Vienna International Women’s Sixes Tournament

Belgium, represented largely by RBCC players, overcame sweltering heat and spirited opposition to become unbeaten champions.  Austria, Norway, Zurich Sapphires 1, Zurich Sapphires 2 and Belgium enjoyed a weekend of sixes cricket at the Austria Cricket Stadium in Vienna, each team batting 5 overs and bowling 5 overs each game.  All teams appreciated the commitment to the development of women’s cricket shown by the Austrian Cricket Association and the Austrian Cricket Club Wien,who hosted a wonderful event.

RBCC ladies representing the Belgian National team

RBCC ladies representing the Belgian National team

In their opening match Belgium held Zurich 1 to a total of 35-2 by strong bowling and fielding.  Belgium achieved the target in 3 overs without loss.  Corrie’s wall-like wicket keeping and 2 run outs set a standard for other teams to follow and earned her MVP.

In the second game Zurich 2 posted a challenging target of 48-1.  In a nail biting finish, strong hitting and boundaries from Esmarie for an unbeaten 23 not out took Belgium close to the target.  Nicky’s experience showed as she held her nerve to hit the winning runs off the last ball of the match.

In the third game against Austria, the Austrian captain hit 32 (retired) of their challenging 57-1 total.  Rocked after losing Nicky for 18, Rosemary and Anne saw off determined bowling to an exciting finish, with Rosemary hitting her fourth 4 of an unbeaten 27 for a Belgium win with only a couple of balls to spare.

The early Sunday morning start saw Belgium sluggish against Norway who posted 45-0.  As Belgium scrambled for every run, Anne’s smash towards the boundary was intercepted by a fine catch and it was left to Sue’s quick running between the wickets to get the win for Belgium.

In the semi-final, Anne and Sue led one of Belgium’s finest bowling performances, the team giving away just 3 wides.  Zurich 2 lost their opener as Rosemary gathered the ball off her own bowling for a quick run out (see picture below).  Zurich 2’s 36 was never going to be enough.  Belgium’s reply got off to a bad start as Esmarie’s dive across the line wasn’t enough to save her from an unlucky run-out.  Rosemary and Nicky’s partnership overtook the Zurich total in the fourth over for a comfortable win.

Rosemary running the Zurich openner out off her own bowling

Rosemary running the Zurich openner out off her own bowling

In the final, Austria’s openers got off to a flying start before losing a wicket as Corrie showed her keeping skills with a catch off Rosemary’s bowling. This timely wicket meant that Austria’s total of 45-1 looked achievable.  Belgium’s reply started well but tricky Austrian bowling saw Belgium stall, needing 16 runs off the last over.  In front of a partisan crowd sensing victory, Rosemary and Nicky held their nerve as Nicky swung for a timely 4 and by quick running in the searing heat scored 47 with one ball to spare in front of a despairing Austrian crowd to clinch the tournament. A very hard-fought battle, worthy of a final, seen off successfully by Belgium due to the their great team work and spirit.

The RBCC ladies helping win the tournament

The RBCC ladies helping win the tournament

Austrian captain Andrea Mae-Zapada was awarded player of the tournament for her excellent batting (retiring 3 times at 31 runs). The support from the crowd was fantastic to see, and the tournament was played in excellent spirit, with a mix of players very new to the game alongside some well-established players. This, on top of the wonderful hospitality, made for an unforgettable weekend. We hope to meet again next year for the next installment!

Written by Rosemary Lister

Vienna T20- 1