MATCH REPORT: Brutal Bears Batter Beavers

Warwickshire kept their County Championship dream on track with a stonking win over Berkshire at North Maidenhead CC, as Amy Jones led them romping to victory after the Beavers had been bowled out for 73.

Jones hit 34 off 14 balls, finishing things off with two sixes in the final over, somewhat eclipsing New Zealand superstar Sophie Devine at the other end, who finished on 20* at a Strike Rate of “only” 200!

The toss was won by Berkshire, who opted to bat; but it was downhill from there for the home side, as Annabel Flack was bowled for a golden duck by Laura Crofts in the second over, with Crofts’ opening spell of 3-12 also accounting for Carla Rudd and Anna Harris, whilst at the other end Sophie Devine sent Rachel Priest and Sherissa Gumbs packing – all for single-figures – leaving Berkshire in horrible trouble at 26-5.

Berkshire recovered a smidgen of respectability via Lauren Bell (14) and Lissy Macleod (24) who took them past the 50 mark; but after Bell sliced a slower ball from Jenny Gunn to Kathryn Bryce in the gully, Berkshire collapsed again to 73 all out in 28.1 overs.

With bonus points a potential factor in deciding the Championship, Warwickshire went out determined to chase the required runs down quickly. They had 18.5 overs to do it in… but they needed just 7 to walk away with 18 points, ensuring that they sit in first place at the season’s half-way mark, regardless of Yorkshire’s result against Sussex.

Afterwards, Warwickshire captain Marie Kelly told CRICKETher:

“We wanted to bat first and show everyone the score that we could get – get the top six in and all score runs; but sometimes that doesn’t happen. We lost the toss; but we knew that we could get 10 wickets – it was just about how quickly we got them – making sure we were ruthless and didn’t give anyone a chance to settle and get in – and we showed that by bowling them out for 73.”

“Crofty [Laura Crofts] bowled so well – I was at mid off so I got to see the lines and areas she was bowling and some of those balls were just unplayable.”

“Then it was so good to see Amy Jones and Sophie Devine doing their thing – it is a pleasure being able to watch them both.”

Warwickshire travel to Middlesex tomorrow, where they will be targeting another win; whilst Berkshire must pick themselves up, coming back to North Maidenhead to face Notts.