ECB Development XI retains Women's title; Ireland win ODI

Fri, Aug 17, 2007 5:41 PM

The ECB Development XI and Ireland again achieved easy victories on the final day of the European Women’s Championships in Deventer, confirming their position as by far the strongest sides in the competition.

Having already accounted for The Netherlands and Ireland, the ECB XI had virtually made certain of retaining the European title, and they dispatched Scotland with clinical efficiency to win by nine wickets and ensure a clean sweep.

English captain Jenni Halstead won the toss for the third time in a row, and on this occasion elected to field first. The tactic worked out splendidly as the Scottish batsmen found scoring extremely difficult against the ECB attack, managing only 87 – 26 of which came from wides – in their 50 overs.

Kathryn Cross was the destroyer early on, removing Kathryn White and Kari Anderson, the most experienced members of a generally young Scottish team, by the time there were 23 runs on the board. Opener Catherine Smaill resisted resolutely, however, battling her way to 29 before she became Cross’s fourth victim at a cost of 17 runs.

Apart from Smaill only keeper Charlotte Bascombe reached double figures for the Scots, while Georgia Elwiss took two for 13 for the ECB XI, bringing her tally for the week to nine wickets at an average of 6.00.

The English batsmen took just 15.3 overs to knock off the runs with Anna Stevenson, trapped leg-before by Abbi Aitken, the only wicket to fall. Halstead, with 30 not out, and Rebecca Williams (43 not out) made sure of the bonus point as they scored runs at will.

Hosts The Netherlands suffered a spectacular batting collapse in their official ODI against Ireland after their bowlers had recovered well to bowl their opponents out for 179.

Having won the toss and put Ireland in, the Dutch seized the initiative early with two wickets for seamer Jolet Hartenhof before an 84-run stand between Nicola Coffey (43) and Isobel Joyce (46) put the Irish back on top.

Spinner Annemarie Tanke then removed both batsmen, but Jill Whelan, supported by her sister, skipper Heather, saw the total through to 170 for five. At that point there was another twist to the game, Caroline de Fouw capturing her second wicket by trapping Heather Whelan leg-before, and Tanke and Hartenhof then ran through the tail, the last four wickets producing just nine runs.

Tanke finished with five for 40, her best figures in 25 ODIs, while Hartenhof’s three for 32 was also a personal best.

This effort had given the Dutch batsmen a chance of recording their second victory over Ireland in 15 ODIs, but to do so they needed a good start. But Heather Whelan had removed both openers, both LBW, by the time there were 9 runs on the board, and The Netherlands never recovered from this disastrous opening.

Helmien Rambaldo, with 16, was the only Dutch batsman to take on the Irish attack, and once she was stumped by Jean Carroll off Jill Whelan’s bowling there was no way back. Only 36 runs came from the bat in 29.5 overs; helped by 20 wides, The Netherlands managed to reach 56 before they were all out.

Leg-spinner Ciara Metcalfe was the most successful of the Irish bowlers with five for 18 (also her first five-wicket haul in ODIs), with Jill Whelan taking three for 7 and Heather Whelan two for 10.

The Dutch total of 56 all out was the second-lowest recorded against Ireland in ODIs, just beating the 52 made by West Indies at Amstelveen in 2003.

These results mean that the ECB Development XI are again the European Women’s champions, while Ireland take the three-team Women’s World Cup first-round qualifier, with The Netherlands in second place.

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