Following the positive showing against Northumberland and Cumbria a couple of weekends ago, the Wildcats A team was on the road once again for a quartet of T20 fixtures against Lancashire Women and Yorkshire Women.
The weekend started at Croston Sports Club against Lancashire and, under cloudy skies, captain Abtaha Maqsood had no hesitation in winning the toss and bowling first. After a quiet but disciplined start, Priyanaz Chatterji affected a run out from short fine leg to get the ‘A’ team up and running.
The seam bowlers bowled with discipline, but it was the spinners who did the damage – Charis Scott with 2 for 15, Ikra Farooq with 1 for 6, and Katherine Fraser with the standout figures of 2 for 3 from 4 overs. Lancashire finished on 65 for 6, which the A team chased in the 17th over thanks to a hard-hitting contribution of 21 from Ellen Watson.
The second fixture against Lancashire saw the Wildcats A fielding first once again, with the home side showing much more intent from the outset. Guided by an excellent knock of 67 from their opening batsman, Lancashire posted 124 for 7 in their allotted overs. In reply, the Wildcats A opening pair of Katherine Mills (39) and Ailsa Lister (30) put on 62 for the first wicket, followed by another good partnership of 40 between Mills and Chatterji (15) which all but finished the chase. In the end, the ‘A’ team won by 7 wickets with 1 over to spare.
Sunday saw the next set of fixtures take place against Yorkshire Women at Harrogate CC. For the third game in a row, the Wildcats A took the field first. Captain Abtaha Maqsood set the tone in the powerplay with a spell of 1 for 6 in 3 overs, with Ikra Farooq, Sam Haggo and Abbi Aitken-Drummond continuing the good work to restrict Yorkshire to 110 for 6. In reply, Ailsa Lister and Ellen Watson put on 51 for the 2nd wicket to put the Wildcats A in a strong position, and despite a small wobble the middle order saw the team across the line in the final over.
Sadly, the final fixture of the weekend was abandoned with only 15 overs completed due to bad weather. After the uncertainty of the past few months, these fixtures have proved to be a wonderful opportunity for the Wildcats squad to get some competitive cricket under their belt ahead of the much anticipated Regional Series which starts this coming weekend.
Photo credit: Paul Butterfield and John Heald Photography