Deddington CC Ladies v Luton Town & Indians CC – Super 8s Semi-Final

The Super 8s Finals Day was superbly hosted by Charlbury Cricket Club and saw Deddington Ladies take on Luton Ladies in the semi-final of the Super 8s Development League. Deddington went into the day full of confidence coming into the day with a 100% record from the group stages. Luton won the toss and elected to bat.

Luton started strongly with their first pair putting 29 runs on the board in the first 4 overs as Deddington struggled to find the best formation in the field. Heads didn’t drop though and Deddington continued to give it all they had got with Lauren Caiger covering the ground well on her debut, as everyone worked to stop the run total getting away from them. The second pair had added a further 16 runs before Alice Whitaker bowled a beauty with the first ball of the 8th over to hit the top of the leg stump sending the bails flying and Deddington’s spirits rising. Luton’s third pair managed to grab 10 runs off their first over, but then only a further 9 off their next 3 overs, thanks to some tight left arm bowling from Sarah Cox. Georgia Adams had also now marshaled the fielders into perfect positions to stop the boundaries with Fleur Eden swiftly moving around the infield to keep the singles down and back up any throws in from the boundary. The final pair took their stand with Deddington in a determined mind set. They struggled to get runs in their first two overs and with pressure mounting in their third over Kate Corbett found the perfect line to see the ball nick the edge of the bat and fly into Caz Ward’s gloves. Deddington’s tails were up and in the final over Cat Williamson saw a caught and bowled chance fall to the floor, only to be switched on enough to retrieve the ball and run out the Luton player instead. Then, three balls later, Cat managed to get the ball to nip back in and hit high on the off stump to send the bails clattering to the floor. Deddington’s players left the field with a buzz, knowing that the net run total of 282 was achievable given the form they had been showing with the bat.

Cat Williamson and Caz Ward opened the batting for Deddington with coach David Webb’s instructions ringing in their ears – Caz was to “play like Webby” and defend, while rotating the strike to Cat as quickly as possible (some would say not so like Webby!), while Cat was to stick to her flamboyant style and hit some runs. This plan worked well with them scoring 38 runs off the first 4 overs (admittedly mostly via Cat’s ability to find the gaps in the field to reach the boundary on several occasions). Fleur Eden and Alice Whitaker were the next pair to come in to bat and little did Deddington know the controversy about to take place. The Luton bowler came in for the final ball of their first over only to notice Alice was stood out of her ground at the bowlers end. She promptly took the bails off and appealed for a run out. The umpire was heard from the sidelines asking Luton if they really were appealing for this Mankad and when they confirmed they were, he was left with no choice other than to give the wicket. There had been no warning prior to this dismissal as the spirit of cricket advises and this incident shocked the Deddington players and most of the onlooking supporters causing a distinct change in atmosphere. Alice was not to be stopped by this, in her first season in club cricket, and when she dispatched the last ball of the next over for four the cheers from the sideline rang loud. Lauren Caiger and Sarah Cox made up Deddington’s third pair to bat and they followed on from Fleur and Alice in picking up whats runs they could, despite facing some tight bowling from Luton. This left Gerogia Adams and Kate Corbett as Deddington’s final pair faced with needing 22 runs to win the game, a number of runs that this pair were very capable of achieving. Unfortunately, Luton continued to bowl very tightly and were quick in the field, leaving Deddington 4 runs short of the required total when the balls ran out.

The disappointment that ran through the team was clear for all to see. Knocked out in a semi-final that on another day they knew they were capable of winning. All the players analysed their day with the knowledge that such a tight defeat could have been so different. This really did speak volumes for the team. Had anybody said they would have made it to finals day at the start of the season they probably would have thought the concept was ridiculous, so to be disappointed to have narrowly lost a semi-final showed how far they have come. Webby led a walk around the pitch and the chat soon turned to what a bright prospect there is for the league season ahead. Deddington will come up against teams they have never played before, but the Super 8s competition has shown them that they are a capable cricket team and they finished the day proud of what they have achieved as well as disappointed it wasn’t more.

The Deddington Ladies team would all like to thank their supporters who came along to Finals Day and the other members of the club who sent numerous messages of support, this was truly appreciated by all involved.