In an all-round well-executed display of cricket, Cambridge University Women’s Cricket Club convincingly beat their O*ford counterparts in The Greene King IPA Twenty20 Varsity – winning by 9 wickets, with 7.2 overs left.
With glorious weather, and a hard, dry pitch, it was no surprise that O*ford chose to bat after winning the toss. Cambridge were not fazed, and in the first over an excellent piece of fielding by Christine Viney at square leg resulted in the run out of opening bat Charlotte Graham (O*ford).
Opening bowlers Hannah Fisher and Lucy Binsted kept the ball tight on the stumps, making it very difficult for O*ford to score runs, and often led to poor shot selection out of frustration. Cambridge capitalised on this – taking regular wickets, including five spectacular catches.
Binsted took two fantastic wickets in her opening spell; having O*ford captain Sophie Taylor caught at mid-on by Nadia Blackshaw, closely followed by clean-bowling the other opening bat Vanessa Picker.
This brought previous O*ford captain, Imogen Brown to the crease, where she started to score runs against the Light Blues. Thankfully, the cool and calm Cambridge captain, Chloe Allison, knew just what to do. The pitch was providing a lot of turn, and it was one of her own leg spin deliveries that bowled Brown and ended the brief O*ford revival.
More catches followed. Cambridge really were on top-form in the field, as not a single catching opportunity was missed or dropped. Sarah Attrill (Oxford) was caught at deep mid-wicket by Katie Gibson (off Blackshaw’s ball), and then Sam Moore (Oxford) was brilliantly caught-and-bowled by Cambridge’s excellent swing-bowler Christine Viney. Light Blue fresher Preeti Kate also took an epic caught-and-bowled wicket with her off-spin – sending Lucy Taylor (O*ford) back to the pavilion. In the next ball, Kate took another wicket – this time having Alycia Jewes (O*ford) caught at mid-off by Holly Tasker.
There was still time for another wicket before the end of the innings. Viney clean-bowled Lizzie Fry (O*ford) in the final over, leaving O*ford to end on 74-9 after their 20 overs.
Although this would appear to be a below-par score posted by O*ford, the Light Blues were not complacent, and set about chasing down the 75 runs required to win the game in a composed and well-thought-out manner. Cambridge opening bats Frankie Barber and Hannah Fisher played some magnificent shots and kept rotating the strike in their 38-run partnership, before Fisher was bowled for 14 by Attrill (O*ford). This brought light blue skipper Allison to the crease, and together with Barber, they saw the game out in only 11.4 overs, with Barber ending on 33 not out.
What a way for Cambridge to win their first ever T20 Varsity. Every single Light Blue player contributed – it really was such a team performance.
Cambridge continue to train throughout May Week, as they prepare for the Lord’s Varsity Match on 23rd June (at Lord’s Cricket Ground, London), where they hope to replicate such a fantastic win over O*ford.
Scorecard can be found here.