The latest indoor match of the indoor season saw Thornbury take on Bradley Stoke at the John Cabot Academy. Winning the toss, skipper Hayley Lewis chose to field first.
The Tone for the match was set by the third ball as Anjali delivered a perfect leg stump yorker to pick up the first wicket. Hazel followed suit with her own wicket in the 2nd. A run out in the 3rd over left Bradley Stoke reeling at 27-3 after the 1st pair. In the 5th over skipper Hayley bowled the over of the night picking up 3 wickets, with Olivia coming to the party as well. Bradley Stoke couldn't prevent the Thornbury onslaught as they slumped to 39-7 after 2 pairs.
Then came the moment of the night as Bradley Stoke key batter Emma smashed a cover drive wide of Helen, who instinctively performed a full length one-handed dive and in one motion produced an amazing direct hit - if only we had it on video for training purposes! Olivia bowled the final over picking up 2 more wickets, both bowled, leaving Bradley Stoke posting a well under par 71-10.
Before chasing the total, coach Harry passed on tactics of boring, no risk cricket with no running and victory should be secured. First ball, Helen hit a short ball into the leg side wall and ran, Jo followed suit, but after some indecision both Jo & Helen were left stranded in the middle of the wicket leaving Bradley Stoke with a choice who to run out! The Fielder launched a wild throw which missed everything & hit the back wall, giving the opportunity for Helen & Jo to scamper back and get a 1 run overthrow bonus. The coach's cap came off in despair!
But after that, the Ladies settled into the game plan and after Jo & Helen's 4 overs, the Thorns were well placed at 24-1, needing only 3 to win, providing we didn't lose any wickets!
The second pair of Anjali & Hazel kept up the momentum, with Anjali in particular hitting 5 off one over. Down, but not out, Bradley Stoke started to claw their way back into the game as they picked up a wicket and the runs began to dry up. After the 2nd pair Thorns were 45-2 with a lead of 13.
Batters Olivia & Hayley came to crease nervously knowing Bradley Stoke needed wickets to prevent a convincing Thorns win. Experienced bowlers Esther & Emma bowled the last 4 overs with unerring accuracy. With runs now at a premium, 2 wickets were lost in overs 9 & 10 so going into the last over Thornbury had a slender 10-run lead.
Skipper Hayley defended the first three balls doggedly, but on the penultimate ball, Emma delivered a wicked bouncing delivery and Hayley was caught off the wall with an outstanding catch. The batters switched ends leaving Bradley stoke needing a wicket off the last ball to secure an unlikely tie and get out of jail.
You could cut the tension with a knife as Emma delivered a fast & low full toss zoning in on Olivia's middle stump... but in the blink of an eye and with the wickets about to be plastered all over the back wall, her bat deflected the ball narrowly past her off stump for a single! This secured the win for Thornbury by a narrow 6 runs.
A big cheer and team hug ensued, with the coach breathing a big sigh of relief. Another fantastic game, played in great spirit. Thornbury produced an outstanding bowling & fielding display against an experienced Bradley Stoke side and gained invaluable experience of batting under pressure.
Hayley: 9 (runs), 4 wickets Hazel: 11, 2 Olivia: 9, 1 Anjali: 12, 1 Helen: 8, 0 Jo: 21, 0
Jo & Helen: 24 runs Anjali & Hazel: 21 runs Olivia & Hayley: 7 runs
The victory put Thornbury top of the Women's Indoor League Bristol (Division 2) after 3 games. In Division 1, TCC are 2nd out of 7 teams after 3 games played. It's been a great start to the indoor season for Thornbury!