Match Two: West Indies v Thailand :
I was really looking forward to today's cricket and was not
disappointed. It would be my first chance to watch Thailand play and I
found myself wondering how they would play; how they would compare with
the Japanese team I was fortunate enough to watch in the flesh a few
years ago and if they'd come even close to the discipline of the senior
teams in the tournament. They would always be the underdogs, after all
they had come through the qualifiers and not had an automatic
qualification, but the fact they had come through all the stages of that
led one to believe they must have something about them.
Realising that big hitting was not going to be their forte they sensibly
decided on canny singles and at that they were masters. Their judgement
of what constitutes a run and what doesn't was, on the whole, on the
mark and I found myself smiling not just because I like to see an
underdog doing well (I am English after all) but because they were so
thoroughly enjoying themselves. I have written before about how cheerful
the Sri Lankans can be in the face of adversity, but this team can
I made a few scattered notes from the commentary but many from having a
pad and pen in my hand rather than a camera and watching the action.
Chantham claimed that she modelled herself on Danni Wyatt. Does Wyatt
know I wonder. I guess it's very probable she was watching the match
so it seems likely.
I see the 'triple-glove-punch' is back in fashion - with the Thais
While the singles were well looked for and taken, it's obvious this
side is in desperate need of a big hitter or two. There were
suggestions that, being, in the main, small in stature, this was
difficult, but, to mention again a player just remarked upon above,
few can clear the boundary as convincingly as a Wyatt on form! Maybe
that's an area the coach must look to.
One area where he has obviously work tirelessly is in their fielding.
There was a lesson today in the later game where the underdogs there
threw themselves around with some enthusiasm but the difference was
striking. In the case of Thailand, it was to much greater effect - far
fewer fumbles - more effective throwing - and generally looking
professional which, sadly the Sri Lankans failed to do.
The Thai keeper was the stand-out batsman with 33 from 48 balls, but
with the other batsman you felt the intent was there - indeed it was
mentioned by several of the TV commentators, but not realised. I
admired their sagacity to know that's what was needed. More training
and I guess the execution will come.
The final Thai scorecard showed some symmetry with the Australian one
of the day before in that only two players reached double figures.
I was left wonder if Kirby in the West Indies team might hold the
record for the longest period between matches for her country - 12
The captions claimed the inner ring was at 23yds. The commentators
said 25yds which is what I had always assumed it to be. Which is it I
It was very late in the WI innings when the subject of the NRR (Net
Run Rate) came up. It's that terribly unfair method used to decide, in
the event of a tie on points, who goes through to the next round. With
WI batting very slowly I wondered from the power-play on whether the
WIndies were doing themselves no favours.
As mentioned before some aspects of the Thai fielding really
impressed. On one occasion, the bowler was obviously considering
intercepting a throw in from the field but on realising it would hit
the wicket got quickly out of the way. The action was a split second
decision and she called it exactly right so a run-out ensued. There
was another run out in the WIndies innings where only perfect throwing
and top judgment from the keeper would do and they pulled it off. I
began to think that this team could give fielding lessons to some
others in the tournament!
At 12.1 overs the scores of the two teams were equal - you could have
got long odds on that before the match started!
was my pick of the Thai bowlers - so many dot balls.
And as for pluses and minuses, they must do something about those hats
they give the young kids to wear for the national anthems - have they
not made any kids sizes? - they look quite ridiculous. On the positive
side the respect the Thais showed the crowd, lining up and bowing to
the the four corners of the ground following the match, was truly
Match 3 : New Zealand v Sri Lanka :
Once again we had a match-up that should have
been minnow against giant, but, while true, the giant won, it was not
quite a plain sailing as it might have been. Some notes on the game
While everyone knew that Athapattu is a force to be reckoned with, and
I enjoyed her aggressive style, I was intrigued by her opening partner
Madushika who couldn't seem to stand still at the crease. While it did
prove her undoing in the end she did profit to the turn of 20 runs
before her downfall.
In their last 19 games the Sri Lankans have apparently won only one.
This is not going to give any side confidence going into this
tournament. That's not to say you can't get some of the basics right.
My coach at school would have heartily approved of one aspect of their
batting, they DO call and loudly too. This is basic to avoid silly
The kiwis bowled far too many wides especially to the left handers -
they can't afford that luxury against the top sides or it could cost
them the match. It wasn't helped by the keeper having a decidedly
Athapattu was finally dismissed in a slightly odd fashion. I had
decided it was a bump ball when the TV established it had pitched just
before making contact with the bat. No one on commentary remarked on
it but I consider this a pretty unlucky way to be dismissed.
Madhavi's throw to dismiss Rachel Priest was quite brilliant, however
their use of the review, which other teams so far have used fairly
carefully, was thrown away in excitement, the ball pitching well wide
of leg stump.
The catching was where things went badly wrong. Both the New Zealand
stars (Bates on 0 and Devine on 20) could have been back in the
'hutch' with relative few runs to their name. What a difference that
just might have made! Could the floodlights have been involved? Having
sat as a photographer between the boundary and the advertising I have
been known to give up when I had no idea where the ball was and it was
coming my way rather too often for comfort. If you're not used to it,
it can be very disconcerting.
Fumbles also led to run out chances being missed. I noted down
"fielding not as good as Thai".
Maddy Green made a personal best of 29 (20) and looked the part of a
While there might have been doubt in some minds who might have the
Player of the Match Award I think is was fair enough to give it to
Jensen whose 3-16 really settled the issue.
I wasn't surprised to learn that Bates and Devine have been the most
productive partnership in women's cricket - 1700+ runs.
Match 4 : England v South Africa :
If India made this tournament interesting by beating hosts Australia on
Day 1 then South Africa have made it even more interesting by relegating
England to second place in their match at the WACA (which, by the way
should any BBC or other journalists be reading this, is not the Waca).
Any game that finishes with just 2 balls left is probably going to be
exciting and this was no exception. From he off it seemed, with a couple
of exceptions (Jones 23 (20) and Sciver 50 (41) the England batsman, put
in by SA captain Dane van Niekerk, struggled to find any fluency at all.
Sussex and South Africa's (see what I did there?) Mignon du Preez
played her 100th T20 for South Africa. And repaid those 100 in spades
at the end of the match with a 6 and 4 to finish it off with 2 balls
Jones played excellently for her 23(20) the downside being Wyatt was
starved of the strike for so long it felt like she got herself out in
I was intrigued that one umpire either came from the Cook Islands or
New Zealand depending on which commentator you listened to. And yes I
know the Cooks are administered by NZ).
Ismail's catch may have looked simple to a non-cricketer but it was
far from that. Hopefully it'll appear on Youtube. You only take this
if you anticipate perfectly and run like the wind. After that all you
have to do is catch it!
Chetty kept well down the leg side in the main but did fluff a
stumping of Wilson.
The star bowlers were undoubtedly Khaka with 3-25 and Kapp with 2-19
as miserly as ever.
The South African Wicket takers Ayabonga Khaka (below) and Marizanne Kapp
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Apologies for the break in service on these match reports. : family
circumstances have kept me away from the keyboard following this game.
This ramble will continuing its meander very shortly!
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