As we pass the half-way point in the Women’s County Championship, with 3 games left to play, Kent opened up clear blue water between them and the pack with a win over Hampshire, as their closest challengers Lancashire slipped-up against Yorkshire.
It wasn’t quite the perfect performance from Kent – at Polo Farm in Canterbury they missed out on maximum bonus points by taking just 6 wickets as Maia Bouchier top-scored with 64, and Suzie Bates hit 63, to help Hampshire to 233; but a frantastic (!) 74 from Fran Wilson, set them on course to win by 3 wickets and maintain their unbeaten record this year. (Full report here.)
At Harrogate, Lancashire went down to their first defeat of the season in the Roses match against Yorkshire. Katie Thompson and Beth Langston shared 3 wickets apiece as Lancashire were bowled out for 158. Lauren Winfield’s miserable county season for Yorkshire continued – her run of scores thus far: 2, 21, 0 and 2 – but it didn’t stop Yorkshire chasing down their target by 5 wickets, Katherine Brunt finishing 48* at the end.
The return of Danni Wyatt to Sussex didn’t help their struggling batting much – Wyatt made 2 off 7 balls, and it was left to Carla Rudd (36), Ella Mccaughan (33) and Freya Davies (23) to get them out of trouble to 176-7 against Surrey, which they might have defended had it not been for Nat Sciver, who made 80* to give Surrey their second win of the season.
Finally, Warwickshire endured another agonisingly close defeat to stay rooted to the foot of the table. Set 207 to chase by Notts, with Scotland’s Sarah Bryce making 51 and Georgia Davies taking 4-43, Warwickshire fell just 4 runs short – Amy Jones 89 and Jo Gardner’s highest ever championship score of 59 not quite enough to get them home.
Kent aren’t anything like home and dry yet – they’ve got a difficult road trip next Bank Holiday weekend to their two closest challengers – Yorkshire and Lancashire – but two wins there could potentially make them champions by Monday evening if bonus points and other results elsewhere fall their way.