Highlights of the first day of four were the batting form of the England top order, plus the controlled bowling of youngsters Sophie Ecclestone and Freya Davies.
Unsuprisingly England A, who seemed to have most of the England batting line-up, elected to bat against England B, who had the main England seam attack.
After heavy morning rain the start was delayed until 2pm, and within 25 minutes the players were back off the field after another heavy shower, which included hail. About another 35 minutes play were lost before play could recommence at 3pm. Thereafter the weather remained cold and blustery, but otherwise allowed play to continue.
Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole took the new ball, Brunt looking lively with the strong breeze behind her. But Heather Knight and Lauren Winfield looked in control and kept the scoreboard ticking over, without too many alarms. After five overs into the wind Shrubsole gave way to Freya Davies, who immediately bowled a much fuller length and had both batsmen flashing outside their off stump. Beth Langstone also took over from Brunt and she too passed the bat, but without any success.
The partnership grew steadily with both openers reaching their 50s before Knight was caught behind by Amy Jones in Laura Marsh's first over. She seemed reluctant to leave but had to go. Within three overs Winfield had gone too, lbw to the returning Shrubsole, this time with the wind.
The openers demise had just brought Sarah Taylor and Charlotte Edwards to the crease and the run rate started to climb as they both latched on to anything short or on the leg-stump. But in the 47th over 16 year old left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone was thrown the ball and apart from changing ends she bowled an excellent 16 over spell. She did not appear to be getting much turn, but she bowled remarkably few bad balls, and those that she did bowl down the leg-side generally went unpunished. She came off to allow England B to take the new ball with two overs left in the day, by which time she had figures of 1/26, having bowled Georgia Elwiss off an inside edge for an unfortunate duck. She was the middle wicket in a good spell for Eng B. Taylor was caught at short leg turning a short ball from Grundy to Beaumont under the lid, and after Elwiss left, Edwards was caught behind trying to cut a ball from Grundy that was not quite short enough. 208/2 became 229/5 and Eng B were back in the game.
There was just time for one over from Brunt and Shrubsole with the new ball before play finished at 7.45pm, and it brought rewards for Eng B as Brunt trapped Hazell lbw in the penultimate over. Eng A will therefore start Day Two on 245/6 and Eng B will be hoping to wrap up their innings early and set off in pursuit of well below 300. With a better forecast and an early start, Day Two could well shape this game.
England A v England B at Loughborough University
Day One of Four
England A - Batting
Heather Knight ct Jones b Marsh 58
Lauren Winfield lbw b Shrubsole 56
Sarah Taylor ct Beaumont b Grundy 45
Charlotte Edwards ct Jones b Grundy 53
Georgia Elwiss b Ecclestone 0
Sophie Luff not out 11
Dani Hazell lbw b Brunt 9
Alex Macdonald not out 0
TOTAL 254 for 6
England B - Bowling