Hampshire (187-6) beat Nottinghamshire (186-9) by 4 wickets
On a gloriously sunny day at Havant Cricket Club, Hampshire opened their account in Division 1 of the Women’s County Championship with a tense win, chasing down Nottinghamshire’s total of 186 with just 1 over to spare.
Star of last season Suzie Bates had reached her half-century as Hampshire got their chase off to a much-too-leisurely start, reaching 100-3 in 29 overs.
It meant that when Bates departed for 54, having misjudged Kirstie Gordon’s slower ball, Hampshire were already behind the required rate.
Ultimately it took a real team effort to get them across the line, with Emily Windsor (49) and Katie George (23) both playing a role, before veteran Charlotte Edwards entered the fray with 30 runs still required.
Edwards was skilfully able to force the pace, with traces of the old brilliance still very much apparent as she found the boundary rope with a drive for four.
She was eventually run out backing up for 14, but Ariana Dowse finished things off the very next ball, pulling Georgie Boyce for four runs through square leg – Hampshire ending with a 4 wicket win.
Earlier Notts had accumulated the highest Div 1 total of the day, putting 186 runs on the board despite losing their last 6 wickets for 40 runs.
Sonia Odedra (50) and Jodie Dibble (44) formed the backbone of the innings, with both batsmen riding their luck in a partnership of 80 as several catches went begging.
For Hampshire, who by taking 9 wickets secured maximum bowling bonus points, it was 17-year-old Charlie Dean (3-31) who took the bowling honours, removing top-scorer Odedra just after she had reached her half-century, and taking a fantastic diving catch to dismiss Lucy Higham caught and bowled.
Speaking to CRICKETher after close of play Suzie Bates acknowledged that Hampshire had improvements to make but said that the win was the most important thing:
“We didn’t field as well as we would have liked but we managed to come back and keep them to a score that we felt we could chase.”
“We got off to a good start with the bat but lacked intent at times – it was probably a bit closer than we would have liked, but it’s nice to get the first win under our belts.”