The University of Birmingham women’s cricket team have lifted the coveted British Universities and Colleges (BUCS) Trophy following their 9 wicket victory over rivals Oxford in the final at Marston Sports Ground, Oxford on June 20.
The win means that the Birmingham side took home the prestigious trophy for the second time in three years, the only times that the team have won the competition in their history.
In order to reach the final, however, the girls had to face a strong University of Manchester side in the semis on June 12.
Nerves showed as the game was tight early on, but Birmingham matched the run rate their opponents had set for the first 15 overs.
Birmingham then stepped up their game, getting into a scoring rhythm and beating Manchester’s total of 117 for 7 by a stunning 9 wickets with six overs remaining.
As a result, the team had the chance to travel down south to face a tough Oxford side also hoping to win the trophy.
The final, though, did not start well for Birmingham, as Oxford’s openers put the visiting bowlers to the sword, powering towards a high run score.
But, the breakthrough for Birmingham finally came when Oxford reached the 83 run mark, and after their openers fell, the hosts batting attack soon collapsed.
This meant that despite a promising start, the Oxford team could only make 115 for 6 from their 30 overs.
Birmingham’s opening batters, captain Liz Smart and Darcy Evans, began strongly, settling themselves in well as Birmingham looked to secure victory over the hosts.
Smart, who has been in impressive form all season, led the Birmingham team home, reaching 42 not out as the visitors reached Oxford total with 4 overs and 9 wickets to spare.
Outgoing captain Smart was delighted by the performance of her team on the day, and was in a reflective mood on her time as captain.
'It was a massive team effort to get to the BUCS Trophy final and to go on and win it was a tremendous achievement for everyone involved at the club. It has been a pleasure to captain these girls for the last two years and I am extremely proud of them all.
“To go out with a BUCS gold was a dream finish for me and repayment for all the hard work that has gone into organising the club. I wish the girls well next year and hope that they can produce a repeat performance.'”