Wildcats complete LV=Championship campaign
The Wildcats continued their tour of England and Ireland this week with two fixtures against Hampshire and the Netherlands in the LV=County Championship matches as they looked to earn a play-off place.
Hampshire v Scotland Wildcats [Scorecard] (15th July 2013)
The Wildcats lost the toss and were asked to bat first against Hampshire at Cove Cricket Club.
Opening pair Fi Urquhart and Rachel Scholes took the attack to the Hampshire bowling, Fi falling first when she was out bowled with the score on 51 after 9 overs.
Ollie Rae joined Scholes and they continued to attack the Hampshire bowlers until Scholes was given out caught behind after reaching her 50 - her second half century in as many days.
The Wildcats innings continued to gain momentum and Sam Haggo made an excellent 60 and supported the ever impressive Rae who made 45. The Wildcats innings stumbled with the fall of a few wickets , but a last wicket stand of 16 in quick-time between Aitken and Gordon swung the momentum back in the favour of the Wildcats as they finished on 244/9.
Opening bowlers Scholes and Aitken bowled well without much luck, as the Hampshire batters pounced on anything that was short or over pitched. The first wicket partnership of 58 in 14 overs had the Wildcats under pressure.
Aitken changed her bowlers with good effect and spinners Lois Wilkinson (2-32) and Kirstie Gordon (2-9) along with seam bowler Sam Haggo (2-35) bowled with great skill to restrict the scoring and when Ollie Rae was brought into the attack the game was all but over. Rae bowled with great pace and accuracy to pick up 3 wickets for 17 runs.
Hampshire were all out in the 48th over for 208, to give the Wildcats a win by 36 runs. Special mention to Aitken who took 4 exceptional catches!
After the game Abbi Aitken commented, “We’re delighted to get the win after yesterday’s game. The batters showed real purpose and attacked the bowling from the start, which allowed our middle and lower order to come in and play with confidence to post a difficult total for the Hampshire batters to chase down.
Our bowling was a little disappointing at times which allowed the Hampshire batters to get on top. However, our fielding kept us in the game and our attacking mentality meant that the Hampshire batsmen found it difficult to keep up with the required run rate.”
Scottish Wildcats v Netherlands (16th July 2013)
Skipper Abbi Aitken again lost the toss and the Wildcats were asked to field first at Wellesbourne CC.
Nadia Wheeler returned to opening the bowling with Aitken and both bowled exceptionally well to restrict scoring opportunities for the Dutch openers.
The Wildcats made the initial breakthrough, which eventually came in the 20th over when Sam Haggo had Hannema caught behind with the score on 56.
At the second drinks break, the Dutch were 144/2 from 34 overs.
Opener Miranda Veringmeier made a well-made 137 in an imposing score of 259-5. Haggo was the main wicket taker picking up 3 wickets for the Scots.
The Wildcats found themselves under some early pressure when Urquhart was out caught behind for 0 after 3 balls.
In-form batter Rachel Scholes made 32 and looked to be making a decent partnership with Kari Carswell until she was out caught behind. Charlotte Bascombe and Sam Haggo joined Carswell and in attempt to keep up with the run rate were both out caught.
The experienced duo of Carswell and Kathryn White put on a 77 run partnership to keep the Wildcats in with a small chance of victory, Carswell scoring 62 and White 45, however the total proved too much and the increasing run rate get too much as the Wildcats were eventually all out for 193 in the 48th over.
Despite the defeat Abbi Aitken was in reflective mood, “We are disappointed not to end our County campaign with 3 wins out of 3, but our performance in the league has been a massive improvement in comparison to last season.
We’ve faced demanding conditions to play 3 games in 3 days with the hot weather and It’s been a tough ask of the girls, but I have been very proud of the way the squad has applied themselves in every game this week.
It was a fantastic innings from Miranda opening the batting which made our job slightly more difficult, however I’ll take nothing away from the girls as they did a great job battling to the end.”
Coach Kari Carswell, “It’s been a tough 3 days, we always knew it was going to challenge us and I would like to think we have come away from these games with a lot of confidence in our ability as a team.
We have seen some fantastic performances this year in the County Championships and this group of girls are a pleasure to work with. The fight, determination and motivation shown by each of them to improve and change aspects of their game to enhance team performance is something that we have worked extremely hard on and will continue to do so.
We changed our approach to batting, bowling and fielding and I think we are looking better for it. I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has supported the girls this season, we really do appreciate it.
Thanks to Fee Sheridan and Debbie Noble who have come away with us on many trips, thanks also to analyst Steve Paige who has been brilliant to work alongside, and to Physio Mhairi Shanks”
The Scottish Wildcats now end their campaign in third place behind Northamptonshire and the Netherlands and will now travel to Ireland in order to play two matches against Canada and Thailand.
LV WOMEN'S COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP 2013 DIVISION THREE TABLE