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.