Monday, 8 July 2013

Kent march on as Sussex stumble to defeat

As Andy Murray dramatically clinched his first-ever Wimbledon title, there was drama of a different kind unfolding in Division One of the Women's County Championship. Kent are new County Championship leaders after they dispatched Surrey; Sussex have slipped to second place after losing to Middlesex; and Yorkshire smashed Notts out of contention for the play-offs with a resounding 10 wicket victory, which puts them in with a good chance of reaching the play-offs themselves - only the small matter of Kent to overcome in one of their games to come.

Kent beat Surrey by 146 runs
Kent amassed 271/5 in their 50 overs with their England top four all contributing - Charlotte Edwards (64), Tammy Beaumont (53), Lydia Greenway (50), and Laura Marsh (66). It was a long day in the field for the Surrey girls with only Sarah Clarke (3/54) enjoying any success. Surrey wilted under the pressure and the heat and were all out for 125 in the 39th over with Deanna Cooper claiming 3/31.

Middlesex beat Sussex by 45 runs
Sussex slipped to their second defeat of the season due in no small part to the fact that none of their four England players were in their squad for this game - Holly Colvin (broken thumb); Georgia Elwiss (injured back); Sarah Taylor (advised not to play by ECB due to niggles) and Arran Brindle (not available). But it was actually a lack of positive intent with the bat in the first half of their innings that ultimately cost them a game that they could have won. Middlesex had batted well to put 236 all out on the board, having used up their full quota of overs. Their score was based around a powerful innings of 75 from Aussie import Emma Inglis and useful early contributions from in-form Helen Stolle (32) and Cath Dalton (45). Once Inglis and Dalton had gone, it looked as though Sussex may restrict Middlesex to less than 200, but Anna Nicholls (31) and the tail ensured their got well passed this mark. Freya Davies picked up 3/46 for Sussex. For the first 25 overs Sussex never looked up for the chase, reaching just 69/2 at the halfway stage. It was only when 17 year old Paige Scholfield joined skipper Alexia Walker at 98/5 that some life was breathed into the dying innings. Walker smashed 52 off 53 balls and Scholfield 48 off 45 balls as they added 74 for the sixth wicket in a 10 over spree that had Middlesex worried. But Middlesex kept their nerve and when both had gone Sussex limped to 191 all out in the last over.

Warwickshire beat Berkshire by 4 wickets
Berkshire managed to get to 165 all out in just over 44 overs thanks almost entirely due to Heather Knight, who carried her bat for an unbeaten 86 off 146 balls. She received some assistance from Alice MacLeod (38), but their second wicket partnership of 78 was the only substantial one of the innings. Isabelle Watson claimed 3/36. Warwickshire's winning response of 166/6 was built around a patient knock of 75 from 138 balls from opener Elizabeth Smart. She was the last wicket to fall with just 17 runs needed for victory, but by then she had done her job.

Yorkshire beat Nottinghamshire by 10 wickets 
Notts could only manage to put 174/7 on the board off their 50 overs with Helen Smit (50) top scoring and openers Olivia Thornton (40) and Sonia Odedra (35) making useful contributions. Aimee Simms (3/24) and Danni Hazell (2/25) both bowled miserly 10 over spells for Yorkshire. Lauren Winfield (76*) and Jess Watson (84*) made light work of the task ahead of them, knocking off the runs with 11 overs still in hand, despite Notts using 9 different bowlers at them.

That leaves the Division One table looking like this

Division One Table
Team P W L T A C win points bonus bat bonus bowl total points avge points
Kent 7 6 1 0 0 0 60 24 19 103 14.71
Sussex 6 4 2 0 0 0 40 21 20 81 13.50
Yorkshire 6 4 2 0 0 0 40 17 20 77 12.83
Nottinghamshire 7 4 3 0 0 0 40 23 18 81 11.57
Berkshire 6 3 3 0 0 0 30 17 16 63 10.50
Warwickshire 7 3 4 0 0 0 30 17 18 65 9.29
Middlesex 7 2 5 0 0 0 20 25 16 61 8.71
Essex 6 2 4 0 0 0 20 15 14 49 8.17
Surrey 6 1 5 0 0 0 10 18 15 43 7.17

Kent will ensure they make the County Championship play-off if they beat Yorkshire next week, but should they lose they will have to wait for Sussex and Yorkshire to play their last games (Sussex play Essex and Berks; Yorkshire have Kent and Middlesex). Should they win both games then all three teams will finish with two losses and it will come down to average points.Theoretically Notts and Berks are not out of play-off contention, if both Sussex and Yorkshire slip up in either of their last two games and they win theirs. All would then be on three losses and again it would be down to average points per game.
At the bottom Surrey need to conjure a win or two from their last two games against Warwickshire and Essex. Essex also have Sussex to play, so their game with Surrey may be the big showdown. Middlesex have won their last two games and may upset Yorkshire's charge for the top and keep themselves out of the relegation play-offs.


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