STATS: Women’s County Championship 2017: Batting Rankings

Div 1 Stats – Other Divisions Are Available!

The Women’s County Championship can be an unforgiving place to be a batsman – matches are mostly played on used club pitches, often with huge boundaries (in contrast to KSL) and unforgiving outfields where the ball will quickly run out of puff. So if you are thinking these numbers look low… perhaps they are, but there’s a reason!

Sophie Devine tops the 2017 batting rankings, largely thanks to one of the greatest innings in the history of the Women’s County Championship – 122 off 78 balls for Warwickshire versus Middlesex. (Incidentally, this was the only century scored in Div 1 this season.)

Middlesex’s own Beth Morgan comes in at No. 2 – six years after retiring from England duty, she still looks a classy player, with the numbers and consistency to back it up – having reached double-figures in all 7 innings, with a high of 80 against Yorkshire.

The leading run-scorer this season was Notts’ veteran skipper Sonia Odedra with 253 – including carrying her bat for the 79* which deprived Yorkshire of the County Championship title in the final game. (Notts won the match, finishing on 178-4 – if they had finished on 178-5, Yorkshire would have got the one extra bonus point they needed to win the title.)

Batting Played Runs Strike Rate
1. Sophie Devine 4 159 135.9
2. Beth Morgan 7 245 71.85
3. Amy Jones 3 136 127.1
4. Sonia Odedra 7 253 63.57
5. Danielle Wyatt 4 163 94.22
6. Amy Satterthwaite 7 242 63.35
7. Rachel Priest 5 146 97.99
8. Katherine Brunt 2 146 94.19
9. Evelyn Jones 6 218 59.73
10. Hollie Armitage 6 192 54.55
11. Marie Kelly 7 140 72.54
12. Anna Nicholls 7 140 70.71
13. Georgia Hennessy 6 152 61.79
14. Sarah Taylor 3 118 69.41
15. Catherine Dalton 5 94 87.04
16. Kathryn Bryce 7 127 60.19
17. Sophie Ecclestone 7 100 70.92
18. Danielle Hazell 3 98 72.06
19. Alice Davidson-Richards 5 140 49.47
20. Lissy Macleod 7 104 65

Batting Ranking = Runs * Strike Rate

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STATS: Women’s County Championship 2017: Bowling Rankings

Div 1 Stats – Other Divisions Are Available!

The star turn of this season’s Women’s County Championship was undoubtedly Sophie Ecclestone, with a massive 27 wickets in 7 games for title winners Lancashire. (By comparison last season’s top-ranked bowler – Kent’s Megan Belt – took just 16 wickets.) Ecclestone took two 5fers, including 6-12 in the crucial final match of the season, which catapulted Lancashire over Warwickshire and Yorkshire to the title.

Meanwhile, Yorkshire leg-spinner Katie Levick eased past one “C.M. Edwards” into 3rd place in the “All Time” list of Div 1 wicket-takers, with another 21 wickets this season.

In a season more than ever dominated by spinners, only one fast bowler made the top 10 – Holly Huddleston. Huddleston might not have had a great KSL (though Finals Day is still to come) but 50-over cricket is really her game, and she showed it again in this year’s County Champs.

One to watch for the future is Berkshire’s 17-year-old off-spinner Emma Walker, who made the list at No. 11 in her debut season, with 11 wickets including a 5fer against Middlesex. (She also top-scored for Berkshire in their last match against Kent!)

Bowling Played Wickets Economy
1. Sophie Ecclestone 7 27 2.76
2. Katie Levick 7 21 2.68
3. Anisha Patel 7 14 2.93
4. Kirstie Gordon 7 13 2.89
5. Sophia Dunkley 4 11 2.56
6. Kaitie Thompson 7 10 2.48
7. Linsey Smith 4 9 2.34
8. Rebecca Grundy 7 10 2.76
9. Jodie Dibble 7 12 3.73
10. Holly Huddleston 4 9 2.8
11. Emma Walker 6 11 3.44
12. Liz Russell 3 10 3.41
13. Sophie Munro 4 10 3.58
14. Ellen Burt 7 10 3.62
15. Rachel Dickinson 7 9 3.3
16. Teresa Graves 5 7 2.86
17. Alice Davidson-Richards 5 8 3.28
18. Megan Belt 7 9 3.76
19. Natalie Brown 7 6 2.57
20. Izzy Westbury 5 11 4.87

Bowling Ranking = Wickets / Economy

Women’s County Championship – Div 1 Final Standings

Team Played Won Lost Points
Lancashire 🏆 7 5 2 99
Yorkshire 7 5 2 98
Warwickshire 7 5 2 96
Notts 7 4 3 88
Middlesex 7 3 4 76
Kent 7 3 4 71
Sussex 7 3 4 66
Berkshire 7 0 7 24

NB – Because there were no cancelled games in Div 1 this season “Average” points didn’t come into it, so we’ve shown total points for clarity; but technically it was average points that counted.

MATCH REPORT: An Ecc Of A Game For Lancashire As They Do The Double

On a sunny bank holiday Monday at Edgbaston Foundation Ground, Lancashire finished their 2017 County Championship season on a high, winning by 5 wickets after Sophie Ecclestone ripped through the Warwickshire batting line-up, taking 6-12.

In doing so they not only denied Warwickshire the chance at County Championship glory, but unexpectedly propelled themselves into the lead after Yorkshire lost to Nottinghamshire, ultimately seizing the Division 1 County Championship crown at the 11th hour.

Having won the toss and chosen to bat, Kathryn Bryce had got Warwickshire off to a solid start with successive boundaries off Kate Cross, but Ecclestone quickly spoiled the party, removing Mina Zahoor (LBW) and Bryce (bowled) in her third over of the day.

She then took a good catch at mid on to see off danger woman Sophie Devine, giving team mate Kate Cross her first wicket of the day, and followed that up in turn with a double wicket maiden, slipping a ball under Marie Kelly’s bat to bowl her and then trapping Bethan Ellis LBW with her very next delivery.

5 Warwickshire wickets had gone down for 27 runs and Ecclestone had been part of them all.

A mini recovery ensued by Warwickshire as Sian Kelly took on the senior role, successfully defending Ecclestone’s hat-trick ball, and putting on 22 runs with Ria Fackrell for the 7th wicket – Warwickshire’s highest partnership of the day.

But Natalie Brown eventually had Fackrell caught at cover and, reintroduced to the attack in the 27th over, Ecclestone went on to claim two further wickets, though it was Cross (3-33) who eventually seized the scalp of Sian Kelly, stumped by Ellie Threlkeld for 21.

Hers was the last wicket to fall, as Warwickshire were all out for 88 in 33.1 overs.

Lancashire stumbled a little in their reply, as Sophie Devine ensured that both Emma Lamb and Natalie Brown were sent back without scoring.

Becky Grundy also got in on the action, having Amy Sattherthwaite out caught behind for 11 and Ellie Threlkeld stumped for 15. By the time lunch was taken, 16 overs into their innings, Lancashire were 59-4.

Crucially, though, in the last match of what has been a brilliant first season for her wearing the Red Rose, Eve Jones remained unbeaten, eventually racking up 35*. Both of Lancashire’s stars with the ball then chimed in with the bat, too, to see their side safely over the line: Kate Cross hitting a speedy 19 (including the only six of the day, over long on) and Ecclestone (8*) contributing two boundaries of her own, including the winning runs in the 21st over.

Both might be said to have made a case for inclusion in the Ashes squad which will fly out to Australia in October.

For Lancashire, though, more immediate celebrations await as they celebrate their maiden County Championship title, adding to the T20 Cup which they won back in July.

Women’s County Championship Finale – What They Need To Do!

Team Played Won Lost Points
Yorkshire 6 5 1 94
Warwickshire 6 5 1 93
Lancashire 6 4 2 81
Notts 6 3 3 70
Sussex 6 3 3 61
Middlesex 6 2 4 58
Kent 6 2 4 53
Berkshire 6 0 6 23

NB – Because there have been no cancelled games in Div 1 this season (amazingly!) “Average” points won’t come into it, so we’ve shown total points for clarity; but technically it is average points that count.

At The Top

At the top of the table, either Yorkshire or Warwickshire (or even Lancashire at a pinch) could win it.

  • Yorkshire, playing Notts – Equal (or better) Warwickshire’s result.
  • Warwickshire, playing Lancashire – Better Yorkshire’s result but more than one point. (If they are equal on points, Yorkshire win because they won the game between them yesterday.)
  • Lancashire, playing Warwickshire – Win big and hope Yorkshire lose big.

At The Bottom

At the bottom, one of Kent, Middlesex and Sussex will accompany Berkshire down to Div 2 next season.

  • Kent, playing Berkshire – Win… probably! (It is technically possible that they could win and still go down, if they somehow contrived to get a lot fewer bonus points than the loser of Sussex v Middlesex.)
  • Middlesex, playing Sussex – Win, or hope Kent lose!
  • Sussex, playing Middlesex – Ditto – win, or hope Kent lose!

MATCH REPORT: Sussex Have Fun In The Sun At Hove

On a hot, sunny day at Hove, an all-round display from England’s Danni Wyatt, who took 3-17 and scored 48, eased Sussex to a 7-wicket win over Berkshire.

The Beavers were bowled out for 121, with Wyatt and team mate Ellen Burt the main beneficiaries, finishing with 3 wickets apiece.

An 84-run partnership between Wyatt and new recruit Mignon du Preez (47*) then enabled Sussex to easily chase down the required runs.

Having won the toss and chosen to bat on a good pitch, Berkshire had started their innings positively, with Tara Norris’s first over going for 21 runs, including a maximum from Rachel Priest.

Priest reached 21 in 16 balls before holing out to Ciara Green at mid-off, but Lissy Macleod then took on her mantle, hitting both Norris and Burt for a series of boundaries before launching Wyatt straight down the pitch. 5 balls later, though, Wyatt got her revenge as the umpire judged that Macleod had gloved the ball to Abi Freeborn behind the stumps when on 38.

Macleod departed at the end of the 13th over, with the score 80-3 and the run rate a healthy 6.15. Unfortunately Berkshire’s lower order could not follow through on the early Priest-Macleod onslaught. The next 7 wickets fell for 41 runs as the Beavers collapsed to 121 all out – assisted on their way by a spectacular catch from du Preez, diving forward at midwicket to see off Carla Rudd (15).

It did not seem a particularly imposing total, but there was a glimmer of hope for Berkshire early on in Sussex’s chase, as Ashleigh Muttitt struck in her first over to have Georgia Adams caught at mid off by Lauren Bell for a duck.

Bell followed it up with her own scalp in the next over as Izzy Collis was adjudged LBW, leaving Sussex on 8-2.

Had Priest managed to cling on at backward point when du Preez – then on 14* – sent a catch her way, things might have got interesting. As it was, the South African proceeded – in conjunction with Wyatt – to take the attack to the Berkshire bowlers, blitzing a total of 14 boundaries between them.

Amelia Humphrey successfully removed Wyatt in the 15th over, as she holed out to midwicket two runs short of her half-century with 30 still required; but ultimately du Preez safely saw Sussex over the line, hitting the winning runs in the 18th over.

Afterwards Wyatt – who last year hit 120* for her side at the same ground – told CRICKETher that she enjoys batting at Hove:

“They always produce a nice wicket. I love batting here. When I play for Sussex I seem to get a few runs here.”

She also relished the opportunity to contribute with the ball:

“I’ve not bowled much in games recently, so it was nice to actually bowl a few overs today. I’m more of a net bowler these days, but I’m still a bowling option which is good.

I still love bowling, and I’m just going to keep bowling and keep taking wickets, hopefully, when I get the chance.”

KSL Stars v Lightning: Talking Points

The Two El(l)yses

Ellyse Perry’s innings today was one of two halves: during the first 10 overs she managed 10 off 21 balls at a strike rate of 48; across the second 10 overs she hit 58 off 32 balls, at a strike rate of 181. As her captain Georgia Elwiss explained after play, “We always know that she’ll start a little bit slower than others… but we also know that she can catch up when she gets in.”

Despite Perry’s late brilliance, it’s worth bearing in mind that her approach relies on being surrounded by team mates who can ensure that the scoreboard continues to tick along even when she herself is finding her feet. Basically, for every Perry you need a Villani or two; and though Perry might take home the plaudits most of the time, it was Elyse Villani’s 39-ball 71 that was probably the more important of the two innings today.

A Dead Rubber?

There was a bit of a feeling around that Stars flopped today partly because they were already through to Finals Day, whereas Lightning’s qualification depended on a win. But I’m not sure they (or any of their fans!) can use that as a “get out clause”. Let’s not forget that Stars also had a chance of automatic qualification for Friday’s final, which they threw away. Not great given that they now have to face last year’s finalists Storm in the semi.

Stars Batting

As Syd’s piece on the contribution of non-internationals shows, Surrey Stars have hugely relied on their superstar players this season – before today the non-internationals had faced only 9 overs. It meant that their middle and lower-order was rather exposed when push came to shove; by the time they were 3 wickets down in the 6th over, the match was already halfway to being lost, with Nat Sciver their last real hope of chasing down such a high total. You could tell by the way she slammed her bat on the ground after being bowled that Sciver thought so, too.

Lightning Only Strikes Twice

Reflecting on the season after close of play, Elwiss was fairly philosophical, but she did highlight an important point: “We’ve only just started to play our best cricket. Unfortunately we didn’t get into our stride quickly enough over the tournament, and that’s what’s cost us.” After 3 losses Loughborough finished strongly, with 2 big wins, and while they played brilliantly today, it only makes it more disappointing to think that we won’t be seeing them again as a unit for another 12 months. It shows exactly why it’s such a positive move for the competition to expand into a 10-game contest next season.

KSL Stars v Lightning: Report – A Tale Of Two El(l)yses

On a melting hot day at The Oval, the two El(l)yses – Villani and Perry – hit 71 and 68 respectively, as the Lightning beat the Stars by 81 runs, to finish their Super League campaign with a second bonus-point victory. But for the Lightning it was the best of times and the worst of times, as despite the result they failed to qualify for Finals Day.

On the same pitch where the men had hit over 400 runs in the T20 Blast the previous night, Lightning skipper Georgia Elwiss won the toss and chose to bat against the Stars, with the Lightning knowing that not only did they need the win, but also for other results to go their way, to have any hope of semi-final qualification; whilst for the Stars a win would seal direct entry to next Friday’s final.

Opening the batting with Amy Jones still injured, Sarah Glenn lasted just 3 balls, caught by Rene Farrell at mid on off Laura Marsh for 0.

Elyse Villani was soon into her stride however, swatting Marsh dismissively for a huge 6 over backward square, as she plundered 17 from the England offie’s 2nd over.

Replacing Marsh, Nat Sciver bowled a maiden to Ellyse Perry, but could do little to halt Villani’s scoring rate in the following over as she continued to find the boundary regularly, helped by some poor fielding from the Stars.

Villani reached her 50 off 28 balls in the 8th over, with another big 6 over cow corner off Alex Hartley, whilst at the other end Perry drifted on at a Strike Rate of well under 50. By the time Villani was out, for a 39-ball 71 – caught by Sophia Dunkley at long off – Perry had made it into double-figures… just… on 10!

Having come in in the 1st over, Perry hit her first boundary (a 6 off Hartley) in the 12th, as she finally started to get motoring.

Incoming batsman Georgia Elwiss meanwhile looked like a lady who hasn’t played much cricket, as she scratched around for a 13-ball 6.

In the meantime Perry pushed on, and by the time she brought up her 50 – smashing the penultimate over, bowled by Nat Sciver, for 22 – she had accelerated sufficiently to push her Strike Rate over 100 – finishing on 68* off 53 balls, as the Lightning posted 171-3, with Thea Brookes playing a useful supporting role to Perry, with 14 off 13 at the end.

With the Stars needing well over 8 an over, Tammy Beaumont got a start, reaching 11 off 11 balls, before Kristen Beams was granted an LBW after what must go down as one of the longest and loudest appeals in history!

Lizelle Lee meanwhile couldn’t pick up where she left off after the other day’s 72, and was caught at deep square by Sonia Odedra for 1 off 8 balls – that gave Perry a wicket-maiden; though it could have been a double if she had not immediately dropped Nat Sciver on 0 – an admittedly difficult caught and bowled chance which was hit back at her very hard.

Perry picked up another wicket in her 3rd over – Marizanne Kapp bowled playing down the wrong line at a straight delivery – leaving the Stars 25-3 at the end of the powerplay.

With the required rate having climbed to well over 10, it was already looking like the Lightning’s day. Bryony Smith holed-out to Villani at long on – a good catch over her right shoulder; but with Nat Sciver getting going at the other end – hitting Georgia Elwiss for three consecutive 4s – there was still hope for the Stars.

That hope disappeared however with a furious Sciver smashing her bat down onto the pitch, having been bowled by Sarah Glenn for 24 in the 12th over.

Sophia Dunkley was bowled by Beth Langston for 8, exposing her stumps as she looked to play a rather too premeditated leg glance; whilst Sonia Odedra took another solid catch at deep square to dismiss Laura Marsh; then a third running around to mid off to bag Rene Farrell.

The inevitable last wickets came two-by-two – Becky Grundy bowling Grace Gibbs for 9 (including a 6), and then Alex Hartley for a golden duck – the Stars finishing on 90 all out, 105 runs short.

The result means that the Stars miss out on direct final qualification, and will contest the semi-final against the Storm next Friday afternoon at Hove for the right to meet the Vipers in the final; whilst the Lightning finish 4th overall, just missing out on Finals Day.

Afterwards, we spoke to a slightly disappointed Georgia Elwiss, who told us:

“Unfortunately we didn’t get into our stride quick enough over the tournament, and that’s what has cost us; but it is nice to finish with a win like this, and for people to show what they can do.”

“We always know that Ellyse Perry will start a little bit slower than others, but Elyse Villani was brilliant – taking all that pressure off her [Perry] so she could play her natural game – both of them were outstanding today and really showed their class. It was a flat pitch, but Surrey have got an all international attack and they bowled quite well those last 10 overs, but we always know that Pez [Perry] can catch up when she gets in.”

KSL Stats: Non-International Batting & Bowling Rankings

It will come as no surprise that the leading batsmen and bowlers in KSL17 are the established stars; but what about the non-internationals – those who have never played international cricket?

There are actually some significant differences in the contributions of the non-internationals at the different teams.

At the Western Storm, they’ve done a fair bit of work in both departments; whilst at the other end of the scale at the Surrey Stars, they’ve had very little to do in either!

At the Thunder they’ve done their share of the batting – much of that is Eve Jones, who has faced 14 of the 30 overs that non-internationals have batted for. Over at the Vipers they’ve bowled a lot more than they’ve batted – mainly thanks to Linsey Smith, who has bowled all four of her overs in every game so far – i.e. 16 of the 26 total.

Non-Internationals Overs Bowled Overs Batted Total
Storm 27 31 58
Diamonds 30 13 43
Lightning 11 24 35
Thunder 1 30 31
Vipers 26 5 31
Stars 0 9 9

Overs Batted = Balls Faced / 6

Non-International Batting Rankings

In the Batting Rankings, the leading player is Sarah Glenn, who comes in at 14 in the overall list. (Although Hennessy and Jones have both scored more runs, Glenn “wins” thanks to her vastly superior Strike Rate.)

Georgia Hennessy and Eve Jones have also both impressed. Although both have very similar numbers, they’ve come in very different ways: Jones, the steady anchor, has run at lot more, with just 47% of her runs coming in boundaries; whereas Hennessy, the bit hitter, has 63% of her runs in boundaries, including three 6s!

Batting Rankings Innings Runs Strike Rate
1. Sarah Glenn (Lightning) [14] 3 58 120.83
2. Georgia Hennessy (Storm) [17] 3 73 85.88
3. Eve Jones (Thunder) [18] 4 68 80.95
4. Thea Brookes (Lightning) [19] 4 34 154.54
5. Sophia Dunkley (Stars) [23] 3 32 128.00
6. Elly Threlkeld (Thunder) [25] 4 42 89.36
7. Alice Davidson-Richards (Diamonds) [27] 4 43 82.69
8. Lissy Macleod (Storm) [29] 3 34 89.47
9. Sophie Luff (Storm) [35] 3 25 75.75
10. Abby Freeborn (Lightning) [36] 1 16 114.28

Batting Ranking = Runs * Strike Rate; [X] = Overall Rank

Non-International Bowling Rankings

In the Bowling Rankings, it’s deja-vu all over again as Linsey Smith has conclusively proved that she is not a “One Hit Wonder” by replicating her standout performances from last season, breaking into the overall top 10 at number 9. Wales’ Claire Nicholas, in her debut KSL season, is just behind her, also making that overall top 10.

Leading batsman, Lightning’s Sarah Glenn also makes the bowling list, having taken 2-8 in her only bowling cameo versus the Thunder – a statistical quirk perhaps, but wickets are wickets! Alice Davidson-Richards also makes both lists – 7th in batting and 3rd in bowling – no statistical quirks involved there!

Bowling Rankings Overs Wickets Economy
1. Linsey Smith (Vipers) [9] 16 4 4.43
2. Claire Nicholas (Storm) [10] 13 5 5.92
3. Alice Davidson-Richards (Diamonds) [16] 11 4 6.90
4. Sarah Glenn (Lightning) [18] 2 2 4.00
5. Katie Levick (Diamonds) [21] 13 3 7.15
6. Katie George (Vipers) [22] 6 2 5.00
7. Lucy Higham (Lightning) [26] 9 2 7.22
8. Freya Davies (Storm) [28] 13 2 7.92
9. Charlie Dean (Vipers) [33] 4 1 5.00
10. Katie Thompson (Diamonds) [40] 6 0 7.83

Bowling Ranking = Wickets / Economy

CLUB OF THE MONTH: Spencer Women’s CC

Here at CRICKETher, we’re passionate about women’s cricket at all levels, including club cricket. It’s our mission to offer coverage of women’s (and girls’) club cricket wherever we can! Our ‘Club of the Month’ feature will focus on one women’s or girls’ club every month, giving you the lowdown on their highs, lows, and everything in between.

If you’d like to see your club featured here, get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!

By Tory Clarkson

Our 1st XI play on Fieldview, the main pitch at Spencer Cricket Club in South West London, and our 2nd XI play on the Openview ground, next door. The club has fantastic facilities, with a cheap bar and lovely terrace looking out over the main pitch. 2017 is the first year that the 1st XI have played all our home fixtures on the main club pitch – a recognition of the growing quality, size and stature of the Women’s section within the club.

DSC_0102.JPG

Photo credit: Marie-Hélène Briens

Our current captain is Tamara Reeves, who joined the club in 2016. She has 4 ODI caps for South Africa & her quality and top-level experience has shown over the past two seasons. She’s tactically very astute and is a good role model for all members of the club. She has a terrible sense of humour, but we don’t hold that against her.

As well as Tam, quite a few of our team have high-level experience. Deepa Patel (Spencer’s leading runscorer) played professionally in India, for West Zone. Tor Cruickshank, the 2016 captain, played for Sussex and England Development for a time. Angela Bonora joined the club in 2016 and is an Italian international. Gemma Ware is an Italian international, Marie-Hélène Briens is a Hungary international, Natalie Wells used to play for Surrey, and I used to play for Gloucestershire Women before moving to London. Lots and lots of our juniors play age-group county cricket. Maddie Blinkhorn-Jones, an U14 girl playing in our 1st XI, plays for Surrey U17 Women and is one to watch. She scored her first century for the Women’s 1st XI this season.

One thing that really stands out for us is the varied background of our team. Based within easy reach of Central London, we have quite an international squad, as some of those names show. These names are playing alongside young women who grew up just around the corner from the club – it’s great to see. Equally, while quite a few of our team have played representative cricket, some of our 1st XI started playing only a couple of years ago! That sums up the accessibility of women’s cricket as a whole – the ability for newcomers to pick up the game quickly and have the opportunity to play with stars. If we get promoted, we’d get the opportunity to play against Charlotte Edwards, Ellen Burt and a few other international stars. That’s motivated everyone hugely!

We aim to be inclusive, social, and competitive and really take pride in bringing through juniors. We’re developing a pathway to guide our talented juniors (280+ girls) through to the senior sides. It’s important to us that we grow the club sustainably – making sure everyone can get something out of the club, whether they’re looking for good, competitive cricket, or social sport.

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Photo credit: Marie-Hélène Briens

Our current oldest member is in her late 30s and our youngest player in the senior section is 13. We welcome members of all ages, however!

Our lead coach is Mark Costin, a L3 coach. He is supported throughout the year by a number of other coaches, including Alain and Kiyo Jason, as well as volunteers from the ladies section. We have our own training sessions on Wednesdays during the spring and summer, but train and play with the men on Thursdays and Saturdays too. There has been a real drive this year, led by Mark and Jon Speller, the Director of Cricket at Spencer, to get women playing more frequently in men’s matches as well as the ladies’ league. This is a reflection of the rising standards in our section, and the rising ambition for the club.

We don’t have a club mascot at the moment, but Tor Cruickshank’s whites, barely washed from season to season, are a sort of emotional crutch for the team.

Our 1st XI play in the Women’s Cricket Southern League Championship, and are chasing Horsham for the title and promotion. Our 2nd XI play in the Surrey Trust League. The girls section play in various Surrey Boys leagues, where they frequently claim a few big scalps, as well as in girls leagues.

In terms of highlights, one of this year’s performances stands out: a 275-run opening partnership by Maddie Blinkhorn-Jones (who’s only 14!) and leading runscorer Deepa Patel, against Guildford CC. Maddie has come through the ranks of Spencer Juniors and has really made her mark on the team. It’s up there with the 2011 unbeaten season as one of our proudest moments as a club.

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Photo credit: Marie-Hélène Briens

What we’ve found this year is that as we move up through the divisions, we need more and more volunteers to help the club function on match days. Long gone are the days when our Number 11 could score for us or umpire from square leg! We are really grateful to our supporters, families and friends who help the club run on match days. This year, in particular, our supporters have provided in-play PlayCricket updates and ball-by-ball commentary on whatsapp on match days! That takes some dedication! It is also a reflection of how much people love this club that they will read 300+ whatsapp messages on a Sunday to keep up from afar with the score!

There are many, many people who’ve helped get Spencer Women where we are now – too many to name them all! So instead, we’d like to focus on this year’s helpers – Step Parikian, Mark Costin, Kiyo Jason, Alain Jason, Jon Speller, Marie-Helene Briens, Gregg Birrell, Patrick Wells, Martin Blinkhorn, Lis Jones, Brian Hurn, to name a few.

It has been really noticeable how the club has changed over the past five years or so. The juniors section is now massive – we think we might have the biggest girls’ section in the country – and the women’s section has expanded too. It used to be hard to find 11 to play & we would beg friends and parents to help us out, now we have genuine selection decisions each week between a highly talented squad.

To give an example, about five years ago, we were so short of players that one of our former members, then 6 months pregnant, insisted on playing! She fielded very energetically despite her big bump! Thankfully, mother and son were fine!

As often happens with sports clubs, as years pass & generations pass through the club, the history of how it all started has been lost. Anyone with more information about Spencer Women’s Cricket’s origins are invited to come forward!!

What everyone notices, whether they joined one week ago or 5 years ago (like me!), is that the club has a great spirit and culture. We’re good friends and we enjoy laughing and joking together, particularly in the end-of-match wrap.

The club has been really inclusive, but we still joke about a discussion with the men’s section from a few years ago about what to do for end-of-season event. One gentleman said, ‘We could do a dinner at the Oval, but the women do love a party!’ We’re still not quite sure what he meant!

Anyone wishing to join the club should get in touch with Tor Cruickshank on spencerwomenscricket@googlemail.com

Come find us on social media for more info on what we’re up to: