A CRICKET club captain who called on his wife to help out after he was left stumped by a shortage of players saw her score the side’s winning runs.

Darren Gill, 29, who leads Ushaw Moor Cricket Club’s second team, was left struggling for players for Saturday’s (August 23) match away at Shildon Railway Cricket Club.

He found the answer close to home when his wife, Deborah Gill, 28, agreed to pad up and to take to the field for Ushaw Moor, near Durham.

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The move proved a success as Ushaw Moor beat Shildon by 75 runs to 72 with Mrs Gill securing the win when she hit a four.

Mr Gill, of New Brancepeth, near to Durham, said: “She’s stepped in to help us out as we’re a bit short of numbers for the game.

“The league is fine about it and, to be honest, this is probably the only time that she’s going to get picked.

“She’s capable of holding her own on the field and she’s played a lot of cricket. There’s been a bit of banter in the dressing room about the fact that she’s playing.

“I just hope she doesn’t take more wickets or catches than me or scores more runs as I have to go home with her.”

Mrs Gill, of Doric Road, is no stranger to the cricket field as the all rounder has played for Durham City Ladies and also Brandon Ladies cricket clubs.

Her father Peter Crossling played cricket for many teams including Esh Winning and Durham City while her sister Jennie Crossling plays for Essex Ladies Cricket Club.

She took to the field at the weekend at the Shildon Railway Sports and Social Club in the Durham Cricket League 2nd XI Division Two.

Having dismissed Shildon for 72 runs in 19 overs, which saw Mr Gill take six wickets, Ushaw Moor took to the field.

With her side chasing Shildon’s total Mrs Gill strode to the crease to register five runs not out which included the four to secure the points.

She said: “I’ve being playing since I was nine-years-old and I usually bat and bowl.

“I don’t think playing against men is any harder it’s just different but I’m always up for a challenge. I haven’t played in the men’s team before.

“It was a success and it went really well. We had a good laugh about it and if needs be I will fill in again.

“We’re already joking that I could take Darren’s place.”