THE Trinidad & Tobago women's development XI bowled 81 wides in a one-day game against the touring Canadians in Tobago this week and still won by three wickets.
Canada made 167 for eight off their 40 overs at Scarborough, with their captain Mona Persaud scoring 42 not out, but her effort was dwarfed by the extras count of 92. Wavenie Williams took two wickets for 20, and the six bowlers used each conceded a minimum of 11 wides, adding the equivalent of almost 14 overs to the allocation.
In reply Tobago reached their target with two overs to spare after recovering from 20 for four. Opener Erica George top-scored with 56 not out, and all-rounder Williams stepped in with 51. The Canadian wides count was 'only' 48.
Not only did the batsmen and umpires have to deal with 129 wides on a blazing hot day. The TT side wore white shirts and used a white ball in front of white sightscreens.
The women take the game as seriously as anyone, but their game has its own peculiar character. As an example of female pragmatism, Ebony Rainford-Brent, a UCL chemistry graduate and England one-day all-rounder, said she used to cut the finger ends off her batting gloves to save her nails before she started playing regularly for Surrey.
And they can get through games quickly. The United Arab Emirates were bowled out for nine runs in nine overs by Bangladesh at the Asian Cricket Council women’s tournament in Malaysia last winter. The match at Johor, in the south, lasted less than an hour as the victors required only 1.2 overs to secure a 10-wicket win. The UAE captain, Natasha Michael was only 13 years old.
As for female spectators, an amusing letter published in The Cricketer
in the 1980s from a reader, Kenneth Hosking, describing the occasion in 1948 when he took his new fiancée Audrey and her uncle to watch her first cricket match. As luck had it, he chose the Australians’ visit to Southend when they scored 721 all out against Essex in the day.
Uncle: "Well, Audrey, what did you think of THAT?"
Audrey: "It’s alright, I suppose, but a bit slow."