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A Ramble on Women's Cricket
2013 Page 4
Weather once again played its usual tricks on the first week of the seniors county championship. However on the 27th April I took the chance to point the camera at an international side I never expected to be able to photograph.
Japan are celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the first recorded cricket match in their home country by taking a tour to the UK where they are taking on Middlesex U19, the MCC and a number of Scottish sides. That match 150 years ago was between the British Army and Royal Navy and such was the situation in Japan at the time that it is said all the players wore revolvers and it is probably the only recorded match where all players were armed. There is a fascinating article in the tour programme and photos of the teams still exist in the library at Lord's. They are among the earliest of any subject taken in Japan.
The day of these modern matches proved rather chilly - the teams played two T20 games and with scores very close to the hundred mark - indeed just over - the games were very competitive. The Japanese, under their Australian coach, Scott McNaughton, seemed a very lively group and pretty physically fit and keen to get into the fray. I missed their arrival at the ground but some spectators remarked upon the stilettos, not something you see many English girls wearing on their way to a match.
I left at the end of the second match but a correspondent tells me "After you left the Japanese were so lovely and had a little presentation to the girls on our team, giving them player of the match awards and little gifts for everyone. And they all had their photos taken together. It really ended the day in a uplifting way."
I wish them every luck, especially with the weather, on the rest of their tour! If they return to these shores I will certainly travel to watch them again!
You might think that just the third match I have watched this season is a little early to be talking about the innings of 2013, but those were the thoughts running through my mind at the County Ground at Hove just yesterday. Having watch Natalie Sciver, currently leading the run aggregate scorer for the season, fall unluckily just four runs short of a century, we were treated after lunch to a commanding display by Georgia Elwiss. Having opened the bowling and conceded just 20 runs in her 10 overs in the Surrey innings for her one wicket, she now opened the batting too and proceeded to dominate the Surrey bowling. In a fine exhibition of back and front foot play, the ball sounding crisp off her bat, 'G' showed the crowd that the number one slot in the batting line-up is where she's entitled to be! One correspondent has already emailed to say he feels her number 11 slot for England must be under threat!
On a low bouncing pitch, often the most difficult on which to strike the ball, her timing was immaculate and even well-set boundary fielders frequently struggled with the crisply hit ball.
So, will it be my choice for 'Innings of the Season'? I guess I must wait and see, but it will be firmly in my mind when that choice is made. For those at Hove it was a fine day weather-wise and they were treated to two great batting displays, the latter, especially, one that showed an all-rounder at the peak of her powers.
And just to prove what a versatile cricketer Sussex have on their books she had taken the gloves in the game against Warwickshire only the day before. Following two excellent catches behind the stumps (and conceding no byes!) and looking for all the world a regular keeper she later revealed she never in her cricketing life kept wicket before! I came away finding that hard to believe.
There is an old saying - 'Jack of all Trades - Master of None' . This weekend Georgia was Master of all three,