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.


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