Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Women's Cricket in 2014....

In a previous blog (http://womens-cricket.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/womens-county-championship-2013-as-you.html) I explained that the outcome of the myriad of expensive league play-offs was that nothing changes for next season. Not a single county was promoted or relegated from any of the four divisions of the Women's County Championship.

I feel particularly aggrieved for Lancashire and Somerset in Division Two. Lancashire went through the season unbeaten, but then lost in the top of the table play-off game to Somerset. Somerset were then deprived of the opportunity of gaining promotion to Division One when their game with Division One play-off losers Essex at Slough CC was called off for bad weather the day before it was due to be played. Meanwhile just 50 miles north Sussex managed to get a full game in against Yorkshire (albeit with a few breaks for rain). To leave both Lancashire and Somerset languishing in Division Two is simply wrong. Both deserve to play against the better teams next season.

Back in February I wrote a piece suggesting that eight county games in a season was not enough. I still think that is the case and I would therefore suggest that both Lancashire and Somerset are promoted to Division One, making it a league of 11 teams for 2014, who each play each other once. I would scrap the play-offs, which would save the ECB money and a great deal of effort. The winner of Division One IS the County Championship winner. The bottom team is relegated to Division Two.

I would also make Division Two 11 teams - adding Netherlands, Northants, Scotland and Leicestershire to the seven remaining teams. Top team gets automatic promotion to Division One and bottom two teams are relegated into Division Three, which would be split regionally into two leagues - North & East and South & West and would contain Herts, Derbyshire, Gloucs, Hampshire and Oxfordshire, plus the current Division Four teams. Winners of both Division Three leagues would be promoted to Division Two.

I would also like to see the same set-up for a white ball T20 league (ie two leagues of 11). All international cricket (with the exception of the bi-annual Ashes Test) is white ball cricket. At some stage the 50 over format will also have to switch to white ball too, as it is in Australia and New Zealand. It would be great if some of the Division One T20 games could be played on a Friday afternoon at some of the major grounds as T20 double-headers with the men's county T20 competition. What better way for the men's county teams to support the women's game and give their paying customers more cricket to watch? Women's T20 is not the smash-fest that the men's game has become, and some would say it is all the better for that. The top four in the league could play out a finals' day - how about at a ground with lights - two semis and then the final under lights?

In both Australia and New Zealand they play T20 games the day before and/or after a 50 over fixture, thereby reducing travelling time and costs for the teams. In Aus they play a T20 on Friday afternoon, 50 overs on Saturday and then another T20 on Sunday morning. In New Zealand they play a T20 on the Friday afternoon and then a 50 over game on the Saturday. They have not tagged on another T20 the following day. I am not sure this would work in England unless grounds could be secured for Saturdays and Sundays, but it is worth considering.

Finally I would scrap the Super 4s weekends, allowing more time for county games and county T20s to be played. The good county players will get to match themselves against the elite players in these county games and county T20s - proper fixtures that have a real meaning.

I also like Syd Egan's idea for an IPL for women (http://samebat.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/somerset-denied-but-we-can-fix-this.html). Yes its ambitious, but someone has to be? Let's do it in England where the women's game is on a high. Get the best players in the world here for a short T20 tournament played at one or more of the major grounds. Zac at Hove - What do you think?


Monday, 23 September 2013

Sussex U17s complete double

Sussex U17s have completed the T20 and County Championship double with a resounding victory over Devon in the County Championship final played at Leamington Cricket Club last weekend. The team finished the season unbeaten in all eight of their County Championship games, and lost only one of their eight T20 games (to Yorkshire, who they then went on to beat in a thrilling final - http://womens-cricket.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/sussex-win-thrilling-u17-t20-title.html).

Fittingly the sun came out to crown off a magnificent season for the Sussex U17 Women's team. They were one of four teams in the finals, three of whom were unbeaten in the domestic season - themselves, Lancashire and Devon. Warwickshire finished second in the Northern League (only losing to Lancs) and therefore qualified in the best runner-up slot.

The first day saw Devon take on Warwickshire and Lancashire pitted against Sussex. The nerves showed in the batting on both pitches with Warwickshire skittled out for 71 on the main pitch and Sussex bowled out with a few balls to spare for 134 on the second square, having been 85/7 at one stage. Sussex had in fact made it to the 12th over without loss and had 42 on the board thanks to openers Izzy Collis (27) and Megan Janman (16), but then the wickets started to tumble with Lancs opening bowler Bhumika Doshi (4/36) claiming three in one over to really put the cat amongst the pigeons. Paige Scholfield (40) and Charlie Walder (23*) mixed caution and aggression and saw Sussex into three figures and beyond. Sussex at least felt they had something to bowl at.

On the main pitch Devon made short shrift of chasing down their target of 72 achieving it in the 21st over with just one wicket down. They now had to wait and see who they would play in the following day's final.

Sussex made the ideal start getting rid of Lancs' Emma Lamb in the fourth over and then running out her opening partner Ellie Threkeld in the same over. Doshi (11) and Hannah Till (22) seemed to be getting Lancs back on track, but Doshi spooned a long hop straight into square leg's hands and Lancs were 29/3. Ellen Burt then claimed Shachi Pai with a sharp legside catch by keeper Abbey Freeborn. The slow looping legspin of Izzy Collis (3/21) then accounted for Maddy White and Lancs had been reduced to 48/5 in the 17th over. Georgia Holmes (12) joined Till at this stage and they added 26 for the sixth wicket before Holmes was deceived by Collis and was caught at square leg. When Till was stumped in Collis's next over the writing was on the wall for Lancashire. Kezia Barrett (3/4) mopped up the tail without any undue fuss as Lancs were bowled out for 90 in the 32nd over, 45 runs short of their target.

And so on to the final the next day. Devon won the toss and inserted their south coast opponents on a bright morning, but with the outfield covered in a heavy early morning (10am start) dew. In fact Sussex skipper Freya Davies later confessed that, had she won the toss, she would have opted to bat anyway, backing her batsmen to score 150 and her bowlers to defend it. After a steady start Sussex lost both openers in quick succession and looked vulnerable at 35/2 with 12 overs gone. Davies (21) and Paige Scholfield (94) were happy to bide their time and took drinks at 61/2 after 23 overs, with Lydia Harris bowling a magnificently
Paige Scholfield walks off with her job well done
accurate spell of left-arm bowling going for just 10 runs off her 9 overs. But in the seven overs after drinks the pair added a further 49 runs before Davies became Harris's sole victim. With Harris bowled out Scholfield set about the back-up bowlers, dispatching them for an array of boundaries, including one massive six into the houses adjacent to the ground. She received great support from Abbey Freeborn (13) and Charlie Walder (19*) and the Sussex runs began to pile on as the Devon fielding began to fray a little at the edges. 77 were added in the last 10 overs as Scholfield edged closer to a well-deserved 100, but with two balls remaining in the innings and still needing 6 for her century she skied one to cover. It was the perfect innings for Sussex who ended on a healthy 210/5. If Davies was right about her bowlers then that would be more than enough.

And so it proved. Davies herself nipped out the first wicket and then Megan Janman (2/12) and Ellen Burt (4/22) ripped the heart out of the Devon reply, leaving them floundering on 29/5 with 15 of their 45 overs already gone. There was really no way back for Devon despite a valiant knock from Gemma Lancaster (22*) and they were all out for 122 in the 33rd over as Sussex cruised to a well-deserved victory.

In the third/fourth play-off Lancs made 184/7 (Doshi 85) against Warwickshire, who finished just 17 runs short with 9 wickets down.

Unfortunately the season did not end quite so well for the U13s after all four teams turned up at the ground for their finals, only to find that it was already being prepped for next season. The tournament could not therefore take place.  


Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Women's County Championship 2013 - as you were into 2014....

So after battling it out all season who has gone up and who has gone down? Well as far as I can see no-one!

It's as you were for 2014, unless the ECB changes the league structure next year, which I would like them to do, but more on that later this week. For now here's what happened in the play-off games :-

Division One Champions - Sussex (1st) beat Yorkshire (2nd) by 95 runs in the play-off

Division One Relegation - Surrey (8th) beat Essex (7th) by 5 wickets in the relegation play-off to remain in Div One. Essex had to play Div Two promotion play-off winners (Somerset) - [see *]

Division Two Promotion - Somerset (2nd) beat Lancashire (1st) by 13 runs which means Lancashire remain in Division Two. Somerset had to play Div One play-off losers (Essex) - [see *]

* Division One/Two Promotion/Relegation - Essex v Somerset - abandoned no play - Essex remain in Div One and Somerset remain in Div Two.

Division Two Relegation - Devon (7th) beat Durham (8th) by 108 runs in the relegation play-off to remain in Div Two. Durham had to play Div Three promotion play-off winners (Netherlands) [see **]

Division Three Promotion - Netherlands (1st) beat Northants (2nd) by 70 runs which means Northants remain in Div Three. Netherlands had to play Div Two play-off losers (Durham) - [see **]

** Division Two/Three Promotion/Relegation - Durham beat Netherlands by 2 wickets which means Durham remain in Div Two and Netherlands remain in Div Three.

Division Three Relegation - Hampshire (7th) beat Oxfordshire (8th) by 5 wickets to remain in Div Three. Oxfordshire had to play Div Four (N&E v S&W) play-off winners (Suffolk) - [see ***]

Division Four Promotion - Suffolk (N&E Div 4 winners) beat Cornwall (S & W Div 4 winners) by 2 runs which means Cornwall remain in Div Four (S&W). Suffolk had to play Div Three play-off losers (Oxfordshire) - [see ***]

***Division Three/Four Promotion/Relegation - Oxfordshire beat Suffolk by 129 runs which means Oxfordshire remain in Div Three and Suffolk remain in Div Four (N&E) 


Anxious wait for England places

There are a lot of anxious girls around the UK waiting for the imminent announcement of the England squad to tour West Indies; the England U19 squad to tour South Africa; and the England Academy, U19 and U15 Winter training squads. This week will hopefully put most of them out of their misery.

England have a bit of a dilemma over the West Indies squad in that many of the successful Ashes squad are currently nursing niggles/injuries. Of the 18 players originally named for the Ashes series at least eight have current injury issues, two of whom will definitely not be touring - Heather Knight and Laura Marsh.

Katherine Brunt - played in the County Champs final v Sussex but did not bowl
Georgia Elwiss - has missed the last two months of the season with a back injury
Lydia Greenway - did not play for Kent in the County T20 Finals two weeks ago
Jenny Gunn - did not play for Notts in the County T20 Finals two weeks ago
Heather Knight - will not tour as recovering from hamstring tear
Laura Marsh - is back in hospital having apparently had further surgery on her right shoulder
Anya Shrubsole - pulled up in the first T20I with a groin injury and missed rest of T20s
Sarah Taylor - missed Sussex's County T20 final match, but played County Champs final albeit with a stiff back.

This leaves Charlotte Edwards, Tammy Beaumont, Arran Brindle, Holly Colvin, Tash Farrant, Dani Hazell, Ami Jones, Nat Sciver, Lauren Winfield and Danni Wyatt from the original 18.

England have four or five T20Is (depends if they get to the final) and three ODIs to play in 20 days in the West Indies, starting on 14th October (just under four weeks). I anticipate that a few younger players will get a chance to tour with the full England side and may even get a chance to take to the field. It is a chance to blood some younger players, particularly before the Ashes return trip to Oz in January. The Aussies are likely to be a tougher outfit on home soil and will be smarting from their 12-4 trouncing this Summer. They will also be half way through their own domestic season, so some of their batsmen and bowlers may have found the form that eluded them here in England.

More news on all the squads as soon as I can get hold of it.


Sunday, 15 September 2013

Taylor leads Sussex to County Champs title

Sussex have won the Women's County Championship 2013. It is their sixth Championship win in the last 10 years, but their first for three years. Having finished top of the league they beat Yorkshire by 95 runs in the Division One top of the table play-off. Rumours that this maybe the last year of such play-offs are to be welcomed.

With a dire weather forecast the toss was going to be a vital factor, and it was Yorkshire that had that advantage. Put into bat Sussex got off to the worst of starts losing two early wickets to Beatrice Firth (2/36) to be 10/2 in the fifth over. Yorkshire had Katherine Brunt in their side, but she was not fit enough to bowl. Sarah Taylor (128*) and Arran Brindle (17) set about trying to restore some order to the innings. They had added 56 before Brindle was caught behind off Dani Hazell (1/57). Holly Colvin (18) looked in good touch before she too fell to a catch behind but this time off Aimee Simms (1/35).

Sussex were 99/4 with almost half their overs gone and with the weather threatening to reduce the game to far fewer than the scheduled 50 overs. Izzy Collis, one of three under 17 year olds in the Sussex team, came to join her skipper and they remained together to the end of the Sussex innings - a stand of 143. Collis' contribution was a mature 51 (with a towering 6 off Dani Hazell to bring up her 50), which helped Taylor to a magnificent undefeated 128 off 127 balls as she flayed the cold and dejected Yorkshire bowling to all parts of Campbell Park in grey Milton Keynes. Sussex closed on 242/4 and a run rate of 4.87. If the game were shortened Yorkshire simply needed to be above that rate to win.

Yorkshire too made a bad start, losing the highly influential Lauren Winfield to a sharp low catch by Taylor behind the stumps off Noakes, and then Jess Watson was unfortunately run out backing up at the bowler's end. Campbell went shortly afterwards lofting Brindle to Alexia Walker at mid-off. Yorkshire were 42/3 in the 14th over. Briefly Dani Hazell (26), Kathryn Doherty (20) and Katherine Brunt (46*) got Yorkshire back on track, but when Hazell was neatly stumped by Taylor off Colvin (3/23) Yorkshire looked a spent force.  They battled on gamely and despite the weather the game reached a natural conclusion with a fourth  run out 11 overs before the scheduled finish and with Yorkshire all out for 147. On paper it was a comprehensive victory, and thoroughly well deserved by the better team on the day, but no-one can deny the massive influence of Sarah Taylor's masterful innings. Without her Sussex may still have achieved a decent score - they had batting to come - but probably not many over 200. Yorkshire then would not have had such great scoreboard pressure and may have got much closer.


Thursday, 12 September 2013

And finally....County Season Finales

This Sunday, subject to the vagaries of the English mid-September weather, sees the culmination of the Women's County Championship 2013, season which started back in early May and effectively finished in mid July. The County Champions will be decided as will those being relegated and promoted from and to Divisions 1, 2 and 3.

The matches being played are :-

Divison 1 Championship Title Decider - Sussex v Yorkshire at Campbell Park, Milton Keynes - 10.30am start

Division 1 & 2 Play Off - Somerset v Essex at Slough CC - 11am start

Division 2 & 3 Play Off - Durham v Netherlands at Wellesbourne CC at 11am

Division 3 & 4 Play Off - Oxfordshire v Suffolk at Wokingham CC at 11am

Yorkshire finished in second place in the league and will be relishing their first opportunity at a County Championship for sometime. They lost two games during the "regular season" to Berkshire and Warwickshire, but beat both Sussex and then title holders Kent (by 6 wickets) in a key clash late in the season. The consistent Lauren Winfield (averaging 64.83) has lead their batting attack. She has not failed to reach double figures in any league game this year and has gone passed 50 in 4 of the 7 league games she has played. Significantly she did not play in the defeat to Warwickshire early in the season. Jess Watson has been Yorkshire's other mainstay with the bat, particularly later in the season, enjoying an unbroken opening stand of 177 with Winfield (76*) against Notts, in which she contributed 84. Both enjoy putting bat to ball and Sussex will need to keep them in check. In addition, of course, Yorkshire have Dani Hazell and Katherine Brunt, essentially bowlers, but both will be keen to show what they can do with the bat. Lower down the order experienced skipper Salliann Briggs and the young Hollie Armitage have chipped in with useful runs. Deprived of Brunt for most of the season, spinners Hazell (14), Katie Levick (11) and Aimee Simms (10) have been the main wicket-takers, but with Brunt potentially back and firing on all cylinders they will look to her to make the early breakthrough.

Sussex have had an inconsistent season, despite finishing top of the league. They lost to Yorkshire and Middlesex during the season and were soundly beaten by Kent in the T20 final last weekend. It is true to say that they have had their fair share of injuries this year, notably to their England stars Holly Colvin, Sarah Taylor and Georgia Elwiss. If Taylor and Elwiss play in the final then the Sussex batting becomes considerably stronger and more threatening. Sussex regular and chief wicket-taker Alexia Walker is definitely out of the final with a broken finger, so Sussex will once again be a very young team. Teenagers Izi Noakes and Freya Davies spearhead the fast bowling attack, and with Holly Colvin back from a broken thumb she will be one of possibly a trio of spin bowlers for Sussex.

At the beginning of the season Yorkshire would have been considered underdogs for this final, but given the way the season has panned out they might just be favourites. But this is a one-off game (surely not how a league title should be decided?). One big contribution for either side could swing it their way. This could be a nail-biting climax to the season?


Monday, 9 September 2013

England in West Indies and England U19s in South Africa

England in West Indies

The 2013 winter schedule for England women will include a T20I tri-series against West Indies women and New Zealand women in Barbados in October, followed by a three-match, one-day international series against West Indies women in Trinidad.

T20 tri-series - Kensington Oval, Barbados
West Indies, New Zealand & England
Monday October 14 - West Indies v New Zealand
Wednesday October 16 - New Zealand v England
Friday October 18 - West Indies v England
Sunday October 20 - West Indies v New Zealand
Tuesday October 22 - New Zealand v England
Thursday October 24 - West Indies v England
Saturday October 26 - Final - Top two teams from preliminary rounds

ODI series - Queen's Park Oval, Trinidad

West Indies v England
Tuesday October 29 - 1st ODI
Friday November 1 - 2nd ODI
Sunday November 3 - 3rd ODI

England U19s in South Africa

Cricket South Africa have also announced the following fixtures to be played by England U19s in October in their forthcoming tour of South Africa. All the games will be played in Potchefstroom.

SA Emerging tour vs England U19
October 2013
Fri 11    1st Twenty20   SA Emerging v England U19
Sun 13   2nd Twenty20 SA Emerging v England U19
Mon 14  3rd Twenty20 SA Emerging v England U19
Thu 17   1st One Day   SA Emerging v England U19
Sat 19    2nd One Day  SA Emerging v England U19
Mon 21  Warm Up 02  Sri Lanka v England U19
Tue 22    Warm Up 03     South Africa v England U19

Details of the U19 squad are due to be released next week by the ECB.


Sunday, 8 September 2013

Kent win T20 Title

Kent are the 2013 T20 champions after beating Sussex, the 2012 champions, in the final played at Preston Nomads CC on Saturday.

Overnight rain and early morning showers meant that both of the morning's semi-finals were delayed. On the second pitch Kent v Notts was only delayed by 15 minutes and they played a full game. On the main pitch a wet patch on the bowler's run up at one end meant a delay of 90 minutes, and the game was reduced to 15 overs per side.

Kent posted a challenging 131/4 with Tammy Beaumont (47) in fine form. Danni Wyatt was the only wicket-taker for Notts claimed 3/28. At 76/6 in reply Notts looked dead and buried, but veteran Jane Smits (59) had other ideas. She steered her team to within 10 runs of victory before she fell run out in the final over. Notts eventually finished eight runs adrift. Fifteen year old off-spinner Megan Belt claimed three wickets for Kent.

When play eventually started on the main pitch Berkshire, without their talismanic skipper and opening bat Heather Knight, were invited to bat by Sussex. They seemed to lack any self-belief and in a low-key innings struggled to 59/7 in their 15 overs. Alex Rogers (25*) was the only player to reach double figures as the wickets were shared around for Sussex. In reply Sussex lost Alexia Walker and Sarah Taylor, but Paige Scholfield (16*) and Arran Brindle (17*) saw Sussex home in the 14th over.

In the final Sussex won the toss and decided to bat first. Kent were without Lydia Greenway and Laura Marsh and Sussex were already without Georgia Elwiss. As the teams warmed up it became apparent that they would also be without Sarah Taylor.

Alexia Walker (26) hit nine off the first over from Tash Farrant, but together with Georgia Adams (26) they could only get Sussex to 26/0 after the first 6 power-play overs. With more fielders then set out on the big East Preston boundaries, fours became even more difficult to hit. Sussex lost Walker in the 11th over with the score on 56 and in the next over Adams was caught at short third man off Megan Belt (1/19) - 59/2. Sussex limped along and it was only 18 off the last two overs they helped them to a below-par 107/5.

Charlotte Edwards (49) opened with Alice Davidson-Richards (17). With an inexperienced middle order Edwards set out her stall to bat through the innings, allowing Davidson-Richards to try and go after the bowling. She fell in the 8th over to a good catch at long-on by Hannah Phelps off Holly Colvin (42/1). Kent were always up with the required run-rate and when whippet Tammy Beaumont (35*) joined her skipper in the middle they continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over with quick singles and twos to the fielders in
Kent T20 Champions
the deep. At the end of the 13th over they were 71/1, but by the end of the 16th they were 102/1 and the game was theirs to lose. Freya Davies (1/17) did manage to nip out Edwards in the next over that went for just one run, with a pacey inducker that just clipped the off bail, but it was too little too late for Sussex with Beaumont guiding her team home with 10 balls to spare.

In the third/fourth place play-off Berkshire defeated Notts by 5 wickets as they chased down 113/8 in the 18th over.

All the teams looked a little jaded in this competition, and the long hard season has obviously told on all the England girls, who are already thinking about the impending tour to the West Indies in October. Perhaps some consideration should be given to the T20 regionals being played earlier in the season, with the finals in the middle of the County Championship matches, allowing the County Championship to take centre stage at the end of the season.

Sussex will need to pick themselves up and dust themselves off before next week's County Championship play-off with Yorkshire. Quite why a league system needs a final is beyond me, but play it they must. Quite who will be playing for both teams is anyone's guess.


Wednesday, 4 September 2013

County T20 Finals Preview

Four teams will line up this Saturday (7th September) in the County T20 finals having made their way there through the three regional leagues played back in July.

T20 South 1 winners were Sussex. Having lost to Kent in the round robin games they managed to beat them in the final by two runs, despite Kent only needing five to win off the last over with eight wickets in hand.
T20 North and Midlands 1 winners were Notts, who won all their group games and then thrashed Yorkshire in the final thanks, in the main, to a fine 102 (63 balls) from Danni Wyatt, who had a good couple of days with the bat.
T20 South & West 1 winners were Berkshire, who had been convincingly beaten by Somerset in the group games, but came back to sneak a win in the final against them by three runs.
The fourth spot in the finals went to the runner-up with the best net run rate from their regional final, which meant that Kent had squeaked in ahead of the unfortunate Somerset.

T20 form is very hard to predict as one individual can have such a big influence on a game. Berkshire are severely hampered by the lack of their injured captain and Ashes hero Heather Knight, who scored runs in all their group games, and you would have to back Sussex to overcome them in their semi-final. Sussex themselves are without the injured Georgia Elwiss, who proved so effective for them with the bat in the group stages, but have some good youngsters coming through together with England stars Sarah Taylor, Arran Brindle and Holly Colvin.

Kent v Notts in the other semi-final is much harder to call. Notts are the only unbeaten team in the competition and have the pocket-rocket Danni Wyatt and the very experienced Jenny Gunn. But Kent have the strength in depth with Charlotte Edwards, Laura Marsh, Tammy Beaumont and the in-form Lydia Greenway all in their line-up. Despite having only just managed to qualify for the finals from the group stages they are probably favourites to win the competition, particularly as they have not made it to the County Championship final this season, and will want some silverware in the cabinet over the winter. However T20 is not their favourite format of the game (they lost to Middlesex in the group stages), so anything could happen.

view of club
Preston Nomads CC - in the heart of the Sussex Downs
The finals day is being played at Preston Nomads CC in Clappers Lane, Fulking (BN5 9NH) in the heart of the Sussex Downs. It is a beautiful ground and a magnificent clubhouse and I would urge you to get down there if you possibly can.

The semi-finals to be played at 11am are between
Sussex v Berkshire
Notts v Kent

The final will be played on the main pitch in the afternoon (probably 2.30pm) between the two winning teams.


Sunday, 1 September 2013

Div 1 & 2 Play-Off Results

Nothing on Play Cricket (not even the fixtures), but this is what I have gleaned from twitter so far :-

Division One

Championship Match
Sussex play Yorkshire on 15th September

Relegation Play-Off
Surrey have beaten Essex by 5 wickets, chasing down Surrey's 193 all out, thanks to a great knock from Susie Rowe (92). Surrey remain in Div One next year. Essex must play-off against Somerset for a place in the top flight next season.


Division Two

Promotion Play-Off
Somerset beat Lancashire by 13 runs. Somerset set Lancs 194/9 (Ellwyn Campbell 79) and Lancs could only manage 181 all out in reply, despite a great effort by Natalie Brown (70) and Megan Fairclough (28) who took Lancs from 93/6 to 150/6 before Natalie fell.

Relegation Play-Off
Devon beat Durham by 108 runs and are safe. Durham must play-off against Netherlands the winners of the Div 3 Promotion play-off game (Netherlands v Northants).

If anyone has any more details or dates for the final play-off games, please let me know.