Home & Away matches returned this week as our Women's XIs took flight against Ringwood in the first round for the season.
While the return to cricket after a mammoth off-season was in itself exciting, this was also the first time we have fielded three women's teams which is a phenomenal achievement and also saw us welcome nine new players through the grades.
Krissy Martin lost the toss and we were sent into bat with Erin Maxwell and Kethme Ekanayka opening. Kethmi will reveal her promise soon and Erin provided a strong backbone to our innings, and was the eighth wicket to fall with the score on 67. Erin's 24 was invaluable. Montana Phillips was also a highlight with a quick 20 not out and growing in confidence throughout the innings. With Thivyaa she added an invaluable 20 for the last wicket to see us to a total of 100.
We were always well in control of the game when Ringwood went into bat with wickets falling regularly and all out for 54 off 29 overs. Best bowler was Mannat Chadha with 3 wickets and Montana completed a great game with 2 wickets, 3 catches and a run out.
The whole game was a highlight with great catching, fielding and generally having a great time being around each other.
The twos travelled to Ringwood to play at the Rock, firm and fast. After winning the toss Jess Caron and Sophie Strickland opened the batting and added 46 with Sophie setting the pace and making 27. Jess was the steady partner and found a similar partner in Keely until a mixup saw Keely diving for ground but caught just short (15).
Returning stalwart Laura Croft joined Jess at the crease and built a wonderful innings. In between rain delays she crafted a partnership of 46 with Jess (45) and 47 with Alannah (20). Her 360 array of shots were highlighted by 2 big sixes toward the end of our innings. She remained undefeated on 90 off 64 balls.
Ringwood started very well and scored at a brisk pace. The first wicket fell on 57 to Jess Reynolds caught by Keely and the next on 95 when Thenushi knocked the stumps over. A couple of quick wickets and Ringwood fell a little behind but were always in the game. Sophie helped our cause when taking a great catch at full stretch at midwicket. Ringwood tried to up the rate with rain threatening but were unable to do so, thwarted by good bowling and the rain sweeping in to end the game in our favour. Bowling honours belong to Jess Reynolds and Thenushi whilst Jess Caron bowled economically.
New skipper Kim won the toss and sent Ringwood in to bat and early on it appeared they might take advantage of the invitation. Kim got one through a defensive shot in the fourth over and then caught the other opener off Uvindee at short mid off. Their captain Raymond-Hoey was looking decidedly dangerous and was given a chance but the next ball Jess Matin took a great catch in gully. Emma added a second wicket when she bowled Arulrajah. The introduction of Jess Matin to the crease continued their collapse with three wickets to reduce them to 7 for 91. Wickets to Jess, Tiana and finally Kim saw them set a target of 131.
An opening partnership between Tiana and Julie of 59 set us well on the way. Julie (23) played the anchor but put away the bad balls and Tiana's 40 was punctuated with many graceful drives. Kim came in at first drop and ended the day on 42 not out, an innings that was scratchy but effective. After Julie was out caught driving a little in the air, Jess steered us to a good win and a bonus point with Kim.
Each week our sponsor Robert at Arctic Foods is awarding a $50 voucher at their store in Cheltenham Road Dandenong. You can select from a wide range of products including an extensive array of party foods. Thank you Robert. This week's winner is Laura Croft for her superb 90 not out off 64 balls including 10 fours and 2 sixes. Welcome back Laura.