DEBRIEF: Women’s County Championship Div 2 – Sussex & Surrey Stay On Course

Team Played Won Lost Can’d Aban’d Points Min* Max*
Sussex 6 4 1 0 1 15.6 13.00 16.00
Surrey 6 5 1 0 0 15.17 13.00 15.57
Wales 6 3 2 0 1 13 10.83 13.83
Devon 6 3 3 0 0 11.33 9.71 12.29
Berkshire 6 3 2 1 0 11 9.17 12.17
Essex 6 3 2 1 0 10.4 8.67 11.67
Derbyshire 6 1 5 0 0 6 5.14 7.71
Northants 6 0 6 0 0 4.33 3.71 6.29

* Min/ Max = Minimum/ Maximum Possible Points

In Div 2 of the Women’s County Championship, Sussex and Surrey remain on-course for the two promotion spots, after both had unbeaten weekends.

Surrey hit relegated Derbyshire for a record 404-2 off 50 overs on Sunday, with Nat Sciver making 180 off 98 balls and Kirstie White a by-comparison sedate 80 off 111 balls. They then bowled Derbyshire out for just 50, to claim maximum bonus points – something they failed to quite do on Monday against also-relegated Northants – winning easily thanks to a Bryony Smith 50, but failing to take enough wickets for full bonus points.

Sussex also had a good weekend, beating Devon with maximum bonus points (Georgia Elwiss 4-22 and 39*) after their match against Wales was washed-out; but after stilettoing Northants Berkshire blew their promotion hopes by collapsing to 63 all out against Derbyshire.

This leaves Wales, who thrashed Essex, as the only other team who could possibly be promoted if Sussex (v Berkshire) or Surrey (v Essex) lose badly and they win well against Devon.

(But Wales could actually theoretically end up relegated as well – if they lose badly and other results go against them, they could finish 6th, which means they end up in the Div 3 play-offs!)

DEBRIEF: Women’s County Championship Div 1 – Hampshire Stay Top Despite Yorkshire Defeat

Team Played Won Lost Cancelled Tied Points Min* Max*
Hampshire 6 5 1 0 0 15.17 13.00 15.57
Yorkshire 6 5 1 0 0 14.83 12.71 15.29
Kent 6 4 2 0 0 13.33 11.43 14.00
Lancashire 6 3 3 0 0 10.83 9.29 11.86
Nottinghamshire 6 2 3 0 1 9.83 8.43 11.00
Middlesex 6 2 3 1 0 9.6 8.00 11.00
Warwickshire 6 0 3 1 2 8 6.67 9.67
Somerset 6 0 5 0 1 5 4.29 6.86

* Min/ Max = Minimum/ Maximum Possible Points

Hampshire stay top of the Women’s County Championship going into the final round of matches next weekend, despite losing to Yorkshire on Sunday. Yorkshire reduced Hampshire to 50-7, before Charlotte Edwards (45) and Fi Morris (31) helped them recover to 131 all out, and crucially two batting bonus points.  Yorkshire then found the tables almost turned, at 35-4, before Katherine Brunt (53*) and Hannah Buck (40) brought them home, but for the loss of 6 wickets, which meant another two vital bowling bonus points for Hampshire.

Hampshire then recovered on the Monday to beat reigning champions Lancashire with maximum points, successfully chasing 199 thanks to 103* from Suzie Bates.

With Kent beating Notts on Sunday (Laura Marsh taking 4-32, and then hitting 51*) and then Warwickshire in a reduced match on Monday (Tammy Beaumont 98) they also remain in the mix for the title; but they will need to beat already-relegated Somerset and hope Hampshire and Yorkshire both lose.

Hampshire play Middlesex in their final match at Andover – if they win with either 7 or 8 bonus points, they are champions regardless; but if they drop more than 1 bonus point, Yorkshire could overhaul them by beating Notts at Harrogate, bearing in mind that Yorkshire only need to equal Hampshire’s points average, because they won the match between them.

At the bottom Warwickshire can still survive, but only if they win big against Lancashire and one of the teams above them loses very badly. (If Warwickshire really smash Lancs, then they could even consign the reigning champions to relegation in their stead, if other results go against Lancashire too.)

MATCH REPORT: Smith Makes KSL Case As Surrey Turn Up The Wattage At Wantage Road

Surrey made it from 2 from 2 this weekend in a clinical win against Northants at the Northamptonshire County Ground, beating their Division 2 opponents by 87 runs.

Bryony Smith led the charge, making 52 from 42 balls in an innings that will surely help to make the case for her return to the top of the order for Surrey Stars in this year’s Kia Super League.

“Our aim was to win both these 2 games convincingly and get as many bonus points as possible to help our promotion chances,” Smith told CRICKETher after close of play.

“I’ve had a few rough games so it was good the last few days to spend some time in the middle and get some runs on the board.”

“I’m looking ahead to the Super League to dominate in that back at the top of the order. The aim for me [for Surrey Stars] is to open again.”

The two sides were fortunate to get in a game at all after torrential rain fell overnight, leaving the original pitch unplayable due to moisture in the bowler’s run-up. But, after some creative conferring with the groundsmen, the game was moved across to a neighbouring wicket and a 29-overs-a-side match ensued, commencing at 3.30pm.

After winning the toss and putting Surrey in, the Northants bowlers looked dangerous early on, with Kirstie White surviving a convincing appeal for caught behind off Meera Patel’s first ball of the day, and Smith dropped by Alicia Presland off her own bowling after skying it when on just 9*.

The pair eventually added 89 for the first wicket as Smith in particular punished some short bowling, racking up 8 fours, 3 of which were clubbed over midwicket.

The introduction of off-spinner Emily Starr to the attack in the 11th over helped stem the flow as she bowled a consecutive 6-over spell that yielded 3 wickets for 25 runs, including both White (37) caught behind and Smith, bowled by a looping yorker just after bringing up her half-century.

Starr was instrumental, too, in Surrey’s late-order collapse, finishing with a catch and a run out to her name, leaving Extras (29) their third highest scorer and Surrey 8 wickets down at the end of their 29 overs.

Nonetheless Surrey’s total of 181 was always going to be an imposing one for a side whose highest score with the bat this season has been 127.

And while Northants kick-started their effort with successive boundaries in the first over from Amelia Gardner (17) through the off-side, her dismissal at the hands of Beth Kerins 6 overs in set the tone, as 5 Northants batsmen came and went by the 14th over.

Bethan Solomon (32*) and Meera Patel (19) shared a 32-run partnership for the 6th wicket but quickly fell well behind the required rate as the game eventually petered out to a slow conclusion.

For Surrey, it follows on from their annihilation of Derbyshire yesterday at the hands of Nat Sciver (180*) to leave the London-based club in the running for promotion to Division 1 as the Championship wraps up next weekend.

MATCH REPORT: Knight Hits 50 As Berkshire Tread On Stilettos

Heather Knight hit a rapid, run-a-ball 64 as Berkshire beat Northants by 9 wickets at Irthlingborough to stay in the fight for promotion from Div 2.

With play washed-out at Edgbaston, your correspondents raced across the Midlands from west to east, arriving at Irthlingborough near Northampton just in time to see the last 2 wickets fall as Berkshire bowled Northants out for 91, with 2 wickets apiece for Lauren Bell, Heather Knight and Lissy Macleod – Northants keeper-batsman Erica Turner left high and dry on 25*, with extras the next highest scorer.

With bonus points potentially critical, Berkshire needed to get the runs within 23 overs to take all 18 points. Northants opening bowler Farida Bibi beat the edge of Knight’s bat in the first over, but it was the only chance the England captain offered, as she cut and drove Berkshire to victory, hitting 8 4s in her 64 as she took the Beavers home with lengths to spare.

Afterwards, Berkshire coach Aftab Habib told CRICKETher:

“We had two good wins at the start of the season, then we had a bit of a wash-out losing to Surrey, but we were very clinical today – it was really pleasing the way we played and hopefully we can do the same tomorrow against Derbyshire as well.”

With previously unbeaten Essex losing to Devon, Div 2 remains absolutely wide-open still, with everyone having lost at least once; but Berkshire do need a win against Derbyshire tomorrow, and they’ll have to do it without Heather Knight, who is rested, to set up a big finale against Sussex in the final round next weekend.

NEWS: England Women Triumphant At #BeAGameChanger Awards

It was a good night for English women’s cricket last night, with the England team and the ECB both triumphant at the Women’s Sport Trust’s #BeAGameChanger Awards.

England Women took home the Sporting Role Model Team Award, while the ECB won National Governing Body of the Year.

While the England squad were unable to be present, sending a video acceptance, Clare Connor took to the stage to thank all those who had voted.

Speaking about England’s World Cup triumph, she said: “The team did us proud, and it’s up to us now to capitalise on it. We have to make sure it is a game-changing moment.”

“If we can look back in 10 years time and see as many girls playing the game as boys, that will show the game is in really good health.”

The Awards ceremony also saw the launch of the #ShowUp campaign, led by Sky Sports and the Women’s Sport Trust, which encourages people to support women’s sport by turning up to watch.

Former England netballer Tamsin Greenway explained that the campaign had been inspired by the sell-out World Cup final at Lord’s last summer: “I’ve never heard anything like the crowd that day,” she said. “I’ve had bragging rights ever since – ‘I was there!'”

As part of the campaign, Sky are giving away 5,000 tickets to women’s sports events this year to encourage attendance.

NEWS: Global Development Team To Play In KSL Warm-Ups

With the World T20 Qualifiers being played in the Netherlands in early July, the ECB has taken the opportunity to invite a selected group of players to complete in a series of warm-up matches against Kia Super League sides later that month.

The invited players include Gaby Lewis and Lucy O’Reilly from Ireland, and Scotland’s Sarah Bryce, as well as players from Bangladesh, the Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Uganda and the UAE.

Clare Connor said:

“Since the launch of our competition in 2016, we have been considering how we might use it as a platform to provide other playing opportunities for players around the world. We’re hopeful that a Global Development Team can offer those players representing the Associate Members those opportunities.”

The 5 matches take place on 17th, 19th and 20th of July against Surrey Stars, Loughborough Lightning and Western Storm.

  • July 17th v Surrey Stars @ New Malden (10:30 + 15:00)
  • July 19th v Loughborough Lightning @ Loughborough (10:30 + 14:30)
  • July 20th v Western Storm @ Bath (14:30)

MATCH REPORT: Middlesex Make It Four From Four As Dattani Stars In London Cup

On a sunny summer evening at Guildford CC, Middlesex once again stamped their dominance over neighbours Surrey, continuing their unblemished record in the London Cup with a 7-wicket win.

Naomi Dattani was the undoubted star, hitting a fast-powered 52 and taking 2-16.

Opening the innings and with Middlesex chasing Surrey’s 124, Dattani made her intent clear from the outset, blasting five boundaries in the first 2 overs, and punishing England’s Bryony Smith with a six over midwicket.

In no time at all she had reached 50, while partner Tash Miles, watching on from the other end, had only 4 runs to her name. It was an innings of sheer dominance, played with a level of aggression and confidence rarely seen at this level of the game.

Perhaps the only flaw was in its ending; Dattani was eventually dismissed in the 7th over just after passing 50, chipping the ball straight into the hands of the cover fielder, leaving Middlesex on 60-1.

When Dattani departed, the run rate dropped significantly – Middlesex did not reach 100 until the 15th over – but the damage was already done; and captain Tash Miles (28*) eventually saw her side safely over the line with an over to spare.

Earlier, Surrey had won the toss and chosen to bat first; a decision that was rather unfortunate for Middlesex, who with 2 players stuck in traffic on the M25 had to “borrow” Surrey’s 12th man to help field to ensure the game started on time.

Helped by some erratic Middlesex bowling, Surrey got going quickly with 20 runs coming off the first 2 overs.

But the introduction of Dattani to the attack halted the pace as she removed Aylish Cranstone and Hannah Jones in successive overs, leaving Surrey 71-3 at the halfway stage.

For a while it looked as though Bryony Smith would hold things together for Surrey, as she picked off the Middlesex spinners with some stylish cover drives; but young Emma Albery – fresh from taking 4-19 in Sunday’s Championship match against Somerset – eventually slipped through Smith’s defences, bowling her round her legs as she departed 6 short of her half-century.

Led by Eva Gray (15) Surrey attempted to push on with some quick running between the wickets, but Middlesex took advantage of the ensuing pressure to enact two sharp run-outs, ensuring that Surrey finished on a below-par 124-7.