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Somerset Cricket County Age Group Sri Lanka Tour 2018

 

Captain’s report by Ursula Olsen-Groome

 

From 6th–17th February the Somerset Girls U17 and Somerset Boys U15 County Cricket teams toured Sri Lanka. It was an incredible experience and one that I will never forget.

 

Day 1/2: We left the UK on Tuesday 6th and landed at 12:30pm in Colombo, watched a traditional Sri Lankan dance, had team photos taken and then drove for 3½ hours to our first hotel in Kandy.

 

Day 3: We went to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic which is Sri Lanka’s most sacred Buddhist temple and were able to go shopping around the local streets. After we got back to the hotel, we collected our bags and went to our first training session. We trained for 3 hours at the Pallekele International Cricket stadium so that we could get used to playing on different pitches and in the heat and humidity.

 

Day 4: FIRST MATCH – 6am rise and 7am leave the hotel. We were so lucky to be playing at the Pallekele International ground, in front of the huge 35,000 seat stadium and a small crowd that came to watch. We won the toss and batted. The team we played was the Kandy U17 District team and we beat them by 99 runs after scoring 238-3 and limiting them to 139-6 at the end of their 35 overs. That evening, we had a team meeting where we debriefed and discussed what we could improve on for the next game, before heading back to the hotel to eat dinner and watch TV.

 

Day 5: SECOND MATCH – another early morning and this time we were playing St Anthony’s Girls College at Peradeniya University ground. Again, we won the toss and decided to bat, this time we scored 268 runs and bowled them out for 39 in the 16th over. That meant an early finish and we were able to spend the rest of the afternoon by the pool!

 

Day 6: We left Kandy and transferred to our hotel in Colombo. On the way, we stopped by a tea factory and tasted different types of traditional teas. We finally reached our second hotel late afternoon.

 

Day 7: Went to some local markets and shopped in the morning and then had our second 3 hour training session. This time at the P. Sara Oval.

 

Day 8: THIRD MATCH – this was against the Devapathiraja Team from Galle played at Colombo Cricket Club. We won the toss and elected to bat again. Unfortunately, against a very disciplined bowling attack, we were bowled out for 115, which they chased down in 23 overs for the loss of only 2 wickets. This team have won the Sri Lankan Girls National cricket tournament 3 years running and include a women’s national squad player so they were seriously good but it was an incredible opportunity to play against such an experienced team.

 

Day 9: FOURTH MATCH – played our last 35 over match against Anula Vidyalaya Nugegoda team at Moors Sports Club. We lost the toss but were put into bat. This match was really close but we edged a win by 11 runs, managing to keep the pressure on the opposition batters throughout the game to protect our score of 276-9.

 

Day 9: We had a rest day and a city tour of Colombo in the morning. We visited markets and went shopping, and then we each picked out a saree to wear at the end of tour presentation evening before heading back to the hotel to relax for the rest of the day.

 

Day 10: FIFTH/SIXTH MATCHES – we had two Twenty20 matches played at the wonderful P. Sara Oval. The first match was against the Gampha Ratnawali School and we won the toss and fielded first. We restricted them to 111-6 off 20 overs and easily won by 8 wickets in the 16th over. It was then time for a quick lunch before starting the second match. We won the toss and fielded first again. The second team was the Colombo U17 Development team who scored very quickly at first before we restricted them to 128-6 in their 20 overs. We lost some early wickets but managed to reach their score in the 17th over to win by 5 wickets, so it was back to the hotel for early celebrations! For dinner that evening we changed into our sarees for the end of tour presentation – it was such an honour to wear this traditional piece of Sri Lankan clothing.

 

Day 11/12: Had the whole day free which we all spent at the pool, at the beach, shopping and packing. We left the hotel at 10pm and arrived at the airport at 11:30pm for a 02:20am flight, finally arriving back in the UK on Sunday 18th at 08:10am.

 

The highlights of the trip for me were the team becoming a really amazing group of friends and also walking out onto the middle with the opposition captain and umpires for the toss, and doing that at the international stadiums is an experience that I will never forget. I am very proud to have captained such a brilliant group of girls and played a sport I love in an amazing country against some tough opposition.

 

A massive thanks to Bath CC for generously supporting 6 girls and 2 boys in the Somerset squads!


  Somerset Girls
 

Back: Alice Dymond*, Ursula Olsen-Groome*(c), Jodie Filer, Lauren Filer, Martha Cole, Jess Smith*, Hannah Capes.

Front: Sophie Hamilton*, Jennifer Poole, Harriet Dimdore-Miles, Olivia Hamilton*, Josephine Cherson*, Serena Owen, Tilly Bond.

 

*Bath CC.

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