Radlett Women got their North London League Division A campaign underway with a comfortable nine-wicket victory over last season’s runners-up Wanstead.
It was a welcome result after their first two matches had been cancelled due to the rain.
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 having to dip into the junior pools to put a team on the field.
Battman’s broken finger 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 the 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 for one after eight overs.
Wanstead looked to take risks as the first change bowlers came on, but their strategy backfired spectacularly. Poor shot selection and suicidal running between the wickets cost the home side dear.
Chief beneficiary was Sarah Evans taking a career best four for 30 from her six-over spell.
Leg spinner Anna Harris took two catches and then proceeded to clean up the tail with three for seven from five overs, as Wanstead collapsed to 83 all out.
In reply, Harris and Hartley looked well on their way to securing a ten-wicket victory, before Hartley was trapped leg before wicket 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 not out) with Evans unbeaten on nine.