The MCC’s inaugural Women’s Day at Lord’s woke the old ground from an 85-year slumber as Middlesex played on the main square for the first time in their history.
Middlesex Women’s Cricket Club was founded in 1933 and played its first county match in June 1934, against the Civil Service (which… yes… was a “county” in those days) but it was not until yesterday – April 24 2018 – that they got to play properly at The Home of Cricket, and they made the most of it, beating a strong MCC side by 6 wickets with one ball to spare.
The MCC XI were led by Charlotte Edwards, and included current England players Georgia Elwiss and Sarah Taylor, but it was Durham’s Elysa Hubbard and former Berkshire Beaver Alex Rogers who opened the batting, putting on a century-stand for the first wicket, with Rogers eventually falling for 72, as Maia Bouchier finally held a catch (off Bhavika Gajipra) after more than a few sitters had been put down by Middlesex, doubtless due to a combination of nerves and the unfamiliarity of playing in a big stadium.
The MCC closed on 145-3, which looked competitive; and although openers Tash Miles and Naomi Dattani got Middlesex off to a good start, the asking rate began to creep up, until it exceeded 9-an-over at one stage; but a fantastic knock from Bouchier got it down to 30 off the final 4 overs, and then 8 off the last 6 balls, with Bouchier finishing on 39* as Middlesex celebrated the win.
Earlier in the day, over 5,000 kids from local schools had cheered every ball as two MCC XI’s, including a few England names of yesteryear, played a knockabout exhibition match, notable mainly for Claire Taylor gamely trying to hold back and not make everyone else look too silly as she dominated some very friendly bowling to lead her team to victory.
The children were also treated to games and coaching sessions on the Nursery Ground, and if the measure of the day as an “event” was to be judged by excited grins on happy faces, then it certainly hit the mark, perhaps demonstrating that you can get kids enthusiastic about cricket, even without resorting to 100-ball Countdown Cricket… or “Crockit” as our own teenager has now officially termed it!!