Lisa on Sri Lanka coach Pagett reflects on the recent tour

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Coach Lisa Pagett reflects on the Glos U17 Girls’ recent tour of Sri Lanka

The tour to Sri Lanka was a fantastic opportunity for the girls to experience a different climate, culture and playing conditions.

The heat was a clear challenge and the squad quickly picked up on the importance of good hydration habits and how they need to look after each other as a team.

There were some tough days of cricket when the opposition got the better of us but the girls learnt a huge amount from those experiences and became more knowledgeable cricketers as a consequence. The bond the squad built up in a very short space of time was fantastic and it was great to see each player grow in confidence throughout the trip.

Although some individuals received awards at the end of tour celebration evening, so many players deserved recognition for their performances. Millie Ashford was awarded the batting awarded for playing some match-winning innings and finishing with a tour average of 42.

The bowling award was tough as this could have gone to any of our three frontline seamers – Maisie Hunkin, Helen Cutler and Ella Budd, who all produced brilliant spells in the heat. Maddie Hughes was also in the running with her magnificent spell of 6-15 I the first match. In the end the award went to Helen Cutler who spearheaded the attack brilliantly, bowling with pace, swing and control to take seven wickets at an average of 14.

Our final award was for the ‘best tourist’ – this was somebody who made a really big difference to the group both on and off the field. Again, many of the girls deserved this accolade, but the award went to Chloe Skelton (pictured). Whilst adding plenty of value with the bat, Chloe played with energy, passion and determination, encapsulating everything we would hope for in a Gloucestershire player. Chloe always played with a smile on her face, was the first to look after others and embraced every opportunity and experience that came her way.

As coach, I feel incredibly proud of each of the girls – how they approached the trip, dealt with the challenges they faced, represented themselves and Gloucestershire. I would also really like to thank the supporters who travelled with us on the tour, bottlegreen for sponsoring the squads and to Lions Sports Travel for providing exceptional experience for all involved.

 

Match-by-Match – a snapshot of each game

Game 1 – v Wadduwa Central College @ Surrey Village Ground – six wicket win

  • On an overcast day and green wicket, Gloucestershire won the toss and elected to field.
  • Maddie Hughes took 6-15 off 6.4 overs.
  • Ella Budd took 3-23 off 7 overs.
  • Wadduwa were bowled out for 116 in the 33rd
  • After losing a few early wickets, the middle order that steadied the Gloucestershire ship in the run chase. Olivia Freer made 20 before a solid partnership between Chloe Skelton (31*) and Millie Ashford (29*) saw Gloucestershire home to a six wicket win in the 27th

Game 2 – v. Rathgama Dewapathiraja College @ Aarons Country Club – lost by 150 runs

  • Rathgama won the toss and elected to bat.
  • Maisie Hunkin and Helen Cutler opened the bowling and took 4-49 and 3-29 respectively.
  • Georgie Hunt took four catches behind the stumps.
  • Rathgama finished on 251 all out – with superb innings from Dilhari (57) and Thimeshini (45).
  • In return, Millie Ashford was the only batter to put up a resistance, scoring 34.

 

Game 3 – v  Anula Vidyalaya @ Moors Cricket Club – Lost by 8 wickets

  • Anula Vidyalaya won the toss and elected to bowl first in very hot conditions.
  • Top order collapse saw Gloucestershire 5 wickets down in the first 10 overs.
  • Maddie Hughes dug in with25 off 66 balls while Emily Kibble scored 23 (30 balls)– providing a gutsy 52 run partnership.
  • The innings came at a cost however as both girls were struck down with severe heatstroke.
  • Despite a great opening spell from Hunkin (2-29), Anula Vidyalaya chased the total down in the 17th over for the loss of two wickets.

 

Game 4 – v Wiltshire @ Pallekale International Stadium – Lost by 1 wicket

  • At the Pallekale international stadium on Chloe Skelton (51) and Millie Ashford both made their maiden 50s for Gloucestershire in a 97 run partnership, with Maisie Hunkin adding an important 18* to take Gloucestershire to a total of 170.
  • In return, Gloucestershire took three early wickets to put Wiltshire under some pressure, with Helen Cutler (2-18) and Maisie Hunkin (2-41) bowling strong opening spells. Backed up by Ella Budd (2-28) and Alice Mundy (2-22), Gloucestershire regularly took wickets.
  • Wiltshire’s Rosie Pembroke maintained her composure as wickets fell around her, scoring 68* to help her team get over the line by one wicket in a nail-biting finish.

 

Game 5 – Kandy District Girls @ Pallekale International Stadium – Won by 9 wickets (T20)

  • Kandy won the toss and elected to bat.
  • Run outs were the order of the day with the Gloucestershire girls fielding clinically to create four run outs.
  • With the ball Helen Cutler who was the pick of the bowlers taking 2-12 off 4 overs.
  • Kandy never really got going with the bat and finished on 97 in their 20 overs.
  • The big-hitting duo of Millie Ashford and Chloe Skelton opened the batting and in true T20 style dealt some lusty blows.
  • Millie scored 49 off just 27 balls (8 fours and 1 six) and Chloe scored 32 off 24 balls (6 fours).
  • Gloucestershire comfortably reached the total in just 9.3 overs to finish the tour on a high.
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