Abbi Aitken Tour Diary #3
Friday 22nd February (Scotland Dev XI v Durham)
The team departed the hotel at 9am. Today was our last match of the week’s tour and again we were to play at the Zayed Stadium grounds in Abu Dhabi. Once we arrived, I went out to toss with the Durham captain and today’s Umpires. After winning the toss, I elected to field, asking our opponents to bat first for the first time that week.
There was nothing to complain about regarding the glorious weather we had received all week, however the negative side of having cricket pitches located within desert like surroundings soon became apparent. Extremely high winds in a sandy environment do not make a great combination. Strong head on winds created difficult conditions, for the bowlers in particular, however they battled through and ended up with extremely disciplined figures - arguably the best bowling unit performance all week! A brilliant supporting performance from the tiring fielders too, the girls have
to be credited for their fantastic effort on the field as we had Durham all out for 57 off just 27.4 overs. A marvellous effort by the squad who showed real determination and good spirit to perform in the difficult environment, and after a tough week of high intensity cricket.
After teas, the squad was undoubtedly excited and in high spirits as the team had set a good platform for our batsmen to go out and finish the job off to earn the team their first win of the tournament. However, the girls showed a mature and professional attitude and were well aware that only half the job had been done.
Wilkinson and Chatterji opened the batting once again, and after a quick wicket fell for the disappointed Wilkinson, Priddle made her way to the crease. The two girls settled quickly and showed a ruthless performance with the bat, punishing the bad ball for 4 and keeping the Durham fielders on their toes.
Scotland reached the total in the 11th over, needing only 1 run to win, however Priddle comfortably sending the ball for 4, to see Scotland win by 9 wickets! A fantastic performance by the girls and a special mention to Liz Priddle for her aggressive display of 35* off 35 balls!
It was such a good end to the week and the girls were delighted. I am extremely proud of the way the young squad carried themselves all week, and every single player should be extremely proud of their efforts. The squad has been a credit to Cricket Scotland, and the tour has unquestionably been a fantastic learning curve and development process for all involved.
After the match, the girls were rewarded with an access all areas tour of the Zayed Stadium, and were able to experience the environments of the changing rooms, executive boxes and media centre. However there is always one curious kid who tries a door to find out that it’s actually alarmed – or was it Lynne?!
A hyper and very loud squad headed back to the hotel to enjoy a relaxed evening and team meal.