Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Big games as County Championship reaches critical phase

With just three games to play for most teams, there are some massive games in the Women's County Championship top two divisions this weekend.

Division One (11am starts)

Essex v Kent
at Billericay CC - In a repeat of last year's final Kent will need to bounce back after their six wicket defeat to Sussex in their last game if they are not to lose touch at the top of the table, and maintain a chance of defending their champion's crown. Laura Marsh seems likely to be back in the team and will strengthen their batting, although it remains to be seen if she will bowl. Essex lost the final by seven wickets last year. They will be hoping for better having wins over Berkshire and Middlesex under their belts to date.
Games still to play -
Kent - Surrey and Yorkshire
Essex - Sussex, and Surrey

Middlesex v Warwickshire at Edmonton CC - Middlesex are yet to get off the mark this season and Warwickshire are not likely to be an easy first win, but if Middlesex can bat first and put a decent score on the board, they might just be able to pull it off. This could be a tight one.
Games still to play - 
Middlesex - Sussex and Yorkshire
Warwickshire - Berkshire and Surrey

Surrey v Berkshire at Reeds School - Berkshire's skipper Heather Knight is the Division One top run scorer at the moment, with two big hundreds in four knocks. If she goes well then so do her team. This could be a big scoring game and it could go either way, but my money would be on Berkshire.
Games still to play -
Surrey - Kent, Warwickshire and Essex
Berkshire - Warwickshire, Sussex and Notts

Sussex v Nottinghamshire at St James Montefiore - This is the big clash of the weekend as the current top two take on each other. A win for either side will give them a great chance of making the final given their remaining fixtures. Danni Wyatt has been in good form with the bat for her adopted county and hers will be a key wicket. Sussex are still without Holly Colvin, but will be glad to see Sarah Taylor back and batting at three. Early wickets will be key for both teams.
Games still to play -
Sussex - Middlesex, Berkshire and Essex
Notts - Yorkshire and Berkshire

Yorkshire have no fixture this weekend but their remaining fixtures are - Notts, Kent and Middlesex

Division Two (11am starts)

Wales v Lancashire at Llandysul CC - Wales take on the undefeated Lancastrians and will have their work cut out. No side has scored more than 109 runs against Lancashire with wickets shared around their varied bowling attack. Wales' only win so far has been against Devon and this will be a much stiffer task.
Games still to play -
Wales - Somerset and Worcestershire
Lancashire - Devon, Durham and Ireland

Devon v Cheshire at Brixham CC - A must-win game for both teams, who both only have one tick in the win column to date. Devon have underperformed, but finally got their season underway with a win over high-flying Staffordshire last time out. If the side batting first can put runs on the board, then the pressure will be on. Cheshire did it against Wales, but that is the only time so far this season.
Games still to play -
Devon - Lancashire and Somerset
Cheshire - Durham

Staffordshire v Somerset at Himley - Table-toppers Somerset were mauled by Lancashire in their last match, being bowled out for just 60, but this may just have been a bad day at the office. I'd expect them to bounce back strongly and Staffordshire may suffer.
Games still to play -
Staffordshire - Worcestershire and Ireland
Somerset - Wales and Devon

Worcestershire v Ireland at Old Elizabethans CC - Ireland had been going well but then crashed to defeat against Durham, to give them their first win of the season. Both teams have been a bit inconsistent over the season so far, which makes this a difficult one to call. A win for either team would keep them in the hunt for the play-offs.
Games still to play -
Worcestershire - Staffordshire and Wales
Ireland - Staffordshire & Lancashire

Durham have no game this weekend but they have the following fixtures to play - Cheshire and Lancashire


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