An MCC Women side traveled to Bath for a match - captained by England stalwart and Cricketer of the Year, Claire Taylor.
On Friday MCC women travelled to Bath for what promised to be an exciting day of cricket. The visitors were led by England’s Claire Taylor, currently 3rd in the women’s ODI rankings.
With such a force at the helm they entered into the game quietly confident of their success. After winning the toss they put Bath in to bat, not quite expecting what was to unfold during the day with Bath amassing 250, a total the visitors found 90 runs too many.
The day started with a battle of torn loyalties - Bath’s very own Moira Comfort bowling against her club side.
Bowling on an unpredictable wicket, Comfort dismissed MCC Young Cricketer Fran Wilson for 1. It would prove to be a battle of MCC as Comfort later dismissed Bath’s other MCC Young Cricketer Steph Davis for 20.
Davies recently captained the Best of the Women’s MCC Universities against Loughborough - scoring an unbeaten century.
Bath's innings was one of mixed performances. They were 11-2 and, with the ball was keeping low, it seemed the decision from Taylor to put Bath in to bat was fortuitous.
However, after seeing two team mates fall to MCC, Beth Howe and Jan Godman saved Bath somewhat with a 105-run partnership and put the pressure on Taylor and her team in the field.
Bath seemed comfortable at 116-2 until Coral Handley dismissed first Godman and then Howe in rapid succession. At 116-4, MCC felt they were back on top.
Oxford MCCU player Izzy Westbury, unbeknown to herself and MCC, would be saving her talents for the field, as she was dismissed LBW for 5.
Comfort chipped in with another wicket, finishing with figures of 3-45 but it was not enough to dismiss Sophie Luff who ended up on 54* and was helped out at the end by a wagging tail of Emilie Sauven (16) and Kate Randall (10*).
Bath declared on 250-9, a total they hoped would be out of reach of MCC.
After tea Alex Cram and Sinead Goodden opened for the visitors and hoped to create a platform on which to build an innings. Bath had other ideas.
A fine bowling performance from Luff, who had only just removed her pads, dismissed Goodden for six.
It wasn’t a bad start for MCC with 21-1, but while the runs continued to tick by at a steady rate, so did the fall of wickets.
Batting at seven, Taylor hoped to salvage what was left of an innings at 114-6.
Hubbard, the youngest MCC player on the day, batted well and was rewarded for her brave 24* with a chance to bat with her cricketing hero Claire Taylor.
Wise words from Taylor spurred Hubbard on to bat out for a draw once Westbury’s left arm spin claimed the much-prized scalp of Taylor for 34.
Westbury quickly dismissed Heppell for a duck and if 2-13 wasn’t good enough for her, she held on to the catch of the day leaping at full stretch to save the square leg umpire from almost certain injury and claiming the wicket of Handley.
Comfort (23*) joined Hubbard (24*) for a last wicket stand of 33 to take the match to a draw.
Despite the contest not being completely even, it proved to be a great day of cricket.
Playing alongside or against Claire Taylor will be an experience these girls won’t forget and hers will a be wicket Westbury will always remember!
Match report by Ellie Fielding.