On a lovely summers evening Cheltenham faced their nemesis from previous seasons as Dumbleton visited the victoria ground. High on confidence following last weeks fantastic performance Captain Olivia won the toss and had no hesitation in choosing to bat first. It was apparent from the opening couple of overs that this would be a much more challenging match as the Dumbleton bowlers hit their lines and lengths from the word go. The third over of the match was devastating for Cheltenham as the heart of our batting was removed as Beth was caught for a duck and then Liv bowled with the next delivery. Millie B negotiated the hat-trick ball but Cheltenham were unable to get the ball away. Grace fell in the fourth over for one and we were in all sorts of trouble at 3 for 3. Hannah and Millie held firm for a couple more overs before Hannah was unfortunately hit on the elbow by a high full toss and had to retire hurt. The next over Millies defences were breached as she was bowled for 1. The excitement didn't stop there as Sophie was bowled in the next over and 3 balls later Eloise was run out trying to sneak a bye. Millie D safely negotiated the next over and then Lily hit her first ball for 4. Lily and Millie kept the accurate Dumbleton bowlers out for 3 overs before Lilys defences were breached and then Annie followed suit a few balls later. Diana scored her first run for Cheltenham with her second ball but couldn't get the ball past the fielders again to add to her score before being bowled at the end of the 12th over leaving Millie not out as Cheltenham closed their innings (Hannah not able to resume) on a humble 22.
Cheltenham began the second innings giving Dumbleton a taste of their own medicine and reduced them to 3 for 2 after two overs as Grace and Liv found their way through the defences of the no2 and no3 to disturb the timbers. Liv struck again in her second over adding another clean bowled to her tally but the Dumbleton batters were never in danger of collapsing despite some good bowling and energetic fielding, and cantered home in 4.1 overs to win by 7 wickets.
By agreement of the captains the teams continued to play for some practice which was enjoyed by all while the Curry Jen had cooked was being prepared - a lovely meal to finish off the evening, topped off with a summer favourite pudding, pavlovas (thanks to Lily''s mum, Libby)
22 for 9 declared from 11.5 overs wasn't our finest hour of cricket but the numbers (and the largely binary nature of the batters scores) does not tell the whole story by a long way. Dumbleton bowled very well and their fielding was sharp. The Cheltenham batting, particularly from the middle and lower order, was encouraging and our more inexperienced batters acquitted themselves well against a top opposition. Liv's marshalling of the troops and the energy and encouragement shown by the whole team to pull together in the field was excellent (and didn't finish when the game as a match had concluded).
A bad day at the office but as a test of character I think Cheltenham came out showing no set back was going to dampen their spirits. Well done everyone.