Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Lancs take title in dramatic final day

The final day of the Women's County Championship was as dramatic a day as you could have imagined, but you would have been hard-pressed to have followed it anywhere, or find any account of the day, with the exception of some county twitter feeds, our own twitter feed, this blog and that of CRICKETher. Even now there is nothing on the ECB website about who has won the Championship, or the teams that have been relegated and promoted - in fact there seems to be nowhere for it even to be located on the ECB site should it be written.

The Women's County Championship is the premier format of 50 over cricket below ODIs. Its standard has been criticised by the ECB for several years, but nothing has been done to improve it or replace it. It has been allowed to drift, and, this season in particular, it has been shoe-horned into two slots in the season, when many players could not play making many games a lottery. It must have been a nightmare for team managers and coaches.

With the proposed 50 over KSL now officially abandoned the ECB have finally decided to focus on county cricket it seems, but there will be no changes until 2019, with eyes next year firmly focused on T20 cricket, with the T20 World Cup in the West Indies in November 2017.

In our view serious ECB resources need to be put into a County Premier Division with a meaningful structure of games (at least 10 I would say), payment for the players involved, professional coaching structures and resources, and a commitment to promote the product, so that it is a level that girls aspire to reach and becomes a serious test of players' abilities. England players and one or two overseas players should also be encouraged to play, when they are available.

But enough of the future what of the current? Or more accurately the recent past...

Well in Div One it looked like it was Warwickshire's county title to lose. They were the only unbeaten side after five matches, but had the second and third teams in the league to play - Yorkshire and Lancashire. They had been in a similar position last year and blown it. Surely it couldn't happen again?

In the first game of the weekend Yorkshire posted 176/8 thanks to 51 from Hollie Armitage and 46* from Hannah Buck. Warwickshire lost early wickets, but made it to 74/2, only to lose their last eight wickets for eight runs to be 82 all out, and pick up only four points from the game. The Yorkshire win meant they were now in the driving seat as they were one point ahead of Warwickshire.

Meanwhile third-placed Lancashire were claiming 17 points as they defeated Notts by 63 runs, bowling them out for 108, chasing 171, with Sophie Ecclestone taking 4/16. It meant that Lancs were still third in the league, but 12 points behind second-placed Warwickshire. For Lancs to win the title they would need to beat Warwickshire the next day and hope Warwickshire didn't get too many bonus points, and then pray that Notts could beat Yorkshire, with Yorkshire also not doing too well on the bonus point front.

First things first they had to beat Warwickshire. When Sophie Ecclestone took 6/12 and Warwickshire were all out for 88, with only one batting bonus point, they were on course to achieve their first objective. When Lancs reached 92/5 to claim victory, they had all 18 points and Warwickshire had only three. Lancs had leap-frogged their opponents in the league and now all they could do was wait and see what happened between Notts and Yorkshire.

Yorkshire won the toss and elected to bat, but made a nervy start and were struggling at 62/4, but another patient knock from Hollie Armitage (55 off 108 balls), and some good shepherding of the lower order by Beth Langston (33*), meant Yorkshire got to 178 all out and three potentially precious batting points. With Warwickshire losing, it meant that Yorkshire did not have to win. They just needed to pick up a total of five bonus points. With three in their pockets they needed just five Notts' wickets to take the title. They took the early wicket of Georgie Boyce, but then had to wait another 97 runs before they got their second. The third came pretty swiftly thereafter, but Sonia Odedra was still there with Notts still needing 59 to win. They reduced that to 27 before they lost their fourth wicket, when the experienced Jane Smit joined Odedra. Neither of them will now be too welcome in Yorkshire as they steered Notts home with just four wickets down.

And so Lancs were the 2017 County Champions, by one point from Yorkshire, and three points from Warwickshire. 

Meanwhile at the bottom of the table it was a question of who would join Berkshire in Division Two next year - it was between Sussex, Kent and Middlesex. With Middlesex playing Sussex in the their last game, Kent knew that they only had to win one of their last two games against either Middlesex or Berkshire. They chose to load their side with all their key players against Berkshire on the Monday. Without them they had been bowled out for 110 and lost to Middlesex on the Sunday. They duly beat Berkshire bowling them out for just 79 and chasing it down for the loss of one wicket. They were safe.

And so it was that whoever won the Middlesex v Sussex clash would stay in Div 1. Middlesex batted first on a green looking wicket, but it played perfectly, and all the Middlesex batsmen enjoyed the conditions, helped by some inept umpiring. They racked up 259/6 with Sophia Dunkley hitting a well-made 63. With Sussex missing four frontline players they looked short on batting, despite the addition of South African Mignon du Preez. After a sprightly opening over the Sussex innings never really got going and at 85/4 things looked bleak. A 53 run partnership between Georgia Elwiss (38) and Freya Davies (29) gave Sussex brief hope, but when Elwiss hit a Dattani long hop straight to square leg, Sussex's goose was cooked. They were eventually bowled out for 169 giving Middlesex the win by 90 runs and another year in Div 1. Next year will be the first time that Sussex have ever been in Division Two.

Coming up from Division Two will be Hampshire and Somerset. Hampshire took the Div 2 title with final weekend wins over Devon and Somerset themselves, courtesy of telling contributions from Charlotte Edwards and Suzie Bates. It will be interesting to see if they both return in 2018. Somerset had secured their return to Div 1 with a thumping 96 run win over Surrey, the previous day. At the bottom of the table Staffs ended a miserable season with two more defeats and will be playing in Div 3 next year, as will Worcestershire, who were already relegated even before they lost their last game of the season to Derbyshire.

Promoted from the Div 3 play-offs to Div 2 are Essex, who beat Gloucestershire by six wickets, and Northants who beat Durham by five wickets.

So another County Championship season has ended before September has even begun. Congratulations to all those who have finished at the top and commiserations to all those that have finished at the bottom, but special thanks to all those that make it all possible.


Sunday, 27 August 2017

KSL Match Notes - The Last Round

Matches Thirteen, Fourteen & Fifteen
Stars v Lightning

Storm v Thunder
Vipers v Diamonds

* All to play for for Diamonds, Storm and Lightning, with one place still available on Finals Day

* At the top it was between Stars & Vipers to see who made it straight through to the final

Stars v Lightning
* The first shock of the day was a bonus point win for the resurgent Lightning, courtesy of the Misses Villani (71) and Perry (68*). They posted a massive 171/3 on the same pitch that the Surrey Stars men had posted over 200 on the day before (and lost)

* No such worries for Lightning as the previously unbeaten Stars crumbled to 90 all out, with only Nat Sciver 24 and Tammy Beaumont 11, getting into double figures.

* The bonus point win meant that should Storm and Diamonds both lose, then Lightning would take third spot

Full scorecard here

Storm v Thunder
* Without a win Thunder were inserted by Storm, who, level on points with Diamonds, knew they needed a win, or possibly a bonus point win. If they were to finish equal on points with Diamonds then Diamonds would get through on NRR.

* Decent powerplay for Thunder as they make it to 40/2 - Jonassen and Jones the casualties, but then Miles goes hit wicket for 0 - 41/3

* Amy Satterthwaite 44 and Emma Lamb (in at 5) 30* add 69 for the fourth wicket, but it takes them 12 overs.

* Just 8 balls left when Satterthwaite goes and Thunder make it to 123/5, which looks under par

* It looks even more under par when Rachel Priest races to her 50 off just 26 balls

* At the end of the powerplay Storm are cruising towards a bonus point win on 67/1

* But Wilson, Taylor and Priest all go in quick succession to leave Storm more nervously on 73/4

* They decide to just go for the win and hope that Diamonds don't get a bonus point win. Sophie Luff 24* and Georgia Hennessy 16 steady the ship  and Storm take the win but in the 18th over (just a 4 point win). If Diamonds win with a bonus point then they will go through.

Full scorecard here

Vipers v Diamonds
* Careful start for the Vipers but they lose Bates, and then just after the powerplay Adams - 36/2. Wyatt follows soon after 55/3

* When Hayley Matthews is out for 40 with the score on 78/4 in the 13th over it looks like Vipers may struggle to post a competitive score

* But Mignon du Preez (50*) and Arran Brindle (11) add 58 for the fifth wicket to take Vipers to 136/5. They finish on 138/6. Diamonds need to chase it down in less than 16 overs if they want a bonus point win.

* They add 31 for the first wicket, but then lose five wickets for just four runs and look up against it at 35/5. Can they even get a win?

* Katherine Brunt 42 and Alice Davidson-Richards 14 look to get them back on track, but the overs are ticking by. ADR is out with the score on 77 in the 14th over and Brunt unluckily run out backing up in the 17th over with the score on 100.

* It is too much for the lower order to deal with and they are bowled out for 108, which means Vipers go straight to the final and Stars will play Storm in the semi-final which preceeds it.

Full scorecard here


Friday, 25 August 2017

County Championship Denouement

The final two rounds of the 2017 County Championship season are scheduled for this Sunday and Monday with title, promotion and relegation issues to be resolved. Quite what teams most counties will be able to field will probably depend on the availability of players involved in the current KSL.

In Division One unbeaten Warwickshire are once again in the box seat coming into the final weekend of the season, but they were in a similar position last year and blew their chances of a first County Championship title. On Sunday they face a trip to Harrogate to take on second placed Yorkshire. If they can win that one then the title will almost be theirs. On Monday they travel home to the Edgbaston Foundation Ground to take on third placed Lancashire, who, with a full team likely to be available, will be hoping to win both their games and hope the top two slip up somewhere.

Lancs play Notts at Kate Cross's home club - Heywood CC - on Sunday, whilst Yorkshire have them to play in Nottinghamshire in their Monday fixture. Notts are currently fourth in the table with three wins out of five.

At the bottom it is Kent, Sussex, Middlesex and Berkshire who will be fighting to avoid the bottom two relegation places. Bottom county Berkshire are yet to get a win this season and they have Sussex and Kent to play. It is going to be a struggle for them. Middlesex have the same two opponents, but with only three points between them and Sussex above them, they will be targeting a win at Eastcote CC on Monday as a likely relegation decider. Sussex have announced that they have recruited former South African captain Mignon du Preez to bolster their batting ranks for their last two games.

In Divison Two it is going to be a nail-biting weekend with the top four all having won four of their five games, but with Somerset currently top as their other game was abandoned. They have Surrey and Hampshire standing in their way back into Div 1 for next year. Surrey are third and Hampshire second, but Hampshire are unlikely to see Suzie Bates or Charlotte Edwards turning out for them this weekend. Both Surrey and Hampshire have fourth-placed Devon to play in their other fixture of the weekend.

At the bottom it looks tough for Staffs and Worcestershire, who have yet to record a win this year. They meet on Sunday, so one of them will get off the mark, and then on Monday Staffs host Wales and Worcestershire are away at Derbyshire. Wales and Derbyshire are the remaining fixture on Sunday. If either of those teams were to lose both their games then they could find themselves in trouble, but one win should be enough to secure them Div 2 cricket next year.

In Division Three the group games have finished and its play-off time. On Sunday Gloucestershire take on Essex, and on Monday Durham play Northamptonshire, with the winners promoted to Div 2 next year.


Thursday, 24 August 2017

KSL Match Notes - Games 11 & 12

Match Eleven & Twelve
Thunder v Vipers 

Stars v Storm

Thunder v Vipers
* A chance for the Vipers so secure their place at Finals Day against lowly Thunder, without a win in the competition so far.

* Thunder win the toss and elect to bat

* Not much goes right for them after that

* By the end of the 5th over they are 11/4 and the game has effectively gone - Lamb, Taylor, Satterthwaite & Jones all out - Linsey Smith in the wickets 3/16

* Only Danni Hazell 37 & Kate Cross 19 put up any resistance - Thunder are bowled out off the last ball for 87

* In the chase Vipers slip to 26/3 with even the invincible Suzie Bates out, but Dani Wyatt 46* and Arran Brindle 19 bring it home for the Vipers in less than 15 overs for another bonus point win and a place in Finals Day, but will they finish top?

Stars v Storm
* The Stars too can make it to Finals Day with a win here. They lose the toss and Storm elect to bowl and chase

* First ball and Tammy Beaumont is given out lbw, but from there on its all Stars with ex-Stormer Lizelle Lee at the fore with a brutal 72*. She is supported by Marizanne Kapp (48) and thumping cameo from Nat Sciver with 30 off 18 balls.

* The Stars post a massive 169/6

* The Storm's reply starts well with 12 off Kapp's first over and 14 off the second from Laura Marsh - Storm on track on 26/0

* But two in two in the third over derails the Storm innings and they end up 43/4 at the end of the powerplay with their top order gone - Knight, Wilson, Taylor and Priest.

* Luff joins them back in the hutch and Storm are 47/5

* Good partnership between Lissy Macleod 30 and Georgia Hennessy 28 saves the Storm's blushes, but there is no way back.

* They are bowled out in the last over for 117.

* Its a shoot out now between Storm and Diamonds for the third spot on Finals Day. Both are on 8 points, but Diamonds have a far superior run rate. Storm play Thunder and Diamonds play Vipers. Lightning are waiting in the wings if both slip up and they beat Stars in their last game.


Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Aussies name eight players in National Performance Squad

Eight of Australia’s most promising female cricketers have been included in Cricket Australia’s inaugural 2017 Women’s National Performance Squad (NPS).

The squad will spend two weeks at the Bupa National Cricket Centre (NCC) in Brisbane under the watchful eye of former Australian representative Leah Poulton, who was appointed Cricket Australia High Performance Coach earlier this year.

The addition of a women’s National Performance Squad is yet another step in the professionalisation of the women’s game and enables Australia’s most talented young cricketers to compete and learn from their peers in the world class facilities at the Bupa NCC.

The NPS program acknowledges the important step between state and international cricket, and is aimed at giving young athletes the skills they need to perform in a variety of conditions and environments.

2017 Women’s National Performance Squad
Maitlan Brown, ACT
Piepa Cleary, WA
Ash Gardner, SA
Heather Graham, WA
Tahlia McGrath, SA
Sophie Molineux, VIC
Rachel Trenaman, NSW
Belinda Vakarewa, NSW

South Australians Ashleigh Gardner and Tahlia McGrath and New South Wales’ fast-bowler Belinda Vakarewa have already made their international debuts and will benefit from the additional tutelage, while WBBL|01 contracted players Maitlan Brown, Sophie Molineux (Renegades), Piepa Cleary, Heather Graham (Scorchers) and 16-year-old emerging talent Rachael Trenaman complete the squad.

Australian contract players Lauren Cheatle and Amanda-Jade Wellington will also attend the first week of the program as a lead in to the Australian Women’s Team camp the following week.

The program will provide an even mix of training and competition with a strong leadership component, which acknowledges the important role the squad will play in Australian cricket over the years to come.

The squad will also have the opportunity to train alongside and play a series of practice matches against the Australian Women’s team as they prepare for the upcoming Commonwealth Bank Women’s Ashes Series.

Cricket Australia High Performance Coach Leah Poulton said:
“It’s really exciting to be able to facilitate the women's NPS for the first time with a group of players who have been touted as future Australian players,” Poulton said.

“Whilst several players have already taken the step into international cricket, the program is an important step in the elite player pathway and will allow them to further develop 
themselves as athletes on and off the field at the world-class facilities of the Bupa NCC.

“This program is designed to complement the work being done with the players in their respective states and allow them to experience international playing and training environments as well as being exposed to a variety of conditions.”


Monday, 21 August 2017

KSL Match Notes - Games 8, 9 and 10

Match Eight, Nine & Ten
Diamonds v Storm
Lightning v Thunder
Vipers v Stars

20th August 2017

Diamonds v Storm
* Diamonds post 160/7 with Lauren Winfield top scoring with 58 (44 balls) and Sophie Devine bludgeoning 41 off 21 balls

* But Rachel Priest 106* off 65 balls and Heather Knight 48* (38), knock off the runs in 17 overs without losing a wicket. 

* It was a great batting track and a short boundary to cow corner on one side, but once Priest got going there was no stopping her. 

* Both batsman had their bits of luck with skied balls not going to hand, but having been only 38/0 at the end of the powerplay money was on Diamonds. 

* After an iffy start Priest built the momentum and it was the 19 taken off her fellow countryman Devine's 10th over that propelled Storm towards victory. Priest hit 14 4s and three 6s. The next over went for 11 and the 12th, bowled by Atapattu for 22. It left just 48 needed from six overs.

Link to full scorecard

Lightning v Thunder
* Lightning posted 140/5 thanks to 78* from Ellyse Perry, but Thunder could not string any major partnerships together apart from Eve Jones (17) and Amy Satterthwaite (21), who managed 30 for the third wicket, but that took nearly six overs - Thunder were 44/3 when Satterthwaite departed in 10th over.

* After that wickets just tumbled every few runs until Thunder were 90 all out in the 18th over.

* A bonus point win for Lightning by 50 runs

Link to full scorecard

Vipers v Stars
* Lizelle Lee hit 40 (24 balls) of the Stars first 47 runs before she was dismissed, after which the Stars struggled. Marizanne Kapp hit a measured 42 off 48 balls to take them to 127/8 after their 20 overs.

* Suzie Bates 50* and Hayley Matthews 15* made a steady start to the Viper's reply, but when Arran Brindle (19) was the fourth Viper to fall with the score on 78, the Vipers' wheels fell off. They fell to 79/7 at the end of the 15th over.

* As the rain fell they managed 16 off the 16th over, but only two more balls were possible before the rain won. It left Vipers 4 runs short under the D/L method

Link to full scorecard

Friday, 18 August 2017

KSL Match Notes - Lightning v Diamonds

Match Seven
Lightning v Diamonds
16th August 2017

* Start delayed by rain for 88 minutes & game reduced to 13 overs per side.

* Lightning win toss & field

* 4 over powerplay

* Diamonds manage 29/1 in the powerplay courtesy of Chamari Attapatu. Lauren Winfield the casualty caught at deep square for 9 off Odedra.

* Atapattu smashes a 6 and a 4 off Grundy and Diamonds are 42/1 after 6 overs

* Sophie Devine struggling while Atapattu marches on. Devine is bowled by Elwiss' first ball - 2 off 9 balls. 49/2

* Atapattu is dropped on 47 but goes on to get her 50 off 32 balls

* Joined by Brunt, Atapattu takes a back seat. Brunt hits 21 off 10 balls before Atapattu calls her through for a suicidal single. Gone run out. Diamonds 86/3 after 10.1 overs.

* Alice Davidson-Richards and Jenny Gunn perish to leave Diamonds on 95/5 with 16 balls left. Atapattu takes them to solid 110/5.


* Lightning need a good start but Brunt bowls her housemate Amy Jones for 2 and gets Perry lbw - Lightning 13/2 after 2.1 overs.

* Lightning 24/2 at end of powerplay 4 overs. Behind the clock.

* Atapattu gets Villani lbw with her first ball. 24/3. Looking tough now.

* Thea Brookes goes for 4. 31/4.

* Georgia Elwiss 41 and Sonia Odedra 21* take Lightning to 79/5, but it takes to over 11.3, despite 18 off one Gunn over.

* A brief cameo from Sarah Glenn (11) gets Lightning past bonus point score and they finish on 93/5.

* Thunder win by 17 runs

Full scorecard here


Wednesday, 16 August 2017

KSL Match Notes - Thunder v Stars

Game Six
Thunder v Stars
16th August 2017

* Stars won the toss and elected to bat

* Both teams at full strength - Taylor & Cross in for Thunder and Lee for Stars

* No joy for Lee though as she goes for a 🦆 in the first over

* But Tammy Beaumont looks in ominous form - Stars get to 43/1 after 5 overs and Beaumont has 34 of them.

* 50/1 after the 6 powerplay overs

* 7th over is Ecclestone's and she frustrates Marizanne Kapp into top edging to backward square - 52/2

* Make that 53/3 as Beaumont (36) chips Hazell to midwicket.

* Halfway and Stars are 61/4 with Bryony Smith lbw to Hazell for 1.

* First ball of the 15th over and Taylor stumps Marsh off Jonassen for 11. Stars in danger of subsiding here - 79/5

* But Stars end up getting 33 off the last three overs through Nat Sciver (40*) and Sophia Dunkley (24), who batted very well.

* Stars finish on 133/6. Looks slightly below par score, but gives them more than they hoped five overs out.


* 4 off the first over and then 10 off the second from Kapp - 14/0 after 2 overs - nice start.

* But Lamb is lbw next over - 14/1

* Thunder get to 32/1 after the powerplay - even stephens

* 9th over and Jones (26) is given out lbw sweeping at Hartley (looked legside-ish). Thunder 47/2

* At halfway point Thunder are 62/2 and need 72 off last 10 overs - Taylor and Satterthwaite at the crease. Game on.

* 69/2 after 11 overs, but Satterthwaite is bowled by Farrell in the next over - 75/3. Taylor now the key.

* And two overs later she is gone, paddling Farrell to short fine leg. Excellent 34, but Thunder needed more. Her wicket in fact sparks a hideous collapse. Thunder 86/4

* Threlkeld is stumped first ball 86/5; Jonassen is well caught by Lee 91/6; Hazell paddles to fine leg 91/7; Ecclestone misses a full toss and is lbw 91/8 - 5 wickets for 5 runs

* It's game over but 106 is the bonus point target. Lancs fail to make it as they are bowled out for 100, with Farrell taking the last wicket with a diving return catch off her own bowling to take 5/26.

* Stars win by 33 runs and take 5 points

Link to full scorecard

Video highlights link

Current table looks like this


KSL Match Notes - Lightning v Vipers

Game Five
Lightning v Vipers
15th August 2017

* Lightning won the toss and elected to bowl

* Just one off the first over from Beams - the calm before the storm!

* Suzie Bates helps herself to 16 in boundaries off the second over from Langston - she is off and running

* Langston is replaced by Grundy, but the fourth over goes for 18. Grundy looked to get the yips after being carted for two 4s off the first two balls

* Finally Ellyse Perry is brought into the action in the last of the powerplay overs. Bates (on 39) offers her a return catch, but she puts it down - costly - she follows it with 6, 4, 4 to go to her 50 off 30 balls. Powerplay done Vipers on 63/0

* In the 8th over Bates offers another chance, but this time Beams grasses it.

* 10th over and Matthews tries to go big but fails. Out for 12 (off 18). 87/1

* 13th over and Vipers have moved sweetly on to 122/1.

* 14th over and Adams is run out for 12

* It takes Bates until the 17th over to reach her 100 (off 63 balls) - it is the first 100 in the KSL and beats Dane van Niekerk's previous highest score of 91.

* Last three overs go for 33 runs and Vipers finish on 180 with Bates 119*, Wyatt 21*


* Tall order for Lightning not helped when Elyse Villani is given run out at the bowler's end after an apparent touch on the ball by bowler Tash Farrant. Villani is not convinced, and replays look inconclusive, but third umpire gives her out - 6/1

* But Lightning take 12 off the first over, courtesy of Amy Jones

* Only one off the third from Lynsey Smith and then Matthews takes the fourth - bowls Jones as she tries to cut a full ball. Lightning 14/2

* 5th over and Ellyse Perry runs herself out again - Lightning 25/3.

* Lightning finish powerplay on 41/3, but the game has gone. Bonus point cut-off score is 145.

* 9th over Odedra stumped off a wide full-toss - 55/4

* Halfway and Lightning have reached 64/4. They need 13 an over and they get it off the 11th from George.

* Time for Suzie Bates and she, of course, gets a wicket with her second ball - Elwiss bowled for 32 (29) - 77/5

* 87/6 as Brookes is caught at cow off Brindle, 87/7 as Lucy Higham is lbw first ball.

*  Some decent hitting from Sarah Glenn (25) helps the Lightning past 100, but Langston is caught on the boundary by Bates, then Glenn is run out and Grundy run out off the last ball (although given as stumped). Lightning all out for 134.

* No prizes for guessing player of the match

Full scorecard here

Video highlights here


Monday, 14 August 2017

KSL Match Notes - Stars v Diamonds

Game Four
Stars v Diamonds
13th August 2017

* Casualties today - Jenny Gunn for Diamonds with "whiplash injury" and Lizelle Lee for Stars with visa issues

* Diamonds won the toss and decided to bat.

* Atapattu doesn't last long - caught behind in second over off Kapp - 4/1

* Over 3 and Sophie Devine slashes at a wide one from Rene Farrell and is caught by Beaumont standing up - 5/2 - no ideal

* Lauren Winfield and Sune Luus (suddenly she is a number 4 bat!) get to the end of the powerplay - 28/2 on the board.

* 10th over and Winfield slogs sweeps Alex Hartley, but in the air, and Marsh takes the catch at deep square - 43/3

*Luus departs in the 12th top edging Sciver to Hartley at fine leg. Good knock though of 29 (32) - 48/4

* Back to Brunt and ADR to try and get Diamonds out of a hole. They take it to the 17th over and add 37, but ADR is bowled by Hartley for 13 - score still only 85/5

* Holly Armitage is out first ball. Hartley on a hat-trick. Anna Nicholls doesn't care as she reverse sweeps her first ball for a couple!

* 87/7 as Brunt runs herself out!!

* Diamonds make it to 100 before they are all out in the 20th over.


* Pinch-hitter Bryony Smith is out in the second over to Brunt - Stars 2/1. Marizanne Kapp in at 3.

* Kapp and Beaumont take Stars to uneventful 27/1 after first 6 overs

* 8th over and ADR gets Beaumont (21) with a back of the hand slower ball - Stars 37/2

* After 10 overs Stars are 51/2 - going along nicely but not likely to get a bonus point win (16 overs)

* 63/2 after 13 overs and Winfield finally throws the ball to Sune Luus - but she chooses to ball around the wicket and her over goes for 10!

* Brunt bowls a maiden, but the Stars know they have plenty of time.

* 11 off the 17th over means they only need five to win, and they get there in the next with consecutive boundaries to Kapp off Brunt, which ruins her figures - Kapp 48* and Sciver 34*

* Stars win by 8 wickets

Full scorecard here

Video highlights here


Sunday, 13 August 2017

KSL Match Notes - Storm v Lightning

Game Three
Storm v Lightning
12th August 2017

* The international injury woes continue - Shrubsole still not fit for Storm (although she was involved in warm-up) and Ellyse Villani misses the game injuring her shoulder in a warm-up game of touch rugby

*Storm win the toss and elect to bowl

* Lightning get to 38/1 in the 6 powerplay overs - Jones ct Nicholas b Davies 21

* Key moment is last ball of the 8th over. Perry knocks the ball towards vacant mid-on region and sets off, but Stafanie Taylor swoops in from midwicket, picks up and underarms the stumps down. Perry run out for 25 (off 28).

* Davies completes four overs with 1/17 (score 54/2)

* Stafanie Taylor replaces Davies and takes three wickets in her first over - Lightning 59/5 after 10 overs

* With five to go Lightning have limped to 76/6 with Scholfield another victim for Taylor who ends with 4/5 off her four overs

* Marie Kelly 18 (30) and Lucy Higham 6 (7) add 22 for the 7th wicket in four overs

* Lightning make it to 108/9 after their 20 overs


* Storm make the worst possible start when Kristen Beams bowls Rachel Priest for 0 in the first over

* Once again Storm don't make enough in the powerplay - 27/1 after 6 overs (and 10 of those came off the bat of Heather Knight in the last over)

* Just as she seems to be getting going Knight is run out for 24 (27) - Storm 41/2 (8.4 overs)

* Storm need 60 from the last 10 overs with eight wickets in hand

* Equation comes down to 46 off seven overs, but with only seven wickets in hand after Georgia Hennessy goes for 23 (29).

* Five left - 34 needed

* Fran Wilson skies a catch - 77/4 with 27 balls to come (32 needed)

* Storm need 24 off three overs, but Taylor (The Iceburg)  is still there.

* 17th over from Grundy goes for 14 and that is the ball game

* They bring it down to two needed with seven balls left, but Taylor departs to a great catch from Scholfield at long on (34 off 32 balls)

* Luff hits Perry's first ball of the last over for the winning runs. Storm win by 5 wickets with five balls to spare.

Full scorecard here

Video highlights here


Friday, 11 August 2017

KSL Match Notes - Diamonds v Thunder

Game Two
Diamonds v Thunder
11th August 2017

* No Kate Cross (injury) or Sarah Taylor (family wedding) for Lancs Thunder

* Lancashire Thunder win the toss and field

* Chamari Atapattu and Lauren Winfield see Thunder to 37/0 in the first 6 over powerplay. Seems reasonable but this looks a good wicket.

* After 10 overs they have taken score to 64/0

* After 12 overs they are 72/1 with Atapattu gone for 41 off 38 balls. Nice start for the Sri Lankan.

* Sophie Devine 11 comes and goes quickly - 87/2 in 14th over

* Winfield goes in 15th over as Diamonds make it to 100/3. Looks like innings may be stalling, but....

*Katherine Brunt 31(16 balls) and Alice Davidson-Richards 22 (off 13 balls) add 52 off the next 25 balls before Brunt is bowled off last ball of 19th.

* Diamonds finish on 162/4


* Jenny Gunn does not take the field for Diamonds

* Steady start through Eve Jones and Emma Lamb, before Lamb is well caught by Devine in the last over of the powerplay for 20 (off 20). Thunder 34/1

* Davidson-Richards 18 (off 23) bowls Jones with the first ball of the 10th over - Thunder 59/2 and still in touch.

* Life becomes more difficult when Jess Jonassen 7 is caught in the deep halfway through the 12th over - Thunder 71/3

* Amy Satterthwaite 28 (off 26) goes in the next over (78/4) and the game is gone, but Thunder need 130 to prevent Diamonds from getting a bonus point win.

* Dani Hazell threatens briefly but is stumped for 10 - Thunder 89/5

* 16th over sees the end of Brown stumped as she pirouettes out of her crease - Thunder 97/6

* Tahuhu run out in 17th - 109/7

* But some lusty blows by Sophie Ecclestone (16*) and Ellie Threlkeld (18*) take Thunder to 134/7 off their 20 overs

** Alice Davidson-Richards is player of the match

Link to scorecard

Video highlights here


KSL Match Notes - Vipers v Storm

Game One
Vipers v Storm at the Ageas

10th August 2017

* Toss won by the Vipers who inserted the Storm

* Storm waste the powerplay getting to 19/2 after 6 overs (Priest ct behind 3 & Knight bowled 1)

* Linsey Smith completes her four overs straight off with 1/9

* Hennessy hits 14 off the 9th over from Brindle (only boundaries of the innings) but is out next over lbw to Bates for 22 (31 balls)

* After 10 overs Storm are 41/3 with Stafanie Taylor & Fran Wilson at the crease

* 41/4 (Taylor 8); 44/5 (Luff run out by direct hit from Edwards); 58/6 (MacLeod 4 lobs catch back to Bates); 61/7 (Wilson 10 caught behind chasing wide one); 62/8 (Dibble 2 run out) ; 62/9 (Nicholas 0 bowled Matthews)

* Storm bowled out for 70 with 7 balls to come as Freya Davies 7 is run out by direct hit from the cover boundary by Smith


* Suzie Bates & Hayley Matthews open for Vipers - first over maiden which includes a simple missed stumping of Bates by Rachel Priest; second over 4; third over 9 (2 sumptious drives from Matthews)

* Fourth over from Kiwi international Holly Huddleston goes for 34!! It included four no balls.

* Matthews skews drive to cover & is caught in sixth over - 55/1

* Bates finishes the game with last ball of the ninth over going for 6. She is 47 not out and player of the match

Link to scorecard

Video highlights here


Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Kia Super League 2017 is go.....

The second edition of the Kia Super Leagues T20 competition is ready to go.

KSL2 kicks off on Thursday 10th August with a rematch of last year's final between the Southern Vipers and the Western Storm at the Ageas Bowl. The competition was officially launched last night, although with many of the England players on a break and very few overseas players back in the UK it was a low-key affair.

Two internationals who were due to play have had to pull out through injury - Dane van Niekerk (Vipers) and Beth Mooney (Diamonds), but news has come in today that Mooney's replacement for Yorkshire will be Sri Lanka's Chamari Atapattu. This is great news for her and for Sri Lankan women's cricket.

Here are the full squad lists (15 players) and the possible starting XIs for each team, plus a look at their relative strengths and weaknesses.

Lancashire Thunder
Dani Hazell ©, Sarah Taylor, Kate Cross (England contracted)
Amy Satterthwaite, Jess Jonassen, Lea Tahuhu (Overseas)
Sophie Ecclestone, Emma Lamb, Eve Jones, Ellie Threlkeld (England Senior Academy)
Tash Miles, Natalie Brown, Alice Dyson, Rachel Dickinson, Ella Telford (County)
Likely Line-Up 
1. Lamb, 2. Jones, 3. Taylor, 4. Satterthwaite, 5. Jonassen, 6. Miles, 7. Threlkeld, 8. Cross, 9. Hazell, 10. Ecclestone 11. Tahuhu
Key Player
Sarah Taylor - More as a batsman than as a keeper (she may even give the gloves to Ellie Threlkeld on some occasions!). She has the ability to score runs quickly against any type of bowling attack.
They look like a very balanced side, and will be hoping their new overseas players (Jonassen and Tahuhu) contribute a bit more than Deandra Dottin and Hayley Matthews did last year.
Where will they finish?
2nd 1st

Loughborough Lightning
Georgia Elwiss ©, Amy Jones, Beth Langston (England contracted)
Ellyse Perry, Kristen Beams, Elyse Villani (Overseas)
Paige Scholfield, Thea Brookes, Georgie Boyce (England Senior Academy)
Becky Grundy, Sonia Odedra, Marie Kelly, Sarah Glenn, Lucy Higham, Abi Freeborn (County)
Likely Line-Up
1. Elwiss, 2, Villani, 3. Perry, 4. Jones, 5. Scholfield, 6. Boyce, 7. Brookes, 8. Odedra, 9. Grundy, 10. Langston, 11. Beams
Key Player
Ellyse Perry - She will be the glue for the Lightning batting, with others batting around her. Last year she only bowled 19 overs in six games. She may be needed to bowl a few more this year.
A lot will be expected from the top four batsmen, which may restrict the way they play. Rebecca Grundy had a good KSL last year and she may be the key to the bowling attack.
Where will they finish?

Southern Vipers
Charlotte Edwards ©
Tash Farrant, Danni Wyatt (England contracted)
Suzie Bates, Hayley Matthews, Mignon du Preez (Overseas)
Georgia Adams, Katie George, Linsey Smith, Ellen Burt (England Senior Academy)
Arran Brindle, Tara Norris, Izzy Collis, Carla Rudd, Charlie Dean (County)
Likely Line-Up
1. Bates, 2. Matthews, 3. Wyatt, 4. Edwards, 5. du Preez, 6. Brindle, 7. Adams, 8. Rudd, 9. Smith, 10. George, 11. Farrant
Key Player
Suzie Bates - She was the top run scorer and top wicket-taker for the Vipers last year and they will hope she can do the same this year.
Their other overseas players - They have lost Dane van Niekerk to injury, but Mignon du Preez has taken her place. She is not really a T20 specialist. Hayley Matthews has massive potential but is yet to show it to an English crowd.
Where will they finish?

Surrey Stars
Nat Sciver ©, Tammy Beaumont, Laura Marsh, Alex Hartley (England contracted)
Marizanne Kapp, Harmanpreet Kaur, Lizelle Lee, Rene Farrell (Overseas)
Bryony Smith, Sophia Dunkley (England Senior Academy)
Grace Gibbs, Aylish Cranstone, Cordelia Griffith, Hannah Jones, Naomi Dattani, Kirstie White (County)
Likely Line-Up
1. Beaumont, 2. Smith, 3. Sciver, 4. Lee, 5. Kapp, 6. Dunkley, 7. Griffith, 8. Marsh, 9. Cranstone, 10. Farrell, 11. Hartley
Key Player
Nat Sciver - Currently in sublime form with the bat, she could win a game on her own.
Not much changed from last year (Lee in for Tahuhu), where they only managed to win 2/5, but the England girls are in form. Lizelle Lee is a late replacement for Kaur, who played for the Storm last year and can hit big, on her day. Bowling might be a bit weak?
Where will they finish?
1st 3rd 2nd

Western Storm
Heather Knight ©, Anya Shrubsole, Fran Wilson (England contracted)
Stafanie Taylor, Rachel Priest, Holly Huddleston (Overseas)
Freya Davies, Sophie Luff (England Senior Academy)
Georgia Hennessy, Jodie Dibble, Amara Carr, Alice Mcleod, Dani Gibson, Lauren Parfitt, Claire Thomas (County)
Likely Line-Up
1. Taylor, 2. Priest, 3. Knight, 4. Wilson, 5. Luff, 6. Hennessy, 7. Macleod, 8. Dibble, 9. Shrubsole, 10. Davies, 11. Huddleston
Key Player
Stafanie Taylor - Last year's player of the tournament for her 289 runs at an average of 57.8 and 11 wickets, the Storm will hope she is back in the same form this year.
Without Lizelle Lee back in the ranks the young middle order may need to show their mettle. Also now missing Shrubsole for at least the first two games, which are against last year's winner & semi-finalists.
Where will they finish?
3rd 2nd 3rd

Yorkshire Diamonds
Lauren Winfield ©, Katherine Brunt, Jenny Gunn (England contracted)
Sune Luus, Sophie Devine, Chamari Atapattu (Overseas)
Alice Davidson-Richards, Hollie Armitage (England Senior Academy)
Anna Nicholls, Katie Levick, Katie Thompson, Steph Butler, Laura Crofts, Teresa Graves, Maddie Walsh (County)
Likely Line-Up
1. Winfield, 2. Atapattu, 3. Devine, 4. Luus, 5. Davidson-Richards, 6. Brunt, 7. Gunn, 8. Butler, 9. Armitage, 10. Levick, 11. Crofts
Key Player
Sophie Devine - She has switched from Loughborough Lightning to the Diamonds this year and will be hoping that the move brings her more success in the KSL. Last year was disappointing with both bat and ball. Diamonds really need her to fire with both this year.
Losing Beth Mooney (keeper and opening bat) before even a ball has been bowled is far from ideal, but Chamari Atapattu is an interesting replacement. There could be some opportunities for some of the youngsters to shine, but it could be a tough KSL2 for them.
Where will they finish?

updated 08/VIII/17

Saturday, 5 August 2017

KSL players likely to miss County Champs deciders

Just a quick heads up before we get into the manic madness of KSL2017, which starts on Thursday (10th August).

The two days after the KSL2017 group games finish on Saturday 26th August - so Sunday 27th August and Monday 28th August - the final round of games in the Women's County Championship are scheduled to be played.

It is tight at the top and at the bottom of Division One, so the outcome of these final fixtures - the last two out of just seven to be played - will be crucial to many of the teams. The problem will be that many of the county teams could be decimated by the withdrawal of players who have made it to Finals Day of KSL 2017, which is being held on Friday 1st September. Remember three teams will be involved in KSL Finals Day.

Sussex for example have 11 players playing in the KSL (six with Vipers, three with Lightning, one with Thunder and one with Storm). If the Vipers, Lightning and Thunder reach Finals' Day then they are going to be without 10 of their main squad, as they try and avoid relegation.

At the other end of the league Lancashire have eight players in their own Thunder squad. They at least will have control over their own players, whereas Sussex will have none. They also have Alex Hartley in the Stars squad and Beth Langston in the Lightning team.

Yorkshire are in a similar position with nine of their squad in the Diamonds' colours this year, plus Danni Hazell, moonlighting for Thunder.

Warwickshire (6), Kent (5), Middlesex (3), Berkshire (3), and Notts (3) will all be affected to a lesser extent, but could still be without crucial players for their key games.

With four Sundays still free in September it seems a shame that the end of the County Championship should be ruined by an unfortunate piece of scheduling.


Thursday, 3 August 2017

New Aussie pay deal sets the benchmark

The pay deal that has finally been struck between Cricket Australia, who run cricket in Australia, and the Australian Cricketers' Association (the players' union), means a sharp rise in pay for all domestic women cricketers in Australia.

Even before the agreement they were the best paid female cricketers in the world, but things have now been taken to a level where cricket really does become a viable career option for many young girls in Australia.

Before the new agreement here is minimum per annum payment to Aussie players

National Players - $40,000 (£24,000)
State Players - $11,000 (£6,500)
WBBL Players - $7,000 (£4,200)

Under the new agreement these figures will be increased to

National Players - $72,076 (£43,000)
State Players - $25,659 (£15,300)
WBBL Players - $10,292 (£6,100)

It means that a state cricketer who can also get herself into one of the eight WBBL teams will earn a minimum of $35,951(£21,400). The National Minimum wage in Australia is currently $36,088.

And that is a minimum. According to Cricket NSW CEO Andrew Jones, "female state and WBBL players will earn more than $50,000 a year while the leading international women will be approaching $200,000" (that's £30,000 and £120,000).

There are currently approximately 120 players in Australia being paid under this scheme.

No other country in the world pays its domestic cricketers to play domestic cricket, so the gauntlet, having already been thrown down by Cricket Australia, has now been picked up and once again hammered into the dirt in the faces of all the other cricket boards around the globe.


Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Lancs pick up Div 1 T20 Crown

Lancashire are the Division One T20 champions after winning their last two games comfortably against Surrey and Yorkshire. It meant they finished eight points clear of Middlesex, who jumped into second spot with two victories themselves over Kent and Warwickshire.

Warwickshire, in second spot at the beginning of the day, suffered two defeats, to Middlesex and Kent (albeit with a severely weakened team), which left them in fourth place in the league equal on points with Surrey and Kent.

Sussex were denied the opportunity to finish in second spot by the weather, with their games against bottom clubs Berkshire and Somerset abandoned. It meant that Berkshire and Somerset's relegation into Div 2 next year was confirmed.

Division One Table

In Division Two Notts comfortably overcame Scotland in their first game of the day to make sure the Div 2 title was heading back to the Midlands and they were heading into Div 1 next year. But Hampshire (second in the morning) could do nothing to enhance their chances of Div 1 status next year, as their games with Wales and Staffs were washed out. It gave Worcestershire the opportunity to take second spot and their 6 wicket win over Durham gave them the four points they needed to leapfrog over Hampshire. 

At the bottom Essex lost to Scotland by 9 wickets, which meant there was no way back for them. Their last game against Notts was washed out halfway through. Staffs could do nothing but take two miserly points from their two cancelled games (why on earth it is 1 point for an abandoned game, when it is four points for a win, is anyone's guess!) and watch on as Durham beat Derbyshire to save their Div 2 hides, sending Derbyshire down with Staffs and Essex. 

This is how we think the table should look, although not all the results are on Play Cricket yet. 

Division Two Table

The promoted clubs from Div 3 are :- Gloucestershire, Cheshire and Northants.