Knock-Out Cup League Finals
From our own Correspondent
Both days enjoyed pleasant weather but the pitches looked very
green and appeared to be somewhat damp, especially
on Saturday morning. The #2 pitch was very marshy in
the lower corner of the outfield. The ECB engaged
female umpires to officiate and those in the games I watched
seemed to perform admirably
In all 4 matches the winner of the toss invited the opposition to
bat and this proved to be the victorious strategy in
all but the 3rd place play off.
SF1: Walmley v Saxton - Saxton managed to post 112* in 42 overs
(Rachel Hildreth 35. Rebecca Grundy 3 for 9) and
Walmley knocked them off for the loss of 5 wickets
in 32 overs (Marie Kelly 26. Cecelia Allen 2 for 18).
SF2: Newport v Finchley - Finchley were dismissed for 59 in short
order & Newport won by 8 wickets.
3rd P-Off: Saxton v Finchley - Batting first again on a dryer
pitch #2, Finchley were able to post 173 after being
c.50 for 5, however their bowlers proceeded to
demolish the Saxton batting line up for 52. Catherine Dalton &
India Whitty were the main run makers for Finchley I
Final: Saxton v Newport - Newport lost their skipper, Lauren
Parfitt, to the 1st delivery of the match but lower
order batting from Charlotte Scarborough (30)
enabled them to post a defendable 129-9*. Both of the Walmley openers
were back in the pavilion with the score on 13, however the
experienced pair of Thea Brookes (66*) and Marie
Kelly (55*) brought up a straightforward 8 wicket
victory to take the trophy in the 30th over.
* Figures from my own scorecard which don't always match those
given by the official scorers.
Of the players I'd not seen before, I was particularly impressed
by the performance in the final of left arm seamer
Grace Ballinger (Walmley) who ended with figures of
9-3-11-3 and had scored a creditable 23 runs in the
As usual, a number of each club's main players were unavailable
(Becky Grundy was only there for Saturday & Thea
Brookes only on Sunday) coinciding as it does with
the advent of the university year. Saxton (nr. Tadcaster)
were actually fielding a girl who hadn't ever played
cricket before (so they said).
A few more points...
matches were played with pink balls
Games were 45 overs – a balance
between the 40 overs played in the northern & 50 in the southern
premier leagues – although only Newport made full use of the limit.
On both days play was over before
Newport played in coloured kit,
although other sides were in whites
There was a PA system used on the
main pitch to announce the identity of the umpires and incoming
batsmen (but unfortunately not many other details that could be
discerned from looking at the scoreboard e.g. bowlers or catchers)
as well as blast out a modern ditty when wickets fell or boundaries
The England Squad for the
series has been announced and the fixtures can be found on
However, one piece of recent news is a little puzzling. It is said
that the 1st ODI which is to be played at Allan Border Field at
Brisbane, is sold out. One newspaper article says all 2,000 tickets
have been sold. Since the capacity of this ground is said to be 6,300
something doesn't add up here. Surely Cricket Australia would want as
large a crowd as possible.
We have to hope the ticket sellers have dropped a clanger as they will
have shot themselves in the foot. Who will turn up now without a
ticket, thinking they'll be no space available? I do hope they
haven't decided to open only one third of the ground. That really
would be insulting to the players.
Following on from Sana Mir's refusal to attend a training camp, Bismah
Maroof has been appointed captain of Pakistan. Are these two acts
linked you might wonder. Possibly so... Mir, however obviously feels a
very strong sense of grievance about the way the
team as a whole has been treated. There has also been negative
press in Pakistan regarding the performance in the World Cup.
Let's take a realistic look at the World
Cup first. If you'd been asked which were the teams likely to be
propping up the table at the end of the round-robin section I doubt
anyone would have picked any side other than Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Now let me get my view clear quickly. The support that both of these
sides get from their own Boards is minimal. In addition Pakistan lost
Bismah Maroof very early on and there's no doubt she is their top
batsman. Attapattu however, arguably Sri Lanka's equivalent, excelled
with the highest individual innings of the tournament , 178*, and saw
her side lose in spite of her Herculean effort. She has an average for
2017 of 42 in ODIs.
Maroof meanwhile has a poor average for 2017
despite in previous years averaging in the late 30s or low 40s. She
was denied the opportunity of correcting that in the World Cup with
her injury. There's no doubt Maroof was a huge loss to Pakistan.
Had we all known that Maroof was to play so little part in the World
Cup, which team would we have expected to take the wooden spoon?
Trying to weight up all of the above, and what I have seen of Pakistan
in the past, I would say they are a far better side than they were
even a few years ago. So I am forced to conclude that the problem lies
not with Sana Mir but with the Pakistan Cricket Board. Another
countries in the region, namely Bangladesh, have fought on with their
men's team in spite of losing match after match. Now they are a
competitive force and can, as the saying goes, give the opposition a
run for its money. Pakistan needs to back its women in the same way.
Address Sana Mir's concerns and in due time anything is possible.
Meanwhile team members continue to support San Mir, and, in turn, she
remains generous to her new skipper, posting this on Twitter.
And here's a typical tweet from a teammate...
At time's like this Twitter does allow a valuable insight into how
players feel, and there's little doubt the Pakistan team are
supportive of both players.
And one that might have escaped your notice concerns the opportunities
for corruption. Here's a quote from a recent article in The
So far in 2017, the sums bets on women’s cricket
with Ladbrokes are 43% greater than in all of 2016, with the Ashes
still to come. Industry insiders have highlighted how the extra
liquidity in betting markets for women’s cricket is creating potential
opportunities for corruptors.
Now surely the amount bet on women's games can't be that much that it
would be worth the while of any fraudsters to bother trying to take
advantage of any players, would it? 43% increase on a little is still
- well, not much. Well, think again! Apparently the Lord's World Cup
final was 'traded' on 'Betfair' alone to the tune of £78,000,000 if
the Guardian article is to be believed. One has to hope the ECB, ICC
and other governing bodies are not just aware of the fact but are
prepared to do something about it.
If I can add a note here -
1. The only sites who have ever approached me
wishing to advertise on this site have been betting companies. I've
never been sure if this tells me anything about the women's game...
2, I am always irritated by the expression so
often seen on adverts for the betting companies - "Bet Responsibly". I
am not sure that I have ever seen such a contradiction in two words
(which is not incidentally an 'oxymoron' although often described as
such. An oxymoron is 'seemingly self-contradictory' (although
Webster's disagrees with my former English Master and the Oxford
Dictionary), whereas "Bet Responsibly" ... well you've got my thoughts
on betting by now and I hold up as further evidence the fact I have
never accepted those offers to pay me for advertising.