Bedford Cricket Club’s first weekend in the Home Counties Women’s Cricket League ended with double victory on a superb opening day at The Bury in what was the ladies’ first competitive outing since forming last year.
The hosts welcomed Ampthill Town and Banbury from Oxfordshire for the opening double header and managed to pull off victories in both games, coming away with the maximum twelve points slotting into third behind Stony Statford and Deddington who have both played four matches.
The eight-a-side pairs format means both sides start on 200 runs, losing five runs for a wicket with four pairs left with four overs apiece to amass their final score.
In the opening game, Bedford bowled first at Banbury and crucially picked up six wickets as Banbury crept up to 70/6, leaving them with a nett score of 240, with Vicki Barrett and Harriet Couch picking up two wickets each.
Bedford won by 52 runs thanks to a final score of 102/2.
Ampthill went one better in the second game, beating their Oxfordshire opponents by a mammoth 110 runs, but the drama was reserved for the final encounter as Bedford squeezed past Ampthill by just four runs.
Jenny Harris and Mahveen Rai top scored for Bedford in a total of 93/2, leaving them with a nett score of 283. Ampthill scored more runs, but also lost more wickets and with the format rewarding regular scalps, Ampthill’s nett total of 279 left them agonisingly short.
The frantic ending completed a wonderful opening day of the league season for the Women, who also raised money for the Ruth Strauss Foundation along the way, in aid of their friend and colleague, Laura Pottinger.
Solid start for Sunday 1st XI
The men were also in action elsewhere on Sunday, and the 1st XI made it two wins from three so far with an equally tight victory at Letchworth.
After despatching local rivals, Biddenham in the opening Bedfordshire County Division One game of the season, Bedford fell meekly to a strong Ickwell side last weekend before captain, Jonny Dove steered them home in Hertfordshire on Sunday.
Bowling first, Letchworth smashed their way to 160-0 in quick time thanks to Stephen Hughes (91) and Tom Manning (71) but Bedford dragged it back well, restricting Letchworth to 222-8 off their allocation, with Asad Naveed bowling particularly well for 4-34.
Maninder Singh’s speedy 53 set Bedford on their way but it was Captain Dove who anchored the chase with an unbeaten 68 and he hit the winning runs with seven balls to spare to claim a big win.
The 2nd XI have endured a tough start in Division Four, and lost out to Cranfield University by three wickets.
Wins for Under 15’s but Under 13’s lose out
Mohammed Ali’s figures of 3-15 and 31 not out with bat in hand helped the Under 15 ‘A’ side to victory against Luton Town and Indians on Thursday night as they coasted home by eight wickets at The Bury.
The ‘B’ side were also victorious at Harrold with Alex Turner top scoring with an unbeaten 31 of his own in a total of 136-4 while Simrat Nahar and Karanbir Benipal securing a brace of wickets apiece.
Ali and Dylan French also scored unbeaten half centuries in a huge cup win on Wednesday night against Ickwell and they go on to face either Potton or Blunham in the second round.
The Under 13 ‘A’ side missed out by nine runs at Olney on Tuesday night, While Biddenham saw off the ‘B’ side by six wickets.
Tom Carr is a player and volunteer at Bedford Cricket Club