GIRL cricketers from Hayes School have quite literally bowled over their rivals to win the National Under-15 Championship.

The girls reached the last four of the indoor tournament, which was played at the home of cricket, Lords, after winning a regional title at Guildford.

The victory was just reward for Hayes School's girl cricketers, who were runners up in 1999 and third last year.

This time, Hayes faced sides from Middlesex, Wiltshire and Yorkshire in the final stages, with each side playing the others twice. Hayes played so well that they were ensured of the title even before they played their last match!

Matches are of six overs-a-side with bowlers restricted to a maximum of two and played on an indoor arena, roughly twice the size of a tennis court, with runs scored by hitting either side-wall (one run) and the far end wall. Fours and sixes can only be scored by hitting the end wall.

When batting, players can also run, of course, but due to the limited size of the playing area it is harder to reach the crease without being run out.

Unlike other forms of the short game, Kwik cricket for example, once a player is out they do not deduct runs and are not allowed to continue batting. A ball about half as hard as a normal cricket ball is used. Players also have to "retire" when they have scored 25, but can return to bat on if the rest of the side has been dismissed and deliveries are still available.

The successful Hayes squad comprised Lynsey Askew, Jessica Riley, Charlotte Ridout, Joanna Lovegrove, Stacey Sellman, Alice French and Jessica Sellman, while Isabelle Lambie also played in an earlier qualifying match but not did feature at Lords.