Radlett Women’s cruise to nine-wicket win

Following rain cancellations to their first two North London League matches the Radlett Women finally got their Division A campaign underway with a comfortable away victory over last seasons runners-up, Wanstead.

The ease of victory belied the scratch make-up of the Radlett side. A combination of injuries and county call-ups limited the squad of available players with stand-in skipper Samantha Battman, herself sporting a broken finger, having to dip into the junior and “out of retirement” pools to put a team on the field.

Battman’s injury also meant she had to hand the wicket-keeping gloves to Sian Ruck - a position the New Zealand seamer had never occupied before in a competitive match.

Having scored 189 in 30 overs on this pitch the previous weekend the Wanstead skipper had no hesitation in batting first after winning the toss. However, such free scoring proved much harder against Radlett’s experienced opening bowlers. Right-hand seamer Katie Pankhurst bowled a lively opening spell, finding the edge of the bat on a number of occasions and was unlucky not to take a wicket. Off-spinner Lorraine Hartley was also on miserly form as Wanstead struggled to play scoring shots. A sharp Alexis Mannion catch off Hartley’s bowling left the opposition on 20-1 after eight overs.

Wanstead looked to take risks as the first change bowlers came on, but their strategy back-fired spectacularly. Poor shot selection and suicidal running between the wickets cost the home side dear. Chief beneficiary was Sarah Evans taking a career best 4-30 from her six over spell. Leg-spinner Anna Harris took two catches and then proceeded to clean up the tail with 3-7 from five overs, as Wanstead collapsed to 83 all out.

In reply Harris and Hartley looked well on their way to securing a 10-wicket victory, before Hartley was trapped LBW for 18.

Sarah Evans was given a rare opportunity at three and rotated the strike well as Harris played fluently around the ground. She finished just shy of a half century (47*) with Evans unbeaten on nine.