Friday, 31 May 2013

Women's Cricket this weekend

This weekend sees the next round of club games up and down the country, but with the Super 4s keeping most of the best players in the country occupied at Loughborough for the next three weekends, the clubs may have to have to dig deep to get teams out this week that can be competitive. However it does appear that the Super 4s games are only being played on Saturdays, so players are technically free to play for their clubs on Sunday. Will they do so?

The Super 4s this year will be contested between three women's teams - Emeralds, Sapphires and Rubies and Leicester & Rutland U16 Men's team. This Saturday they play a T20 tournament - semis and then a final and a 3/4 play-off. The following two weekends are taken up with 50 over matches. I'll review these games as they are played.

Club matches this weekend

Southern Premier League
Bath v Hursley
Bexley v Brighton
Finchley v Loughton
Hayes v Wokingham - first v second, but who will be on the park for each team?

Midlands Premier League
Meir Heath v Walmley - second v third - should be a cracker
Quatt v Clifton Village
Sheffield v Pershore

South West Premier League Plympton v Bristol Phoenix - second v third - important game to win
Taunton St Andrews v St Austell

Cheshire League Div 1Chester Boughton Hall v Trafford Metrovics
Oakmere v Romiley
Stalybridge St Pauls v Appleton
Stockport Trinity v Bolton Indians

Yorkshire League Div 1Beverley v New Farnley
Bradford v Treeton


Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Notts get most out of BH Double Header

On a weekend when either Kent or Sussex felt they could have taken charge of the Division One race to the Championship play-off, it was actually Nottinghamshire who made the most of their chances, securing two wins out of two over Warwickshire and Middlesex (and going to the top of the league), while Sussex tripped up against Yorkshire before beating Kent, in their only game of the weekend. It means that all three teams have now lost one game with Notts due to play Sussex in the next round of fixtures in four week's time.[The next three weeks see the top players in England playing in the Super 4s competition]

[up-to-date Div One Table is here -]

Yorkshire beat Sussex by 7 runs. Sussex seemed to have this game under control after they restricted  Yorkshire to a very gettable 179/9 in their 50 overs. In reply Sussex were cruising along through Arran Brindle (51) and Georgia Elwiss (36), but without too much regard for the run-rate which grew steadily as the middle overs slipped by. In the 43rd over Sussex lost Brindle and a selfless Alexia Walker (0). Thirty nine were still needed off seven overs. The 44th over produced seven runs and another wicket, but only seven runs came off the next three overs, plus the loss of Hannah Phelps (34). Twenty five were still needed off three overs, but young Beatrice Firth (2/21 off 10 overs) and Laura Spragg (2/40) bowled tight lines to allow Sussex to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Surrey beat Middlesex by 15 runs in the battle at the bottom of the league for a first win of the season. Surrey clocked up 211/7 in their 50 overs with solid contributions from most batsmen - Kirsty White (42) and Natalie Sciver (32) top-scored, but there were also 42 wides. Danni Warren was the main wicket-taker with 3/32. At 132/2 Middlesex were on track with Beth Morgan (58) and Emma Inglis (44) going well, but they fell within a few runs of each other and Middlesex slipped to 156/8. Anna Nicholls (18) and Ria Raval (18*) did what they could to keep the chase going but fell 15 runs short.

Essex beat Berkshire by 29 runs. Berkshire will have been reasonably happy to have restricted Essex to just 175/9 in their 50 overs. Only Lauren Onojaife (58) really got going as Sherisa Gumbs (3/30) and Heather Knight (3/36) weighed in with some wickets. In reply Berkshire had made it to 64 without loss before Knight went for 27. They then took the score to 85 before losing four quick wickets for just six runs. Emily Gerke (26*) did her best to hold the Berkshire innings together but little support and the innings petered out on 146 in the 48th over.

Nottinghamshire beat Warwickshire by 7 wickets. Warwickshire set Notts a target of 193 after they were bowled out for 192, thanks in the main part to 72 from Kayleigh Alsop. Danni Wyatt picked up 4/16 and Lucy Maxwell 3/23. Notts made light of the target romping home with 7 wickets in hand with Jenny Gunn 64 not out and Danni Wyatt making 58.

Sussex beat Kent by 6 wickets. After their defeat the day before Sussex needed to beat Kent to keep their hopes of making the play-offs a reality. Once again without Sarah Taylor and Holly Colvin Sussex fielded a young side. Kent won the toss and elected to bat on what looked like a good track. Youngsters Izi Noakes and Freya Davies opened for Sussex and not only gave nothing away, but picked up Tammy Beaumont and Charlotte Edwards respectively - Kent were 12/2 in the 8th over. Step forward Lydia Greenway, who, not for the first time this season, stepped up to the plate. She hit a magnificent even century, and with the aid of Deanna Cooper (53), added 137 for the third wicket. She was last out as Kent scored 200/5 in their 50 overs. Davies finished with 2/23 from her 10 overs.
Davies bowls Davidson-Richards
Sussex set off at pace losing Alexia Walker (24) at 47 in the 8th over and then Georgia Elwiss (61) and Arran Brindle (52*) added 95 for the second wicket, to put victory comfortably in sight, but Sussex then made heavy weather of scoring the last 60 runs required, eventually getting over the line with just 15 balls to spare, but with six wickets in hand.

Nottinghamshire beat Middlesex by 49 runs. Notts piled on the runs against Middlesex making 259/6 in their 50 overs. England's Danni Wyatt scored a magnificent 124 and Jane Smit (45) and Abbey Hawkins (47) also joined the party. Openers Helena Stolle (54) and Natasha Miles (51) got Middlesex off to a decent start, before Danni Wyatt accounted for them both, not with her bowling but her fielding as she ran them both out. Beth Morgan and Emma Inglis both went cheaply and Middlesex could only make it to 205/4 before they ran out of overs.

Warwickshire beat Essex by 4 wickets.
Essex won the toss and decided to bat in this game but were soon in trouble at 18/3 and then 49/4 as Isabelle Watson (3/27) ripped out the top order. Joanne Cook (41) and Bryony Butcher (22) attempted to rebuild the innings, but when they fell to the returning Liz Russell (5/13) Essex's innings subsided to 125 all out. In a solid team batting effort Warwickshire scored what they needed in just under 37 overs for the loss of six wickets. Kayliegh Alsop (28*) and Amy Jones (26) were the top scorers, as five of the top six scored double figures.

Berkshire beat Yorkshire by 108 runs. Berkshire scored 216 all out, with Heather Knight scoring 123 of them. The next highest score was extras with 24. Yorkshire, after their exhilarating win over Sussex the previous day, never looked like getting close as wickets fell at regular intervals. Only Salliann Briggs (33*) put up any serious resistance as Heather Knight finished off the innings with 3/3 in three overs and Sharisa Gumbs (3/18) and Daisy Gardner (3/29) improved their stats for the season. Yorkshire were bowled out for 108 in 31 overs.


Lancashire make hay while the sun shines

Division Two - Second Bank Holiday Double-Header Review

[updated Div 2 table here -]

Lancashire were the big winners in the second Bank Holiday double-header set of fixtures. They maintained their 100% record with wins over Worcestershire, and a big win over previously unbeaten Somerset. It puts them in a commanding position with chasers Ireland, Worcester and Staffordshire all losing another game over the weekend.

Lancashire beat Worcestershire by 6 wickets - Worcestershire probably regretted their decision to bat first when they were bowled out for 102 in 38 overs. Bhumika Doshi (4/17) skittled out the middle order after Worcestershire's top order had failed to fire with the exception of Clare Boycott (31) and Thea Brookes (26). Fifteen year old Emma Lamb led the Lancashire reply with a mature 54 not out as Lancashire reached their target in 28 overs with four wickets down, three of them to Jo Greaves (3/18).

Ireland beat Cheshire by 13 runs in a low-scoring affair at Hawk Green. Ireland could only muster 129 before they were bowled out by the impressive Dawn Prestidge (6/28), including a hat-trick. Ireland can thank Rebecca Rolfe (39) and Amy Kenealy (25) for at least giving their bowlers something to bowl at. Cheshire looked in good shape as the openers took the score to 31 without loss, but when Hannah Gradwell (31) fell at 49, it was left to Prestidge (42) to try and hold things together. But Melissa Scott-Hayward (5/12) ran through the lower order, including Prestige as the ninth wicket, as Cheshire slumped to 116 all out.

Wales beat Devon by 52 runs to clock up their first win of the season, based around a solid, if rather slow, opening partnership of 139 between Lauren Parfitt (52) and Joanne Westwood (55). They fell within one run of each other, from when the rest of the Welsh batting struggled to 199/8. Devon made a reasonable start and had got to 101/3 when the wheels fell off thanks to Claire Thomas (5/20 in 10 overs), who reduced them to 114/8. Lydia Harris (21*) tried to hold it together with the lower order, but they ended well short on 147 all out.

Staffs beat Durham by 115 runs. Invited to bat Staffs scored a respectable 194/3 in their 50 overs thanks to workmanlike knocks from Charlotte Whyle (52) and Stephanie Butler (46*). Durham never really got going in reply with only Laura Hockaday (17) and Becky Glen (24) reaching double figures before they were all out for 79 in the 30th over. Shanel Daley claimed 5/25 and Butler 3/23.

Lancashire beat Somerset by 6 wickets in the big clash of the weekend. Invited to bat Somerset were soon in all sorts of trouble at 14/6 with three wickets apiece for Jasmine Titmuss (3/8) and Kathryn Cross (4/20). The lower order tried their best to rescue the situation, but it was not to be as Somerset crashed to 60 all out. Lancashire made steady headway towards victory before a late clatter of wickets to Jenny Withers (3/4), but it was too little too late as Emma Lamb (37*) completed another good weekend for her and for Lancashire.

Durham beat Ireland by 19 runs. In a second low-scoring match of the weekend Ireland this time came out on the losing side. Having restricted Durham to just 118/7 in their 50 overs Ireland must have felt the game was theirs to win, but Durham, and Rachel Petherick (6/17) in particular, had other ideas. Batsmen came and went as Ireland slumped to 38/8 and only a rearguard action by Louise McCarthy (21) and Mary Waldron (20) at nine and ten got Ireland anywhere close, before they were bowled out for 99 with 10 overs to go, to give Durham their first win of the season and dent Ireland's play-off hopes.

Devon beat Staffs by 8 wickets to finally notch their first win of the season. Staffs would have been hoping to secure their place in the top half of the league against a winless Devon, but their total of 133 all out was woefully short of what they needed. Elysse Lally (38) and Shanel Daley (30) were the only two significant scorers. Rebecca Donahue finished with 4/30 for Devon, who then proceeded to knock off the required runs in 30 overs and with eight wickets to spare. Top three Amara Carr (48), Aylish Cranstone (35) and Rosalie Birch (32*) saw them home.

Cheshire v Worcestershire was abandoned after Cheshire had been bowled out for 107. Worcester never got a chance to start their reply before play was called off.

[updated Div 2 table here -]

The County Championship takes a break for the next four weeks as the Super 4s tournament takes place over the next three weekends, involving the top players in England.


Friday, 24 May 2013

England to name new Director of Cricket and a separate Head Coach

Within two weeks of Mark Lane stepping down as England Women's Cricket Coach it seems the ECB are set to announce in the next few days a new Director of Women's Cricket and a new Head Coach to replace him.

Given that England have a mini-series against Pakistan starting at the beginning of July and the Ashes Series in August, an early appointment was perhaps not too unexpected, but the alacrity of the decision points either to some good advanced crisis succession planning, as eluded to by Clare Connor in a recent TMS interview, or that Lane's decision to move on was not a great shock.

Whatever the situation the new incumbents will have their work cut out over the next 13 weeks. England played well but lost the T20 World Cup last October, and played less well and did not even make the final of the ODI World Cup this February, including losing to Australia, and a first-ever defeat to Sri Lanka. They will expect to beat Pakistan with some ease, but the Ashes Series will prove to be a very stern test.

The Aussies have never been in better shape. They hold the T20 World Cup and the ODI World Cup, and the Ashes themselves (after winning the one Test series by seven wickets in Australia back in 2011). All the World Cup winning players received a $10,000 bonus on returning from the World Cup and enhanced "professional contracts" have just been announced for 14 of the 15 woman squad who will be touring England this summer. They have a right to be happy with life.

As for England they are a team in transition. At their heart they still have Charlotte Edwards, who has proved that her batting skills are perhaps at their peak, even if her running skills are not. Sarah Taylor will be hoping to show her undoubted class out in the middle - and now would be a very good time to do that - but beyond these two England's batting still looks unconvincing. On the bowling front Anya Shrubsole and Katherine Brunt are the best opening attack in the world...if they can stay fit....but that is a big "if". Brunt is yet to bowl a ball in anger this summer.

Who do England have to bring in? Pace bowlers Georgia Elwiss (who did well against India last summer) and young left-armer Tash Farrant, who is accurate and picks up wickets, must be names in the frame. On the batting front Tammy Beaumont and Heather Knight have been on the fringes for a while, together with reserve keeper Amy Jones, but beyond these Natalie Sciver and Lauren Winfield have been putting in some good performances this season, and may merit a look at international level, at least against the Pakistanis. It is time for some of the England players to stand up and be counted if they want to feature in plans for the next T20 World Cup in 2014.


Thursday, 23 May 2013

Key weekend in Women's County Championship

It may not even be the end of May, but this is another massive weekend in the Women's County Championship with games being played on Sunday and Monday. By Monday most teams will have played more than half of their fixtures for this season and the teams in the running for the play-offs and relegation will be much clearer.

Key matches will be Kent v Sussex in Div 1 on Monday - these are the two teams that look like they are heading for the Championship play-off again this season. The side that wins will almost certainly have one foot in the play-off. The loser will not be able to afford any more slip-ups before the end of the season, with Notts and Warwickshire breathing down their necks. At the other end of the table Surrey take on Middlesex on Monday with both teams desperate to notch up their first win.

In Div 2 Monday sees the much-anticipated clash between currently unbeaten Lancashire and Somerset, and Devon take on Wales on Sunday to try and keep themselves off the bottom of the table.

I'll run through all the games on both days below, but it is perhaps just worth reiterating what happens once all the league games have been played, as it is not as straightforward as you might think.

The top two teams in Divisions 1, 2 and 3 will play off against each other. The winner of the Division 1 play-off will be the County Champions.

The bottom two teams in Divisions 1, 2 and 3 will also play-off against each other. The winner of each play-off will avoid relegation. The loser will meet the winner of the top two play-off in the division below. The winner of this match will go into the higher division and the loser will go into the lower division next season.

All of which means that it is pretty tough to get promotion (you have to finish top two and then win your play-off and then win another play-off against the relegaion battle loser from the division above), and that the bottom two teams in each of division (1,2 and 3) get two play-off chances to avoid relegation.

Division One - Matches and Preview
Sunday 26th May (11am)
Berks v Essex
Notts v Warwickshire
Surrey v Middlesex
Sussex v Yorkshire

Monday 27th May (11am)
Berks v Yorks
Kent v Sussex
Middlesex v Notts
Warwickshire v Essex

Berkshire will be hoping to pick up wins against both Essex and Yorkshire, but after their fragile batting effort against Kent last week they may come unstuck in at least one of those games.
Warwickshire finally got their season off the ground last week against Yorkshire. They have a tough game against Notts on Saturday, but I expect them to pull off a win there and then consolidate their place in the County Championship table with a further win over Essex on Sunday.
Surrey will be desperate to win their only game of the weekend against Middlesex on Sunday. Middlesex will have other ideas and if their batting can fire they may consign Surrey to the bottom spot in the league. Middlesex play Notts on Monday which should be a tight match. Notts may just nick it.
Sussex warm up for their big clash with Kent on Monday, with a tough match against Yorkshire, but they will back themselves to win both games. Much could depend on the fitness and form of their England players - Taylor, Colvin, Elwiss and Brindle - playing two games in two days. Kent have the advantage that they can rest their players on Sunday and come out all guns blazing on Monday. Charlotte Edwards batting for Kent may again be key.

Division Two - Matches and Preview
Sunday 26th May (11am)
Cheshire v Ireland
Devon v Wales
Durham v Staffs
Lancashire v Worcestershire

Monday 27th May (11am)
Cheshire v Worcestershire
Durham v Ireland
Lancashire v Somerset
Staffs v Devon

With unbeaten Somerset only playing one match over the weekend the chance is there for others to make ground on them this weekend. If Lancashire can beat Worcester on Sunday and then overcome Somerset themselves on Monday they will have won four from four and will be the only unbeaten team in Div 2. But that is a big "if". Worcester have wins over Durham and Devon under their belts already and could be a tough start to the weekend for Lancashire. Somerset will be no easier and they will be desperate to maintain their 100% record and go to the top of the league. Both games will be tense affairs.
Devon and Wales have had miserable starts to their seasons. Devon may add to Wales' woes in Wales' only game of the weekend on Sunday. They will then hope to beat Staffs on Sunday, who lost out to Lancashire last week.
Durham have a tough weekend ahead of them as they meet Staffs on Sunday and Ireland on Monday, with Isobel Joyce back in the Ireland team. It will take one or two fine individual performances for Durham to get off the mark against either team.
Ireland may be the biggest gainers of the weekend. If they can overcome Durham on Monday, they may already have another win under the belts from the previous day when they take on a young Cheshire side. Cheshire won their first match last weekend against Wales, but Ireland and Worcester this week could make it a disappointing weekend for the North Easterners.


Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Women's County Championship - Kent and Somerset March On

A round-up of last weekend's Women's County Championship Division One and Two Results

Division One

Berkshire will be kicking themselves that they could not get more runs on the board against Kent having reduced them to 40/4 in reply to their own meagre total of 62 all out. And one of those four wickets was the prize scalp of Charlotte Edwards (15). Had they been chasing 150 it could have been a whole different ball game. But it was not - Alice Davidson-Richards (4/20) and Tash Farrant (3/8) were Kent's Broad and Anderson combination bowling out Berkshire in the 30th over with only three batsmen scraping in to double figures. Daisy Gardner did her best to keep Berkshire's hopes alive claiming 3/22 off her 10 overs, but Kent got home in the 24th over and remain unbeaten. They play Sussex next Monday in what could be their toughest game of the season.

Essex and Middlesex fought out a tight match. Invited to bat Essex managed to put together an innings of 176/8 in their 50 overs based around a painstaking 41 from 114 balls from opener Beth Langston and good middle-order contributions from Lauren Onajaife (41) and Bryony Butcher (33). Anna Nichols and Naomi Dattani claimed three wickets apiece. In reply Middlesex had got to 129/3 thanks mainly to Helena Stolle's 46, but then the Middlesex wheels came off when Cath Dalton was run out. Lily Reynolds claimed four wickets in 20 balls and Middlesex found themselves bowled out 22 runs short and with 28 balls left.

Warwickshire finally managed to pick up their first victory of the season against Yorkshire. Put in they made a reasonable score of 166/6 thanks to Amy Jones (51) and Fran Clarkson (30). Yorkshire could only manage 132 in reply with Isabelle Watson taking 5/35.

And in the final match in Division One Notts consigned Surrey to their third defeat on the trot. They were bowled out having struggled to 112 in 45 overs and Notts knocked them off for the loss of just three wickets in 35 overs.

The up-to-date league tables are here -

Division Two
Ellwyn Campbell and Fran Wilson both scored 85 for Somerset as they set Ireland a stiff target posting 247/7 in their 50 overs. Laura Delaney chipped in with four late wickets for Ireland. In reply the Irish were without their influential skipper Isobel Joyce, who was off playing hockey in Antwerp for her club in the Eurohockey Club Champions Trophy. Ireland missed her ability to bat long, as they lost wickets at regular intervals and fell 77 runs short when all out for 170. Melissa Scott-Hayward (31) and Clare Shillington (30) top-scored for the Irish and Lauren Shrubsole took 4/38.

Lancashire maintained their winning start to the season with a decisive four wicket win over previously unbeaten Staffordshire. Invited to bat first Staffs were soon struggling at 22/3 and despite a few middle order runs from Shanel Daley (22) and Francesca James (24) Staffs could only limp to 109 before they were bowled out with 3 overs of their innings remaining. Jasmine Titmuss bagged 4/8 off her 10 overs. Lancashire took their time getting the runs and lost six wickets in the process, but still got there with some ease.

Cheshire won their first game of the season against the currently winless Welsh. Wales invited Cheshire to bat but they saw a lot of Jennifer Halstead (78) and Dawn Prestidge (76), who added 141 for the third wicket out of a final total of 197 all out in 47.5 overs. Unfortunately for Wales no-one could hang around for very long with opener Gabby Basketter (59) and when she was the seventh wicket to fall with the score on 123 the end was in sight. Wales were eventually bowled out 34 runs short on 163 with three overs left to bowl.

Unfortunately there was no play in the Durham v Devon game.

The up-to-date league tables are here - 


Wednesday, 15 May 2013

This Sunday's big games - Yorkshire v Warwickshire and Somerset v Ireland, plus more

The Women's County Championship is back on the radar this weekend with some crucial games to be played.

Division One (11am)
Berkshire v Kent @ Wokingham CC
Middlesex v Essex @ Edmonton CC
Yorkshire v Warwickshire @ Harrogate CC
Notts v Surrey @ Welbeck CC

Berkshire will have their work cut out keeping unbeaten Kent in check at Wokingham. Kent are three from three and with Lottie Edwards in such sparkling form it is difficult to back against them, but Berkshire will have nothing to lose and if they can find a way through Edward's defence they may have a chance. Berkshire's top five batting, lead by Heather Knight, who hit 153 against Middlesex in the last round, is stronger than their bowling. She may need to do something similar again this week.

Middlesex's strength is in their batting with good team scores against Kent and Berkshire. Essex have struggled so far this season and Middlesex may be able to add to their woes. Essex are a tight bowling unit, but lack depth in their batting. They need one of their top six to bat long if they are to compete.

Yorkshire v Warwickshire should be a cracker, with Warwickshire keen to break their duck in their third game. Yorkshire by contrast find themselves at the top of the table with two full bonus point wins to date - v Surrey and Essex. I think Warwickshire will grind out a win.

Notts look favourites to win against Surrey, who rely heavily on Nat Sciver with the bat. To date she has performed brilliantly (68 and 96 - v Yorkshire and Sussex), but she could do with some support. It would be a big boost for Surrey if Susie Rowe were pronounced fit to play. They need her experience.

Division Two (11am)
Cheshire v Wales @ Cheadle CC
Durham v Devon @ Willington CC
Somerset v Ireland @ Brislington CC
Lancashire v Staffordshire @ Leigh CC

Cheshire and Wales have both yet to record a win, but Wales' experience may give them the edge over their local rivals.

It is a long drive for Devon up to Durham and again we have two sides without a win to date. Devon will probably have the fire-power to steal the points if they can bowl and field better than they have done in their two previous games.

Somerset v Ireland should be the game of the day in either division. Ireland were in imperious form over the Bank Holiday double-header weekend with big wins over Devon and Wales. Captain Isobel Joyce has lead from the front with 75* and 95* in their two games to date. Somerset are also unbeaten, having played a game more, with Anya Shrubsole the leading wicket-taker in the division with 9 wickets.

Lancashire and Staffordshire are both unbeaten so far this season, both with wins over Cheshire, and Staffs also with a good win over Wales. Staffs will fancy their chances of making it three from three, but Lancashire may be a stiffer task than they have faced to date.


Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Farewell to Lane and Test Cricket?

It has been quite a start to the week for Women's Cricket news.

The first bit of news was that Mark Lane was to stand down as England Coach. He has been in the job for five years and presided over a team which in 2009 held the Ashes, were World T20 and World Cup (ODI) holders. It does not get much better than that. In 2012 they lost in the T20 final, despite being the best team in the tournament. They played one bad game - the final - and they only lost that by four runs.

This year they gave up their World Cup holders position after a rather sporadic set of performances and losses to Sri Lanka and Australia - both games they could and, probably, should have won. Hardly a disaster, but not what England and Mark Lane, in particular, would have wanted.

It will be interesting to see who they get in to replace him, particularly with the Ashes (Points) Series looming. I had thought that this might be Lane's last hurrah. Win this highly publicised series and go out in a blaze of glory, making way for another to build to the next T20 World Cup. If the squad is fit then he had a team to win the series, but there are doubts about some key players - Katherine Brunt (yet to play a game this year); Anya Shrubsole (limited bowling so far this year); Laura Marsh (shoulder surgery after World Cup); Sarah Taylor (recent knee injury). A team without Brunt and Shrubsole would look weak in the bowling department, and there are no obvious replacements sitting in the wings at this time.

England have also relied massively on Charlotte Edwards to score their runs. Sarah Taylor is a class act, but she had a dire World Cup. She needs to take over Edward's role as the mainstay of the England batting, but England need to find another two batsmen to give them the strength they need if Edwards and Taylor fail. I hope that the new coach will take the chance to put a few new names in the team for the series against Pakistan at the beginning of July, and maybe give one or two of them their chance against the Aussies, although I don't expect to see wholesale changes. Mark Lane will be a tough act to follow and we might need to give the new boss this summer to settle in.

The second piece of news was that the Women's Ashes will now be contested over all three formats of the game, with points being awarded for the Test Match (6), 3 x ODIs (2) and 3 x T20s (2). This was no great surprise - Syd Egan had mentioned it on his blog back in March (, and Sarah Taylor had referred to it on a TMS interview - but it has caused a bit of a stir. The reality is that a one-off Test Match for the Ashes is a nonsense and something had to be done.

The girls want to play more Tests and would have loved a three match Test series, but if you are talking about bums on seats, television and radio coverage, and raising the profile of the women's game, then this was not the way to go. Purists will hate it, but it means that the "Ashes" tag can be used throughout the summer, which should prolong the interest.

I think it is a good idea, but I am concerned that the weighting of the points is skewed. Six out of a possible 18 points for the Test Match is too much. I appreciate that they want to reflect the importance of Test Cricket, but given that 10 points will win the Ashes (only 9 required for Australia to retain them), not losing the Test Match will become more important than winning it, particularly as it is the first match in the series. I hope I am wrong, but I think both sides would be happy to draw the Test rather than being 6-0 down going into the ODIs and T20s. I think three or four points for the Test would have been enough. I would also have liked to see the Test as the last match of the series - a fitting climax to the series. It will be interesting to see how the series pans out, but I applaud the initiative.

The final bit of news was that Katherine Brunt was named England Women's Player of the Year, alongside Matt Prior for the men. It is the third time that she has won the award and it is thoroughly deserved for her hard work and her heart-on-the-sleeve approach to the game and her performances for England. Let's hope she has it in her to produce a few more yet.


Monday, 13 May 2013

Club's struggle with weather and exams!

The weather, exam revision, Finchley, Newport and Meir Heath were the big winners this weekend in Women's Club Cricket around the country.

Midlands Premier League
Fortunately all three games in the Midlands survived some more cold and wet weather that swept across the UK this Sunday.
Sheffield Utd beat Burton Latimer by 82 runs. A rather depleted Sheffield side were indebted to their captain Salliann Briggs (64) and keeper Rachel Welsh (45) for their decent total of 187/8 in their 50 overs. Jo-Anne Gardner picked up three late wickets to finish with 3/42. In response Laura Tonks (16) and Emma Woodcraft (19) got Burton off to a steady start but Emily Marriott claimed 3/9 from her 10 overs as Burton were bowled out for 105 in the 34th over.
Meir Heath beat Pershore by 109 runs. Meir Heath recovered from 16/2 to post a daunting 237 in just over 44 overs. England's Danni Wyatt (82) and West Indies Shanel Daley (44) were the chief beneficiaries. Looby Lally and Franki James also chipped in with 33 runs apiece. Rachel Baldwin took 4/34 for Pershore. In reply Pershore were bowled out for 128 in the 42nd over with 3/10 for Elsa-Marie Evans and two wickets apiece for Shanel Daley, Steph Butler and Kathryn White.
Walmley beat Quatt by 8 wickets, having bowled them out for just 69, albeit in nearly 39 overs. Rebecca Grundy took 4/15 and Isabelle Watson 3/16. Amy Jones (38*) top-scored in Walmley brisk response as they lost just two wickets before winning the game in the 12th over.
It looks like it is going to be a good scrap between these three winning sides and Clifton Village for top spot.

Southern Premier League
Finchley beat Hursley by the small matter of 210 runs, thanks in large part to their Australian overseas player Emma Inglis, who helped herself to 124 off just 80 balls, as Finchley amassed 311 in 44 overs. Hursley, not surprisngly buckled under the strain in reply, collapsing to 101 ao in just under 20 overs to give Finchley their first win of the season.
Bath beat Loughton by 5 wickets in a low-scoring affair at Loughton CC. The home team, sent into bat, were all out for just 64 in under 30 overs. Moira Comfort enjoyed her afternoon with 4/15. But things were not straightforward for Bath in reply as they lost five wickets before passing the required total in the 27th over. Sophie Le Marchand was 17 not out at the end.
Brighton v Hayes fell foul of the weather half way through the game. Brighton had managed to clock up a respectable 184 ao against 9 man Hayes with major contributions for Jade Ellphick (50) and Alexia Walker (46). Hannah Jelfs took 4/26 and Grace Franklin 3/25. Hayes started their reply in the rain but after 4 overs it became too heavy and the players walked off never to return. Hayes were 22/0 at the time.
Bexley conceded to Wokingham.
Wokingham have yet to be really tested, but they meet Hayes in three weeks time. If both sides can field their strongest teams it should be quite a clash.

Cheshire League
Only one game survived the weather and the lack of players in Cheshire, but Chester Broughton Hall took full advantage as they defeated the current champions Appleton by 8 wickets. They contained a lack-lustre Appleton to just 74/8 in 40 overs, 47 of which went to Anni Rashid, who was not out at the end of the Appleton innings. Chester chugged away for 34 overs to get the runs they needed, but with only two wickets down thanks to 42 not out from Ali Cutler.
Stockport Trinity conceded to Romiley and Trafford Metrovics conceded to Bolton Indians.
Oakmere v Stalybridge was abandoned without a ball being bowled.

South West Premier League

St Austell v Bristol Phoenix was cancelled due to the weather, but Newport made it three wins out of three with victory over Taunton by 6 wickets, despite only having 10 players.Taunton were bowled out for 132 with Rebecca Struthers taking 3/19. The Newport reply was lead by Claire Thomas (54*) and Gabby Basketter (48) as Newport cruised to the top of the league.

Yorkshire Women's League
Three games were scheduled to be played this week, but your guess is as good as mine as to what went on - please enlighten me if you know. I now have some info from the Bradford game - see below (thanks to Cecilia Allen)
Old Modernians v Treeton
Beverley v Vernon Caurus

New Farnley beat Bradford by 11runs in a tense match amidst the damp and drizzle at Pannal CC. Having been inserted New Farnley scored a creditable 183/5 on a damp green-top. Beatrice Firth top-scored with 47* and Jane Ellis hit 36. In reply Bradford lost early wickets but Kennedy Nuttall (66) and Phoebe Robb (28) brought them back into the game, but NF skipper Cecilia Allen stepped up to take 5/35 to turn the game back in New Farnley's favour. Two late run-outs saw New Farnley home in a frantic last few overs.


Thursday, 9 May 2013

Club Cricket Weekend Preview

County players return to their clubs this weekend, after last week's County Championship double-header. There will be a few tired bodies and a few niggling injuries, which may affect the line-ups, plus there is an EWDP U19 game against Shropshire, which will take some of the younger players out of the mix. I'll round-up all the results and performances early next week, but here is what you have to look forward to.

Southern League
Brighton will have their work cut-out keeping a powerful Hayes side in check this weekend, although Hayes may not be able to field their strongest team due to other commitments. Hursley v Finchley and Loughton v Bath should be evenly matched games. If Charlotte Edwards turns out for Wokingham there would be few who would bet against her clocking up her fourth century in a row, if she chooses to bat. It will be Bexley who will be on the receiving end this time.

Brighton v Hayes
Hursley v Finchley
Loughton v Bath
Wokingham v Bexley

South West League
Newport will be hoping to keep their 100% record intact against Taunton, after squeaking home against Plympton last time out. St Austell will be looking to get off the mark against Bristol Phoenix, but this looks like being a tight game.

Taunton St Andrew v Newport
St Austell v Bristol Phoenix

Midlands League
Sheffield Utd's Lauren Winfield and Nat Sciver have been in magnificent form with bat and ball respectively (and Nat has not been too shabby with the bat in her last couple of innings for Surrey) and Sheffield may prove too strong for Burton Latimer. Pershore and Walmley are the only unbeaten teams in the league (both one from one). Walmley, even without the injured Sarah Taylor, are likely to remain unbeaten against Quatt, but Pershore will have a bigger struggle against Meir Heath.  

Burton Latimer v Sheffield Utd
Pershore v Meir Heath
Walmley v Quatt

Cheshire League
Early days in the Cheshire league, but unbeaten Appleton and Chester Broughton meet with someone bound to lose their 100% record. Oakmere have their first run out against Stalybridge. Romiley and Stockport are both looking for their first win, although Stockport have yet to play. Romiley narrowly lost out last time in a high-scoring game to the Bolton Indians and may fancy their chances of a first win in three games. Trafford too make their first appearance of the season against the Bolton Indians, for whom Bhumika Doshi hit a century in her last match. It should be an interesting weekend if the weather does not intervene.

Appleton v Chester Broughton
Oakmere v Stalybridge
Romiley v Stockport Trinity
Trafford Metrovics v Bolton Indians

Yorkshire League
Well at least there appear to be some fixtures in Yorkshire this weekend

Old Modernians v Treeton
Bradford Ladies v New Farnley


Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Div 1 & Div 2 Tables - Women's County Championship as at 8/5/13

Women's County Championship League Tables
as at 8th May 2013

Division One

Team P W L T A C bonus bat bonus bowl total points avge points
Yorkshire 2 2 0 0 0 1 6 8 34 17
Sussex 2 2 0 0 0 1 7 6 33 16.5
Berkshire 1 1 0 0 0 1 4 2 16 16
Kent 3 3 0 0 0 0 10 7 47 15.66
Nottinghamshire 2 1 1 0 0 1 7 5 22 11
Surrey 2 0 2 0 0 1 6 4 10 5
Warwickshire 2 0 2 0 0 0 3 5 8 4
Essex 2 0 2 0 0 1 4 4 8 4
Middlesex 2 0 2 0 0 1 8 0 8 4

Division Two

Team P W L T A C bonus bat bonus bowl total points avge points
Lancashire 1 1 0 0 0 0 4 4 18 18
Ireland 2 2 0 0 0 0 8 4 32 16
Somerset 3 3 0 0 0 0 9 8 47 15.66
Staffordshire 2 2 0 0 0 0 5 6 31 15.5
Worcestershire 3 2 1 0 0 0 6 12 37 12.66
Durham 2 0 2 0 0 1 3 7 10 5
Devon 2 0 2 0 0 0 6 2 8 4
Cheshire 3 0 3 0 0 0 6 5 11 3.6
Wales 2 0 2 0 0 1 5 2 7 3.5

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

WCC13 - Div 2 - Somerset & Staffs set the pace, with Ireland looking strong

It was a good weekend for Somerset, Ireland and Worcestershire, who all won both their games. It was not so hot for Cheshire, Devon, Durham and Wales, who all lost both their games. Lancashire and Staffordshire won their only games of the weekend.

This means that Somerset have now won three out of three. Staffordshire have two out of two, as do Ireland, who had two convincing wins this weekend, which shows their potential to challenge for a place in Division One. Lancashire have won their only game to date against Cheshire with full bonus points, so currently head the table. After an early rain-affected defeat Worcestershire are also coming on strong.

In the next round of matches on 19th May Somerset entertain Ireland and Lancashire host Staffordshire, both of which should be keenly contested matches. Div 2 is looking very competitive.

Somerset 196 ao v Cheshire 144 ao - Somerset won by 52 runs
Fran Wilson top scored for Somerset with a run a ball 59, and there were solid contributions from Lauren Shrubsole (33) and Lorraine Szczepanski (24). Dawn Prestidge finished with 4/20 for Cheshire. In response Cheshire got to 119/2 having weathered Anya Shrubsole's opening spell. But when she returned she dismissed Kate Coppack (48) and five further Cheshire batsmen within 28 balls for just four runs to win the game for Somerset. Shrubsole finished with 6/19.

Devon 232/3 v Ireland 235/1 (39 overs) - Ireland won by 9 wickets
Rosalie Birch (102*) and Aylish Cranstone (78) shared a second wicket stand of 157 at Torquay, but it was not enough as Ireland started their weekend in style with Isobel Joyce (95*) and Laura Delaney (66*) cruising to victory with 11 overs and 9 wickets to spare.

Wales 189/6 v Staffordshire 191/4 (48.4 ovs) - Staffs won by 6 wickets
Wales' respectable total was built around solid knocks from Gabby Basketter (42), Becky Williams (39) and Rebecca Struthers (39). Steph Butler was the pick of the bowlers with 3/6 off her 10 overs. An opening stand of 82 from Cheryl Allcock (48) and Charlotte Whyle (32) set up the Staffs reply with none of the eight Welsh bowlers really able to trouble the Staffs batsmen. Staffs eventually won with eight balls to spare.

Worcestershire 126 ao v Durham 96 ao - Worcestershire won 30 runs
Not a great day for the Worcestershire batsmen as they limped to 126 all out in just over 30 overs (Rachael Petherick 4/16), but even worse for the Durham team, who lost wickets at regular intervals to Rachel Baldwin (3/16) and Melissa Norup (3/20) to finish well short of their target.

Cheshire 101 ao v Lancashire 102/2 (20.2ovs)- Lancashire won by 8 wickets
Jennifer Laycock (4/6) left Cheshire in a mess as they struggled to 101 before they were bowled out in the 42nd over. Lancashire raced to their target, losing just two wickets, in slightly over 20 overs, with Emma Lamb (35*) and Laycock (28) scoring the bulk of the runs.
Worcestershire 168/6 v Devon 138 ao - Worcestershire won by 30 runs
Worcestershire completed a miserable weekend for Devon, and a good one for them, as they won their second match of the weekend. Set 169 to win, based around a pain-staking 65 not out from 139 balls from Charlotte Holtom, Devon fell well short thanks to the offspin of Jo Greaves, who claimed her best ever match figures of 5/14. Thea Brookes chipped in with 3/32.

Somerset 260/7 v Durham 147/8 - Somerset won by 115 runs
Somerset's imposing target was set due to a fine 93 not out from Sophie Luff and 74 from Fran Wilson. Durham never looked like getting close and Jenny Withers (3/17) and Anya Shrubsole (3/29) both claimed three wickets apiece.

Wales 146/7 v Ireland 148/3 (29.5ovs) - Ireland won by 7 wickets
Ireland completed an emphatic double for the weekend with a convincing win over Wales thanks to another fine knock by Isobel Joyce (75*). Eimear Richardson (3/27) and Amy Kenealy (3/36) were the chief wicket-takers as Wales limped to an under-par 146 in their 50 overs.


WCC13 Review - Div One - Lottie takes Kent to three wins!

Division One

The first Bank Holiday double-header has brought some great weather, some great performances and the true beginning of an all too brief County Championship campaign (Kent only have five games left to play!).

The weekend saw two more wins for Kent (and two unbeaten centuries for Charlotte Edwards) against Middlesex and Notts, which makes it three wins out of three for them. Sussex also have a 100% record after wins over Warwickshire and Surrey, as do Yorkshire who conquered Surrey and Middlesex. Berkshire are the only other unbeaten team as they too overcame Middlesex in their only game of the weekend.

It looks as though Kent and Sussex are once again the teams to beat this season, with Surrey, Middlesex and Essex struggling for early season form. Warwickshire are also nought from two, but they have played both Kent and Sussex. Their season will improve. Yorkshire and Notts have both made good starts and are likely to remain in the mix as the season progresses. The next Division One games are on Sunday 19th May, before another Bank Holiday double-header at the end of May.

Notts 228/6 v Essex 126 ao - Essex won by 102 runs
Sonia Odedra continued her fine run of form with the bat scoring 89 and Danni Wyatt chipped in with her first 50 for Notts. In reply Essex never really got going with number eight Hannah Courtnell top scoring with 27. Danni Wyatt, Ruth Barron and Lucy Maxwell all picked up two wickets.

Middlesex 209/2 v Kent 210/2 (39.2 ovs) - Kent won by 8 wickets
Middlesex were probably pretty satisfied with 209 based around a 159 ball hundred from Natasha Miles and a run a ball 60 from Aussie import Emma Inglis, but it proved to be far too few as Charlotte Edwards (120*) and Lydia Greenway (58*) took Kent to victory in less than 40 overs.

Yorkshire 169 ao v Surrey 157 ao - Yorkshire won by 12 runs
Yorkshire's score was built around a magnificent 96 from Lauren Winfield. The only other Yorkshire bat to reach double figures was Hollie Armitage (25). Jess Jackson claimed 3/27. In reply Surrey had reached 122/4 before Natalie Sciver fell for 68, when Surrey ran out of steam. Sarah Clarke (22) kept Surrey hopes alive, but she fell lbw to Armitage who mopped up the tail to claim 3/2.

Warwicks 135/9 v Sussex 136/6 (41.2 ovs) - Sussex won by 4 wickets
Warwickshire struggled to post a decent score on a sticky outfield against accurate bowling, with none of their batsmen getting beyond 23. Sarah Taylor limped off after 16 overs with a knee injury, never to return. Holly Colvin claimed 3/16 and Alexia Walker 3/24. Hannah Phelps (36) top-scored for Sussex as they plodded to victory after being 39/3 at one stage.

Yorkshire 194/5 v Essex 125 ao - Yorkshire won by 69 runs
After a duck the previous day Danni Hazell hit a steady 46, with useful contributions from Saliann Briggs (31*) and Jess Watson (30) helping to set a decent target. Essex were soon 8/3 in reply as Laura Spragg (5/11) blew away the top order. Beth MacGregor (32) and Beth Langstone (28) briefly got Essex back in the game, with late order help from Hannah Courtnell (30), but they lost their last four wickets for just five runs to crash to their second defeat of the weekend.

Berkshire 286/2 v Middlesex 247/5 - Berkshire won by 39 runs
It was a run-fest at Uxbridge lead by Berkshire skipper Heather Knight with a magnificent 153 not out. Alice Macleod (68) and Fi Morris (41) also enjoyed the conditions. Cath Dalton (89*) lead the Middlesex reply with help from Natasha Miles (46), but Middlesex could not keep up with the required run-rate of over five an over and fell short with wickets in hand. Sherisa Gumbs claimed 3/49 on a day most bowlers will be happy to forget.

Notts 192/8 v Kent 196/3 - Kent won by 7 wickets
Notts set Kent a target of 193 to win thanks to another fine 84 from Sonia Odedra, but it was never going to be enough with Charlotte Edwards (128*) in imperious form at the moment, hitting her third century in as many innings this year. Charlotte Pape claimed 3/37 as the Kent bowlers kept the Notts batsmen in check.

Surrey 181/6 v Sussex 182/1 (35.5 ovs) - Sussex won by 9 wickets
Surrey owed their reasonable total to Natalie Sciver (96), who fell agoningsly short of a deserved hundred when she pulled a long hop straight to midwicket. She was the only Surrey bat to come to terms with the slow Hove wicket. 10 runs from the opening over of the Sussex innings, all to Georgia Elwiss (105*), set the
Georgia Elwiss celebrates her maiden Sussex century
tone for the Sussex innings, which rattled along nicely against some tired looking bowlers. Elwiss completed her maiden century for Sussex as the home team romped home.