Game one: [Scorecard]
Having won the toss, Eagles captain Katie McGill chose to bat first on a muggy morning, looking to get a total on the board that would put the Stormers batting line up under pressure. Sarah Bryce (6) & Kitty Levenson (8) both hit early boundaries but were out shortly after to Rachel Scholes (1/13) & Laura Grant (2/20) respectively as the Eagles stumbled to 25/3, Hannah Short (3) also falling victim to Grant with Scholes taking a stunner at first slip.
Captain McGill (45) managed to score freely and keep the scoreboard ticking over, and combined for a 50 run partnership with Ruth Foulds (6) as the score moved from 38/4 to 88/4. The Stormers bowled well at the death, and the Eagles were restricted to 95/6 from their 20 overs.
Stormers openers Rachel Scholes (16) and Lorna Jack (36) reached their 50 partnership from 52 deliveries, as the Eagles tried a number of bowling options looking for the breakthrough. It wasn’t until the introduction of spin that the breakthrough came, with Katherine Fraser (3/18) collecting the wicket of Scholes with the score on 51/1.
Lois Wilkinson (6) combined with Jack in a 20 run stand as the Stormers looked to be cruising towards their target. However, the loss of Wilkinson off the bowing of Willis (1/21) sparked a collapse with the Stormers going from 71/1 to 84/7, with Fraser, Willis & Short (2/14) all contributing to the wickets column, and McGill getting the key wicket of Jack run out.
It was left to Charlotte Dalton & Laura Grant to see their team over the line, the winning runs coming with a well timed pull shot to the mid wicket boundary. While the Eagles showed good fight towards the end of their bowling effort, they were at least 25 runs shy of a challenging total and credit has to go to the Stormers bowling attack for their work in the first innings.
Game Two: [Scorecard]
Katie McGill won her second toss of the day and this time asked the Stormers to have a bat first. Scholes & Jack combined again to open the batting, and picked up where they left off in game one. Scholes (55) & Jack (52) batted with intent and punished anything loose, as they put on an opening partnership of 120, the 100 coming up in 95 deliveries.
The Eagles tried six different bowlers as they searched for a wicket, and it wasn’t until the 17th over when McGill (4/12) picked up Scholes & Wilkinson in a double wicket maiden. Two more wickets followed for McGill, as both Jack & Dalton found fielders as they tried to keep the runs flowing. Tight bowling at the other end from Abbi Aitken restricted the Stormers to 133/4 from their 20 overs, an excellent effort from the Eagles when it looked like a total of 150 was on the cards.
Bryce (44) & Levenson (17) combined in a 35 run opening stand, showing good awareness of where single options were as well as punishing the bad balls. The introduction of Wilkinson (1/25) paid dividends with Levenson mistiming a pull shot and being caught at mid wicket. Short (22) joined Bryce at the crease as they took the score along to 67 before Short was run out by a direct hit from Abatha Maqsood going for a quick single.
This brought skipper McGill (31*) to the crease and both players ran well between the wickets and put the Stormers bowlers and fielders under pressure. Jess Mills (1/12) managed to pick up the wicket of Bryce with the score on 120/3, however Abbi Aitken (3*) stayed with McGill as the Eagles wrapped up the win with two overs to spare.
With honours even, both coaches had an opportunity to reflect on a good days cricket. Stormers coach Ramzan Mohammed said “We had a day of mixed emotions. In game one, the four early wickets we took set us up nicely to restrict the Eagles to 95, and Rachel & Lorna gave us an good platform to successfully chase, despite making matters difficult for ourselves by losing six quick wickets near the end.
“In game two, it was excellent to see Rachel & Lorna both hit half centuries, however we failed to capitalise on our good start to push on to a demanding target, and this contributed to the loss. We will look at our decision making under pressure before the next encounter. While we had targeted two wins at the start of the day, we were content with to walk away with one and maintain our advantage in the series.”
Having seen his side get their first win of the season, Eagles coach Gordon Allan was upbeat about how his side had performed. “While it was disappointing to lose game one in the manner that we did – not batting with enough control and giving away 24 extras – it was great to see the response in game two.
“We learnt from our mistakes and put them right to comfortably chase down our target of 133 with time to spare. We have a young team this year, and I can only see them improving as the season goes on.”
While the next regional game doesn’t take place until 29th July, the Wildcats are in county action every weekend as they build towards the T20 world cup qualifier taking place in Holland in July.