Forfarshire is the place to be this Sunday, as the Ross XI takes a 3-1 lead into Round Three of the Cricket Scotland Women’s Super Series at Forthill. After last weekend’s run-fest at Clydesdale, both they and the Sutton XI will be looking for more of the same in what has already been a hugely successful initiative.
Every one of the 637 runs that were scored at Titwood provided a ringing endorsement of the aims and objectives that lie behind this new competition. Choosing the squads according to the balance of their players as opposed to their geographical location has seen three out of the four matches go to the wire – except for the very first game of the series, none has been a walkover, and while the Ross XI left Glasgow with two victories, their opponents know that that scoreline could very easily have been reversed.
That was thanks in no small part to some of the younger batters on display. Fifteen-year-old Emma Walsingham, fresh from her unbeaten 123-ball 160 in the Under-18 Regional Series, impressed again with 42 not out in game one, while the confident hitting of Niamhs Muir and Robertson-Jack ensured the Suttons went down fighting as the second match drew to its conclusion.
But it was the contribution of the more experienced players which was most striking – in all senses of the word – of all. Priyanaz Chatterji was outstanding, her 27-ball 56, featuring eleven fours and one six, so nearly seeing her Sutton side to victory in game two, while Charis Scott and Ellen Watson also scored their runs briskly at the top of the order. Watson’s opening partner Lorna Jack picked up from where she left off in Arbroath to move into second place in the batting averages with 117 runs at 29.25: her return to form is good news both for the series and for Scotland.
Topping those averages is Abbi Aitken-Drummond, whose scores of 44 and 49 powered the Ross XI’s chase of 154 in game one then charge to 170 straight after. Becky Glen, Megan McColl and Katherine Fraser played important hands, too, and while Ailsa Lister was out for a duck in the morning, her never-say-die instinct to attack saw her set the tone in game two by scoring eleven of the twelve that came off the first over of the match.
And it is that which has characterised these early stages of the competition most of all. The positivity and flair with which both sides have batted, facilitated last weekend by the excellent Clydesdale surface, is a hugely encouraging sign for the future. With a question mark hanging over international cricket for all but the very biggest nations in the short term, here is a mechanism which is allowing Scotland’s players the opportunity to both test and truly express themselves. Sunday promises to be another fascinating instalment.
The Cricket Scotland Super Series will be live-scored and streamed via CS Live.
Team news: Katie McGill returns for the Sutton XI, replacing Niamh Robertson-Jack, who moves to the Ross XI in place of the unavailable Molly Paton.
Ross XI: Abbi Aitken-Drummond, Ailsa Lister, Becky Glen, Megan McColl, Katherine Mills, Lois Wilkinson, Katherine Fraser, Hannah Rainey, Catherine Holland, Niamh Robertson-Jack, Anne Sturgess, Zoe Rennie.
Sutton XI: Katie McGill, Priyanaz Chatterji, Ellen Watson, Samantha Haggo, Lorna Jack, Abbie Hogg, Charis Scott, Emma Walsingham, Emily Tucker, Orla Montgomery, Nayma Shaikh, Niamh Muir.
As part of our ongoing coverage of men’s and women’s domestic cricket, The Cricket Scotland Podcast will include a round-up of the Super Series every Tuesday, with analysis and player interviews along with those from our other featured games. Follow @ScotlandPod on Twitter for all the latest information.