Monash University CC News

Women's Round 3

By Anna Broomhall

Week 3 rolled around with no forecast of rain this week for our first home game of the season – good start really! And as an added bonus, combined with the forecast was the absence of very dark rainclouds... funny how those two don’t always go hand in hand!

With our first home game came my first toss of the coin and for the first time Queen Elizabeth II treated me well as the Clifton Hill/Collingwood Skipper called tails and I got to be the one who put us in the field to start, albeit with 1 fielder short after Angie couldn’t get down.

While a single off my third ball ruined my chance of wicket maiden to start, the (rather obvious) nick that Jaffa swallowed off the last ball kept my trend of a wicket to open the game intact and we were up and away. After X opened her account with a wide, the next 6 balls showed that she knew where the spot to bowl was as she pushed the length up nice and close to the toes of the batsmen. Even if you get the line slightly wrong, the length can make a bad line better than it looks!

They stayed on 1-fa for the next 10 overs, while our fielding was ensuring that they were working for their runs – Cat was unlucky as she took a ping at the stumps and went for overthrows, but she flattened them with another rocket from her usual spot so they knew not to take her on. X had a short spell to start this week as she is still unwell – I don’t know how much louder I can get my friend... GO TO THE DOCTOR! Again a big shoutout goes to Scoobs who was covering a lot of ground at square – I took a punt this week after having a chat to Steve at training and left out a midwicket fielder, leaving a nice big chunk of gap for them to aim at. While they did manage to get a few through there, they did it playing shots I wanted them to play – across the line and against the swing. It was Scooby who paid that price though as she acted as behind square/square leg/mid-wicket as well as providing backup to the mid-on & Lushy in short all from her position at square leg. Fantastic effort.

Eventually Maddi made the second breakthrough as she bowled a juicy half-tracker outside off and Jo decided about when the ball was about a foot away from her head that she just might put her hands up and snatch it. But the moral of the tale is; when leg-side players can’t get the balls to put away leg side, they will get frustrated (particularly higher up the order) and play shots they’re not good at in an attempt to hit some runs.

Cat finally got sick of ruining the stumps in run out attempts and decided to get in the scorebook another way as she took a great gully catch to give KB her first wicket and sending the other opener on her way. While KB went for runs when she strayed down leg, she also frustrated the batsman and when she switched to around the wicket and angled the ball in, one caught the edge and flew towards me in slip. In my head it came in slow motion as I saw it happen... the batter leaned forward, the ball drifted straight and clipped the edge... but it was dying quickly and I realised to my horror that it wasn’t going to be a nice throat high ball but if I didn’t move it was going to bounce about 3 inches in front of my right foot... I started to go down, noting just how long it was taking to get down when I felt leather in my palm and my fingers scrape dirt before they curled around the ball and I gracefully rolled to the ground before thudding to a stop on my back, arms raised in celebration. I quickly stopped Jaffa as she started to brush the dirt off; I wanted people to KNOW that I took a diving catch dammit! Nice grass stains on my right knee helped though.

While Maddi took her age break, X had another short spell before Ella came on – with a big warning to me that she hadn’t bowled in 3 weeks so she’d do what she could. Well what she could do was pitch a beauty first ball, on middle and off, short of a length, just short enough to catch the top edge of the batter who’d been in for long enough to know better and popped a nice high one for Lushy to enjoy at her short mid-wicket possie. Not a bad way to go into drinks really!

With Steve’s demand that we bowl them out rather than allow them to bat the 40 overs ringing in my ears, I stuck with Ella & KB for a couple more overs after drinks as they kept it tight before bringing myself & X on – in my attempt to keep the fact I was bringing X back on from X herself, I did forget to warn Ella that X would be taking over her end though, sorry El!

My short spell of two overs proved unsuccessful wicket wise and Maddi came back on to tandem with X. Much like last week, X flicked a switch in her third spell and after starting with a maiden, nabbed a wicket in her second over, trapping the opposition skipper in front. It appears that our umpire only allows one LBW decision per game, because the following over, Maddi had the new batsman absolutely PLUMB – more so than the one X had given in her favour, but no love from the ump.

Maddi & X continued on together for the next few, ceding few runs and frustrating the hell out of the skunk-haired batsman as they tried to get the run rate moving again. A few skyed balls got them singles, Scoobs tried for a spectacular diving catch that fell just short of her fingers but it wasn’t long before she got a much easier chance at head height and they were 7-fa with Maddi again reaping the rewards for a great days bowling ending on 2/18 off her 8 overs.

X again finished her spell brilliantly, at the 5 over mark she was 0/22, finishing at 1/27 off her 10. Ella came back on to pair with me, and I was rubbing my hands in glee at the prospect of bowling at the nervous looking new batsman and pulling in all the fielders so it was a nice little ring-a-rosy around the bat. After having a couple of minor heart attacks watching the ball just skip a millimetre or two over the stumps or past the outside edge, I finally banged one straight towards her and she swung wildly, catching a top edge and X made the call and took a good catch on the edge of the pitch. Skunk was getting more and more frustrated as we kept the ball outside off before finally she cracked and gave Ella her first caught and bowled and granted Steve’s wish, bowling them out with 3 overs in hand.

At the halfway point, they were 4/65 off 19.1 – to take 5/34 off the next 17 overs was an absolutely brilliant effort. After Cat hurt her knee in a diving attempt and had a break for the last few overs and with X still unwell and Lushy and I sending her off a couple of times, we were with 9 for parts of the day and even with both on the field we were 1 down – a fact that we covered really well; so well in fact that both Jo & Ella had no idea we were one down.

With Cat’s knee preventing her from being able to run with Scooby, Maddi agreed to come in at 3 rather than open and Lushy got the chance to get out there do a bit more exercise than her 5+km run that she’d done Sunday morning.

For the second time in 3 weeks, numbers 3 & 4 watched on waiting for their chance and for the second time in 3 weeks they were without luck as we watched Scooby and Lush settle in and get comfortable. The bowlers looked a bit quicker than we’ve seen the last couple of weeks so it wasn’t just tonking mid-pitch lollies, this was brilliant running, nudging into the (many) gaps, putting the pressure back on the fielders and an unspoken understanding between the two. At drinks Lushy described a shot where she played it, called no while running down the pitch and they scrambled through for the single. Not really textbook stuff but they just seem to get each other out there.

While Scooby was forcing the runs, Lushy played a great support innings, getting off the mark by straight driving past the bowler for a double. With the fielders looking to contain rather than attack, the singles were there for the taking and they were certainly taken, with dainty and delicate nudges and pushes just out of reach. Great to watch although Maddi was itching to get out there as they brought the slower loopy bowlers in.

We passed their total in the 23rd over – Scooby ending on 58 (from 68) and Lushy SMASHING her previous highest score of 20* with a 32* (from 70).

Positives & Highlights!

Some of your highlights that were pointed out after the game:

* Ella’s first caught & bowled – Ella in general had a fantastic game, 2/8 off 3.3 overs is a great return after having 3 weeks off!

* Scooby & Lush’s running between the wickets & Lushy getting a new highest score

* Early wicket in our fielding innings to put the pressure back on the opposition

* The hustle in the field & the number of times we hit the stumps – while we didn’t get the run out we were after, I’m happy to purchase a run out with a few overthrows when genuine chances are on offer.

* The catching – we took 8 catches out of 9 wickets, all with separate catchers. The dropped chances were slim, a very short one for Lushy, a feather of a nick that went between first slip and Jaffa and Cat’s spectacular dive that deserved a wicket but just didn’t stick. The effort was enormous and shared around brilliantly. I personally enjoyed my dive, might have to try it more often!

* General fielding – as a bowler, knowing that I have 10 (or in yesterday’s case 9) team members that are going to do their utmost to help me restrict the batsman makes the job a lot easier. Scooby’s efforts on leg-side combined with her unbeaten 58* make her Gryphon of the week – great work.

* X’s bowling despite apparent chest pains and an inability to breathe. Can’t wait to see how you do when you’re fit!!

Next week we have a Twenty/20 against Kayla’s mob down in Dandenong and then a week off so let’s throw everything at them and go into the break 3-1!

Congrats on a comprehensive win Gryphons, see you next week!