Monash University CC News

Women's Twenty20 Round 2

By Anna Broomhall

We all turned up to Round 2 of the Twenty20 comp on Wednesday night, I was feeling rather strange as I watched Hannah and Cat turn up in work clothes rather than trackies and tees. Very peculiar.

After Scooby was deputised by Steve while I wandered around feeling confused, she broke the trend and won the toss, sending us into bat – given Gryphons were trickling in slowly from work or school, the right decision to make!

Scooby and I trooped into the centre, both scratching our heads as we wondered at this Wednesday cricket stuff. I watched from the other end, all intent on watching a full over from the non-strikers end. Life being life, it didn’t happen that way as the first ball went for a bye and we scrambled through to get our innings off to the right start. The rest of the first over I watched carefully as I tried to get the measure of the turf wicket – getting onto a couple but no runs for my trouble.

Scooby also watched closely in the second over before hitting it fairly well, albeit to a fielder and a mixup as we both stood a few metres out of our crease, followed by me realising that me with a bung knee (or with a good knee) is more worthy of sitting on the sidelines than the run machine that is Scooby in her current form, so dashed down, just managing to cross before the bails were taken off and Hannah trooped in to take my place.

Hannah did one better than me and got off the mark, also struggling as the ball was sliding through low, finally one sneaking through and banging into the stumps. Scooby was struggling to read the pitch and so travelling slower than usual; finally she got onto one, and in trademark style slapped it over gully for a boundary. Like on the weekend, after hitting a boundary she fell next ball to a low skidder that thudded into her pads and Joe being the beautiful umpire that he is and understanding the rules of LBW, raised his finger. Of course we didn’t think too much of the decision given we were 3/11 but still, nice to have that when we’re in the field!

Cat and Maz were united in the centre and while Cat took a few balls to watch what was happening, she got sick of that and walloped one just over mid-on’s head in a lofted straight drive for four. Not a bad way to get off the mark. Standing at square leg umpiring was a great spot to watch the running between wickets as Cat and Maz started to get the feel of both the pitch and picking the weak fielders to pinch runs from – some great calling from Cat made sure that the scoreboard was ticking wherever possible. While Maz lasted for quite a long time, she was struggling with her quads cramping and eventually fell to a good ball sneaking through her defense and was on her way.

I was relieved of Maddi knocking great things about my younger years (Doc Martins, Grease, Sound of Music among them – “Doc Martins... awful” she shuddered) as she traipsed in and I was excited to see how she would rebound after the weekend. The answer was “brilliantly” as she also watched closely, but got off the mark quickly, turning the ball around her legs when they strayed in line and punching through cover when they over corrected. Cat was on her way after a 2 became unstuck after 1½ but Maddi kept on keeping on like the Energiser Bunny, really getting into things with some glorious fours through cover, fine and square leg. Only 7 dot balls in her innings of 28, finally ending after some good fielding resulted in a run out. A fantastic innings and almost singlehandedly giving us a target to defend. I say “almost” as there were definitely cameos – most notably Cat and then Angie towards the end, Cat groaning on the sidelines as the loooopy bowler came on, Angie licking her lips as she stepped forward and slashed it through cover point for a boundary. The next ball she stepped back syntho-style and came unstuck. Ella lasted a few balls before X had to join Lushy in the middle to replace her, in typical X fashion again she belted it and was caught on the last ball of the innings and we ended on 9/71.

With Steve’s helpful advice “if you get the batters out, they go away” fresh in our minds, and my last two balls on the weekend resulting in the final two wickets, I thought I might open the batting and try my luck.

While my first ball was a Syntho Special (outside off), I tossed up the second and the opener licked her lips, went down for the slog sweep over midwicket – not particularly advisable when it’s full, straight and your second ball and the bails tinkled off. Why is it that 3 wickets in 4 balls is so much more common than 3 in 3? Debacle. I decided to try and remedy my hat-trick situation with another crack, so I roared an appeal when my 4th ball, again full and straight, smacked into the pads. I could have kissed Joe as his finger raised, and my affection only grew as I roared next ball and his finger went up again. For the second time in an over, a hat-trick went begging but after one over we had them 3/0.

With X’s extra pace, she was unlucky as twice in two balls, edges flew first low past my right hand and secondly threw Angie’s feet at a third-ish slip – two balls that could have gone to hand that instead went for 6 runs. But that’s the nature of cricket, particularly Twenty20.

I came back on for another crack and while my first attempt at a scrambled seam was lucky to only go for a wide as it slipped down leg, they were watching carefully for the next 3 balls before I finally slipped one through and Joe’s finger raised yet again.

X watched and learned something as next over she also pitched it up and straight first ball of her second over and another successful appeal had Brighton scrambling at 5/15. Some experienced heads came in and started knocking the singles around and actually playing as if they were on turf by taking a nice stride forward. A front foot no ball by Exxy resulted in a free hit and for the second time in 2 games, X managed to knock the stumps over but not get credit for it – happens to some of the best bowlers in the world X, what it does mean is that your front foot is only an inch or so from where we want it... much better than you bowling back next to the umpire like you used to!

Maddi kept it tight and was unlucky after bowling an absolute ripper of a ball – a lot quicker than she had been, the ball positively RACED off the edge of the bat – now I think I do alright in slip, but this one had me buggered as it flew to my left, I just managed to get my arms up and it smashed into my left forearm just below my elbow – unluckily my arm only slowed it down rather than forcing it up or sticking in the crook of my elbow. It actually created seam shaped welts and I still have a multi-coloured forearm. Scooby also copped a Maddi special as it skipped up off the pitch and walloped into her collar bone, making a nice squishy “thunk” sound.

In typical Tonker Fashion, a few fours managed to get through the square leg region, Cat copping a few as she rolled her arm over. Ella came on for a crack and after holding her up to do some field adjustments, the batsman kindly took note of exactly where Angie had just moved to and popped it up to her – Ella the First Ball Bandit strikes again! Her next over also wielded a wicket first ball and I believe she has now officially become known as Bandit. Watch how that eventually degenerates to something else as us , in true Aussie fashion, get sick of a two-syllable nickname!

I came back on with one over up my sleeve and managed to sneak another one through first ball to knock the long-standing oldie over, and we had them 8/59 – plenty of overs left but not many wickets and a lot can happen in an over so we were still in it. X came back on and they went after her extra pace, going for her and getting a couple of boundaries for their trouble. Bandit also was on the receiving end of a couple, so when Maddi came back on it only took 2 balls for them to hit the required boundary for victory.

Now I make no secret of the fact that I like to win. I love to win. However, if we have to lose, that is how I would choose to do it. No one gave up, everybody hustled, backed up, went for the run outs if the chance was there, stayed loud, got behind their team mates and god we got close...

As I mentioned after the game, we have the most potent bowling/fielding attack in our comp. Darebin who is unbeaten and sitting atop the ladder have taken 47 wickets for the season (including their 2 T20 matches). We have taken 57 in the same number of games. Coburg have taken only 2 wickets less than us in our normal comp, but in both our losses against them, we could have won. After that, we are at least 15 wickets clear.

That is not only a result of our bowling, which is strengthened this year by Ella coming along in leaps and bounds as well as Cat getting back into it and of course the addition of Maddi to our ranks, but also, to a massive extent, our fielding. We take catches that others don’t. Our fielding creates the pressure that allows us bowlers to attack. I like to have an aggressive field when we’re out there but if I had a different set of fielders, chances are my hand would be forced differently. It’s a great luxury as captain, so please don’t underestimate my appreciation for your efforts.

We have another game on Sunday, taking on Edinburgh again who we know we can beat!

Cheers Gryphs,