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WOMEN CRICKETERS MAKE. A .NAME
Splendid Record in England.
USTRALIAN Women representatives have proved their superiority on the field of international cricket. This is what the remarkably successful tour, which ended with their match al Reigate, Surrey, last Thursday, has shown.
M. FLAHERTY, of the Australian team, who did well with bat and ball. ¡
'T'HE tour has surpassed the expectations of even
?*? the most sanguine of Australian supporters of
women's cricket. When the tourists left Aus- tralia it was expected that they would win the majority of their matches against the county teams, but, in the tests and combined matches, it was merely hoped that they would put up a good showing. After the displays of the English girls in Australia in 1934 no one expected them to defeat England, but, instead, the girls drew the test series and lost one match only, the second test, and that when It was, apparently, well .within their grasp.
During the tour the team played 20 matches, 13 of which were won, six drawn, and one lost, Of the matches drawn, four at least were drawn in favour of the Australians, who were in winning positions. Only one, the match against Southern Districts, may be said to have been drawn against the Australians. The matches were not only won,
but won well.
The lowest score in an innings was 102, in the first test, but the team won the match. As 150 runs is a good total for women's cricket, the merit of the Australians' performances-three-figure scores for their collective totals in each innings can be deduced. There was not one really bad innings or collapse in the. whole tour-an achieve- ment that can stand comparison with the records
of any team.
Improvement in Standard.
nPHE most outstanding feature of the tour, and
-*. even more outstanding than the actual record of achievement, is the remarkable Improvement of the standard of Australian cricket since 1934.
When the English girls toured Australia in 1934 they won their matches with ease, and they re- vealed a standard of play high above that of the Australian players. The latter, however, profited
by the practice against the Englishwomen, and I learnt much from them. The Australians realised th . importance of practice, and immediately set about obtaining it. How thoroughly they did this was revealed In the second last match of the tour, wlvn the Austi allan team played the 1934 English touring team, and defeated it easily by eight wickets. In 1934, Australia was dependent on two or three players to carry them through, but on this tour scarcely a member of the team could not have been said to have earned her place in the side, and girls who were among the last selected, notably Miss Pat Holmes, were among the outstanding players.
DURING the tour, Miss Hazel Pritchard proved
herself the most polished batswoman in the world. She attracted, the attention and praise of all critics. She was dubbed the "Girl Bradman." In the first test she was unlucky to miss her century, but proved the most consistent batswoman of both sides in the three tests. Her scores of 87, 17, 67, 41, 28, and 66, In the tests, left little doubt as to her supremity. In other matches she had the honour of scoring the first century of the tour, against the North of England, with 144 not out, after she had just missed the honour with 96 in the third match of the tour, against Midland
MISS PEGGY ANTONIO, the young Victorian,
as was anticipated before she left Australia, proved the best all-round player. Although she failed with the bat la the tests, she more than com
pensated for this failure with her consistent bowling Her six wickets for 51 and three wickets for 21 in the first test played a great part in Australia's vic- tory, and in the second test she took eight wlckeU in both innings. Her bowling and ability to break the ball earned her a nickname, also, and she was called "Tlch," after the famous English test bowler, A. Freeman. Despite her batting failure in the tests, her scores in the other matches were rivalled by none. She Jmt missed the honour of the first century of the tour, with Of) not out, against York-
shire, but made amends with 103 not out against j Lancashire, and various other scores of 96, 70, and
Most Improved Player.
A PLAYER, whose entry Into the Australian
team was "Cinderclla-llkc" in her selection was Miss Pat Holmes, who more than justified her selection. She certainly proved herself the most improved player of the tour. After a comparative failure in the first test, Miss Holmes was associated with Peggy Antonio in a record partnership of 221, without the loss of a wicket, against Lancashire, In which her contribution was 103 not out. In the second test Miss Holmes was consistent with 4i and 33, but her crowning effort was against the West of England, v/hen she established the woild record score of 200 retired, the first double centuiy scored by a woman in first-class ciicket. She has expressed the intention of remaining in Eng- land. It would be a big loss to Australian ciicket,
PERHAPS the most consistent batswoman of the
tour was the Victorian, Miss Winnie Gcoige, She had no fewer than six high not out scores, although she did not score a century; but included among them were an 87 not out and a GO not out. Her best performance was in the second test, when she scored 62 not out in the first innings, and followed it with 34 not out in the second.
Another good scorer was Miss Kath Smith, of Queensland, whose 88 in the first test match was the highest score by an Australian in the tests Miss Smith also batted well in the second and third tests, and'had-some good bowling perform- ances in the county matches.
NO reference to the success of the tour would be
complete without mentioning the pait ployed
by the captain, Mrs. B. Peden. Although her batting ? was not her best in the tests, she more than ? balanced this defect with her knowledge of the ? game. It was in the few matches in which she I did not compete that her value was realised, and I the players credit much of their success to her I captaincy and advice. ?
Credit is also due to Mrs. A. Peatfield for the ? competent manner In which she managed the ? team throughout the tour. She kept the players I one harmonious family, and they owe a great debt ? of gratitude to her for the Interest she displayed ? in them all. fl