Finals are usually a happy time. Not this one, however.
We were told during the week that we would be only able to field 8 players because no others were qualified to play. This even applied to substitute fielders. We played with all 8 players we were allowed and our opponents were given permission to allow a player who had been playing interstate. We play our cricket on the field.
The reason we have so few players available is that two (our opening batters) have move to Melbourne, one moved to the South Coast last year. One of our regular players has an injured knee and could not play all season. Another is expecting a baby mid year (hope it is a new recruit 😎 ) and yet another regular had an operation two weeks ago and is recovering. That is a lot of players to lose. Eastlake batted and we had them struggling a bit until a couple of their experienced batters got settled. Jane bowled well as usual, Liberty, Carli and Barbara bowled exceptionally well. One spell of bowling from Barbara was outstanding with Eastalake players unable to play any aggressive shots without risk. I tore a calf muscle in my second over and had to bowl the rest of my 8 overs off 3 steps because of our lack of players. Eastlake made 276 runs which is not as bad as it looks because at least 80 of those and probably 120 would have been cut off if we had 11 fielders. Carli and Liberty did amazingly well to close out the innings. Neither player had played grade cricket until this year. Lee, our keeper chased anything behind the stumps because she thought it was better to do that than to “waste” a fielder there. That is called commitment. Jane ran the boundaries all day and Suzi played after playing 6 hockey games – two this morning. Linda, Carli, Barbara and Liberty fielded as well as they ever have.
We batted and all we could do is play as well as possible. That is what we did. We batted through our 40 overs and still had wickets in hand. Lee demonstrated her fitness by running for me for almost the whole innings. Jane batted well again and I managed to get 81 not out. Liberty and Linda contributed well but, unfortunately, Lee and Barbara got good balls early in their innings. We made about 120 in the end which is respectable with 2 recognised bats in the team and many who just step up when they need to and do the job. I am impressed by the spirit and commitment of the ANU team. Most other teams would have given up but this team played it out to the end and did as well as it could with the players we were allowed to field. Thanks to Wayne for coming along and supporting us. Extra special thanks to Damo who has been helping with training, scoring and general helpfulness for the second half of the season. I can only say watch out next season when a few of us have more experience and training behind us. And a few players come back into the side. I have an appointment with a couple of ice packs now …