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Lancashire Girls U15 performance squad 2013 match report

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T20 squad after winning the regional competition T20 squad after winning the regional competition

Dan Atkinson coach with Chris Chambers of the U15s Performance side recalls an eventful, exciting and tiring season!

2013 was a long, tiring but incredibly enjoyable and rewarding season for both players and coaches for the Under 15’s girls.

Winter trials seem a long time ago now after an incredible season where the girls played 16 competitive matches and won all but one of them (The County Championship game against Yorkshire was abandoned).

 Both Chris Chambers and I would like to say congratulations and thank you to both the girls that have taken part this season and to their parents for their commitment and dedication.

Derbyshire (Championship) – Win.

The girls started their campaign well – with a victory over Derbyshire.  Emma Lamb scoring 108* and Nalisha Patel 64 in an impressive 225-2 from 40 overs. Derbyshire struggled a little bit in reply, managing to bat through posting 92-8 in their 40 overs, the winter fielding practice proved worthwhile with three run outs. Georgia Clough bowled accurately returning impressive figures of 4-2-4-2 in her spell.

Cheshire (Championship)  – Win

With a system that proved to work well this year, Lancashire won the toss and elected to field first –Rachel Dickinson and Rebecca Cline both put in incredible spells with the ball – brilliantly backed up by Pai, Lamb, Jones and Nixon – bowled Cheshire out for 17. Cline returning figures of 6-5-1-5, (the only run conceded being a wide!) We chased down in 4 overs with little alarm, wrapping up the most comprehensive of victories.

T20 Tournament

Cheshire – Win

Facing Cheshire again in the shorter format – Who elected to field, the girls felt that they could defend a run a ball score, so set about scoring 120 in their 20 overs. They finished on 117 – 3, with an impressive 52* from Shachi Pai, and other important contributions from Threlkeld, Lamb, Fenton and Jones.

The girls bowled well against a well organised Cheshire team led by a brilliant 63 from 65 balls from Ellie Mason before she was well stumped by Threlkeld.  They fell just short – finishing on 103-6, with Shachi Pai and Sami Fowler taking two wickets each.

Shropshire – Win

Lancashire asked Shropshire to bat first and applied constant pressure in the field only allowing Shropshire to reach 63-6 in their 20 overs, Shropshire batted well towards the end of their innings. Hannah Jones was the pick of the bowling picking up 2-4 from her allocation.

Shropshire bowled well with the new ball accounting for Lamb and Threlkeld but Shachi Pai made sure that there was no further cause for alarm with an assured 23* to see Lancs home.

Staffordshire – Win

Lancashire put in a strong performance against Staffordshire, winning the toss, asking the visitors to bat first and keeping them to 40-8 from their 20 overs. Highlights of this innings were a hat-trick from Sami Fowler, who returned her best figures for the season (4-1-10-4) and Hannah Jones’ return of 4-3-1-0.

Emma Lamb and Ellie Threlkeld set about the reply ruthlessly, knocking off the score for the loss of no wickets in 6 overs.

Cheshire (Final) – Win

Facing Cheshire in the Final and feeling pretty confident after beating them twice in recent weeks, Cheshire were invited to bat first. Rachel Dickinson responded in the best possible way with a fiery opening spell of 3.5-2-14-3 ending Cheshire’s hopes of posting a high score – a solid team performance meant that they posted a modest 55 all out. A great fielding effort meant that Cheshire never got away and each of our six bowlers took at least one wicket.

Despite a couple of small hiccups and Sophie Ecclestone bowling very well Lancashire knocked the score of for the loss of two wickets in 7 overs

T20 regional winners.

 

Nottinghamshire (Championship)  – Win

It was important at this stage that the girls kept up early season momentum – so on winning the toss Lancashire elected to field again – hoping to put pressure on Nottinghamshire. Solid contributions from all the bowling attack meant that runs were hard to come by for Notts – who finished on 83-7. A valuable lesson was learnt that we often have to bide our time for wickets – our girls stuck to task well, faced with some solid Notts defence.

A clinical batting performance meant that we knocked the score off for the loss of one wicket – Emma Lamb scoring a free flowing 51*, ably supported by Threlkeld and Pai.

Shropshire (Championship)  – Win

Again winning the toss Nalisha Invited Shropshire to Bat first – this paid off almost immediately with Rebecca Cline picking up an early wicket – our spin attack played it’s part – with the injury prone Patel picking up 3 wickets and the wily spin of Hannah Jones returning figures of 3.2-2-1-3 to help bowl Shropshire out for 83.

Batting wise, without the unavailable Lamb, Jess Bradley stepped up to open the batting and  has performed admirably whenever asked to do it this year – setting a solid platform allowing us to knock the score off for the loss of four wickets. Special mention must go to Sami Fowler and Rachel Dickinson for batting through a tricky patch and seeing us home.

Staffordshire (Championship)  – Win

The girls were greeted at Milford Hall Cricket club with glorious sunshine and one of the flattest hardest wickets we had seen all year. It was at this point that the trusted system of bowling first went out the window and on winning the toss, we elected to bat....and bat.... and bat – amassing an impressive 286-4 from 40 overs, Lamb in the runs again making 134. (This to that point was a career best). Supported by Threlkeld, Pai, Bradley, Patel and Fenton.

The girls knew that they needed to bowl and field well on such a good wicket – and did so, supported by 2 run outs, Staffordshire were bowled out for 77, Fenton taking one of a few great catches this year in the gully and Nixon, Jones, Patel and Fowler bowling incredibly tightly, Nixon returning her best figures of the season (5-0-13-3)

Yorkshire (Championship)  – Abandoned

Yorkshire reached 97-7 from 30 on a miserable day at Church Cricket Club before the game was abandoned and it was confirmed Lancashire would be going to County finals.

T20 National Finals

Georgina Bolton and Emily Weetman were asked to join up with the team on the back of solid performances for the Development team and performed admirably throughout the tournament – making key contributions throughout.

Sussex – Win

Lancashire were invited to bat first against a strong Sussex team that contained a number of England players.

Without Lamb and Patel, Jess Bradley was asked to open again and performed well in the role. Aiming again for at least 120, we finished on 126-6. Key Contributions from nearly all the top order, scoring quickly and putting the Sussex attack under pressure. Tash Fenton hitting two boundaries in the last over to ensure we took momentum into our fielding.

EWDP players Burt and Norris looked threatening and were scoring well, but our bowling strength started to shine through and we worked through the Sussex line up, with only powerful boundary hitting of Norris causing us any real problems – She was eventually well stumped on 42 and Lancashire ensured victory – keeping Sussex to 112-8 from 20 overs. A pleasing victory and strong team performance from all the players.

Warwickshire – Win

Batting first, Lancashire faced a strong, quick seam attack. They initially struggled a little before Weetman and Dickinson came together, the former rotating the strike brilliantly and the later taking the attack apart with some strong power hitting. Weetman finished on 28* and Dickinson brought up her first 50 of the season. Finishing on a slightly disappointing 111 for 4, the girls had some work to do.

Another three run outs and a wicket each for Jones, Jackson and Fenton meant that we were able to keep Warwickshire down to 89-6 from 20 overs and win the game.

 

 

Nottinghamshire – Win

After a slightly below par performance against Warwickshire, the girls went out looking for a more confident win. Batting first they scored an impressive 142-3, thanks largely to a dominant 54(47) from Shachi Pai and 45 (33) from Rachel Dickinson.

In the field, the girls bowled and fielded well and never let Notts get close – keeping them to 85-5, Both Hannah Jones and Sami Fowler with two wickets each – they finished on 85-5 from their 20.

Devon – Win

Lancashire saved their best batting performance until the last game, knowing that a win would win them the T20 title; a loss would leave them level on points with the strong Sussex side that we had beaten the day before.

Lancs, batting first made 152-5 from their 20 overs, built around an aggressive 76 from Ellie Threlkeld. 33 extras also helped our cause, as well as Dickinson and Weetman combining again to put on just over 30 runs.

Devon should never have come close, but a combination of poor fielding, bowling and the cleanest hitting of the tournament meant that Devon reached 143 from their 20 overs – a few frayed nerves by the end of the game.

Lancashire were crowned National T20 champions.

County Championship – National Finals

Somerset(Championship)   – Win

We travelled to Wokingham Cricket Club and played Somerset without the experience of Emma Lamb and Nalisha Patel who were away with England – This gave other girls an opportunity, which they certainly made the most of posting a decent 172-5 from 40 overs, Threlkeld with an imposing 78, supported by Shachi Pai and Emily Weetman – against a strong bowling attack.

Fired up, the girls set about defending their score, allowing only two of the Somerset girls to get into double figures – keeping them to 113 all out – this as a group effort was one of the best performances of the year, with barely a bad ball bowled and backed up with some incredibly sharp fielding. Sami Fowler with impressive figures of 5-2-11-3.

Middlesex(Championship)   - Lost L

In Middlesex, the girls found, without doubt, the strongest opposition they had faced all year. Batting first they struggled with the ball seaming and swinging around, against an incredibly strong opening pair with experience that belied their years – All four of our top order removed scoring less than 10. Rachel Dickinson continued her good form from the previous T20’s scoring a composed 26. This still required a couple of composed performances – which arrived in the form of Hannah Jones and Laura Jackson, steadying the ship and playing the most composed of innings under extreme pressure from a Middlesex team growing in confidence. Hannah’s big 6 in the final overs bought up the three figures for Lancashire, who during the break were confident of defending their score.

They set about working their way through Middlesex’s defences – Jess Bradley probably the pick of the bowlers with 8-1-18-3 (including a great catch by Eleanor Graham to remove the dangerous looking Sophia Dunkley for 21) A great second spell for Hannah Jones, included two wickets and got Middlesex to 88-9, but they managed to hang on and Iqraa Hussain guided them home with a well made 23* Congratulations to Middlesex. Lancashire finished National Runners up.

The girls walked away with their heads held high after what has been an incredible season – where every single girl that has played has contributed enormously – best of luck to the girls moving up to Under 17’s next year. 

 

Dan Atkinson

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