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Ladies storm to ten-wicket victory

first_imgOxford dismiss Cambridge for an astonishing 56 runs to claim Varsity success VARSITY CRICKET Cambridge 56 Oxford 58 for no wicket It was a confident Oxford team that arrived at Lord’s for this year’s women’s Varsity match in early July. The side had enjoyed an excellent year’s cricket, leaving them certain favourites for the Nursery Ground encounter. However this had also been the case in the previous two Varsity matches, both of which had been narrowly won by the Light Blues. In a toss made all the more important by the threat of rain, Oxford skipper Kat Dickens called correctly and did not hesitate in asking Cambridge to bat first. The ever-reliable Annie Bowden and club president Felicity Allen opened the Oxford bowling. Both exploited the excellent conditions and the breakthrough came with just two runs on the board, when Olivia Sanderson was clean bowled by a vicious Bowden inswinger. The new batsman, Kent player Sarah Hill, hit two fours through the legside but, attempting a similar shot at the other end, was also bowled by Bowden. This brought Cambridge co-captain Georgie Latham to the crease to join their senior batsman Rachel Cowans with the score on 12-2. Cowans had made a slow start, but certainly has ability and her wicket was the most prized in the Cambridge side. Her downfall was a combination of a mix-up with her captain and an excellent piece of fielding by Lady Margaret Hall’s Helen Turner. Turner’s powerful throw from mid-wicket was enough to comfortably run out Cowans – and to bruise the hand of bowler Bowden. The Queen’s player was replaced with the ball by Turner herself, after a controlled display of swing bowling which gave her remarkable figures of 7-4-3-2. At the other end, Allen removed both Tab co-captains, trapping Ping Lo LBW first ball and bowling Latham for a single run, to put Cambridge on the rocks at an incredible 14-5. Kendra Butlin produced a gutsy 22 not out in nearly an hour and a half, but wickets continued to tumble. Allen finished her excellent tenover spell with figures of 3-16 and was replaced by captain-elect Helen Smith from Corpus Christi who bowled six tight overs. A direct hit from Susan Lowrey brought in the number eleven with only 42 runs on the board. Turner took the final wicket, to end with 3-21, and Cambridge had been dismissed for just 56. After this superb performance in the field, victory was a formality, but nevertheless to win by ten wickets required an excellent display by the openers. After a wayward first over conceding ten extras, Cambridge bowled tightly, but Heather Lang and Allen were more than equal to the task. Lang, like Allen, was playing in her final Varsity match, and finished it with a flourish. She hit three fours in the nineteenth over to finish on 29 not out and complete an impressive victory.ARCHIVE: 0th Week MT2003last_img read more