As a change to the scheduled league fixture Bradley Stoke, in their first hardball season offered to field a team of emerging players in a friendly match to help develop skills and give new players some time at the crease and in the field. (Plus they clearly heard we do the best teas on the circuit!)
The two teams sent out 12 players batting in pairs facing four overs per pair.
Each team began on 200 runs with Wickets taking 5 runs from the total score.
On a gloriously sunny afternoon Brislington won the toss and chose to bowl first.
In came Bradley Stokes first pair to face the opening bowlers Lara and Hannah. Lara got things off to a great start conceding just one run from her first 2 overs the second being a maiden.
Bradley Stokes batters, many playing hardball for the first time, made a valiant effort against the fast bowling openers but the first pair were restricted to just one run off their 4 overs at the crease.
Their middle order dug in with the third pairing putting on 10 runs for just 1 wicket off their four over partnership.
A mix up between the batters saw a run out and 3 more players were bowled by excellent full balls from Kay and Hannah.
Marsha as always was excellent behind the stumps and took a couple of tricky catches with ease. She makes it look so easy! Jack Russell who?!
In her third over Hannah narrowly missed out on a hat trick and ended her four overs with 2 wickets having given away just 3 runs.
Leading wicket taker for Brislington was the ever economical captain Kay, finishing with 3 wickets for just 10 runs off her 4 overs.
By the end of their 24 overs Bradley Stoke had 232 runs on the board for the loss of 8 wickets.
The atmosphere in the middle was competitive but friendly with excellent support and encouragement coming from the side lines for both teams.
When Brislington came in to bat Kay and Lara set the bar high with 26 runs between them off the first four overs. Lara thrived on the pressure and was very aggressive with the bat. She ended up Brislington’s top scorer with 17 not out including 3 boundaries which means she won’t be able to get away with saying she cannot bat in future!
The second pairing of Jo and Lou were consistent adding 18 to the score without losing a wicket and Katie achieved a personal best score of 8 not out in her 14 run partnership with Penny which included one boundary a piece.
Amanda and Ellen also achieved personal best’s of 7 and 3 not out respectively.
There was some excellent running between the wickets from all pairs and Brislington did not lose a wicket until the 22nd of their 24 overs.
Bradley Stoke had great energy in the field and never let their heads drop even when things were not going their way. Some great diving stops and quick throw ins prevented Brislington extending their lead further.
Great communication and support means they will certainly be a team to watch out for in the future.
Brislington finished their innings with figures of 363 runs for the loss of just one wicket, winning by a margin of 131 runs.
The match was played in an excellent spirit with some good individual performances on both sides and a lot of positives to take away for the rest of this season and the next.
Special mentions for our scorer Mark and umpires Mark Baber and John Noel for their unending support and enthusiasm.
Also to Liz who’s 12th woman duties kept everyone hydrated on a blistering hot day in the field and for taking over the ‘badgering’ when Ellen went in to bat.
And lets not forget our coach Fraser for his unquenchable enthusiasm, positivity and advice.