won the toss for the third time, and again inserted the opposition. A bit of a topsy turvey innings ensued. Our most accurate bowlers throughout the day, Catherine and Ella each took two wickets - at one point Ella was on a hat-trick but she lost her rhythm by taking a strategic time out to ask me what a hat-trick was. However, some good hitting by Freuchie off the rest of our bowling saw them reach a net 51. Carlton then put in their worst batting performance of the day, with again too many run-outs. Iona dragged our score back into respectability with 3 well struck fours.
With the tournament organisers curtailing the planned fifth match after frantic calls from a participant's grandparent, our fourth and final match was against the "Coalition" team. Cara was the first skipper to lose the toss, and this time we batted first (though that was her master plan anyway). Steady progress saw our first 3 pairs add 26, but Cara's inspired captaincy saw senior pros Iona and Catherine together for the first time and two overs of Gayle like carnage saw them double our score. This time our fielding was much better, with Ella and Catherine each taking a caught and bowled and Iona and Mairi also taking catches. As the saying goes, catches win matches and this helped secure a 20 run victory, leaving happy memories for the journey home.
Thanks to Kinross for hosting an excellent tournament, enjoyed by all. We look forward to seeing them again at Carlton's kwik cricket tournament for girls in a few weeks time.