WITH the official start of summer the previous day, we all awoke to see sunshine and clear blue sky, with pleasantly warm temperatures forecast, writes Janet Street.

A perfect day to play some cricket, especially as our last two games were cancelled due to rain.

Sunday's game for Cam Ladies was an away match at Winterbourne, and we were all very excited to partake in the teas that had been promised, and we were not disappointed.

We’d been sent instructions on how to find the venue, but that proved trickier than anticipated, with several players missing the cunningly hidden sign at the entrance and doing a tour of the local housing estate before being directed in by those that had managed to find it.

Thank goodness for mobile phones, sat nav not so much!

The outfield was in good condition, nicely mown grass and relatively flat, but the far corner dropped away toward the shed, so any shots played that way would run away to the boundary.

Pleasantries were exchanged with the other team, and Winterbourne won the toss and elected to bat first, which was handy as captain Kiara Ford was going to put them in anyway had she won!

Winterbourne got off to a tentative start with the captain Leanne Peachey falling prey to the bowling of Ford in the first over.

Our bowlers kept it tight for the first few overs, with a lot of dot balls and just a few singles. By the tenth over Winterbourne were starting to increase the run rate, with their number one Emma Vincent confidently playing the ball around and managing to find the boundary.

Cam were on it in the field, with everyone working well together, and chasing hard to reduce the run rate.

There were some great fielding stops close in, and although we missed a couple of catches which were hit very hard, we managed to frustrate the batting side.

Vicky Mansell stepped up to bowl the twelfth over, after her record-breaking spell a couple of weeks ago, and managed to keep it to 4 runs.

We paused for drinks, as it was getting a bit warm on the field, and we were making the batters work hard for their runs.

Rosie Dimery next up to bowl, there was some indecision between the batters and Vicky Mansell and wicket-keeper Vicky Morgan teamed up to get the first run-out of the innings, the next 5 dot balls gave Dimery a wicket maiden over too.

The run rate slowed with the loss of the wicket, and Cam kept it tight for a while until Mansell stepped up again in the 29th over, to bowl Emma Vincent out after a great knock of 90 from 101 balls, including 13 fours.

This was the breakthrough Cam needed. Two balls later the new batter was bowled out with Mansell taking another, with the middle/ lower order dropping like flies after some great bowling by captain Ford (including another wicket maiden over) to complete the 35. Rosie Dimery also got a great run-out with a long-distance throw from the outfield that landed squarely on the stumps.

Cam now had a target of 167 to chase. (168 to win) Teas. There was a lovely spread on offer, and we sat outside on the grass (in the shade) to enjoy our various plates of sandwiches, cakes, biscuits and some well-earned cool drinks.

Now it was our turn in the crease, having made sure we re-applied our sun lotion and had plenty of fluids on board Cam sent Marlene Brown and Liv Hughes out to do us proud.

First over started well, both players finding the boundary, 10 runs to us. Sadly, Liv Hughes was bowled by a ball that didn’t quite behave as expected, and Kiara took her place on the field.

Brown started to find the boundary, expertly splitting the fielders at times, and with Kiara Ford’s support the runs started to appear on the board.

Libby Frost stepped up to bowl at pace and dismissed Ford with a well-aimed ball.

Janet Street was next into bat, in at number 4, sadly it didn’t last long, faced 6 balls and out lbw.

Over to Diane Duxbury to steady the ship. Winterbourne bowled consistently with good length and the runs were getting hard to come by, but Brown and Duxbury plugged away steadfastly getting closer to the target. Duxbury then caught an edge which went straight to the keeper, meaning Vicky Mansell was now in to bat.

The next few overs were a little light on runs, and their fielders were stopping the singles, until Brown started finding the boundary again with some well-timed shots.

Vicky Mansell was bowled in the 28th over and with Cam still needing 14 runs to get. Vicky Morgan stepped up to the crease, having already had a great game in the field as wicketkeeper, and promptly despatched the ball for four on her second touch.

A couple of minutes later it was all over, with Cam finishing on a boundary four to win by 5 wickets with overs in hand.

Marlene Brown finished another great innings with 105 not out off 88 balls, with 16 fours.

Congratulations to the two players of the match, Diane Duxbury for an excellent bowling display and steadying the ship with the bat as well as Vicky Morgan for a great day behind the stumps and coming in to finish off the innings for Cam.

Well done Cam ladies, a thoroughly enjoyable game, played in the right spirit, on a sunny day, with a bit of friendly banter and did I mention the teas?