Friday, 30 June 2017

A deep intake of breath...

It has been a hectic few days, following the start of the Women's World Cup last Saturday. I have had trips to Taunton and Bristol and seen the Aussies win both of their games - one against a West Indies side that looked devoid of any energy, cohesion or game plan, and the second against a team who should have had no chance, but were inspired by a stunning innings by Chamari Atapattu.

We are eight games into this tournament now, and have a couple of days to catch our breath, before all the teams take to the field again on Sunday. I'd like to be the first to say that this will be "a pivotal day" in the tournament. In truth it will be one of many pivotal days. There are certainly some intriguing match-ups - England play Atapattu, sorry, Sri Lanka; South Africa play West Indies; India play Pakistan and Australia play New Zealand. But once these games are done we will still only be 12 games into a 28 game league programme. There will still be plenty of time for a few more twists and turns.

There have already been seven centuries in the tournament, all of them very classy, from some of the top batsmen in the women's game - Atapattu, Lanning, Sciver, Bolton, Bates, Mandhana and Knight. Top class batsmen take advantage of good pitches and just one white Kookaburra ball, which has barely deviated off the straight for any of the seamers, and, with a small seam, has spun very little. As the tournament goes on things may get harder for the batsmen as they play on more used pitches. For the time being they are enjoying the conditions and teams are racking up scores which would have been unthinkable five years ago.

Australia look to have the strongest batting line up with their top five all having got runs already, but their bowling looks innocuous with part-timers, Elyse Villani and Nicole Bolton, being thrown the ball, almost on the basis that no-one will have done any research on them, so they might get away with a few overs. The Aussies back themselves to chase down any target they are set, but against better bowling attacks than they have faced so far, and better fielding sides than the Windies and Sri Lanka, they will find it more of a challenge. Sunday's game with New Zealand could set a benchmark, but I'm not quite sure for who?

India have been the surprise package so far, defeating England in their opening game and following up with a decisive victory over West Indies, who have presumably already cancelled any hotel booking they may have had for semi-final week. India should beat Pakistan comfortably on Sunday, and then Sri Lanka the following Wednesday, which will give them four out of four and a great chance of making the semi-finals.

New Zealand will be disappointed that their game with South Africa was washed out. It would have been a much sterner test than their win over Sri Lanka, and it means they come into Sunday's clash with the Aussies rather cold.

England picked themselves up well after the India defeat. The encouraging thing about that game is that they had a chance to win it with ten overs to go, chasing a mammoth 282 target. Indeed they will be annoyed that they did not get over the line. Their demolition of Pakistan was brutal, but professional. They need to do the same to Sri Lanka on Sunday.

South Africa very nearly slipped up against Pakistan, which could have ended their tournament before it had even begun, but a win over the Windies on Sunday looks likely, which will make England's game against South Africa the following Wednesday a must-win for both teams.

It has been a great competition to date, despite the lack of mainstream press coverage and the awkward streaming coverage, which is sometimes behind a required Sky Sport subscription.

Along with Syd, Raf and Snehal we will continue to try and provide full coverage of every game in the WWC17 on the WWC17 Blog.


Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Women's County T20 Update

The first week of County T20 action took place 10 days ago with Warwickshire and Lancashire the big winners in Div 1.

Warwickshire romped home against Somerset by nine wickets, chasing just 69 to win, and then put 168/5 (Kathryn Bryce 73* off 49 balls) on the board against Surrey, who could only manage 117/7 in reply.
Lancashire pulverised Kent, bowling them out for 71, as they chased Lancs 143/4. Spinners Emma Lamb (4/15) and Sophie Ecclestone (3/6), the main destroyers. They then comfortably beat Berkshire by 28 runs, although Berkshire kept them down to 130/9 in their 20 overs.

At the other end of the table Kent made it two losses out of two as they were bowled out by Berkshire for just 84. Berkshire cut it fine, but got home with two balls to spare.
Surrey also start the second round of fixtures with no points as they fell 15 runs short of Somerset's 146/3, in their second game of the opening weekend, having been 109/1.

Middlesex, Yorkshire, Berkshire, Sussex and Somerset all managed to win one game and lose one game, so the table looks like this

This Sunday sees some intriguing match ups

Warwickshire take on Berkshire and Yorkshire.
Lancashire have Somerset and Middlesex in their sights.
And bottom two Surrey and Kent are entertained at Sussex. 

In Div 2 Notts, Hampshire and Worcestershire lead the way with two wins out of two, followed by Scotland, Staffs and Wales, who managed one win, and then Essex, Durham and Derbyshire are yet to get off the mark. 
But it will be all change after Sunday as the top three all play each other in Worcestershire. Scotland and Staffs play Durham; and Wales and Essex are hosted at Derbyshire.


Monday, 5 June 2017

Coverage of the Women's World Cup 2017

In less than three weeks the Women’s Cricket World Cup will take place in England. There are several days on which two, three or even four games are being played simultaneously.

Therefore, four dedicated followers and reporters on women’s cricket have decided to get together to provide guaranteed 100% coverage of the entire tournament. We will have someone at each and every game. We have also teamed up with a top women's cricket photographer to capture all the action in pictures too. 

You will find our work on a dedicated Women's World Cup Blog. Complete coverage of the whole tournament. 

We call it The WWC17 Blog and it is here.

Here's who we are...

Raf Nicholson - ESPNCricinfo’s go-to voice for women’s cricket. Covered the 2013/14 women’s Ashes tour in Australia. Has spent the past decade researching women’s cricket and recently completed a PhD in the history of the women’s game in England. Has written on the women’s game for The Guardian, Wisden and All Out Cricket magazine.

Martin Davies – the man behind the highly-respected Women’s Cricket Blog, he has followed women’s cricket for almost 15 years, including in New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Australia, as well as England. He writes on the women’s game for Wisden and The Cricketer.

Syd Egan - Has written on women’s cricket for many years and has unparalleled knowledge of the domestic game in England. Now Staff Writer for Has also written for ESPNCricinfo and All Out Cricket magazine.

Snehal Predhan - Ex-Indian international turned cricket writer. Has written for Wisden India, ESPNCricinfo’s The Cricket Monthly, Cricbuzz, and the sports pages of An expert on subcontinental women’s cricket.

Don Miles - The doyen of women's cricket photography. After more than 20 years of covering the women's game through the lens of his camera, he knows what he is about. Author of the Women's Cricket website, the first women's cricket site on the Net.

The blog is a collaborative effort by these four writers, plus it features the photos of one of the best photographers of women's cricket.

Our aim is simply to provide complete coverage of the entire WWC17. Check out the blog for all you need to know about the WWC17.