Rachel Candy starred as Surrey made it two from two this weekend, taking maximum bonus points to lead the Women’s County Championship.
It was Berkshire who got off to the more promising start, on a beautiful early-summer morning at North Maidenhead, as Immy Brown had Holly Knight bowled for 5 and then sent England’s Nat Sciver back to the pavilion, LBW for a golden duck. Susie Rowe (21) and Kirstie White (30) helped steady the ship a little, but with Surrey at 94/5, it was Berkshire who seemed to be on top when Candy entered the fray. But the New Zealander proceeded to smash an unbeaten 81 off 71 balls as Surrey finished on 217.
Berkshire’s reply began disastrously, as both Alex Rogers and Linsey Smith departed for ducks; but England Vice-Captain Heather Knight and experienced Aussie Corinne Hall both hit 50s as The Beavers reached 102/2 at drinks.
Knight was eventually out for 65, when a very, very thin edge was caught behind by Surrey glove-butler Kirsty White, off the bowling of Nat Sciver; but Berkshire were a little behind the rate still when Emily Gerke came in to clobber her way to a maiden championship 50, and take Berkshire within touching-distance of the win.
It wasn’t to be, however. Gerke was run out by Candy for 57, and although Berkshire needed just 11 runs off the last 4 overs, the pressure told, as Rachel Hardy was run out in a disastrous “rabbit in the headlights” moment with Immy Brown, who then handed a regulation catch to Holly Knight at gully to end the game with Berkshire an agonising 2 runs short.
Afterwards, Surrey captain Cecily Scutt told CRICKETher:
“We just tried to spread the field and keep control for as long as possible and then held our nerve at the end.”
Reflecting on a weekend that left Surrey at the top of the table, she praised her team, saying:
“It’s great – we had a few first-game nerves yesterday, but everything came together and we played really well.”
Surrey’s next matches are on the late-May Bank Holiday, at home to Middlesex and Warwickshire; while Berkshire face Notts and Yorkshire at Finchampstead.