An excellent all-round performance from Berkshire’s Lissy MacLeod, who top-scored with 61 and took 4-26, saw her team to a 37-run victory in their rearranged match against Middlesex on Saturday.
Chasing 202, Middlesex suffered from early set-backs as Berkshire achieved two run-outs – the first a brilliant direct hit from Sherissa Gumbs at mid-on to dismiss Sophia Dunkley – leaving them 42-2 after 11 overs.
The introduction of Linsey Smith (3-24) to the attack in the 9th over saw Middlesex further pegged back as they struggled to achieve the required rate of just above 4 an over, in the face of Smith’s tight and accurate left-arm spin, including 3 maidens. Fran Wilson, looking dangerous with 16 off 12 balls, was Smith’s first victim, hitting it straight back into the bowler’s hands. She then had Anna Nicholls caught by Corinne Hall at silly mid-off in her very next over.
MacLeod, introduced to the attack in the 16th over, took a wicket with her first ball of the day, having Cath Dalton – back into the side after a month-long absence from injury – caught by Georgina Dean at point.
At 51-5, it was always going to be difficult for Middlesex. A 41-run partnership between Izzy Westbury (16) and Beth Morgan (56) was a valiant but fruitless attempt to get near a total that looked increasingly out of reach.
Westbury was out lbw in the 28th over attempting to sweep MacLeod; MacLeod then helped finish off the Middlesex lower-order, bowling Naomi Dattani for 1 and trapping India Whitty lbw for 0 with a good yorker.
Morgan was the last wicket to fall, run out in the 46th over, as Middlesex were bowled out for 165 – 38 runs short of their target.
Earlier, Berkshire had won the toss and elected to bat in sunny conditions on a good pitch. Alex Rogers was dismissed early, bowled by Dattani for a duck. But MacLeod then shared two 50-partnerships with Heather Knight (28) and Hall (35) to set the scene for a solid Berkshire total.
MacLeod was finally dismissed in the 29th over by Danni Warren (2-33), caught by Wilson at mid-on. But hard-hitting cameos from Emily Gerke (26) and Smith (23) allowed Berkshire to set a total in excess of 200.
Berkshire’s victory came in spite of the absence of both their opening bowlers, Daisy Gardner and Imogen Brown, and speaking to CRICKETher after the game MacLeod said that her team took heart from their team effort.
“It was a good performance. We didn’t lose wickets in clusters and we built partnerships when we were batting, which we were really happy with. Everyone pulled through.”
Speaking about her season-best 61, she added: “I was a bit scratchy at the start but it was good! I’m loving batting at the moment.”
Photographs copyright Ruth Conch and Sam Gibbs