THE first international match of this summer starts on Sunday with Women's Ashes at Allan Border Field at Albion. Australia currently holds the Ashes and the English ladies will be keen to regain them. The winner will return to the top of the world rankings too.
The Ashes series will be held over the next month with three one day matches, a four-day/night test match then finally three T20s deciding the urn's venue for the next two years.
The ladies play under a points system to decide the winner of the series. Two points for a winner of a one day match and T20 (one point each for a no result), and four points for the test match winner; two points for a draw.
All-rounder Ellyse Perry will be the pivotal player for the Aussies now that captain and super-bat Meg Lanning is out of the Ashes due to her shoulder injury. Perry will carry the responsibility of the new ball as well as probably batting at four as our best batter.
Our bowling attack has relied on spinners more recently, especially in the world cup which was to our detriment in England and their conditions. Kristen Beams, Ashleigh Gardner and Jess Jonassen will vie for two spinning spots to back up the pace bowling of Perry, Megan Schutt, Lauren Cheatle and Tahlia McGrath.
Batting wise, the Aussies are very solid and we expect to see some good totals posted even without Lanning. Keeper Alyssa Healy, opener Rachel Haynes, Alex Blackwell, Elyse Villani and Amanda-Jade Wellington are in great form after some big scores for their state teams
England will be no easybeats and will be slight favourites. They won the World Cup Final on the back of pace hero Anya Shrubsole (6/46) who routed India. Sarah Taylor is their great bat so keep an eye for her.
The limited over games will be televised live on 9GEM from 9am.
Hornet honoured with Bulls selection
ON THE local front, a big congratulations to Ipswich Logan Hornets first grade scorer Leanne Potbury, for elevation to state scorer for the Qld Bulls mens team. She had previously scored for the ladies team. She has scored for a long time now and it is a just reward for her talents and dedication.
It is thankless task sometimes, assisting the players that run the other scorebook, with trying to keep their own book neat and just generally keeping everyone informed of the scores in the game itself. Some long time volunteer scorers in Ipswich cricket in recent times are Yvonne Raleigh (Redbank), Scott Barrett (Centrals), Chris Payne (Laidley) and Coral Hislop (Northsiders), where they deserve much credit for their service to this unenviable task.
IPSWICH clubs were on the wrong end of some score lines last weekend. Brothers conceded the second-highest score in a one-day match in Ipswich cricket history of 4/362 against Northern Brothers Diggers. It is only behind Swifts' 5/392 against Eastern Taipans in November 2014 at Raleigh Oval. Brothers went down to a double bonus point loss as well as Centrals who were outclassed by Wests of Toowoomba.
South East Redbacks had the upper hand against Laidley District in their wash out while Northsiders were turning their match around after Mets had made a blistering start when rain intervened in Toowoomba. In the other game Uni had a double bonus point win when they dismissed Highfields (after being 7/14 at one stage) for just 45.
This weekend, Laidley entertain Diggers in another big match for the bluedogs, Brothers travel to Toowoomba to meet Mets in another tricky match for them, Northsiders host lowly Highfields Railways while Centrals travel down to Redbank Plains to taking on the unlucky Redbacks.
In the lower grades, Laidley has surged away in second division with three straight wins, while Dylan Blackman smashed 186 not out off 107 balls for Northsiders against Brothers. Young Josh Wendt (55no) again held the Thunder together to secure a victory in a nail biter against Fassifern. He carried his bat and hit the winning runs with no.11 at the other end.
In third division, Thunder's president Marino Nugter's figures of 7/4/8/8 against Brothers White will be hard to beat by any bowler in any grade this season. Nugter only played in the match due to a late player withdrawal. In a day out for the over 50s, Kel Janke top scored with 70 assisted by 40yo Brett Schmidt with 30 as the top scorers for the match.
It is great to see some of these older gents on the field having a hit and a laugh with their plentiful tall tales that will be passed onto the kids about their experiences in this great game. As a bonus it keeps these guys active too.
Finally, Redbacks White spoiled Springfield's debut in the Ipswich comp. It is hoped that Springfield can scale the heights and reach Ipswich first grade in the future. They have a huge potential catchment of players and will be a great addition.
THE Ipswich/Logan Hornets have it all to do today if they are to mount a challenge in the premiership race. It was a gutsy fight back late in the afternoon against South Brisbane and helped to restrict them to 326 mainly thanks to off-spinner Nick De Giusti .
The team will have to bat the day out, and with their line up if they do they will win. Some of the big names haven't hit their straps with exception of Dan Wilson and teenager Harry Wood.
Wilson should be in the line up for Qld Bulls in their first shield game or at least when the test players leave with all things being considered equal. He has 462 runs at an average of 77 so far this season to be the competition's leading run-getter with three centuries and a 50 in six innings.
Time at the crease will be also on the mind with the other lower grade teams. Hornets will start at 1/29 chasing 267 in second grade and fourth grade (3/25) will need to work hard in reeling in 216. Third grade have started well defending 203 with an early Souths wicket.