The inaugural T20 Womens Festival involving British Police CC, Herts CCC, MCC and National Asian Cricket Council took place on a gloriously sunny warm July Friday at Knebworth Park CC with a view of the House in the background.
BPCC squad was once again led by Mandy McGachie and whilst limited in numbers (12), was still composed of a group of players who had played in the 2021 debut Tour week. The squad was bolstered to 13 by the late availability of Sarah Bartlett (TVP) who had recently made her International T20 debut umpiring England v South Africa.
That said it was soon established that less than a handful had actually played any cricket since 2021 so the day was always going to be a challenge for the squad and Coach Andy Brown who once again had made himself available to assist the girls through the day.
Match 1 BPCC v NACC
BP won the toss and invited NACC to bat first. Vicky Mitchell struck early doors bowling Khan with the score on 10. Some tight bowling, backed up by a good fielding display kept the flow of runs to 4-5 an over despite not taking regular wickets. Contributions from Sedha 25, Hussain 26 and Nasim 24 guided NACC to a final score of 108-4. Lorna Jack finished with 2-18 off her 4 overs.
BP opened with Sian Phillips and Lorna Jack who both set off at a run a ball putting on until Jack was caught for 19 with the score on 38. What followed was a flurry of wickets with the introduction of spin as BP collapsed to 51-5 as Hopes, McGachie, White and Phillips all fell whilst only adding 13 runs to the total. This brought together Shami Ahmed and Sarah Bartlett who proceeded to add 39 invaluable runs taking BP to the verge of victory before Bartlett was stumped for 21 (3 x 4). Erica Turner (4*) joined Ahmed (25*) to steady the ship and see BP home in a nail biting finish to see BP home by 4 wickets.
In another nail biting finish MCC (featuring 3 Scottish Internationals) had reached 90 odd for 2 off 11 overs chasing 125 and appeared to be cruising to victory however had a total collapse losing their last 6 wickets for 2 runs as Herts claimed victory by 2 runs.
Match 2 BPCC v HERTS CCC
For the 2nd time the Captain won the toss and invited Herts to bat first. Vicky Mitchell spend up with Holly Hopes and both struck early claiming 2 x lbw with score on just 4. Barnfather came to the frame and counter attacked before Hopes struck again bowling Ruxton for 7 (32-3). The introduction of Lorna Jack and Jodie White brought further success aided by some excellent fielding during which Barnfather was stumped by Phillips for 31 off White. Wickets continued to tumble at regular intervals without the scoring rate getting away from the BP bowlers. White finished with 3-14, Jack 2-16 and the innings ended with Hopes bowling Arrol for 16 as she claimed 3-24. The late “tail wag” meant that Herts had closed on 113 which would be a formidable chase for BP.
The task was made harder with the early departure of Jack (4), Hopes (13) and McGachie (7) leaving BP on 56-3. White joined Phillips however both found runs increasingly difficult against some tight bowling from Herts and during this period the run rate started to creep up towards 7 an over. Phillips (31) fell with the score on 78 and 11 runs later Bartlett went for 2. A few lusty blow from White (22) kept BP interested but when she fell so did the last chance of victory as BP ended on 104-8. Another close fought game however a well deserved victory for Herts.
It should be noted that BP had played 2 matches against teams that consisted of regular players who had already participated in well over a dozen matches this season whilst many of the our squad had not played since 2021.
My personal thanks to all the Squad (and backup team) for their commitment and making themselves available to play in this Festival.
Once again improvements were evident from 2021 meaning that there is definitely a future for BP women’s cricket if we can spread the word to all the Forces as there must be staff out there who are playing cricket on a regular basis and would enhance the current squad.
MORE PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT
MANY THANKS TO
- Kate, Tom & Gulf for putting together teams from MCC, Herts & NACC.
- Coach: Andy Brown.
- Sports Therapist: Helen Paver-Brown – who keeps the girls on the field of play.
- Scorer Gavin Todd.
- Assistants: Gavin Todd, Craig Greyevenstein, Paul Sims and Graham Shaw.
- Photographer: Jo Peake.
- Knebworth Park CC / Alternative Catering (Teas).
- All TeamPolice Sponsors, Police Snrs and other guests for attending & supporting the occasion which we anticipate will become an Annual event.
- Our main kit sponsor SoftJump (Fortrus) and to Magnet Forensics back of shirt / sleeve sponsor and to Motorola Solutions who have been supporting us since 2019 as a kit sponsor.
- Finally a huge thankyou to John Pittway from Amazon Web Services who kindly sponsored the day and ensured its success.
Sec PSUK Cricket / BPCC Tour Manager