Monday, 16 June 2014

Women's County Championship - Week Three Round-Up

Division 1
Essex 194/6 beat Berkshire 193/10 by 4 wickets
Middlesex 178/6 beat Surrey 177/8 (50 overs) by 4 wickets
Notts 134/4 beat Warwickshire 133/10 by 6 wickets
Sussex 201/4 beat Yorkshire by 6 wickets

Sussex showed their strength in depth when they travelled to Harrogate to play Yorkshire without four frontline players - Brindle, Davies, Elwiss and Taylor - and still came away not only with a win, but full bonus points. Yorkshire managed to put 200 runs on the board thanks in the main part to a mature knock of 94 from the experienced Kathryn Doherty. Izi Noakes was the chief wicket-taker (4/38), with Rebecca Silk also claiming 3/31. In reply Georgia Adams (106), skippering the senior side for the first time, and Izzy Collis (41) got the visitors off to the perfect start putting on 92 for the first wicket before Collis fell. Adams lost Scholfield and Green, but continued to her maiden senior century, before she too fell, with just 24 needed for victory. Sussex eased home with five overs to spare to stay top of the league, leaving Yorkshire still without a win this year.
Surrey's unbeaten run this season came to an abrupt halt at Middlesex as they chased down Surrey's below-par 177/8 with four wickets in hand and two overs to spare. Middlesex owed their win to the batting of veteran England player and skipper Beth Morgan (79*), after Middlesex had been languishing at 61/5 with the top order batsmen all having departed. Morgan found willing allies down the order in Izzy Westbury (15) and Sophia Dunkley (26*) as she guided her team to their first win of the season. Surrey themselves had been 93/8 before New Zealander Rachel Candy (43*) and Katherine Robson (37*) added an unbeaten 84 for the ninth wicket. Nat Sciver (32) and Kirstie White (27) had earlier added 55 for the second wicket.
Notts consigned Warwickshire to their fourth defeat in four completed games and to bottom slot in the division with a comfortable six wicket win. Warwickshire could only manage to put 133 on the board against an accurate Notts' attack. Sonia Odedra (4/25) and Lucy Maxwell (3/22) were the chief wicket-takers. In reply the in-form Danni Wyatt (48) and Jenny Gunn (47) eased Notts over the line and up to fourth in the league breathing down Surrey's neck.
And Essex's batting finally showed up as they beat Berkshire by four wickets to claim their first win of the season. Berkshire owed a debt of gratitude to the returning Isa Guha (58*), who came to the crease with her side at 70/6 and refused to leave. Aussie import Heather Graham took 4/32. Guha dragged her team to 193, but Essex's middle order, strengthened by on loan Hannah Phelps (25) from Sussex, held firm, with Graham (52*) and Kara Toleman (44*) finishing the game with an unbeaten stand of 63 and with 18 balls to spare. Fi Morris was the pick of the Berkshire bowlers with 3/19.

Division 2
Devon 261/5 beat Worcestershire 252/10 by 9 runs
Somerset 240/10 beat Durham 113/8 (50 overs) by 127 runs
Lancashire 209/4 beat Cheshire 105/10 by 104 runs
Ireland 116/4 beat Wales 114/10 by 6 wickets

Devon won a humdinger of a game against Worcestershire to maintain their position at the top of Division 2. They rattled up 261/5 with in-form Rosalie Fairbairn (76) leading from the front, ably supported by Alli Kelly (55) and Jodie Dibble (40). Clare Boycott took 2/32. They probably thought they had plenty, but the Worcestershire top order set up their team for an unlikely win as they raced onto 208/3, but Fairbairn (2/24) claimed a couple of important wickets and Jodie Dibble (2/28) put the brakes on. Worcestershire lost five wickets for 27 runs and eventually ended just agonisingly short, much to Devon's relief.
Lancs, who will take on Devon next Sunday, kept up the pressure with a very comfortable win over struggling Cheshire. Natalie Brown scored an undefeated 112 in Lancs' 209/4. Cheshire never really threatened and were all out for 105 in 44 overs. Nalisha Patel 3/25, Megan Fairclough 2/10 and Jasmine Titmuss 2/17 were in the wickets. Ellie Mason battled hard for a top-scoring 32.
Unbeaten Wales came unstuck against Ireland, who finally found their form with both bat and ball. Wales were in a hideous mess at 38/7 before Marsha Davies (34) put up some resistance. But she was the only Welsh player to get into double figures as they crumpled to 114 all out with just one ball of their 50 overs unused. Louise McCarthy picked up 3/13. A solid opening stand of 67 meant the result was never really in doubt, particularly as one of those openers was Cecilia Joyce (53). Ireland did lose four wickets but finished the game in the 37th over.
Somerset finally picked up their first win of the season against bottom side Durham. Anya Shrubsole was not fit enough to bowl, but she could bat. She scored her first century for Somerset (105) and added 176 for the third wicket with Fran Wilson (70). But Somerset ended on only 240 as the lower order were blown away by the returning Lynn McDonnell (3/35). However it was still far too many for Durham, who crawled to 113/7 in their 50 overs.

Full scorecards are here
Up-to-date league tables are here


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