Women’s cricketers show how it’s done

Mitchell’s Plain Cricket Club’s senior women’s side in celebratory mood after winning promotion to the WPCA women’s Premier League.

Following a highly successful 2019/2020 club cricket season, Mitchell’s Plain Cricket Club’s senior women’s team are back at work, preparing for the upcoming 2020/21 campaign.

The side gained promotion to the Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA) women’s Premier League after their exploits in the Super League A, last season.

In fact, they were by far the best side in that league, winning both the T-20 in the 50-over formats, making them undisputed champions in that division.

That campaign in reality, however, was not as easy as it might have looked on paper. The players and the technical staff admitted that they had to be on top of their game week in and week out, to maintain their winning ways.

The importance of teamwork also popped up regularly each time there’s talk about their run.

What they did well, especially looking at their matches throughout the campaign, was that their bowling and batting complemented each other.

If they didn’t have a good day with one aspect of their play, the other was ready to make up for the lost ground.

Wicketkeeper/batter Heidi Siljeur was one of their star performers, especially with the bat. She contributed a number of runs and took important catches behind the stumps in the process.

She noted that the arrival of their coaching staff at the beginning of last summer proved to be a turning point, in terms of the way the side went about their business.

They brought a different dimension into the way the team viewed the game, and how it should be played.

“We got a new coach, Reagan Siljeur, who came in with loads of experience, having played premier division cricket himself. Under his coaching, we played with more confidence, with each player able to express themselves. Also, our captain Raabiah Daniels. She’s been a great leader. She led by example and everyone followed suit,” she said.

“Both have brought a new sense of energy to the team,” she added.

Looking ahead to the upcoming season, Heidi admitted that they don’t know much about their future opponents, in terms of their approach to the game. But, having said that, she was quick to note that they aren’t really bothered.

This, she said, was because they have a plan which they are ready to execute.

“So, far we have the same team that did duty for us last season, and that means there is continuity. We take our ethos of friendship, hard work and dedication with us.”

Ask, about which areas of their game they considered as strengths and weaknesses, she said they try hard to make sure their bowling, batting and fielding complement each other.

“I can’t really say our batting, for instance, is our strength. Jackie de Cock and some of us in the batting order have scored a lot of runs for the team. Jackie in particular took the responsibility to be our main runs scorer,” she said.

“So, if the batting unit does the job early on, it means the bowlers’ job can be a little easier. And, by the same token, if the bowlers do the job when we bowl first, it gets a little easier for us batters to play under less pressure. So, it’s all about different departments working together for the benefit of the team.”

She said their plan was to stick to their own brand of cricket, instead of trying something new, come next season. This she said,

was because, playing to their own strengths would make it easier for them to perform consistently, rather than trying to counter what their opponents are doing.

She also noted that, as much as they have most of the players with them, they still have space for new members, who would like to join them. This, she said, was important in ensuring continuity, going forward.

The club trains on Saturdays at the Liberty Promenade indoor nets as well as the Westridge Gardens, from 10am. Anyone interested in joining the club can contact Heidi Siljeur on 074 505 3825.