Friday, 28 June 2013

Club cricket continues as England prepare for Pakistan

Club cricket continues this weekend with a full list of fixtures throughout the country (except in the South West where they have first T20 league fixtures), while the England squad continue their preparations for their first international outing of the season on Monday against the touring Pakistan team (who have already lost the first game of their tour to the England Academy).

Fixtures this weekend are:-

Southern League Premier Division

Bath v Finchley
Bexley v Hayes
Loughton v Hursley Park
Wokingham v Brighton

Midlands League Premier Division
Clifton Village v Pershore
Quatt v Sheffield Utd
Walmley v Burton Latimer

Cheshire League Division 1Chester Broughton Hall v Bolton Indians
Stalybridge St Pauls v Romiley
Stockport Trinity v Appleton
Trafford Metrovics v Oakmere

Yorkshire League Divison 1
Bradford v Treeton
Beverley v Vernon Carus


Thursday, 27 June 2013

Pakistan start England's summer

Pakistan start off England's international summer this week with three games against the England Academy and then four games against the full England squad. It is a chance for potential England players to show what they can do on the international stage, and for the seasoned pros to get in some useful game time, but Pakistan should not be underestimated.

They come to England fresh from a 19 day intensive camp and under the leadership of the experienced Sana Mir. Pakistan has had centrally contracted players since 2010 and they have been working hard to improve their cricket over the last few years. They are team on the up.

Last year they beat the Academy in one of two T20 games, but were then soundly beaten by the full England team in two T20s. Generally their bowling is good, but their batting has a tendency to let them down. It would not surprise me to see them beat the Academy in at least one of the games they are playing against them. As for the full England side, they are without Holly Colvin, Laura Marsh and Katherine Brunt - three frontline bowlers. It will be interesting to see if anyone can fill their shoes.

I understand that Colvin is recovering well from her broken thumb and is likely to be fit to face the Aussies this summer. Laura Marsh has returned to playing for Kent, but is not bowling and Katherine Brunt has yet to play this season at all. All of which makes selection for the Ashes Test Match on 11th August (the first match of the Ashes Points Series) very intriguing. Who will be fit to bowl 20/30 overs per innings? With six points to the winner of the Test is it a time to gamble? Paul Shaw (plus the newly ensconced David Capel, and Carl Crowe) have some interesting decisions to make.

Pakistan Tour Of England Fixtures
27 June - England Academy v Pakistan T20 (1) Loughborough
27 June - England Academy v Pakistan T20 (2) Loughborough
29 June - England Academy v Pakistan 50 over game Loughborough
1 July  - England v Pakistan ODI Louth CC
3 July  - England v Pakistan ODI Loughborough
5 July - England v Pakistan T20 (1) Loghborough
5 July - England v Pakistan T20 (2) Loghborough
8 July - Ireland v Pakistan T20 (1) Moseley Cricket Club
8 July - Ireland v Pakistan T20 (2) Moseley Cricket Club
10 July - Ireland v Pakistan ODI Moseley Cricket Club


Monday, 24 June 2013

Lancs take stranglehold on Div 2

After another great weekend of games it looks like Lancashire and Somerset are heading for the top of the table decider and a chance at getting into Div 1 next year, while Devon, Wales and Durham slug it out at the other end of the table. Here are the match details:-

Lancashire beat Wales by 80 runs
Lancashire made it five wins out of five with a convincing effort against Wales, who have struggled so far this season. Asked to bat Lancashire scored a respectable, if unspectacular, 198/8 based around solid knocks from Kate Cross (58), Natalie Brown (37) and Emma Lamb (35). Rebecca Struthers was the best of the Welsh bowlers with 3/30. But Wales were soon in trouble in reply losing their top three batsmen with just 28 runs on the board. Megan Burton (42) and Gwenan Davies (24) did their best to restore some sanity, but got little support and Wales slumped to their fourth defeat in five games when they were all out in the 43rd over for just 118. Bhumika Doshi mopped up the tail with a quick 3/9 off just 16 balls.
Lancashire are comfortably top of the league and seem unlikely to relinquish their hold on one of the playoff places. 
Wales are in the dogfight at the bottom of the table with just one win to their name and some tough fixtures to come. They will need to find some form and quickly.
Games to play
Lancs - v Devon, v Durham and v Ireland
Wales - v Somerset and v Worcestershire

Cheshire beat Devon by 15 runsA vital clash at the bottom of the table went the way of Cheshire thanks to a heroic eighth wicket stand of 102 from Lauren Griffiths (59) and Kate Harvey (44*). They rescued Cheshire from 70/7 to end on 172/9 and set Devon, who have struggled to win games they should have this year, a competitive target. Rebecca Donahue (3/27) and Aylish Cranstone (3/30) were the main wicket-takers for Wales. Cranstone (48) and the experienced Rosalie Birch (31) took Devon to 81/1 before Birch ran herself out and when Cranstone fell at 102 the Devon boat began to rock. Spinners Griffiths (3/25) and Raffaella Rodighiero (3/37) gradually whittled their way through the lower order and Devon's boat finally sank with 11 balls left of their innings, and with 15 runs still required.
Cheshire will be breathing a little easier after this win, but will need to beat bottom of the table Durham in their final game to be sure of safety from the relegation playoffs.
Devon on the other hand still have the top two teams in the league to play so their relegation worries remain. A win or big bonus points for Wales or Durham below them and they may be playing again at the end of the season to keep their place in Div 2.
Games to play
Cheshire - v Durham
Devon  - v Lancashire and v Somerset

Somerset beat Staffordshire by 7 wicketsSecond-placed Somerset completed a comfortable win over Staffordshire in a game reduced to 36 overs per side, thanks to a mature knock of 55 from former England star and team manager Caroline Atkins. Staffs had scored a slow 130/6 with Charlotte Whyle hitting 40. Atkins and Sophie Luff (25) kept Somerset on course for the win, before they both fell in quick succession. But it was a minor blip and Somerset got home with 16 balls to spare.
Somerset continue to edge out Ireland for the second playoff place at the top of the league and finish with games against two teams at the bottom of the league.
look destined to finish mid-table but will be hoping to finish on a high in their last two games.
Games to play 
Somerset - v Wales and v Devon 
Staffs - v Worcestershire and v Ireland

Ireland beat Worcestershire by 7 wicketsIreland kept up the pressure on Somerset with a convincing win of their own against a Worcester team that have not lived-up to last year's potential. They skittled them out for 147 after an opening stand of 59 in which Thea Brookes (34) was the main contributor. After her departure wickets fell at regular intervals to Melissa Scott-Hayward (3/33) and the rest of the Irish bowlers. Isobel Joyce (44) and Kim Garth (40*) set up the win with Cecelia Joyce (37) also contributing as Ireland lost just three wickets in the chase and won with 14 overs in hand.
Ireland will need to win their last two games and hope that Somerset slip up in order to make the playoffs, unless Lancashire implode at the top of the table.
Worcestershire will look to finish strongly against two counties currently below them in the table, but mid-table is where they are now likely to finish.Games to play
Ireland - v  Staffs and v Lancashire
Worcestershire - v Staffs and v Wales


Sussex go top of Div One

As the Women's County Championship gets to the sharp end of the season (despite the fact that it is only June!), there were some significant results at both the top and the bottom of Division One.

Sussex beat Notts by 114 runs

Top of the table Notts were dispatched by Sussex in a clinical performance which showed Sussex's strength in depth. Georgia Elwiss (98) missed out on her second century of the season by just two runs as she became one of five run out victims in the Sussex innings. She had already watched Georgia Adams, Arran Brindle and Izi Noakes perish in similar fashion at the other end (none her fault), before she clipped a ball to midwicket and was herself run out by a direct hit. The returning Sarah Taylor (33) looked in good touch before being inexplicably stumped and Sussex closed on 227/9, perhaps 30 runs short of where they might have expected to be. But it was plenty of runs. Notts struggled to score against the pace of Noakes and Freya Davies, and once Aussie import Olivia Thornton (40) and Sonia Odedra (28) had gone, and Davies had run out the dangerous Danni Wyatt, Notts offered very little resistance. Off spinner Rebecca Silk mopped up with 3/7 as Notts subsided to 113 all out.
Sussex leapfrogged over Notts to go top of the table. They have a double-header weekend in three weeks time against Berkshire and Essex which will be decisive in their campaign to reach the Championship playoffs.
Notts will need to win their last two games and hope that either Sussex or Kent slip up if they are to have any chance of qualifying for the play-off. But Yorkshire and Berkshire are also in the mix, having also lost only two games so far.

Games to play
Sussex - v Middx, v Berks and v Essex
Notts - v Yorkshire and v Berkshire

Kent beat Essex by 8 wickets
Kent made light work of defeating Essex after they had inserted them and then restricted them to just 169/8 in their 50 overs. The top six Essex bats all got into double figures, but at generally slow-scoring rates, and only Lauren Onojaife (50) went on to make a significant score. All the Kent bowlers were economical with Alice Davidson-Richards, Grace Gibbs and Charlotte Pape all chipping in with a couple of wickets each. In reply Tammy Beaumont (78) and Charlotte Edwards (59) set up the win with an opening stand of 126 and the job was finished off by Lydia Greenway (14*) and Laura Marsh (18*) with 11 overs in the bag.
Kent's victory takes them to second in the league behind Sussex and they look well placed to make the Championship playoff. But Yorkshire in Yorkshire may be a tough game to finish on, and they can take nothing for granted
Essex are not out of the woods at the bottom of the league. Their rearranged clash with Surrey, if it happens, could be a very significant one.

Games to play
Kent - v Surrey and v Yorkshire
Essex - v Sussex and v Surrey

Middlesex beat Warwickshire by 8 wickets
Middlesex have given themselves a lifeline at the bottom of the league with their first victory of the season over an inconsistent Warwickshire team. Warwickshire could only stumble to 114/9 in their 50 overs with Ria Raval taking 3/15. Only three Warwickshire players got into double figures. Middlesex knocked off the runs with just two wickets down. Natasha Miles (44*) and Catherine Dalton (34*) saw them home.
Middlesex have two tough games to go and they will struggle to avoid finishing in the bottom two (remember bottom two play-off and loser plays Div 2 winner to see who goes into which league). Warwickshire really need to win just one of their last two games to remain in Div 1 for a second season.
Games to play
Middlesex - v Sussex and v Yorkshire
Warwickshire - v Berkshire and v Surrey

Berkshire beat Surrey by 10 runs
Berkshire sneaked past a spirited Surrey effort to chase down 213 to win. Invited to bat Berkshire made 212/9 in their 50 overs with Heather Knight (45) again leading from the front. She got a bit more support than usual with contributions from almost all the batsmen, but chiefly Alice MacLeod (36) and Alex Rogers (34). For Surrey Nat Sciver (2/52) and Sarah Clarke (2/37) were the main wicket-takers. Surrey's reply looked in good shape thanks to openers Kirstie White (53) and Hannah Jones (34) and at 118/1 they were probably favourites, but two wickets changed the complexion of the game and when Susie Rowe (29) went at 177/5 Surrey's valiant effort petered out and they finished 10 runs short on 202/8.
Having lost only two games so far Berkshire are not out of the playoff picture, but they are likely to need to win all of their last three games, which may be a tall order.
Surrey too have three to play and the rearranged game with Essex, if it happens, may end up being crucial, if they can't sneak a win before then.

Games to play
Berks - v Warwickshire, v Sussex and v Notts
Surrey - v Kent, v Warwickshire and v Essex


Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Big games as County Championship reaches critical phase

With just three games to play for most teams, there are some massive games in the Women's County Championship top two divisions this weekend.

Division One (11am starts)

Essex v Kent
at Billericay CC - In a repeat of last year's final Kent will need to bounce back after their six wicket defeat to Sussex in their last game if they are not to lose touch at the top of the table, and maintain a chance of defending their champion's crown. Laura Marsh seems likely to be back in the team and will strengthen their batting, although it remains to be seen if she will bowl. Essex lost the final by seven wickets last year. They will be hoping for better having wins over Berkshire and Middlesex under their belts to date.
Games still to play -
Kent - Surrey and Yorkshire
Essex - Sussex, and Surrey

Middlesex v Warwickshire at Edmonton CC - Middlesex are yet to get off the mark this season and Warwickshire are not likely to be an easy first win, but if Middlesex can bat first and put a decent score on the board, they might just be able to pull it off. This could be a tight one.
Games still to play - 
Middlesex - Sussex and Yorkshire
Warwickshire - Berkshire and Surrey

Surrey v Berkshire at Reeds School - Berkshire's skipper Heather Knight is the Division One top run scorer at the moment, with two big hundreds in four knocks. If she goes well then so do her team. This could be a big scoring game and it could go either way, but my money would be on Berkshire.
Games still to play -
Surrey - Kent, Warwickshire and Essex
Berkshire - Warwickshire, Sussex and Notts

Sussex v Nottinghamshire at St James Montefiore - This is the big clash of the weekend as the current top two take on each other. A win for either side will give them a great chance of making the final given their remaining fixtures. Danni Wyatt has been in good form with the bat for her adopted county and hers will be a key wicket. Sussex are still without Holly Colvin, but will be glad to see Sarah Taylor back and batting at three. Early wickets will be key for both teams.
Games still to play -
Sussex - Middlesex, Berkshire and Essex
Notts - Yorkshire and Berkshire

Yorkshire have no fixture this weekend but their remaining fixtures are - Notts, Kent and Middlesex

Division Two (11am starts)

Wales v Lancashire at Llandysul CC - Wales take on the undefeated Lancastrians and will have their work cut out. No side has scored more than 109 runs against Lancashire with wickets shared around their varied bowling attack. Wales' only win so far has been against Devon and this will be a much stiffer task.
Games still to play -
Wales - Somerset and Worcestershire
Lancashire - Devon, Durham and Ireland

Devon v Cheshire at Brixham CC - A must-win game for both teams, who both only have one tick in the win column to date. Devon have underperformed, but finally got their season underway with a win over high-flying Staffordshire last time out. If the side batting first can put runs on the board, then the pressure will be on. Cheshire did it against Wales, but that is the only time so far this season.
Games still to play -
Devon - Lancashire and Somerset
Cheshire - Durham

Staffordshire v Somerset at Himley - Table-toppers Somerset were mauled by Lancashire in their last match, being bowled out for just 60, but this may just have been a bad day at the office. I'd expect them to bounce back strongly and Staffordshire may suffer.
Games still to play -
Staffordshire - Worcestershire and Ireland
Somerset - Wales and Devon

Worcestershire v Ireland at Old Elizabethans CC - Ireland had been going well but then crashed to defeat against Durham, to give them their first win of the season. Both teams have been a bit inconsistent over the season so far, which makes this a difficult one to call. A win for either team would keep them in the hunt for the play-offs.
Games still to play -
Worcestershire - Staffordshire and Wales
Ireland - Staffordshire & Lancashire

Durham have no game this weekend but they have the following fixtures to play - Cheshire and Lancashire


Monday, 17 June 2013

Club Cricket Round Up

Club cricket takes a break next weekend (with the exception of one big game in the Chester League), but there have been some significant results in all the leagues this weekend as the front-runners have started to appear. Unfortunately no games were played in the South West League due to the weather, but here is a round-up of the other league results this week.

Southern Premier League

Loughton beat Brighton by 111 runs - Loughton racked up 272/3 in their 50 overs with major contributions from in form Lauren Onojaife and Beth Langston. In reply ten woman Brighton could only manage to reach 161/7 with Freya Davies (39) and thirteen year old Nancy Harman (37*) the main run scorers.

Finchley beat Bexley by 133 runs - Catherine Dalton hit a fabulous 133 as Finchley also managed to score 272 but for the loss of eight wickets. Alice Davidson-Richards claimed 3/40. When Bexley slipped to 2/2 early in their reply there was no going back and they were bowled out for 139 in their last over. Ria Ravel took 3/17.

Bath beat Hayes by 9 wickets - Bath blew fellow challengers Hayes away despite the return of Laura Marsh to competitive action for Hayes. She was their top scorer with 49 but Hayes could only muster 134 all out as leg-spinner Lauren Shrubsole took 5/25. Sophie Le Marchand (53) and Fran Wilson (46) saw Bath home for the loss of just one wicket, although neither Laura Marsh nor Tash Farrant bowled.

Wokingham beat Hursley by 8 wickets - Another big win with Wokingham bowling out Hursley for 125 in under 40 overs. The wickets were shared around but Sharisa Gumbs topped the bowling with 3/27.

As the league approaches the half-way stage of the season Bath and Finchley are the front-runners having lost only one game each, with Wokingham and Hayes pushing them hard.

Midlands Premier League

Clifton Village beat Burton Latimer by 2 wickets - In a low scoring game 35 runs from Clifton's Esther Stock made all the difference as Clifton chased down Burton Latimer's 135/9 made in their 50 overs. Rebecca Widdowson (2/39), Shelby Sutton (2/16) and Ruth Barron (2/17) all picked up a brace of wickets as BL struggled to score. In reply Clifton were cruising at 70/2 but then Sonia Odedra (25) and Stock fell within two runs of each other and nerves began to jangle. Skipper Jane Smit (20) stepped up to settle them and take her side to the brink of victory before she fell, but it was too late for BL.

Walmley beat Pershore by 128 runs - Every one of the Walmley bats made a decent contribution to their challenging score of 282/6 with Georgia Hennessy (68) being the chief aggressor. In reply Pershore could only get to 154/6 with Naomi Heywood the main contributor with 46.

Meir Heath beat Quatt by 167 runs - Quatt invited Meir Heath to bat and 50 overs later Meir Heath had 295/5 on the board. Shanel Daley (64 off 37 balls), promoted to open, got them off to a flying start, and fellow opener Charlotte Whyle made more serene progress to her first hundred for Meir Heath, finishing on 119. Quatt's reply never really got going and they meandered to 128 all out in 44 overs with Steph Butler finishing with the remarkable figures of 5/9 off 6.4 overs.

Things are hotting up nicely in the Midlands Premier League with Sheffield United, Clifton Village and Walmley all having won four out of five. All have seven to play and you get the feeling that it is going to be nip and tuck for the rest of the season between these three, with Meir Heath throwing the odd spanner in the works.

Cheshire League Division One

Oakmere beat Appleton by 25 runs - Oakmere managed to set Appleton 169 to win after getting to 168/5 off their 40 overs. Dawn Prestige again led the way with the bat for Oakmere making 53, but all of the top order contributed without anyone really cutting loose. Appleton probably fancied their chances of overhauling the target, but lost two early wickets and Lauren O'Reilly, injured in the field, was unable to bat. Emma Barlow (63) and Natalie Lyons (26) rebuilt the innings, but when they both departed the lower order couldn't up the ante and fell short being bowled out for 143 in the 39th over. Prestige rounded off a good day with 3/11.

Bolton Indians beat Stalybridge St Pauls by 183 runs - Bolton Indians took the game away from Stalybridge as they set them a huge target scoring 256/2 in their 40 overs. Bhumika Doshi (116*) hit her second century of the season and Nalisha Patel (98) was out just short of her own century. Stalybridge crumbled to 73 all out with Sophie McArdle grabbing 3/10.

Chester Broughton Hall beat Stockport Trinity by 8 wickets - Stockport could only muster 123/5 in their 40 overs with Katie Paterson hitting 41 of those. Lorna Thomas (60*) and Ali Cutler (44*) guided Chester home after they had lost two very early wickets.

Trafford Metrovics beat Romiley by 56 runs - runs from almost all of the top six saw Trafford MV set 205/5. Charlotte Williams top scored with 47. Romiley were bowled out in the final over of their innings having managed to score only 149 with Anne Monaghan (38) and Penny Critchlow (36) having done their best to keep Romiley in the hunt.

Oakmere's defeat of top placed Appleton means that if they beat Bolton Indians in next week's only game they will go to within one point of the top spot. Bolton slipped into second with another convincing win. If they were to beat Oakmere next week they will go to the top of the table. Appleton cannot really afford to lose any more games this year if they want to remain in contention to retain their title.


Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Are England ready for the Ashes?

With the Ashes Points Series starting with the four day Test Match in just a little over eight weeks how are England's preparations for the series going?

Well looking back to the T20 and 50 over World Cups England have already conceded the high ground to the Australians. They lost in the final of the T20 World Cup to their main foes, having looked good all the way through the tournament. In the final they simply did not perform as they had in previous games - with bat, ball or in the field. In the 50 over version of the game England did not even make the final, having lost to Sri Lanka after underestimating the opposition, and again losing to Australia when they should have won.

Fast forward to mid-May and England Head Coach Mark Lane suddenly resigns with immediate effect. He says that he felt the time was right, allowing the new man or woman time to build up to the next T20 World Cup in 2014, but it is somewhat destabilizing only three months before the Ashes series. Paul Shaw is swiftly appointed the new Head of Women's Performance in early June. Another assistant coach is to be appointed below him to work with current assistant coach Carl Crowe, but no time scale is put on this appointment. It seems unlikely to happen before the Ashes series.

And so we find ourselves here in mid-June with England having named a senior and an academy squad to face the Pakistanis in two week's time. The senior squad is without Katherine Brunt (foot injury), Laura Marsh (shoulder injury) - both of whom are yet to bowl a ball in anger this season - and Holly Colvin, who has broken her thumb and is likely to miss some, if not all, of the Ashes series. Only three new faces are in the senior squad of fifteen - Tash Farrant - a raw 17 year old left arm talent (figures of 4/16, 0/38, 1/22, 3/8 and 0/32 in county championship games so far this season); Lauren Winfield - another wicketkeeper and a hard hitting bat (scores of 96, 27, 38 and 18 in the county championship this year), and Nat Sciver - a decent right hand bat (scores of 68, 96, 4 and 32 in the county championship so far this year) and right arm medium pace bowler (just 3 wickets in 28 championship overs so far). They may get their chance to show what they can do against Pakistan in early July, but this is only two T20s and two ODIs against opposition who you would expect the Academy side to beat comfortably a few days earlier. It is international experience but not at the highest level. It would be tough to throw any of these girls into an Ashes series against the best side in the world, but they may be needed.

Assuming none of the injured players return I could see the Test Match side looking like this - Edwards, Jones, Taylor, Brindle, Greenway, Gunn, Wyatt, Hazell, Elwiss, Shrubsole - the more astute amongst you will realise this is only ten names. Who do they name as the eleventh player? I would like another seamer in there, but who? Maybe someone will put their hand up and claim this slot over the next few weeks, but there is just one more Super 4 game to go next Saturday, and then three county games, plus the Pakistan games, before the Ashes series kicks off. That is very few matches.

Is this a side that will defeat Australia in a one-off Test? I have to say that I think not. I don't think they have enough wicket-taking bowlers and I think the batting is potentially fragile. As for the shorter versions of the game I think Lauren Winfield may get a chance with the bat at some stage, and you would guess that Heather Knight (ODIs) and Susie Rowe (T20s) may also get a chance.It may depend on how many points are needed from which games.

Australia too have their problems. Ellyse Perry is still to recover from her ankle surgery. She has been named in the Aussie squad, but her participation in the four day Test must be in doubt. They may save her for the shorter versions of the game if she is not 100%. I am also not sure that the Aussies are suited to the longest version of the game. Jess Cameron and Meg Lanning are explosive in the shorter format, but can they bat for a long time if they need to?

The six points awarded for winning the Test Match will be massive, if one side can win. Ten points will secure the Ashes for England (nine for Australia as they already hold them). If the weather holds I don't see either side being able to hold out for a draw, unless Wormsley is a complete road. It is going to be a very interesting summer.


Super 4s - First 50 over games results

Saturday 8th June saw the second set of Super 4s fixtures, this time over a 50 over format with the Emeralds meeting the Sapphires and the Rubies playing Leicestershire u16 boys.

The teams were -
Sapphires - Edwards (capt), Miles, Rowe, Wyatt, Hazell, Odedra, Hennessy, Griffith, Dalton, Carr (wkt), Farrant, Patel
Emeralds - Knight (capt), Brindle, Taylor, Beaumont, Sciver, Luff, Rudd (wk), Hartley, Scutt, Davidson-Richards, Shrubsole, Scutt
Rubies - Winfield, Jones (wkt), Davies, Greenway (capt), Gunn, Cooper, MacGregor, Kelly, Morris, Grundy, Gibbs, Noakes

Emeralds beat the Sapphires by 6 wickets - Invited to bat the Sapphires could muster only 184/6 in their 50 overs with most batsmen making double figures (with the exception of Charlotte Edwards (1)), but only Natasha Miles (69 from 124 balls) making any significant score. Beth Langston (2/32) and Nat Sciver (2/35) were the main wicket takers, with one run out and Anya Shrubsole claiming the only other wicket to fall. Opener Arran Brindle (66* off 102 balls) ensured victory for the Emeralds, matched by new England player Nat Sciver (66). Sonia Odedra took 2/26 as the Emeralds cruised home in the 42nd over with only four wickets down.

Rubies beat Leicestershire u16 Boys by 88 runs - Amy Jones enhanced her chances of opening the batting with Charlotte Edwards against the Pakistanis with a magnificent 120* from 144 balls. Fellow opener Lauren Winfield also staked her claim for a place in the team with 51 from 80 balls. Lydia Greenway (28) and Jenny Gunn (34) hit some late useful runs to set the boys a stiff task. It was one they were not up to as they battled to 160/9 in their 50 overs with three wickets for Gwennan Davies and two apiece for Izi Noakes and Grace Gibbs.

The last of the Super 4s fixtures take place at Loughborough next Saturday (15th June) when the Emeralds take on the Rubies and the Sapphires take on the Boys in two more 50 over contests.

England Academy team selected to face Pakistan

In addition to the two NatWest Women's one-day internationals and two NatWest Women's International T20 matches versus England, the touring Pakistan team will also play two Twenty20 games and one 50-over match against the England Academy at the National Cricket Performance Centre at Loughborough University on 27 and 29 June.

The England Women's Academy squad to play Pakistan women has been named.

England Women's Academy squad:
Tammy Beaumont (captain, Kent) (22)
Alice Davidson-Richards (Kent) (19)
Grace Gibbs (Kent) (18)
Cordelia Griffith (Essex) (17)
Rebecca Grundy (Warwickshire) (22)
Georgia Hennessy (Warwickshire) (16)
Beth Langston (Essex) (20)
Sophie Luff (Somerset) (19)
Natasha Miles (Middlesex) (24)
Sonia Odedra (Nottinghamshire) (25)
Carla Rudd (Sussex) (19)
Cecily Scutt (Surrey) (21)
Fran Wilson (Somerset) (21)


Monday, 10 June 2013

New faces in England squad to face Pakistan

England have named a 15 player squad to face Pakistan in July.

As predicted here on the Women's Cricket Blog ( there are call-ups for left arm seamer Tash Farrant, Surrey bat Nat Sciver and Yorkshire bat/wicketkeeper Lauren Winfield. Missing are Katherine Brunt (foot injury), Holly Colvin (broken thumb) and Laura Marsh (shoulder rehabilitation). The squad is:-

Charlotte Edwards (captain, Kent)
Arran Brindle (Sussex)
Georgia Elwiss (Sussex)
Natasha Farrant (Kent)
Lydia Greenway (Kent)
Jenny Gunn (Nottinghamshire)
Danielle Hazell (Yorkshire)
Amy Jones (Warwickshire)
Heather Knight (Berkshire) ODI squad only
Susie Rowe (Surrey) T20 squad only
Natalie Sciver (Surrey)
Anya Shrubsole (Somerset)
Sarah Taylor (Sussex)
Lauren Winfield (Yorkshire)
Danielle Wyatt (Nottinghamshire)

England Women fixtures v Pakistan Women
July 1:  First ODI, Louth CC, Lincolnshire, 10:45am
July 3: Second ODI, Loughborough University, 10:45am
July 5: First and second T20 internationals, Loughborough University, 10am & 2:30pm


Bucket loads of runs in club cricket this weekend

Sunday was another day for club cricket to take centre stage and there were some excellent games and individual performances all round the country. I have rounded up all the league action below.

Southern Premier League

Bath beat Brighton by 110 runs - Bath's batsmen scored an impressive and daunting 263/4 in their 50 overs on a good wicket and lightening outfield. Sophie Le Marchand hit 60 and Sophie Luff completed a fine and deserved century off the last ball of the Bath innings. In reply Brighton made a steady start, but slipped to 70/4. Sophie Parnell (39) and Freya (honorary Sophie) Davies (37*) briefly raised Brighton's hopes, but the lower order faded away against some decent spin bowling and four stumpings from keeper Le Marchand as Brighton were bowled out for 153.

Hursley beat Bexley by 15 runs - It was a run-fest at Hursley as the home side clocked up a mammoth 334/7 with major contributions from almost all their batsmen, but the main partnership coming from Eleanor Ingram (94) and Emily Windsor (56). Sam Wright claimed 3/37 amongst the carnage. Bexley were undaunted by the size of the task and when Alice Davidson-Richards (163*) and West Indies Shakira Selman (81) added 206 for the fourth wicket, an unlikely victory looked a possibility, but it was not to be as Hursley just held on restricting (if that is the right word) Bexley to 319/5 off their 50 overs. A magnificent effort to chase down such a huge total.

Loughton beat Hayes by 98 runs - Loughton inflicted a first defeat of the season on Hayes. Having set them a decent score of 238/8 based around a good knock from the returning Lauren Onajaife (75) and good late runs from Hannah Courtnell (36), Loughton took regular wickets from the outset of the Hayes innings, including the vital wicket of in-form Lydia Greenway for a duck. Eventually they bowled them out for 140 with only Susie Rowe (53) really getting to grips with the Loughton bowlers, for whom Courtnell claimed 3/24.

Finchley beat Wokingham by 34 runs - Finchley decided to have first dig and made a decent fist of it scoring 229/5 thanks to 98 from Aussie-import Emma Inglis, with support from Helen Stolle (50). Heather Knight grabbed 3/46. The Wokingham innings needed a mainstay, but Charlotte Edwards and Heather Knight came and went and no-one took responsibility as batsmen got in and got out. Wokingham finished on 195/9 with six different bowlers picking up wickets for Finchley.

All of which means that Hayes, Finchley, Bath, Wokingham and Loughton are all still in the mix for the title. At the other end Brighton are currently struggling to record their first victory, but it is early days with each team still having seven games to go and with results proving to be difficult to predict as teams vary in composition and performance from week to week.

Midlands Premier LeagueClifton Village beat Walmley by 58 runs - Clifton would have been reasonably satisfied with their score of 226/6 in their 50 overs, with Jenny Gunn (77) leading the way with support from Ruth Barron (44). Walmley made a slow start and then lost wickets to leave themselves at 48/3 and the rebuilding work of Laura Crofts (41) came to nothing as Walmley stumbled to 174 all out in the 47th over to consign them to their first defeat of the season.

Sheffield Utd beat Meir Heath by 8 wickets - Walmley's defeat was good news for Sheffield and they made full use of it with a convincing win over Meir Heath. Meir Heath bumbled their way to 100 before they were all out in the 38th over of their innings. Only Danni Wyatt (26) and Shanel Daley (25) made double figures. Camilla Westwood took 3/24 as all the Sheffield bowlers enjoyed a good day. Lauren Winfield clattered 75 not out as Sheffield raced to victory with just two wickets down in 13 overs.

Pershore beat Burton Latimer by 7 wickets - and it could have been so much worse for Burton if opener Laura Tonks had not made 101 of the first 156 runs. Burton ended on 170/8, but that was never going to be enough. Opener Thea Brookes hit an unbeaten 110 to lead Pershore to their second win of the year and inflict a third defeat on Burton.

It is still Sheffield, Clifton And Walmley who are setting the pace at the top separated by less than 1 average point.

South West Premier League

Newport beat St Austell by 102 runs - Newport scored an above par score of 225/8 in their 45 overs with Claire Thomas (56) top-scoring. Jade Williams and Nicole Richards claimed three wickets apiece as all 10 St Austell outfielders had a bowl. St Austell never looked like getting close as all their batsmen struggled to score at any pace. They finished on a laboured 123/6.

Plympton St Andrews beat Taunton Griffins by 16 runs - invited to bat Plympton could only manage to score 172 before they were bowled out in the 43rd over. Jess Jones' 33 was the biggest single contribution. Lorraine Szczepanski took 3/21. However in reply Taunton found the going tough too and only Flo Broderick (31) made any significant score as Taunton were bowled out for 156 with four overs still to be bowled. Rebecca Donahue claimed 4/16

Newport retain control of the league as they recorded their fourth win in four games. Plympton are doing what they can to keep the pressure on them, despite having lost to them early in the season.

Cheshire League Division One

Oakmere beat Stockport Trinity by 10 wickets - Having bowled Stockport out for 86 (Hayley Coutts 3/12) Oakmere knocked off the runs in 22 overs with Helen Smith hitting 54* and Shami Ahmed 25*.

Appleton beat Bolton Indians who conceded - A disappointing match for the Bolton Indians to concede, handing back the initiative in the league to Appleton, who go back to the top.

Romiley v Chester Broughton Hall - result awaited

Stalybridge St Pauls v Stafford Metrovics - result awaited.


Thursday, 6 June 2013

More Super 4s and Club Cricket this weekend

The Super 4s move into 50 over format this Saturday with the three women's teams and the one boys u16 team. Heather Knight's Emeralds take on Charlotte Edward's Sapphires and the Rubies, led by Lydia Greenway, take on the Leicestershire & Rutland u16 boys. All the games are being played at Loughborough University and the weather looks to be set fair for them.

Meanwhile on Sunday the clubs are all back in action. The games being played are

Midlands Premier League

Clifton Village v Walmley - Top of the table Walmley will be looking to protect their 100% record, but they may find third-placed Clifton tougher than some of their recent opposition.
Meir Heath v Sheffield Utd - clash of the day will be this one between MH & Sheffield, who had last week off. Sheffield will hoping that Walmley slip up and that they can overcome MH to get themselves to the top of the league.
Pershore v Burton Latimer - Both Pershore and Burton Latimer will want to win this one to help them climb out of the bottom half of the league. BL may just be favourites to nick it.

South West Premier League

St Austell v Newport - Unbeaten Newport will be expecting to win this game against winless St Austell, but St Austell have suffered one cancelled and one abandoned game so far and will be looking forward to completing their first full game of the season - Newport are a tough ask.
Taunton St Andrews v Plympton - Taunton have lost two out of two, but these have been to Newport and Bristol Phoenix. They will hope for better against Plympton, who finally got their season going last week against Bristol. If they can continue that form then they may just kick-start their charge to the top.

Southern Premier League

Brighton v Bath - Brighton take on high-flyers Bath at the Neville Ground Bath have only lost one game this year and that to Wokingham. Brighton will have their work cut out.
Hursley v Bexley - Bexley travel to Hampshire, but may struggle to put out a competitive side away from home, and organised Hursley could make them pay.
Loughton v Hayes - Loughton have to travel to table-toppers Hayes, who demolished Wokingham last week. Hayes will fancy their chances of remaining top.
Wokingham v Finchley - Wokingham will look to bounce back from last week's defeat and keep the pressure on Hayes, but third-placed Finchley will hope to make it three wins on the bounce after losing their opening game of the season to Hayes. With full sides out it might just be a run-fest.

Cheshire League Division 1

Appleton v Bolton Indians Last year's champions take on the undefeated Bolton Indians in a crucial encounter. Appleton really need to clip the wings of high-flying Bolton to keep their season on track. A win for Bolton would put them firmly in the box seat.
Romiley v Chester Boughton Hall - CBH find themselves in second place in the table, having beaten Appleton and Stalybridge, but lost last week to Trafford Metrovics failing to chase down 126. Romiley may just fancy their chances.
Stalybridge St Pauls v Trafford Metrovics - Trafford will be on a high after last week's win, and they will hope to ease any relegation worries by defeating Stalybridge, who are yet to win this season.
Stockport Trinity v Oakmere - Oakmere recorded their first win of the season last week against Romiley and will be expecting to gain another 25 points this weekend as they visit bottom of the table Stockport, for whom this will be only their second game of the season.


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Super 4s - T20 results

Just three teams of women (36 in total) and an U16 boys team took to the field in Loughborough last Saturday for the first of three weekend's of "Super 4s" action (should it now be called the Super 3s?).

The women taking part were :-

Emeralds - Knight (capt), Beaumont, Brindle, Sciver, Luff, Hartley, Scutt, L Smith, Davidson-Richards, Shrubsole, Rudd, Langstone
Sapphires - Edwards (capt), Wyatt, Rowe, Hazell, Miles, Hennessy, Dalton, Carr, Griffith, Reynolds, Cross, Farrant
Rubies - Winfield, Jones, Gunn, Greenway (capt), Wilson, Cooper, G Davies, Morris, Grundy, Odedra, Noakes, Gibbs

Some of the names missing that might have been expected to take part were - England's Brunt, Colvin, Marsh and Taylor, plus the Academy's Dibble, Macleod, Shipman and Watson.

The ball dominated in this first weekend of T20 games with no side scoring more than 112. It is tough format as a batsman trying to show what you can do, but fearing giving your wicket away, which tends to lead to low scoring games.

Sapphires beat Rubies by 9 wickets - Sapphires could only muster 89/8 in their 20 overs with only Lydia Greenway (25 off 37) scoring more than 20. Tash Farrant claimed 2/13 off 4 overs and Danni Hazell 2/10 off 4. Charlotte Edwards (45* off 43) and Danni Wyatt (33 off 37) took them to within nine of victory before Wyatt fell.

Emeralds beat Leicester u16s by 7 wickets - Emeralds restricted the boys to 104/9 in their 20 overs with Anya Shrubsole (2/13 off 4) and Cecily Scutt (2/16 off 4) the pick of the bowlers. Tammy Beaumont (0) and Heather Knight (6) went early but Arran Brindle (58* off 61) and Nat Sciver (24 off 41) steadied the ship, although Sciver fell just before the game was won.

Sapphires beat Emeralds by 5 wickets - Emeralds managed to score 108/3 with Arran Brindle (44 off 38) and Heather Knight (31 off 44) the main scorers. Danni Hazell (2/17 off 4) was the main wicket-taker. In response Edwards (1), Wyatt (7) and Hazell (5) went cheaply, but Suzie Rowe (34 off 36) and Natasha Miles (41 off 37) took the score to 82/4 before Rowe fell. Miles went with the scores level, but Sapphires sneaked home with 2 balls to spare.

Rubies beat Leicestershire u16s by 6 wickets - The Leicester boys also managed to score 108 but for the loss of four wickets (one to Noakes, Odedra and Grundy and one run out). Lauren Winfield opened and batted throughout the Rubies' reply for 56 off 46 balls. She lost Jones (5), Gunn (1) and Wilson (4), but Cooper (6*) helped her take Rubies to victory with 10 balls to spare.


Club cricket update

Southern Premier League

Hayes beat Wokingham by 9 wickets in the weekend's most important fixture. A full-strength Hayes side really showed their class. They restricted a strong Wokingham side to 168 ao in 37 overs and then knocked them off for the loss of just one wicket. Jenny Jackson took 5/21 and Tash Farrant 3/31. Only Heather Knight (79) put up any serious resistance as Wokingham lost their last eight wickets for 12 runs. In-form Lydia Greenway (73*) and Kathryn Leng (65*) knocked off the runs in the 30th over.

Bath beat Hursley by 9 wickets. Having bowled out nine-woman Hursley for just 81 Bath made short-shrift of knocking off the runs they needed losing just one wicket.

Bexley beat Brighton by 9 wickets. A weakened and injury-ravaged Brighton team managed to clock up 135 all out with Freya Davies top-scoring with 50, but Alice Davidson-Richards (64*) led Bexley to a much-needed victory.

Finchley beat Loughton by 3 wickets. Loughton set a respectable total of 169/8 in their 50 overs with skipper Joanne Cook top-scoring with 56. Natasha Miles and Anna Nicholls both picked up three wickets. Beth Morgan (73*) held the Finchley response together as they reached their target with seven wickets down and three and a half overs to spare.

Unbeaten Hayes still top the table followed closely by Wokingham, Finchley and Bath. Hursley, Bexley and Brighton are fighting for survival.

Midlands Premier League

Walmley showed their title credentials by beating Meir Heath by 23 runs. Amy Jones (47) and Becky Grundy (30*) were the main run-scorers as Walmley set Meir Heath 161 to win having lost nine wickets in the process. Meir Heath crumbled to 32/5 thanks to openers Elizabeth Russell (2/24) and Kayleigh Alsop (3/11) and never recovered despite 48 from Shanel Daley and 37 from Charlotte Whyle. They were bowled out in the 42nd over with Grundy also claiming 3/26.

Sheffield Utd beat Pershore by 205 runs. Sheffield kept up the pressure on Walmley with a convincing win over Pershore. Tammy Beaumont (73) and Lauren Winfield (60) set up the Sheffield total of 280/6. Pershore had no answer to Camilla Westwood (4/33) and Aimee Simms (4/2) as they were skittled out for 75.

Clifton Village v Quatt - result unknown

South West Premier League

Plympton beat Bristol Phoenix by 69 runs to record their first win of the season and clip the Phoenix's feathers. Plympton made 189/9 in their 45 overs with Alli Kelly hitting 53 and Lorna Browne 32*. Bristol progressed nicley to 60/1 but then Browne took the ball and claimed three wickets for one run as Bristol plunged to 66/5. They never recovered and were 120 all out. Jess Richards (26) top-scored.

St Austell v Taunton St Andrews - result unknown

Cheshire League Division One

Bolton Indians beat Stockport Trinity by 69 runs to go top of the league. They managed to score 166 ao thanks to lower order contributions from Nalisha Patel (39) and Jessica Bradley (31). Katie Paterson (2/16) was the pick of the Stockport bowlers, but no batsmen could anchor the Stockport response as they were bowled out for 97. Katie Haszeldine (33) did what she could but she was fighting a lost cause.

Trafford beat Chester Boughton by 6 runs. In a nail-biter Trafford managed to defend 125 ao restricting Chester to 119/4 in their 40 overs. Mary Priestner for Trafford and E Ecclestone for Chester both hit 31. It was Chester's first defeat of the season

Oakmere beat Romiley by 97 runs. Oakmere helped themselves to 208/5 in their 40 overs with Shami Ahmed hitting a magnificent 111*. Romiley could only achieve the same score as Shami hit herself with five wickets down. Hayley Coutts took 3/24.

Appleton beat Stalybridge St Pauls by 10 wickets. Having bowled Stalybridge out for just 47 with wickets neatly shared around, Appleton took all the points within 13 overs to stay in contention with Bolton Indians and Chester Boughton Hall, after their surprising defeat.

Yorkshire League Division OneThree games were scheduled to be played, but no results are known.