Kent and Lancashire set the pace on the opening weekend of the Women’s County Championship, both winning two-from-two with Kent just edging ahead on bonus points.
Kent’s weekend began at Polo farm, batting first against Notts. With none of the top order quite able to convert starts into big scores, it was left to Laura Marsh to shepherd the tail on her way to 55*, taking Kent to 192-9 off their 50 overs. It wasn’t enough for maximum bonus points – you get them for reaching 200 – but it was enough to win the game, with spinner Megan Belt taking 3-20 as Notts were bowled out for 143.
At Beckenham the following day, Kent then inflicted the second of two defeats endured by Warwickshire over the Bank Holiday. Warwickshire posted 232, all out off the final ball, with Amy Jones (67) and Bethan Ellis (74) hitting half centuries; but it wasn’t anything like enough on the First Class pitch at Beckenham as Tammy Beaumont (83) and new signing Fran Wilson (87) made short work of it for a 7-wicket victory.
Lancashire began their Bank Holiday road trip with a visit to the Ageas Bowl to face champions Hampshire. Both sides had lost players to the Women’s IPL currently underway in India, but Hampshire missed Suzie Bates just a bit more than Lancashire missed Sophie Ecclestone, with Kate Cross taking a career best 4-14 to bowl Hampshire out for 163, defending a slightly under-par 179.
Women’s County Cricket Day then
dawned bright and sunny dawned bright dawned at Guildford for the match of the weekend, and possibly of the season, between Lancashire and Surrey, with Surrey falling an agonising 1 run short off the final ball to give the Red Roses their second win of the weekend. (Full report here.)
The previous day, Surrey had made short work of Yorkshire – bowling them out for 118 in 26 overs, with Bryony Smith taking 3-14. Smith (37), Kirstie White (44) and Aylish Cranstone (26*) then finished the job as Surrey strolled to victory by 8 wickets.
Yorkshire however picked themselves up to beat Hampshire on the Monday, as spin-twin Katies – Thompson and Levick – took 3 apiece to bowl Hampshire out for 131 chasing 190.
Meanwhile Sussex, weakened by the absence of Dani Wyatt (Women’s IPL), Georgia Elwiss (injured) and Sarah Taylor, scraped an opening-day win over Warwickshire by 1 wicket – Ella Wadey top-scoring with 38; but their batting then imploded against Notts, with Notts skipper and England one-cap-wonder Sonia Odedra taking 4-11 as Notts successfully defended 150.