South Africa no quibble for Dibble
Jodie Dibble is used to taking on older players - not least her brother, Somerset seamer Adam.
The 17-year-old yesterday excelled against senior opponents as England women’s academy beat South Africa at Potchefstroom.
The left-arm pace bowler demolished the home middle-order with 4-22 from six overs and affected a run-out to help limit the hosts to 128 all out in 28.2 of their 50 overs.
Dibble then made 17 vital runs as the tourists won with two wickets and 100 balls to spare, gaining some revenge for defeats in the first two games - in which she did not play - and teeing up the Twenty20 series that begins on Friday.
Competing against a senior national side did not appear to faze Dibble, who made her Devon debut aged 12 and led the England Women Under-17 development squad to South Africa in 2010.
She also grew up playing garden cricket with her only sibling, now a 21-year-old establishing himself at Somerset; he played in last year’s Champions League T20 and featured in last week's LV= County Championship defeat to Warwickshire, unfortunately sustaining an intercostal injury.
Recalling their childhood, the teenager told ecb.co.uk: “He was always saying ‘come on Jodie, come and bowl at me in the garden’. That’s how I really got involved and it went from there really.
“He’s always been a role model and I’ve always looked up to him, watching what he’s achieved has inspired me to do the same.”
Adam, who spoke to ecb.co.uk about his Champions League experience, is no doubt proud of a fine all-round display yesterday from Jodie.
She modestly reflected: “It was great to get a few overs in and definitely nice to get a win under our belts and take momentum into the Twenty20s. To show them that we can beat them was massive.”
Dibble, who has also been to Pune with the academy, added: “To go to India last year, to go to South Africa the year before is massive.
“It’s not only the [ground] conditions, it’s a lot hotter out here so to be under a lid or bowling in that heat is something that you have to get used to. It definitely helps having been out here before.”
The academy’s six fixtures at Senwes Park mimic England women’s highly successful tour in October.
“It’s obviously great to get a taste of international cricket,” she said. “Having the full England team out here in October, we’re doing exactly what they did. The facilities here are fantastic and we’re training hard so it was great to get the result we really needed.”
Dibble, studying for her A-Levels at Taunton School, has her sights set on full senior honours.
“It’s something that I’m hoping to do by putting in performances and putting pressure on the England bowlers,” she added. “Trying to get in the number one team in the world is always going to be tough, but it’s something that I’m looking forward to hopefully achieving.”