The Diamonds go two up
Da Costa’s Diamonds went two-up in the Women’s Challenge Series at Maarschalkerweerd on Thursday, beating Crewdson’s Cruisers by five wickets in the two sides’ second 40-over game.
If the opening match a week ago had been largely dominated by the two Australian captains, with Denise Hannema and Leonie Bennett in significant supporting roles, this time it was representatives of the older and younger generations of Dutch women cricketers who took the limelight.
Carolien Salomons, one of the most prolific run-scorers in the women’s game and at 37 still a force to be reckoned with, made an unbeaten 73 to enable the Cruisers to reach 189 for seven, but her innings was trumped by a splendid 94 from the Diamonds’ 15-year-old opener Heather Siegers.
Siegers, who took the opportunity to tune up for the coming weekend’s ECB two county championship matches against Cheshire and Staffordshire, where she is virtually certain to make her international debut, went after the bowling from the outset, and her 94 came from just 91 deliveries, with seven boundaries.
She shared an opening stand of 131 with Naomi Stalenberg, who made 39 before becoming the first of three victims for left-arm spinner Leonie Bennett. It was Bennett who also eventually bowled Siegers six short of a century which she would have thoroughly deserved.
Once these two had gone, Hannema saw her side home, contributing 18 not out and hitting the winning run in the 37th over.
The Cruisers’ innings had also largely been built around one substantial partnership, between Salomons and Clare Crewdson, who contributed 55 from 67 deliveries to a third-wicket stand of 90.
Opposing skipper Linsey Da Costa had removed both openers, but Salomons and Crewdson batted for 17 overs to give their side a chance of posting a reasonably challenging target.
59 runs came from the final ten overs of the innings, Salomons contributing 34 of them, but with Stalenberg picking up one wicket and Heather File two, the Cruisers were unable to find the momentum which would have taken them past the 200 mark. Maxime Entrop and Da Costa bowled economically throughout, conceding 27 and 25 runs respectively from their eight overs.
Siegers and Stalenberg ensured that 189 was not enough, but Crewdson’s side fought hard to the end, and they did well to extend the chase as far as the 37th over.
These first two matches have demonstrated the value of this initiative, and despite the absence of one or two established players they have provided valuable experience for the younger members of the national squads, and some highly competitive cricket.
The teams will meet again on Monday, 23 July, when they will play two Twenty20 matches, again at Maarschalkerweerd.