Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Kent take Div 1 & Lancs take Div 2 - WCC Final Week Round-Up

The County Championship season is over it seems, despite the fact that six cancelled games remain unplayed in Division 1 (three of them for Berkshire).

Not surprisingly Kent clinched the Division 1 title with a convincing victory over second-placed Surrey by seven wickets, chasing down Surrey's meagre 110 in just 19.3 overs. It meant Kent had won their 6th game out of six (two have been cancelled but there seems no likelihood of them being played), and had taken full bonus points in every game. They won the league by a country mile. Their game against Surrey was effectively over when Nat Sciver was out to her first ball to leave Surrey at 5/2 in the second over of the game. Surrey struggled to 110 all out in the 39th over with New Zealand leg-spinner Erin Bermingham picking up another four wicket haul (4/16). Her contribution to Kent's title should not be under-estimated. In reply Kent lost the almost unstoppable duo of Charlotte Edwards (56) and Tammy Beaumont (29) to Nat Sciver's bowling, but by then Kent already had the game and the championship sewn up.

Middlesex imposed the third defeat in a row this season on last year's champions Sussex. Invited to bat Sussex made hard work of scoring 178/5 in their 50 overs. Sarah Taylor top scored with 48* from 70 balls which included just two boundaries. In reply Middlesex lost Helena Stolle early on, but then Tash Miles (77) and Cath Dalton (61) added 129 for the second wicket and took Middlesex to the verge of victory. Late wickets showed that an earlier breakthrough might have given Sussex a sniff of a win, but as it was they were soundly beaten by five wickets, which moved Middlesex out of the relegation zone.

Meanwhile Warwickshire, who started the day in the relegation play-off position, came up against an inspired Heather Knight and the rest of her Berkshire teammates. Knight scored 101 out of Berkshire's total of 199 all out and then took five Warwickshire wickets (5/14) as they were bowled out for 123. Only Georgia Hennessy (48) and Marie Kelly (23) made double figures for Warwickshire, who will now play Somerset for the right to play in Div 1 next year.

Danni Wyatt (116) and Jenny Gunn (50) continued with their good form with the bat as Notts notched up 244/4 against Yorkshire, despite England's Katherine Brunt having her first bowl of the season for the Tykes. Lauren Winfield hit 69 opening for Yorkshire, but no-one else could make above 20 as Yorkshire limped to 178/7 in their 50 overs. Wyatt completed a good day with 3/31.

Div 1 League Table 

In Division 2 title winners Lancashire failed to keep their 100% record as their batting crumbled against Staffordshire's bowling. Chasing 199/7 with 87 from Evelyn Jones, only Kate Cross (who had taken 3/36 in the Staffs' knock) could compile any sort of innings, as she scored 56. Kate Broadmore took 3/37 for Staffs as Lancs were bowled out for 152.

The Somerset v Ireland game always looked close on paper and so it proved to be. Somerset needed to win and win well to ensure they stayed in second place. Thanks to excellent knocks from Sophie Luff (90) and Fran Wilson (89) they put 226/9 on the board, but with Anya Shrubsole again sitting out the game, it was down to Jenny Withers (3/39) and Moira Comfort (2/35) to lead the attack. They probably thought they had the job done as they took wickets at regular intervals and had Ireland nine down and still needing 48 runs to win. But Louise McCarthy (26*) and Lucy O'Reilly (23) had other ideas. They slowly reduced the deficit, but overs were slipping by. Eventually O'Reilly fell in the last over for Somerset to claim a win by 10 runs and a full points victory and with it second spot in Div 2.

Third placed Devon did what they had to do against Durham winning by six wickets, but it was in vain after Somerset's win. Durham were restricted to 156/7 in their 50 overs with Laura Ellison and Elysa Hubbard both scoring 34. Cait O'Keefe took 3/31. Alli Kelly (45) and O'Keefe (44) then brought Devon home with four wickets down and plenty of overs to spare.

At the bottom of the league Cheshire desperately needed at least some decent bonus points from their trip to mid-table Wales. As it was they could only pick up two batting points, which meant they finished bottom of the league and will be in Div 3 next year. Electing to bat Cheshire could only put 132 on the board after being 101/2. Ffion Cartwright took 3/13. Lauren Parfitt (60) and Gwenan Davies (49) ensured Wales romped home by 9 wickets.

Div 2 League Table

Results and scorecards are available here


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