Women’s County Championship Debrief (Round 5): Kent and Yorkshire Now Front-Runners

Both Kent and Sussex continued winning streaks this weekend in the fifth round of Championship matches, with comprehensive wins over Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire respectively.

Yorkshire also had a great weekend, beating Middlesex by 9 wickets and securing maximum bonus points, ending Middlesex’s unbeaten record this season.

It means that Kent now sit top of division 1 with an average of 16.4, with Yorkshire catapaulting themselves into 2nd place with an average of 14.

For Surrey, who beat Lancashire by 6 wickets, the star was Sarah Clarke, who took 4-11 to become Surrey’s all-time leading wicket-taker in the county championship (with 123 wickets to her name).

Meanwhile in Division 2, Staffordshire (with an average of 17.5) and Somerset (17.33) are well out in front, following victories yesterday against Wales and Essex respectively.

The next round of Championship matches will take place on 19th July, when all counties will be without their England players (who will be preparing for the start of the Ashes two days later). It will be interesting to see how they fare.

A full summary of the fifth round matches is below:

DIVISION 1

Warwickshire / Kent – Tammy Beaumont continued her excellent domestic form this season as she top-scored for Kent with 67, with her team eventually finishing on 209-8, the highest total of the weekend. Warwickshire then collapsed for 125 all out, as Megan Belt (3-20), Tash Farrant (3-23) and Laura Marsh (2-33) shared the wickets between them.

Lancashire / Surrey – Putting Lancashire in to bat proved to be a good decision by Surrey as Nat Sciver (5-27) and Sarah Clarke (4-11) wreaked havoc, bowling Lancs out for 78. Sciver (28) in conjunction with Susie Rowe (35) then took Surrey to a 6-wicket victory.

Sussex / Nottinghamshire – Holly Colvin’s 4-20, her best figures since returning to competitive cricket, saw Notts bowled out for 132 in 36 overs, with Jenny Gunn’s 39 their top score. Sussex easily chased down the runs in just 28.3 overs with Sarah Taylor (39) ably assisted by Georgia Elwiss (27) and Paige Scholfield (25). Full report here.

Yorkshire / Middlesex – Middlesex lost both openers early and despite a fightback by the middle-order, including 45 from Fran Wilson, they were bowled out in the 40th over for 176. Yorkshire then raced to the required total for the loss of only 1 wicket, with Lauren Winfield finishing on 99 not out! Full report by Georgia Isaac here.

DIVISION 2

Wales / Staffordshire – Lauren Parfitt (30), Gabby Basketter (28) and Naomi Davies (25) took Wales to a respectable 173-8 in their 50 overs, but Staffordshire chased down the target with 8 balls to spare thanks to an unbeaten 47* from Aussie Molly Strano.

Devon / Ireland – In a tight match, Ireland eventually emerged the winners by 7 runs. Batting first, Ireland had put 165 on the board, the highlight being an unbeaten half-century from Kim Garth. Devon began with a 66-run opening partnership between Amara Carr (33) and Aylish Cranstone (22), but after Laura Delany removed both openers they struggled to find runs. After a series of run outs, a direct hit from Robyn Lewis to run out Devon number 11 Lydia Clements saw them bowled out for 158 in the penultimate over.

Durham / Worcestershire – This proved to be the closest match of the weekend, as Durham finished up the eventual winners by just 2 runs. Worcestershire had bowled Durham out for 133 in 37.4 overs – Catherine Chapman top-scored with 31 – but then themselves struggled with the bat. At 89-8, it looked to be all over, but a late 44 from number 6 batsman Lauren Rowles took them to within touching distance of victory. However, she was eventually caught behind with Worcestershire still 3 runs short, and they were subsequently all out for 131.

Essex / Somerset – Somerset won by 29 runs despite having been bowled out for 101, including a remarkable 3-6 across 10 overs by Hannah Jeffrey. But Essex also batted poorly, with only Cordelia Griffith (22) making it to double figures, and were themselves all out for a mere 72 in 34.4 overs.

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