The MCC Women's tour to USA and Canada got off to a great start before a ball was even bowled with some sight-seeing in Philadelphia.
The touring party took in Independence Hall, the site of the signing of the declaration of independence, the Liberty Bell, the ‘Rocky’ steps as well as sampling the local cuisine of Philly cheese steak and hoagies.
An afternoon team yoga session provided the touring party with an opportunity to prepare both mentally and physically for the forthcoming fixtures.
The first day of cricket saw MCC compete in two T20 games against USA Red and USA Blue.
In the morning match MCC lost the toss and were put in to bat, posting a score of 140 runs. Charlotte Edwards opened the batting, hitting a quick 50, ably supported by Emma Godman (27).
In reply Nadia Gruny scored 51* but the hosts fell short by 18 runs.
The afternoon match saw MCC win more comfortably, having posted a score of 159 (Aylish Cranstone 42). USA Blue finished well short of the required total thanks to very tight bowling from Jude Wilmot and Marilyn Smith.
A USA select XI was to be the opposition for the final match of the first leg of the tour, played in the beautiful grounds of the Merion Cricket Club.
Although it was a low scoring match, it was a close finish, with MCC reaching the required total with only two balls to spare.
There were some notable performances from Hazel Lovegrove (2-4), Nicole Richards (1-8), and superb catches from both Claire Taylor and Charlotte Edwards.
Following the reception lunch, the hosts kindly provided the perfect setting for an exhibition tennis match between Charlotte Edwards and Emma Elsom in Merion club colours. (Final score unknown – what goes on tour stays on tour!)
The inaugural women’s tour to the USA has been a great success, with the MCC team unbeaten, having played some competitive and enjoyable cricket.
The touring party leaves behind a keen, competitive, hardworking community of players with a real insight into the work of the MCC and the Spirit of Cricket.