On a hot, sunny day at Hove, an all-round display from England’s Danni Wyatt, who took 3-17 and scored 48, eased Sussex to a 7-wicket win over Berkshire.
The Beavers were bowled out for 121, with Wyatt and team mate Ellen Burt the main beneficiaries, finishing with 3 wickets apiece.
An 84-run partnership between Wyatt and new recruit Mignon du Preez (47*) then enabled Sussex to easily chase down the required runs.
Having won the toss and chosen to bat on a good pitch, Berkshire had started their innings positively, with Tara Norris’s first over going for 21 runs, including a maximum from Rachel Priest.
Priest reached 21 in 16 balls before holing out to Ciara Green at mid-off, but Lissy Macleod then took on her mantle, hitting both Norris and Burt for a series of boundaries before launching Wyatt straight down the pitch. 5 balls later, though, Wyatt got her revenge as the umpire judged that Macleod had gloved the ball to Abi Freeborn behind the stumps when on 38.
Macleod departed at the end of the 13th over, with the score 80-3 and the run rate a healthy 6.15. Unfortunately Berkshire’s lower order could not follow through on the early Priest-Macleod onslaught. The next 7 wickets fell for 41 runs as the Beavers collapsed to 121 all out – assisted on their way by a spectacular catch from du Preez, diving forward at midwicket to see off Carla Rudd (15).
It did not seem a particularly imposing total, but there was a glimmer of hope for Berkshire early on in Sussex’s chase, as Ashleigh Muttitt struck in her first over to have Georgia Adams caught at mid off by Lauren Bell for a duck.
Bell followed it up with her own scalp in the next over as Izzy Collis was adjudged LBW, leaving Sussex on 8-2.
Had Priest managed to cling on at backward point when du Preez – then on 14* – sent a catch her way, things might have got interesting. As it was, the South African proceeded – in conjunction with Wyatt – to take the attack to the Berkshire bowlers, blitzing a total of 14 boundaries between them.
Amelia Humphrey successfully removed Wyatt in the 15th over, as she holed out to midwicket two runs short of her half-century with 30 still required; but ultimately du Preez safely saw Sussex over the line, hitting the winning runs in the 18th over.
Afterwards Wyatt – who last year hit 120* for her side at the same ground – told CRICKETher that she enjoys batting at Hove:
“They always produce a nice wicket. I love batting here. When I play for Sussex I seem to get a few runs here.”
She also relished the opportunity to contribute with the ball:
“I’ve not bowled much in games recently, so it was nice to actually bowl a few overs today. I’m more of a net bowler these days, but I’m still a bowling option which is good.
I still love bowling, and I’m just going to keep bowling and keep taking wickets, hopefully, when I get the chance.”
Some of the Vipers players in good form then, I wonder if they can repeat the task on Friday in KSL finals?!