Tuesday, 3 May 2016

County Div 1 Round Up - First weekend

Well who would have thought that at the end of the first weekend of County Championship fixtures the top three in Division One would be :-

1. Warwickshire 18.00
2. Berkshire 17.50
3. Middlesex 17.00

True the rain did intervene somewhat, but the fallacy that county cricket is not a good enough standard for the England contracted players was blown out of the water as fancied Sussex got turned over by unfancied Warwickshire, and then Sussex themselves (without Sarah Taylor) dispatched Kent, despite the fact that all five of Kent's contracted England players were on the park and four of them batted in the top four.

On Sunday Kent steam-rollered newbies Somerset into the Taunton turf, posting 279/4 and then bowling Somerset out for just 58. There were runs for Edwards 79, Beaumont 72, and Greenway 69, as the chasm between Div 1 & Div 2 was cruelly exposed.
Fellow newbies Staffs were also hammered by Berkshire who restricted them to 130/9 and then got them with just two wickets down and eight overs to spare. Amanda Potgeiter took 3/12 and Heather Knight helped herself to 56 to get her season off and running.
In Middlesex the home side managed to score 165 before they were bowled out, having been 113/9 at one stage. Fran Wilson made 63, and Naomi Dattani (30*) and Alex Hartley (28) added 52 for the last wicket. In response Surrey were bowled out for 99 with Bryony Smith top-scoring with 23.
Sussex made another calamitous start to their season, as they did last year, losing by six wickets to Warwickshire. Put into bat they could only manage to put 126 on the board (losing two valuable batting points) and then take only four wickets (losing three more). Georgia Adams top-scored for Sussex with 45, with extras second top-scorer with 37. In reply Warwickshire calmly knocked-off the runs with Minihal Zahoor 39, Marie Kelly 31* and Anna Lanning 25 leading the way.

On Monday the rain washed out the Yorkshire v Warwickshire and the Staffs v Somerset games, but Berkshire made it two from two as they handed Surrey their second defeat of the weekend. Surrey have now lost their last five county championship games and they must already be strong relegation prospects with Kent, Sussex and Yorkshire still to play. They managed to post 153/9 thanks to 69 from Kirstie White. Potgeiter and Knight claimed three wickets apiece. Knight then led the way with the bat with 37, with keeper Carla Rudd hitting 34, just one shy of her best ever for the county. They wrapped up the win with nearly 10 overs to spare.
Meanwhile in Eastbourne the rain prevented play getting underway until just after 2pm, with the game reduced to 30 overs per side. Put into bat Sussex shot out of the traps with Georgia Adams (53) and Georgia Elwiss (20) smashing 30 off the first three overs from Farrant and Pape. Progress then became a little more serene until the penultimate over when Izi Noakes (38) launched Davidson-Richards for two enormous 6s over midwicket off consecutive balls. It meant Sussex reached 172 before they were bowled out in the last over. Kent needed 5.8 per over, but by half way, having lost Edwards early, Tammy Beaumont (49) and Lydia Greenway (33) had left Kent needing 96 off the last 15 overs at 6.5. As England Head Coach, Mark Robinson (who watched the match), said before the game it is important in women's cricket not to get behind the rate, and so it proved. Beaumont and Greenway went in quick succession and Kent collapsed from 101/2 to 131 all out. 

Which means that Berkshire have had a great weekend; Warwickshire have beaten a top team and do not have to play another (Yorkshire); Sussex could win all their remaining games and still not win the title due to only get three bonus points against Warwickshire; and Kent can still take the title, but cannot afford another slip up.

The next round of games is on Sunday 15th May.



  1. Anyone put a fiver on Warks at 5000-1 to win the CC ?

  2. I think you'd get 5000/1 on finding a bookie who would make a book on the CC!