In a hard-fought game at North Maidenhead it was Nottinghamshire who ran out the eventual winners against Berkshire, as they successfully chased down the 106 runs required with 5 wickets remaining.
Top-scorer of the day was Berkshire’s Rachel Priest (51) but even she could not save the Beavers from defeat, as Notts finished the weekend with 2 wins under their belt. It was a disappointing end to stalwart John Dickinson’s long reign as manager.
Notts had started the chase slowly, reaching 41-1 in the first 17 overs, but when the second wicket fell in the 18th – Megan Burton succumbing to the pace of Ashley Muttitt – it brought Jodie Dibble to the crease. Alongside fellow former England international Sonia Odedra the two began to bat with real intent – Odedra later admitting that the gloomy skies and imminent possibility of rain had pushed them to force the run rate upwards.
They put on a quickfire 34-run partnership in 5 overs before Odedra holed out to substitute fielder Izzy Clayton at mid on, 8 runs short of her half-century. Dibble (22) went two overs later, plumb LBW to Lissy Macleod, but Notts already had 85 runs on the board at that point and the long experience of Jane Smit (19*) saw them home without much cause for concern.
The game had earlier been reduced to 48 overs a side thanks to a short shower, and Nottinghamshire made the most of the favourable bowling conditions – damp and overcast throughout the morning – after winning the toss and putting Berkshire in to bat. Sophie Munro, fresh from her five-fer on debut yesterday, left the Beavers reeling at 0-2, having sent back both Annabel Flack and Carla Rudd without scoring.
It was left to Priest and Macleod to rebuild and, after Berkshire eventually got off the mark in the fourth over of the day, the pair put on 69 for the third wicket – including a huge one-bounce four from Priest over midwicket – before Macleod was unluckily adjudged LBW to Dibble for 18.
Priest pushed on and just about made it to her half-century (dropped on 49* by Yvonne Graves at square leg), but was out bowled trying to sweep Dibble shortly afterwards, leaving Berkshire 4 down with 78 runs on the board.
From there it was an uphill struggle for the remaining Berkshire batsmen, who crawled along for a while, between them managing to push Berkshire’s total up to above 100 before Munro (4-28) and Lucy Higham (3-9) eventually cleaned up for Notts in the space of 39 overs. Ultimately 105 was a respectable but not quite competitive total.
Notts captain Sonia Odedra told CRICKETher after close of play that she was extremely happy with her side’s performance this weekend:
“2 out of 2 is perfect for us. It was important for us to win these 2 games to give us a chance to stay in this division. I’m really proud of the team and what they’ve achieved so far.”
“It got a little bit close in the end when we lost a few wickets, but I had confidence, we’ve got a long batting order and the important thing is we got over the line.”