| RHC Girls' Kwik Cricket tournament 2011- the official match report
Summer at last arrived for RHC’s kwik-cricket tournament at Barnton on Sunday 3rd July. Carlton’s large girls’ squad was stretched to the limit as the annual mass exodus of the first school holiday weekend left us with the only 8 still left in Edinburgh. This meant our team ranged all the way from S2 down to P4, and our height range from 5ft 10” to 3ft 6”. Glorious, cloudless skies and roasting temperatures greeted our arrival, and being the first team there we wisely appropriated the only shade in the wide prairies RHC call home in front of one of the sightscreens. During our warm up, Andy Murray appeared looking for a game as he was considering a new career. After starting brilliantly he then made a string of unforced errors and kept looking to his mum for help, though whether this was with his malfunctioning off drive (which was operating at under 50%) or to add to his extensive repertoire of expletives is not known. After a team meeting, we decided to decline the offer of his services, first or second. We felt his policy of calling for the towel between each delivery when he was batting and for insisting on choosing one kwik-cricket ball from a selection of 4 when bowling each delivery would take much of the flow out the game. Besides, as the regular clubbers in our squad pointed out he was ugly and hadn’t even bothered to shave. I mean, what is it that Kim Sears sees in that multi-millionaire tennis player?
Our first match was against our old chums from Watsonians. With Carlton electing to field, Watsonians batted cannily and avoided losing wickets, while being particularly brutal on their “free hits” from my own bowling. For those of you not familiar with this variation, when a wide/no-ball is bowled, instead of the 2 run addition to the score the umpire bowls a delivery instead where the batsman cannot be out – an excellent way of ensuring batsman have a chance to score their runs from playable deliveries. With the loss of only 1 wicket Watsonians reached a net 36 runs off their 8 overs, a gettable total. And so it seemed, as Louise and Harriet cracked 15 in the opening over, smashing the ball to the boundary 3 times. However, our next pair Lucy and Ella lost 3 wickets in their first over. Lucy played some great shots but has the uncanny knack of picking out the fielders, and Ella proved that you can never shout too often at the weekly junior sessions “Don’t stand so close to your stumps”. However, they recovered well, adding 10 in their second over with some fine hitting. For the next 2 pairs, there was a lot of swishing of the bat, but too many didn’t connect. It was tough for Fliss and Jenn, as the rock hard ground meant most deliveries bounced around their ears. They added five runs, leaving our last pair Biz and Hannah 17 to win. With Biz nurdling singles, Hannah tried to smash boundaries with some extravagant swings of the bat. Swish!! – some useful airflow to cool me down standing at square leg umpire. Whoosh!! - the wicket keeper asks to change fielding positions. Then, when all hope seems lost BANG!! The ball sails off the middle of Hannah’s bat for a huge six. Another single from Biz and Hannah needed a six to win off the last ball. The massive crowd are on the edge of their fold up chairs. Wahoo!! – at this point I would have loved to have reported a famous last gasp victory, but instead a passing jet suffered unexpected air turbulence and crashed in the Forth. On the brighter side, it was a RyanAir flight.
For our second match, we arranged a scratch game against Edinburgh Accies boys. Despite some of their team only making it up to Hannah and Louise’s knees, they were confident of victory, but were quickly silenced by Biz and Hannah when they set about their opening bowler. However, this was as good as our batting got and the Accies confidence returned as the game progressed. We were in negative territory coming into our last over, after Louise and Harriet had faced an over of very fast and unsportingly straight bowling, some of which I am sad to report involved squealing from the batters. However, Louise smashed a huge six in the last over to drag us back into positive territory. Bowling, Fliss and Jenn each only conceded one run from their over, but otherwise we bowled too many down the leg side and failed to take any wickets, so the Accies ran out comfortable winners.
We saved our best performance for our final match against a mixed team from RHC. I was especially pleased with our bowling performance – 5 wickets in the innings but it would have been more had the pitch not been so bouncy. Harriet was particularly unlucky seeing two deliveries, of yorker length, still bounce over middle stump. Jenn bowled her best over of the tournament and our debutante Ella took her first competitive wicket. Chasing only 9 runs to win, Louise and Lucy got us off to a great start, adding a net 16 including a well struck 6 from Louise over extra cover. They were eclipsed by Hannah and Ella, who added 23 – by this time Hannah had got her eye in and was in superb form. Despite being siblings with no Y-chromosome, Biz and Jenn failed to communicate whilst running between the wickets, frequently ending up at the same end. Harriet and Fliss showed them how to do it, with Fliss farming the strike to her older sister who was on great form including a magnificent straight six. We ended with an excellent 51 from our 8 overs and ended the tournament on a high and still in glorious sunshine, albeit with a lot more freckles than the 2 million the squad started the day with.
So congrats to Watsonians who won the girls group. For Carlton, it’s back to Grange Loan to work on our off side shots!