Sussex continued their unbeaten run in Division 2 of the Women’s County Championship today with a maximum bonus point win against Surrey at Reeds School.
3 wickets from Paige Scholfield saw Surrey restricted to 120 all out, before Sarah Taylor hit an unbeaten half-century to take Sussex to a 6-wicket win.
After Surrey had won the toss and chosen to bat, Tara “Chuck” Norris, opening the bowling for Sussex, broke through early to remove Bryony Smith (1) in the second over as her England teammate Danni Wyatt took the catch at point.
Kirstie White (20) and Aylish Cranstone (18) then steadied the ship with a 36-run partnership which was perhaps a bit too steady – Surrey reaching just 27 in the first 10 overs.
That partnership was broken in the 12th over by acting captain Georgia Elwiss; before Paige Scholfield ripped through Surrey’s middle-order in a consecutive 10-over spell, taking 3-17 including the crucial wicket of Nat Sciver (LBW).
England Academy’s Amy Gordon saved Surrey from capitulation with an exciting rearguard cameo (31*) that featured two sixes fired back over the heads of bowlers Norris and Freya Davies. But Sussex had the final say as Davies wrapped things up in the 49th over, removing Beth Kerins LBW.
Sussex were chasing only 120 but Wyatt gave them a scare up top, sending the first ball into the hands of Smith at point – a karmic role reversal from Smith’s own dismissal in the Surrey innings – to leave them 0-1.
That dismissal, though, brought Taylor to the crease, allowing her to continue her form of last weekend in an innings of 60* that exhibited her usual array of classical shots. She now has 3 half-centuries in as many innings, which should please Mark Robinson ahead of the England internationals which begin against South Africa next month.
For Sussex the important thing was to bat positively to ensure they reached the target within 30 overs, thus securing maximum batting bonus points. Taylor’s partnerships with Adams (25) – unscathed after earlier being hit in the forehead while fielding at slip – and Abi Freeborn (21), alongside the rather baffling decision not to bowl Sciver until 8 overs had already elapsed, allowed them to do so without much concern.
Speaking to CRICKETher after close of play, Sussex captain Georgia Adams said that she was really pleased with the way her team had started the season:
“We’ve trained really really hard this winter and we’ve set ourselves really high standards. The big thing for us is, we want to go in with a bang and not just win but win well. We’re definitely looking to win Division 2.”