IT was a day for records at Short Lane as Ashford Ladies produced their highest ever total of 278-7, setting them up for their biggest win.
They put visitors Wokingham to the sword, hammering them by a colossal 201 runs in the Women’s Southern League, Angharad Purser producing a fine knock.
Put into bat, they began with positive intent, Elize Brown soon finding the boundary, but two quick wickets meant they had to regroup and Becky Halls began to rebuild the innings with Jenny Tippell.
Gradually, they got things back on track, Halls the steadying influence as Tippell played her shots. They added more than 70 together before Tippell fell for 42, bringing Purser to the crease. She took her time to settle in, then began to up the pace, hitting the ball cleanly all round the wicket.
Wokingham were toiling in the field, on the hottest day of the summer so far, but Ashford knew they could not afford to take the pressure off.
Halls was out for 48 but Purser was well supported by Dani Gregory, Yolandi Maynier and Hannah Merchant, and began to cut loose, hitting boundaries at will.
Having scored 32 off the last 15 balls she had faced, Purser had passed her maiden 50 and looked to be on course for three figures when she misjudged a shot and was caught for a fine 85 off 81 balls.
With only eight balls remaining Ashford were still eight runs away from maximum batting points, and with a new player at the crease it looked like they would miss out.
However, Merchant was joined by Ali McCreedy, playing her 100th league match for the club, and the pair added another 16 runs to secure the points, McCreedy hitting 13 from only five balls.
Wokingham faced an uphill task, needing more than six runs per over, and soon found themselves in trouble, Hannah Merchant picking up two quick wickets, one bowled, the other caught by Tippell.
Leg spinner Gregory was called into the attack and took Ashford’s third wicket with the score on 27.
Two more followed without any addition to their score, Maynier taking the first thanks to a good catch by Sarah Taylor, then Gregory hitting the stumps again to record her best bowling figures for the club. Wokingham’s lower order showed some resolve and edged the score up to 44 before another catch by Taylor gave Brown a wicket.
Another partnership developed, with runs coming a little more easily for the visitors, and it took an excellent pick up and throw by Merchant to achieve a run out, leaving Ashford needing only one more wicket for victory.
It came with the last ball of the 28th over, Tippell smashing the stumps to finish the innings in style and complete her side’s superb win by a clubrecord margin.
“We’ve had some disappointing results this year but our team spirit has remained strong,” said McCreedy.
“We have never lost belief in ourselves.
“Hard work in practice, led by coaches Daniel and Ben Simper, has paid off, with the whole team contributing to an outstanding performance. We hope to carry on this form for the remainder of the season.”
Purser: Hit the right notes as her team won by 201 runs.
Support with bat and ball: Yolandi Maynier.