Monday, 16 May 2016

Round 2 of the Women's County Championship

After the second round of fixtures in the Royal London Women's County Championship Warwickshire remain top of Division One, with the perfect average, after a second full 18 point win, this time over previously undefeated Berkshire. Kent and Sussex kept up the pressure on the top dogs (or should that be top bears?) with easy wins over Middlesex and Somerset respectively. But the biggest surprise was Surrey's comprehensive defeat of defending champions Yorkshire at Harrogate.

At Wokingham Berkshire's Heather Knight, with 92, tried valiantly to get her side over the line, chasing Warwickshire's 200/9 but with five of her colleagues getting out for 2 or less, her efforts were in vain. Warwickshire were indebted to Meg Lanning's sister, Anna, for her stylish and solid 54 at the top of the Bears' batting line-up and Laura Crofts (47) at the bottom, as Berkshire allowed them to escape from 123/7 to post a respectable (and full bonus point getting) 200. At 97 without loss Berkshire looked in control of the run chase, but when Linsey Smith (40) fell to the spin of Georgia Davis, Berkshire imploded. There was nothing Knight could do as she lost partner after partner, and was last out with Berkshire still 14 runs short (you can read the CricketHER match report here).

Kent with new recruit New Zealand captain Suzie Bates in their line-up, alongside four other current England players and two former England players, bowled out Middlesex for just 92 (Tash Farrant 4/16) and chased down the runs in the 21st over, with Charlotte Edwards (30*) batting at 5, ensuring there were no wobbles after Bates, Beaumont and Marsh had all gone with only 52 on the board.

At a very picturesque Bath CC, Sussex without the injured Georgia Adams, and still without Sarah Taylor (see below), bowled out Somerset for 126, having been 96/2. Georgia Elwiss claimed 6/17, including a hat-trick, as the Somerset middle and lower order were blown away. Elwiss then led the Sussex reply with a measured 45 off 50 balls, as Sussex lost just three wickets before overcoming the Somerset score in the 29th over. As for Taylor it has now been confirmed that she is currently taking a two month break from cricket. The ECB said "Sarah is taking a break from cricket at the moment having decided to take some personal time away from the game.  We will support her, keep in touch and talk with her prior to selection for the Pakistan series and the start of the Kia Super League."

Up in Harrogate Yorkshire won the toss and put Surrey into bat. 50 overs later Surrey had amassed 255/4, with Kirstie White (76), Nat Sciver (56) and Briony Smith (50*) all helping themselves to runs, with 84 coming off the last seven overs. In reply a demoralised Yorkshire never really got going, losing Lauren Winfield (7) early. Only Holly Armitage (62) offered a glimmer of hope, but when she was the fifth wicket to fall, with Yorkshire on 136, the end was in sight, the game ending when Cecily Scutt took her fourth wicket (4/42). In the relegation battle this could prove to be a vital win for Surrey and it is a huge blow to Yorkshire's hopes of retaining the title.

Div 1 Results

Warwickshire 200/9 beat Berkshire 186 all out by 14 runs

Middlesex 92 all out lost to Kent 94/4 by 6 wickets

Somerset 126 all out lost to Sussex 127/3 by 7 wickets

Surrey 255/4 beat Yorkshire 197 all out by 58 runs

In Division 2 Lancashire won their first game of the season and consigned Essex to their third straight defeat, but it was far from a convincing performance. Having bowled Essex out for 115 (Lily Reynolds 33), with left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone opening the bowling and claiming 3/22, Lancashire then struggled to get over the line. They were indebted to new Aussie-import Lauren Smith for an undefeated 54, as they slipped from 55/1 to 88/6, before Smith got them home.

Wales came unstuck against a Notts side that look like they are going to take some stopping in their effort to rebound back into Division One next year. Wales limped to 137/8 in their 50 overs. Amy Gauvrit took 3/26, but new recruit, Scotland's Kirstie Gordon, took 2/9 from her 10 overs. Skipper Sonia Odedra led from the front in the Notts reply, finishing 57*, helped along by Abbey Hawkins (46), after Notts had slumped to 33/4. Notts eventually ran out winners by five wickets.

And finally Worcestershire got their season underway, but suffered an 18 run loss to newly-promoted Hampshire, despite bowling them out for just 110. Abigail Houghton took 4/28 as Katie George (35) top-scored for Hampshire. In reply Worcestershire could not string any decent partnerships together as wickets tumbled regularly, the last three for just 2 runs. Only Aussie Chloe Piparo (26) stuck around for long, but not long enough.

Div 2 Results
Essex 115 all out lost to Lancashire 117/7 by 3 wickets

Wales 137/8 lost to Notts 138/5 by 5 wickets

Hampshire 110 all out beat Worcestershire 92 all out by 18 runs


1 comment:

  1. It would be ironic if Heather Knight (not sacked by Berkshire despite putting more or less every other Berkshire player into her shadow for the past 3 years) replaced Edwards (sacked for putting other England players into her shadow) as England captain !