Monash University CC News
Women's Round 4 - Edinburgh
By Anna Broomhall
Week 4 (well 5 if you count the Twenty/20... I don’t so we’ll call it 4... although I do like the number 5 this week...) rumbled around yesterday morning and I had the luxury of being in my air-conditioned car as the morning got hotter on the drive down from Wangaratta where I attended a mate’s wedding on Saturday night.
Unfortunately that same air-conditioning meant that when I eventually made it to ECR, the first whack of heat felt much more, well, hot as I climbed out and immediately set about making sure we had plenty of Eskys to keep all our drinks below 40 degrees.
Keeping my tradition of winning home tosses and losing away tosses intact, for the first time in a long time I sent the opposition into the field to face the heat, earning some good-natured abuse from the opposition Skipper. With Maddi not available this week, Steve did the call around to fill her spot and managed to score an extra couple with Georgia and Bec coming down to help us out, meaning Jaffa could relax in her shorts through our batting innings in preparation for her time behind the stumps.
Cat and Scooby were reunited at the top of the order for the first time this season and while the first over was watched carefully, the second went for 8 and the runs started to flow. Catches were dropping like Kanye West record sales before Cat finally got an edge in the 4th over and the keeper took a great one-hander. A very nervous Hannah joined her in the middle and took a while to get going – a few wild swings early before she settled down and got a few off the bat, getting some beautiful shots through the gaps and running well with Scoobs to get the run rate ticking.
Scooby was travelling beautifully at her near 100% strike rate she’s had going this year before a mix up going for a second run sent her into the shed, earning a well earned (but possibly not as well received!) break from the heat. That sent Jo into the middle after having a couple of weeks off and before long she was well into the swing of things, a couple of overs in she swung around and CREAMED a ball through square fine-leg for a brilliant boundary. Hannah fell to a good ball... well that’s a lie... Hannah fell victim to a strange waist-high full toss and survival instincts which told her to get out of the way leaving her stumps to tumble. Damn those gazillion years of survival instincts!
Jo and Lushy got a nice partnership going, knocking about for nearly 10 overs before Lushy actually did fall to a good ball that also hit the woodwork. I headed in and immediately was filled with respect for both the fielding side and Scoobs and Hannah for lasting as long as they did in the heat. I got off the mark with a double and Jo kept on her merry way with some singles and another good shot for two before a mix up where I pounded the ball straight to the fielder at square leg and Jo didn’t realise it was the fielder with a rocket arm, I sent her back but she was well short. A fantastic innings however, 19 (which I believe is her highest score) and surviving in the heat for about 15 overs is a great day out.
X came and went in true X style, thwacking a ball to get off the mark and then thwacking the next one straight back to the bowler, but right idea! Bec came in and asked me if there were any fielders we could exploit, I pointed out the older lady as probably the weakness and promptly belted it at her where she caught it in her legs. Came off the bat nicely though...
Ella headed in and immediately popped one straight up in the air, Bec did the right thing by screaming yes and scrambling through for a single and sure enough, another catch went down. Ella lasted a few more, watching from the other end as Bec whacked it around, pushing the fielders wherever possible and sneaking in two’s wherever possible. Finally Ella fell and Georgia took her place. Wasting no time, Georgia smacked her third ball for a beauty through fine leg for 4. Bec finally took on one fielder too many and KB walked out. KB got off the mark with a great shot for 2 before Georgia was out and we finished all out for 120 in the 37th. Not our greatest total by any means but after keeping the opposition in the sun for over 2 hours, I was confident that we could put them under pressure early.
Well there’s early pressure and then there’s opening a fielding innings with a double wicket maiden. Which is what happened thanks to a couple of fantastic catches courtesy of Scooby at point and THE catch of the season so far from Ella at midwicket – diving to her right, one handed, big army roll before lying on her back and raising the ball in the air, Steve bellowing from the sidelines... brilliant start to any innings.
X started well with only a single off her first and a few two’s off my second over before X pounced with the first ball of her second, trapping the other opener PLUMB in front and Lauren raised her arm to send her back into the shed. My third over saw Cat try and snatch best catch of the season off Ella as a top edge flew over Jaffa’s head and she took a flying leap up and a one-hander with her left hand behind Jaff... somebody had flicked our ON switch and we had them 4/13 after 5.
It slowed down from there as Edinburgh tried to recover from a disastrous start. A hiiiigh catch back to X at the bowlers end turned nasty as her back foot slipped on the dirt just as the ball came down and missed her hands, straight into her nose. Scooby and Lush both rushed in and helped her off the field as blood was flowing freely and X managed to mention that her chest didn’t hurt anymore... we’ll work on those high catches X!
Cat took over the rest of her over and after mentioned to Ella and I at the start of the day that this would be the day for a wicket, her second ball proved her right as Scoobs took another catch. Cat was bowling magnificently and so kept on, and after her spell of 4.4 overs, ended on 1/6. Georgia came on and also got into the wickets, recovering well after going for 9 in her first over, Hannah took a good catch at square leg in her second. Ella kept her tradition of being a First Ball Bandit alive, trapping one in front, on the full on the back leg and miraculously Lauren’s finger raised a second time and they were 7/47.
Unfortunately that signalled the start of possibly the most boring and frustrating 26 run partnership that I have had to watch. Possibly the heat may have contributed to my temper but I was not a happy camper as I watched them bunt the ball softball style to gully, point, or back to the bowler. Jaffa and I were pleading with them to just DO something! They lasted for about 10 overs, with my temper fraying more every ball. Finally after pinging the ball back at Jaffa and maybe allowing the ball to get a little close to the batsman’s head, I thought maybe I should take my anger out on the ball and have a bowl. With my knee deciding to pack it in earlier in the day, I was reduced to a 4 step runup which seemed to work as FINALLY the leftie went for a shot, got a nick and Cat swallowed another one at slip.
X begged to come back on and so I threw her the ball and again with the first ball proving wonders, Scooby took her third catch of the day and the retired tonker made her way back out. I decided to finish out my overs for the first time this season, praying that we could get the last and get out of the damn heat. My knee grew steadily worse throughout my 10th over and my final ball was a windmill special, standing on the crease, groaning and willing it down the other end. I scrambled the seam in the hope of it kicking – thankfully it did, hit a top edge and Jaffa finished it off with the ball in her gloves – giving me my first ever 5fa and Steve raced on the field to congratulate us all – all out for 78 in the 29th.
Many positives after a game like yesterday but I’ll pull out my main two:
* Catching – the old “catches win matches” is an oldie but certainly proved true yet again – if they had held even half the chances they were given, we would have been gone for a lot less runs and they would have been under much less pressure. On the flip side, our catching was positively spectacular, taking whatever came our way and in some cases (Ella’s dive and Cat’s high leap at slip) making something out of nothing.
* Leadership – the leadership and support for all Gryphons that was shown yesterday by everyone out there was second to none – everyone made sure that people were coping as well as they could in the heat, and helping me out greatly given that I was buggered!
* Jo’s efforts yesterday in both the field and with the bat earn her Gryphon of the week – great enthusiasm, I appreciate the communication throughout the day and brilliant work with the bat after I tossed you up early in the batting order.
Oh and Cat’s dumping of an esky full of icy water on my head after the game certainly seemed to entertain you all also so that could possibly count as a positive! My jumping into my pool whites and all was another positive for me personally...
Thanks everyone to your efforts, a notch in the wins column after a day like yesterday makes the memory a lot sweeter. Thanks to Bec and Georgia for coming down and providing us the chance to give players a rest, much appreciated and you both certainly contributed throughout the day!
Bring on next week!