MATCH REPORT: Sussex Hold The Front Paige In “El Classicoast” Against Hampshire

The second leg of the Sussex-Hampshire “El Classicoast” friendlies concluded under sunny skies at Falmer with a straightforward Sussex win, making it 2 from 2 for the host side.

Newly-appointed Southern Vipers professional Paige Scholfield, batting at 4, set up Sussex’s total of 237 with a measured 55 (from 73 balls); and emphasised her all-round talents with figures of 3-33 from 8 overs in the Hampshire reply.

Sussex eventually bowled Hampshire out for 196 in 45.5 overs, racking up a 41-run win despite a gutsy half-century from stand-in captain Emily Windsor, who was left stranded on 57*.

The home team had lost captain Georgia Adams early on in proceedings, trapped LBW to debutant seamer Gemma Lane; while last week’s top-scorer Ella McCaughan also departed early, falling LBW to Charlie Dean.

From 54-2, Scholfield guided Sussex to 129-4, offering up a couple of chances along the way, including a tricky catch to a diving Windsor at midwicket. Scholfield then added insult to injury by taking Windsor for 16 runs from the very next over, the first of Windsor’s spell.

Windsor eventually wrought some measure of revenge, having Scholfield bowled in the 32nd as she attempted one cut shot too many and dragged the ball onto her own stumps. The all-round effort from 23-year-old Windsor will no doubt have been noted by Vipers head coach Charlotte Edwards and represents a clear case for her selection in the forthcoming Regional Competition.

Sussex fought back courtesy of a feisty late flourish from Nancy “Harmanpreet” Harman, whose 42 came off just 22 balls, including a couple of huge sixes down the ground – an innings which ultimately represented the difference between the sides.

In reply, Sussex kept Hampshire quiet for the first 10 overs, eventually frustrating Ariana Dowse into sending the ball down the throat of Mary Taylor at midwicket to leave her side 29-1 at the 12-over “sanitisation break”.

With Hampshire’s regular captain and number 3 Maia Bouchier absent from proceedings, Ella Chandler attempted to hold things together but fell victim to a rare spell with the ball from Georgia Adams, who took a smart catch off her own bowling to see off Chandler in the 26th over.

From there Hampshire fell further behind the required rate, with the result looking to be a foregone conclusion until Windsor came to the party, assisted by a flurry of boundaries in the 42nd over from number 9 Providence Cowdrill (14 from 9 balls).

With Hampshire needing 71 off the final 7 overs, Scholfield ended Hampshire hopes by having Cowdrill bowled as she swung at one too many, and then removing Alex Avoth in the following over, caught in the deep.

Players from both sides will now wait nervously to hear the final Southern Vipers squad selection, due to be announced in the next couple of weeks.