On a sunny evening at Radlett, Middlesex regained their London Cup crown, beating Surrey by 8 wickets with 10 balls to spare thanks to a half-century from Naomi Dattani.
Three years ago Dattani blasted her side to a win in that summer’s London Cup at Guildford, in what we described on CRICKETher as “an innings of sheer dominance, played with a level of aggression and confidence rarely seen at this level of the game”. There were shades of that innings at Radlett, as Dattani made a difficult run chase of 125 look easy, with a raft of sweep shots and and one hefty pull for six taking her to a half-century from 44 balls, brought up in the 13th over.
Three balls after bringing up her fifty, she holed out to Hannah Jones at mid-on, but Amara Carr (29*) and Tash Miles (24*) finished the job with ease – Miles’ game awareness and ball placement allowing Middlesex to steal runs aplenty.
Earlier, Surrey had looked in some trouble after losing 3 wickets in the powerplay, including the dangerous-looking Alice Capsey – caught at extra cover for a run-a-ball 19, after executing the perfect ramp shot for four against speedster Katie Wolfe.
Amara Carr then enacted a tidy stumping to see off Chloe Brewer for a three-ball duck, leaving Surrey 35-4 in the seventh.
Hannah Jones, though, played a battling captain’s innings as, having been dropped by Cordelia Griffith at extra cover on 12*, she made Middlesex pay for their error, reaching 42 from 40 balls including some well-placed boundaries. Kirstie White (26 from 28) provided able support as the pair rotated the strike well.
Though Jones was dismissed in the 19th over, miscuing Holly Thorpe to long-off, Eva Gray (15* from 9) ensured that Surrey finished their innings strongly, with two fours in the 20th over including an audacious ramp shot against Kate Coppack.
Given that last year’s total of 108 was only just overhauled by Surrey, 124 looked like it should be a winning total, but that reckoned without the determination of Dattani.
Sunrisers have endured a difficult start to the 2021 season, with zero wins from four matches so far in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy. The decision to allow the three Middlesex “pros” – Dattani, Carr and Griffith – to play in this match looks to have been a good one, as Dattani in particular will look to translate her form into the forthcoming regional T20s which begin this weekend.