Royal London Women's County Championship
Week One - Division One Results Round-Up
There were three big winners in the first week of Division One of the Women's County
Championship - all winning both their opening games. Defending champions Sussex,
and former champions Kent, were no great surprise, but Surrey also
got their season off to a magnificent start with wins over fancied Warwickshire
and Yorkshire. At the other end of the table it was a horrible start for Essex,
Warwickshire and Yorkshire as they all lost both their games. With the
entire season consisting of just eight games per team losing your first two is
a bit of a disaster.
Sussex defeated Essex on Sunday by 9 wickets. Bowled out for 116
Essex never looked like making a game of it and Sussex romped home to victory.
Arran Brindle helped herself to 4/16 and Georgia Elwiss 3/15. Georgia Adams hit
a 72 ball undefeated 56, with Elwiss (36) the only victim for Essex. As
expected it looks like it is going to be a difficult season for Essex.
On Monday Sussex almost repeated the previous day's events, bowling out a
disappointing Warwickshire for 118 and knocking them off for the loss of just Adams
(6) and Elwiss (18). Sarah Taylor (41*) and Arran Brindle (34) brought home
full batting points. Earlier Elwiss (3/20) and Brindle (2/26) had once again
combined to rip the middle out of the Warwickshire innings, following on from
accurate opening spells from Izi Noakes and Freya Davies.Warwickshire's bowling
looked pretty innocuous with the exception of Georgia Hennessy's right arm
Kent showed the power of their batting line-up by clocking up 265/5
against Yorkshire on Sunday and then 231/9 against Middlesex the following day.
Charlotte Edwards (129) and Tammy Beaumont (86) put on 226 for the first wicket
against Yorkshire, who wilted under the burden of the runs needed and were
bowled out for a paltry 92 in the 31st over. 16 year old Megan Belt claimed
On Monday Kent made it two from two as they beat Middlesex. Charlotte
Edwards raced to 44, with Tammy Beaumont still in single-figures before she was
brilliantly run out by Anna Nicholls' direct hit from cover-point. The run-rate
then slowed down distinctly as Beaumont and Lydia Greenway dug in to take Kent
past the hundred mark by drinks, with Beaumont reaching her second half-century
of the weekend, before being caught the next ball. Laura Marsh (who batted but
did not bowl) also followed her to the 50 mark as Kent closed on 231/9.
Middlesex's reply began solidly enough, with Helena Stolle and Natasha Miles
44/0 after 10 overs; but they had slowed to 69/0 after 20; and when the wickets
started to fall thereafter their challenge began to falter. However, some
strong hitting by Anna Nicholls (41) towards the end brought Middlesex up to a
respectable 197 before they were all out; although this was somewhat abetted by
the fact that Kent spent the final overs of the game with just 10 players on
the field, with Charlotte Pape in hospital with a dislocated finger and Deanna
Cooper on the boundary having twisted her ankle fielding the ball. It was
doubtless a disappointing day for Middlesex but not a dispiriting one; and
their young amateur team can feel proud of their showing against the seasoned
pros from Kent.
Surrey also made a near-perfect start (they dropped just one bowling
bonus point) with two narrow victories. On Sunday they put 210/8 on the board
against Warwickshire. Kirstie White (26) and Nat Sciver (39) laid the
foundation with a 65 run second wicket partnership, and when the momentum stalled
Holly Knight (43) and New Zealander Rachel Candy (44*) took up the baton. 17
year old Georgia Hennessy picked up 5/38 for Warwickshire. She then opened the
batting and after a nervy start she had scored 84 of her side's 128 when she
was the sixth wicket to fall in the 35th over. Warwickshire still needed less
than a run a ball, but the rate gradually climbed and wickets fell and they
ended 16 runs short as they were bowled out in the penultimate over of the
On Monday Surrey again batted first and set opponents Yorkshire a target of
223 to win. Kirstie White (43) made another important contribution at the top
of the order, but the stand-out knock came from 16 year old Bryony Smith who
scored 60* from 42 balls coming in at number 7 and hitting five 4s and two 6s.
Dani Hazell (in her only game of the weekend) claimed 5/42. Yorkshire made a solid start in reply through Lauren
Winfield (78), but from 58/0 they fell to 87/3. Winfield then found a willing ally
in Kathryn Doherty (47). Together they took the score to 152 before Winfield
fell to Holly Knight (2/40). Doherty continued to battle for Yorkshire, but the
run rate gradually increased and wickets fell. With three overs left they still
needed 18 to win with four wickets in hand. Only two came from that Sciver
over, and then five and a wicket from Knight's penultimate over, leaving 11
required from the last, again from Sciver (3/33). It was not to be for Yorkshire
as Sciver kept her nerve to bring Surrey home by 7 runs.
two other games from this opening weekend involved Nottinghamshire. On
Sunday they lost to Berkshire in a tight, low-scoring game. Berkshire
batted first and were all out in the 48th over for just 141. Top scorers
were Carla Rudd and Alex Rogers, both with 27. Aussie Megan Schutt, on
her Notts debut, took 3/31, but she was out-performed by Amy Gauvrit,
also on debut for Notts (from Northants) who took 4/7 in a four over
spell to bring the Berkshire innings to a swift end. In reply Notts got
off to a steady start, but none of their top order could get beyond the
mid-20s and a run out ended their chances of a win just one run short of
the Berkshire total, and with 12 balls still left in the game.
Monday Amy Gauvrit remarkably took her season's wickets tally into double figures
as she claimed 6/24 against a dispirited Essex batting line-up (she only
took a total of three wickets for Northants in the 2013 season). Essex
only made it up to 93 all out thanks to a late middle-order effort from
Laura Owen (22) and Kara Toleman (17). Notts cruised home for the loss
of just two wickets with Sonia Odedra (44) top scoring.
The up-to-date league table is here.
Full scorecards are available here