DEBRIEF: T20 Cup – Middlesex Go Clear At The Top

Div 1 Played Won Lost NRR Points
Middlesex 4 4 0 1.13 16
Warwickshire 4 3 1 1.6 12
Lancashire 4 3 1 0.49 12
Sussex 4 2 2 0.75 8
Kent 4 2 2 0.56 8
Nottinghamshire 4 2 2 -0.55 8
Worcestershire 4 1 3 -0.56 4
Surrey 4 1 3 -1.75 4
Yorkshire 4 0 4 -1.65 0

In the weekend’s T20 Cup action, Middlesex went clear at the top of Div 1 with wins over Lancashire and Worcestershire at Kidderminster.

Against Worcestershire, Gayatri Gole took 3-20 as Worcestershire were bowled out off the final ball with 111 on the board. Amara Carr and Maia Bouchier then both hit 34 as Middlesex knocked-off the runs with almost 5 overs to spare. Then against Lancashire, Naomi Dattani (40) and Carr (27) put on 77 for the first wicket to set up a total of 132-8, which Lancashire fell 9 short of in the chase.

In the other match at Kidderminster, Eve Jones was the only Lancashire batsman to make it to double-figures versus Worcestershire, but her 62* got them to 105-7, and although Worcestershire went the distance they finished lite on 99-9, with left-arm quick Millie Hodge taking 3-14 to add to the 4-12 she took against Middlesex to complete a memorable day for her on her senior debut.

Meanwhile at Harrogate, Teresa Graves top-scored twice, with 44 and 45, as Notts picked up wins against Warwickshire and Yorkshire; whilst Warwickshire beat Yorkshire in a rain-affected game to consign the winless White Roses to the bottom of the table.

Finally in Div 1, there was a win apiece for Surrey, Sussex and Kent on a very chilly day at Billingshurst.

In Div 2, Hampshire and Wales moved clear of the pack in the two promotion spots, with 4 wins from 4 – Rachel Priest hitting a century for Wales against Gloucestershire.

Advertisements

MATCH REPORT: Honours Even In Cold War At Billingshurst

Under overcast skies at Billingshurst CC an uneventful day turned into a thriller in the third, rain-reduced match of the day as Sussex successfully chased down their DLS target of 92 in 11 overs.

It left honours even amongst the 3 teams – Kent, Surrey and Sussex – with a win apiece across the day.

Sussex v Kent

In a low-scoring match first up it was Kent who triumphed, Sussex falling 9 runs of their 70-run target despite an unbeaten 20 from Chiara Green.

Captain Georgia Adams was the first Sussex batsman to depart in the third over, caught at extra cover off the bowling of Arlene Kelly directly after hitting a fluent four straight down the ground.

It was to be Sussex’s only boundary of the innings as, despite Green’s best efforts at the other end,  her partners came in and departed with regularity, none making it into double figures.

Green herself survived several chances as she attempted to push the score on, skying it several times and being put down by Kelly at mid-on, but she did at least manage to do what her teammates failed to and rotate the strike.

She ultimately ran out of partners as Sussex were all out for 61 in the 19th over.

Earlier Green had also chimed in with the ball, taking 2 wickets in 2 balls to put Kent at 29-5 and leaving poor Kirsty Dymond in the unenviable position of walking in to face a hat-trick ball in her first senior T20 match for Kent.

She successfully defended it, however, and hung around long enough to make 9 runs, providing good support to Izzy Cloke (21).

Cloke top-scored for the visitors, but was eventually out caught by Georgia Adams at long on as young 16-year-old Cassidy McCarthy chimed in with 3 wickets for 10 runs to finish off the Kent tail.

Surrey v Kent

Kent extended their winning streak to the toss in the second game, opting to bowl against Surrey.

Kirstie White was dropped first ball as a thick edge went through the hands of Jenny Jackson at backward point and down to the boundary for 4. Two singles and another 4 driven through mid on followed as Surrey took 10 from the opening over.

White and Alex Travers – who was also dropped by Jackson, albeit a much tougher chance – then took the score on to 28-0 after 5 overs, with some smart running between the wickets, something which had been conspicuously absent in the first match of the day.

The opening partnership was broken when White was out caught behind off a thin edge off Grace Gibbs for 23 in the 7th over, and Gibbs then comprehensively bowled Travers in her next over for 14.

Aylish Cranstone made 10 before she was bowled by Jackson with the score on 61 in the 12th over, as Kent began to take charge, with 3 run-outs contributing to Surrey finishing on a disappointing 91-9.

Chelsey Rowson and Phoebe Franklin got Kent off to a good start, taking 17 off the first 4 overs before Franklin was given out LBW trying to sweep Hannah Jones. Rowson followed soon after – brilliantly caught behind by Kirstie White diving low to her right, standing back to the pace of Molly Sellars.

Izzy Cloke made 10 but was bowled by young leg-spinner Danielle Gregory just as she looked like getting started; and Gregory then added the wicket of Lauren Griffiths, who returned to the pavilion shaking her head having been adjudged LBW to a ball which appeared to barely brush her pads. There was no doubt however about Gregory’s third – Grace Gibbs bowled for 11, leaving Kent 47-5 in the 12th over.

Jenny Jackson became Gregory’s 4th victim, another LBW; whilst at the other end Megan Belt was bowled middle stump by Mary Ali, attempting a premeditated ramp – a shot that looks great when it comes off, but leaves you looking like a bit of a chump when it doesn’t!

Debutant Kirsty Dymond was left fuming, having been run out after a mix up with fellow newbie Grace Scrivens, leaving Kent needing 16 off the last two overs with 2 wickets in hand.

7 off the penultimate over meant 9 off the last bowled by Eva Gray… or 8 if Kent could get them without losing a wicket. Scrivens and Arlene Kelly ran hard every ball; but they fell just one short in the end, finishing 90-8 as Surrey celebrated.

Sussex v Surrey

In the third and final game of the day, played in conditions so cold that Sussex captain Georgia Adams opted to field wearing a hoodie, Surrey won the toss but once again batted first.

Kirstie White again looked in fine touch across the powerplay overs, stroking Tara Norris’s first ball through backward point for a boundary, but was subsequently adjudged LBW to Chiara Green in the 7th over.

Green then chimed in with 2 more wickets including another LBW to remove Eva Gray, but by that point the rain was coming down and the umpires called a halt to proceedings with Surrey’s score 74-3 after 11 overs.

The covers were put on but the rain eventually eased enough to allow play to resume, the necessary DLS calculations indicating that Sussex needed to hit 92 off 11 overs to win the game.

It looked a ridiculous target – the DLS formula once again proving questionable as far as women’s county cricket goes – but Sussex somehow found the panache they had lacked earlier in the day and chased down the required runs to win by 7 wickets.

INTERVIEW: Mark Robinson Reflects On South Africa Series Win

England coach Mark Robinson was full of praise for his team after yesterday’s series win against South Africa at Canterbury, and particularly centurion Tammy Beaumont.

He told CRICKETher: “I’m immensely proud of her. She wears her heart on her sleeve and she works really hard. She’s got better technically.”

“Today was as good as I’ve seen her bat because it was ugly for the first 25 runs, she really had to fight for it. Previously she might have given it away but today she stuck at it.”

Reflecting on Saturday’s defeat in the series opener at Worcester, he admitted that England had “messed up at the toss. It was definitely a bowl first wicket so we gave away a big advantage.”

He said that the batsmen had been “passive” and “nervous and jittery” in the first game and let South Africa bowl at them, but added: “that wasn’t really us and we know that. We’ve shown better signs of us in the last 2 games.”

On the batting order he implied that the opening question had not yet been fully resolved, with Lauren Winfield “desperately unlucky” to miss out. “It’s not set in stone,” he said. “You want one of your players to really come back and claim it.”

The implication, though, was that Danni Wyatt would remain in the middle order in ODIs: “She gives us that balance at 6 – we need that energy [lower down the order].”

Regarding the bowling, he said that the addition of Kate Cross to the squad for the final game had been made very much with the intention of playing her had the conditions been favourable: “She gives us an extra bowling option – a little bit of something else. On Thursday the wicket was a bit moist and damp. If it had been anything like that, she would have played, but the wicket dried out and it looked good for batting.”

He was clear, though, that Katherine Brunt will play a big role in the forthcoming T20 tri-series: “Brunt is fully fit and she’s an integral part of this team. She’ll definitely be involved in the T20 series. We haven’t got enough games to rest her.”

He said that the T20 series would be crucial preparation ahead of the World T20 in November:  “We’ve got to try and find out formulas, where people bowl, where they don’t bowl, and as an England team we’ve not played much T20. Heather needs to get used to how to manage her bowlers and batters.”

The squad for the tri-series is likely to be announced on Monday morning.

Tammy Beaumont – “This is my proudest hundred for England”

Speaking to CRICKETher after today’s match at Canterbury, having hit back-to-back centuries for England in a Player-of-the-Series winning performance, Tammy Beaumont was unequivocal about which she considers the better innings of the two:

“This is my proudest hundred for England,” she said.

“I don’t normally get runs in chases. Hove was the flashier, better-looking hundred but today it was very tough early on and I’m proud of getting through that new ball spell and making sure that I cashed in.”

“Marizanne Kapp and Shabnim Ismail upfront bowled 2 exceptional spells and it was just a case of getting though it,” she said.

“I like facing them. They have a bit of pace on the ball which suits me just fine from a history of men’s cricket.”

Opposing captain Dane van Niekerk also praised Beaumont’s performance: “Tammy stuck at it and England made us pay,” she said.

She contrasted England’s bowling today unfavourably with the performance of her own team:

“We had to adapt all the time – I never felt quite in. I have to commend the English bowlers, the way they went about that.”

“We need to fight more for wickets and not just expect wickets to come. It’s almost as if our bowlers get bored.”

Van Niekerk also called for more use of DRS in the women’s game, after Lizelle Lee was given out early on in South Africa’s innings to a ball that was almost certainly missing leg stump:

“From the top it looked out for me, but she knew she wasn’t out and she was right,” she said. “If there’s televised games I can’t see why we can’t use [DRS].”

England v South Africa – 3rd ODI – England Reduce South Africa To Stroppy Teenagers At Canterbury

In August 2015 England came to Canterbury for the Women’s Ashes Test – the pitch was lifeless and the press box WiFi wasn’t much better, as England lost by a country mile.

In the 3 years since, little has changed – the pitch offered little to the batsmen or the bowlers and the WiFi offered little to the press, though at least England fans had something to cheer this time as they took the game and the series!

South Africa made a very slow start, after having opted to bat. When Laura Wolvaardt got out early the other day, Lizelle Lee took on her role as the anchor and played really well; but when it was Lee that got out early today, it was too much to expect Wolvaardt to suddenly start slogging sixes over midwicket, especially when midwicket to one side was a good 70 meters! This isn’t to criticise Wolvaardt – she played her role – but when an opener is playing that “going long” role, then it really needs someone at the other end “going big” and neither Andrie Steyn nor Dane van Niekerk, really did this today.

Perhaps South Africa should look at sending Chloe Tryon in earlier in these situations, because she showed what she can do with a couple of huge sixes; but by the time she came in today there was too much to do, and South Africa collapsed from 197-4 to 228 all out, as batsman after batsman got themselves out, with England’s bowlers having to do little more than send the ball down, Sarah Taylor’s excellent glove-butlering besides.

In England’s reply, South Africa’s opening bowlers put the pressure on early, as they always do, and Marizanne Kapp really should get a credit in the scorebook for the wicket of Amy Jones, who was clearly so chuffed to have seen-off Kapp, who was giving her all sorts of problems, that she lost concentration and lazily popped Ayabonga Khaka’s first delivery up to square leg, giving Sune Luus the easiest catch she’ll take all year! It was poor from Jones, who looked good in the first two ODIs without getting a score, but this time looked scratchy and still didn’t get a score.

Then Sarah Taylor got out, and for a while South Africa were up in England’s faces in the field – darting around like daemons – stopping everything that was there to be stopped, and the required run rate climbed over 5 for a period; but South Africa still needed wickets and the pitch was offering them no help – they even turned to Sune Luus, who almost got a wicket with a full toss, which seems to be her stock wicket-taking delivery these days.

But gradually Tammy Beaumont and Heather Knight wore South Africa down and they collapsed mentally – all the energy drifted away from them, and everyone from the skipper down suddenly looked less like a professional cricket player and more like a stroppy teenager who has been asked to do the washing up.

In the end it was all too easy for England – Tammy Beaumont departed, but Heather Knight turned on the afterburners at the end to bring home the ICC Championship points and the Royal London trophy and leave a very good Canterbury crowd of over 2,000 cheering.

NEWS: Worcestershire Awarded Win In “Tied” T20 Cup Match

Worcestershire have been awarded the win in their “tied” T20 Cup match against Surrey at Edgbaston Foundation Ground on Sunday.

Confusion reigned after the sides finished level on 117 runs after their 20 overs, and it transpired that the officials didn’t know how to proceed to determine a result, whether by a Super Over or wickets down. Attempts to clarify the situation were hampered by lack of clarity in the T20 Cup playing conditions.

In the end it was decided not to play the Super Over, and the teams shook hands on a tie; but the ECB has now determined that the match should be awarded to Worcestershire by virtue of having lost fewer wickets, in accordance with the rules set out in the generic non-professional T20 Playing Conditions. (See the discussions here for why this looks to us like the correct decision.)

The revised Div 1 T20 Cup table now looks like this:

Div 1 Played Won Lost NRR Points
Warwickshire 2 2 0 1.67 8
Middlesex 2 2 0 1.16 8
Lancashire 2 2 0 1.08 8
Kent 2 1 1 0.93 4
Sussex 2 1 1 -0.19 4
Worcestershire 2 1 1 -0.17 4
Surrey 2 0 2 -1.5 0
Yorkshire 2 0 2 -0.9 0
Nottinghamshire 2 0 2 -1.88 0

NEWS: England Add Cross; Release Winfield & Hazell

England have added fast bowler Kate Cross to their squad for the final ODI against South Africa at Canterbury on Friday.

Cross hasn’t played for England since the Pakistan series in summer 2016; but she spent this winter in Australia playing for Western Australia, finishing the season the 3rd highest wicket-taker in the WNCL, with 13 wickets at an average of 19 and an Economy Rate of 3.88 – very respectable in a competition where runs tend to flow easily.

England have also “released” (but not “dropped”) Lauren Winfield and Dani Hazell – they will play for England Academy in a match on Thursday, and will therefore take no part on Friday.

England Head Coach Mark Robinson said:

“It’s important for Dani and Lauren that they get the chance to play more cricket so we’re freeing them up to play for the Academy. Kate will come into the group to offer another seam-bowling option.”

Barring injuries, our guess is that England will be hoping to go unchanged on Friday; but there are obviously worries about Katherine Brunt’s back and England will be desperate to ensure she doesn’t sustain a long-term injury leading up to the World T20 in November, so if we do see Cross at Canterbury that will likely be why.

OPINION: A “KSL Replacement” Domestic T20 Is DoA Without Full Professionalism

In her interview with TMS on Saturday at Worcester, the ECB’s Director of Women’s Cricket Clare Connor addressed concerns about the future of domestic T20 cricket when the Kia Super League ends and is replaced by The 100, pledging to deliver a new “equally worthwhile” T20 tournament in its place.

She also made a personal commitment to working towards full professionalism, acknowledging that this had to be more than the few-thousand pounds players outside the fully contracted England elite currently make from the game.

The long-term intent is the right one – we need an elite T20 competition which involves the England contracted players. To quote England captain Heather Knight:

“Obviously Twenty20 international cricket is huge in the women’s game, so we need to make sure that from 2020 the structure below the new competition is right.”

But unfortunately there is a problem…

The KSL ends in 2019, and Connor doesn’t see full professionalism until at least 2024; but without full professionalism you can’t have a T20 competition which involves the England players!

Why? Well, oddly, it isn’t the England players who are the problem, but the amateurs who (without full professionalism) will make up the majority of the squads in The 100.

You see, the amateurs are… well… amateur – they have other jobs! And whilst it might be feasible to take 6 weeks of unpaid leave to play in The 100, for which (during those 6 weeks at least) they will be well-remunerated, taking another 4 weeks to play in the new T20 as well just isn’t going to fly with most employers.

This means the new T20 is initially going to have to be played at weekends… and not during The 100 in July/ August, obviously… and not during the international window in June/ July, or the England players would not get any domestic T20… and not during the County Championship window, which is currently May/ early June.

So when are they going to play it?

January?

It’s almost like no one thought about the implications of this before they irrevocably committed themselves to the policy! (Remind you of anything?)

Of course, there is an easy way to solve this problem: make The 100 a T20 tournament for the women. You can still have the same teams; you can still call it “The 100” – just make 120 balls rather than 100 – then you don’t have to play an additional T20 tourny!

But something tells me that would be far too much like having your cake and eating it… and no one wants that!

DEBRIEF: T20 Cup – Farce At Edgbaston As Worcestershire & Surrey Finish Level… And No One Knows The Rules!

Div 1 Played Won Lost Tied NRR Points
Warwickshire 2 2 0 0 1.7 8
Middlesex 2 2 0 0 1.16 8
Lancashire 2 2 0 0 1.08 8
Kent 2 1 1 0 0.93 4
Sussex 2 1 1 0 -0.19 4
Worcestershire 2 0 1 1 -0.17 1
Surrey 2 0 1 1 -1.53 1
Yorkshire 2 0 2 0 -0.9 0
Nottinghamshire 2 0 2 0 -1.88 0

In the first round of the T20 Cup, the big excitement of the day took place off the field at Edgbaston Foundation Ground where Worcestershire, chasing 117 against Surrey made… 117. The question then was: what now? Super Over? Wickets down? Nobody there was sure, and a long discussion ensued, which included people texting us at Mill Hill, over 100 miles away!

We pored over the rules on our phones, alongside Martin from Women’s Cricket Blog, eventually concluding that we didn’t know either, because the playing conditions (which are in two separate documents – one general one for non-professional T20 in England, and one specifically for this competition) appear to have changed independently and now contradict each other.

The generic conditions suggest wickets down, whilst the T20 Cup conditions (which supersede the generic conditions) imply a Super Over, without actually explicitly saying so, because they refer to another section which… doesn’t appear to exist!

Only in women’s county cricket!!

In the end they decided not to play the Super Over and call it a tie, so that is how it has gone down for the moment, but this may change – we will keep you posted if it does!

(And yes – 4 points for a win, but only 1 for a tie.)

(And no… we’ve got no idea either!!)

On the actual field of play in Birmingham, Warwickshire beat Worcestershire and Surrey to go top on Net Run Rate. (Although in the final standings the result between the teams supersedes NRR.)

Middlesex avenged their County Championship relegation, beating Sussex and Yorkshire at Mill Hill with Sophia Dunkley continuing to press her case for a possible England call-up ahead of the T20 Tri-Series later this summer.

Finally Lancashire also took 2-from-2 with wins against Kent and Notts.