On a muggy monday evening the Cheltenham Women made the trip east to Bourton-on-the-water to face Bourton Vale for the first time this season.
On winning the toss Jen chose to bat first on a good looking dry wicket. Liv and Grace put the disappointment of last week behind them and made a really good positive start, putting on 67 for the first wicket, which fell in the 8th over when Grace was bowled for 20 (including 4 fours). Liv continued playing her shots as she was joined by Beth who was watchful in the early stages of her innings. Liv reached a well deserved 50 in the 11th over, finishing with 10 fours in her impressive 51 not out. Jen and Beth pushed on as we passed 3 figures and then Beth really cut loose as the innings approached its end, clearing the rope 3 times. The pair added an amazing 83 in those last 9 overs, Jen finishing on 24 not out (1 four) and Beth just short of her half century on 48 not out (3 fours and 3 sixes). Extras had chipped in with 30 and Cheltenham had amassed an enormous 173 for 1 from their 20 overs.
In reply Bourton got off to a bad start as a wicket fell on the second ball, Liv making no mistake in snaffling the catch from Grace’s bowling. There followed the 3rd fifty partnership of the match as the Bourton captain coming in at 3 took the attack to Cheltenham. Pippa and Liv bowled well but it was Beth who made the breakthrough, her first over having gone for 10 she came back and bowled a double wicket maiden to dismiss the no2 for 11 and the no4 for a duck. Shortly afterwards the Bourton captain retired on passing a well played fifty. As the required run rate went skywards Beth and Grace returning for a second spell and both picked up another bowled each as the Bourton innings faded away. Millie had passed the gloves to Leia at the halfway stage and came on to bowl with Jen at the death, each picking up a wicket (again both bowled) as Bourton completed their innings on 106 for 7 from 20 overs: a deficit of 67.
Aside from the number of wides bowled, this was a brilliant performance all round from Cheltenham. The top order all fired to post a daunting target and then kept the pressure on Bourton with the ball and in the field to complete an impressive victory - well played everybody. And if we thought it couldn’t get any better, there was more to come as we were then treated to a delicious tea of Chilli followed by strawberries and meringues. The perfect end to a perfect performance.