It featured seven full England internationals (five of them centrally contracted by the ECB), two England Academy players, one EWDP U19 player and one Div 2 county player. By contrast Exeter had just two England Academy players, two Div 1 county players, and four Div 2 county players in their ranks. The Loughborough side which took the field would be expected to beat any of the current Div 1 county sides and would probably give the touring Aussies a decent game. The result of the match was therefore somewhat of a foregone conclusion, but Exeter gave the girls in purple plenty to think about on their way to their fifth title in a row.
|Aylish Cranston - Player of the Match|
It was never likely to be enough and Loughborough seemed determined to put bat to ball from the outset. Georgia Adams (21) crashed three straight fours off Davies's first over, but she adjusted her length and got her revenge in the fifth over as she bowled Sussex team-mate Adams with a good yorker. Had Butcher managed to hold on to a sharp chance at short cover off Sciver in the same over, before she had scored, Exeter may have put some more pressure on Loughborough. As it was it went to the boundary as did several other shots off Sciver's and Amy Jones's bats. They had taken the score to 98/1 in the 13th over before Jones played over one from Butcher and was bowled. Elwiss came in to take over where Jones had left off and the pair moved the score swiftly on to 141, when Sciver, having just achieved her fifty, was run out by a good throw from the boundary by Silk. Relative calm ensued and Elwiss (41) fell lbw to Silk with 19 needed to win. With just seven needed Davies was thrown the ball again and removed Paige Scholfield (5), and must have been mighty close to removing Shrubsole lbw first ball, which might have sent a frisson of nerves through the purple ranks. But the umpire deemed it to be missing leg stump and Shrubsole ended the game next over with Loughborough's only six of their innings.
Full scorecard is here.