Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Round Up of R3 of the Women's County Championship

Warwickshire remain unbeaten and top of Division One after their defeat of Surrey in their only game of the second Bank Holiday group of fixtures. They have now won three out of three and have no reason to try and rearrange their cancelled game against Yorkshire, despite Yorkshire being keen to play. The irony of this situation will not be lost on those that saw Yorkshire refuse to play Sussex last year, when they too were sitting top of the table. What goes around comes around!

It was a positive weekend for Kent, who trounced Staffordshire and then comfortably beat Surrey; for Yorkshire who beat Berkshire and also then thumped poor old Staffs; and for Sussex who comfortably overcame a depleted Middlesex side to win their only game of the weekend.

In the bun fight at the bottom of the league Staffs already look destined for Div 2 cricket again next year, but it is a question of who will be the two teams to join them. Somerset gave themselves a glimmer of hope with a 15 run win over Berkshire, although the fact that they cannot replay their game against Staffs, which was abandoned after two overs, must be a considerable handicap. Surrey lost both their games of the weekend and still have only one win to their names with just three games to play. Middlesex and Berkshire have both got two wins under their belts, but Middlesex have a game in hand over their relegation rivals.

Of the five teams in contention for the three relegation slots it seems that Berkshire have by far the more difficult run in to the end of the season, with both Sussex and Kent still to play. Here are the games left for the bottom five :-

The Berks v Middlesex clash on 12th June is a must-win game for both sides, although Middlesex will still have Staffs to play, amongst others. Surrey must be targeting wins against Somerset and Staffs, which would give them three wins too. If they were to slip up against Somerset they would be in trouble and Somerset might just believe they can pick up a potentially vital third win, although they have already missed out on 16 bonus points, which may come back to haunt them at the end of the season.

In Division Two Lancashire remain unbeaten after an 8 wicket win over Worcestershire, but they have only played two games so far this season. Wales were the big winners of the weekend battering previous high-fliers Devon by 9 wickets after bowling them out for 80 and then hanging on to beat Hampshire by just 6 runs. Notts slipped up against Hampshire on Sunday losing by 4 wickets, before getting back on track against Essex on Monday. Essex and Leicestershire remain rooted to the bottom of the league without a win between them so far this season.

The next round of games is due to be played on Sunday 12th June.

For full results, scorecards, league tables and averages check out http://ecbwcountychampionship.play-cricket.com/website/web_pages/173349


Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Round 3 of the Women's County Championship

Another Bank Holiday weekend brings another double-header in the third round of fixtures in the Royal London Women's County Championship.

In Division 1 Surrey are in the firing line of both the current unbeaten top team - Warwickshire, and six times champions and leading contenders - Kent. After defeating last year's county champions Yorkshire away at Harrogate last time out, Surrey will go into both games in a much more positive mindset than they might have done. It is Warwickshire's only game of the weekend and they will be desperately keen to remain unbeaten with Staffs their only other opponents (in three week's time) before the county championship mid-season break. For Surrey, having lost their opening two games of the season, two more defeats would leave them in a heap of trouble with just three games to play.

At Finchampstead opponents Berks and Yorkshire will both be looking to bounce back from defeats two weeks ago. Yorkshire must feel that if they can get Heather Knight cheaply then they should get their first win on the board. They will also be confident of inflicting a similar result on new girls Staffs the following day. Berkshire will be making the trip down the M4 to Somerset for their second game of the weekend. It is a game that Somerset must be targeting for a win. They have been second-best by some way in games against Kent and Sussex so far this season and if they are to avoid the drop back into Div 2 this is a must-win game for them.

The previous day they take on Middlesex, who were bowled out for 92 by Kent two weeks ago. England hopeful Fran Wilson missed that game with a knee injury sustained in the warm-up, and is not playing again in a T20 game for Middlesex this evening. Without her the Middlesex batting looks exposed and Somerset could be in with a shout of a bit of an upset.

Kent v Staffs completes the Sunday line-up. It is difficult to see Staffs getting very much out of the game as Kent once again parade their seven current or former international players.

The final game of the weekend is Sussex's only one as they host Middlesex. Sussex will be hoping to keep up the pressure on the top teams with their third win of the season. They will still be missing Sarah Taylor and Georgia Adams, which gives Middlesex the opportunity to pressurise the young Sussex batting line-up. It should be an intriguing contest.

In Division 2 there are just six games over the two days, with most teams only getting one outing. Top two - Devon and Lancs, take on Wales and Worcestershire respectively and will be expecting to remain unbeaten. Also unbeaten Notts, who have perhaps been the most impressive side in the division in their games to date, will be looking to clock up wins against Hampshire and Essex in home games at Welbeck CC.

Worcestershire will have played Leicestershire the day before, which could get them their first win on the board, but they failed to chase down Hampshire's 110 two weeks ago, and Leicestershire will scrap hard. It could be a tough match.

After their trip to Notts Hampshire return home on Bank Holiday Monday to take on Wales, who started their season with a good win over Essex, but then lost by 5 wickets to Notts. It should be a tight game on the Nursery Ground at the Ageas Bowl.

Division 1

Sunday 29th May
Berkshire v Yorkshire at Finchampstead CC
Kent v Staffs at KCCC Beckenham
Middlesex v Somerset at Teddington CC
Surrey v Warwickshire at Reed's School

Monday 30th May
Kent v Surrey at KCCC Beckenham
Somerset v Berkshire at Midsomer Norton CC
Staffs v Yorkshire at Meakins
Sussex v Middlesex at Billingshurst CC

Division 2

Sunday 29th May
Leicestershire v Worcestershire at Empingham CC
Notts v Hampshire at Welbeck CC
Wales v Devon at Usk CC

Monday 30th May
Hampshire v Wales at Nursery Ground, Ageas Bowl
Lancashire v Worcestershire at Northern CC
Notts v Essex at Welbeck CC

MD 24/V/16

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Robinson's Brave New World

Mark Robinson, formerly the first-team coach at Sussex, took over the role of Head Coach of the England Women at the end of 2015, just 139 days ago.

A month into his new regime the 18 players who had first been contracted by the ECB in May 2014, all had their contracts renewed for another 12 months, with Middlesex's Fran Wilson being the only addition to the contracted pool. This despite poor performances from many on the tour to New Zealand, and during the unsuccessful defence of the Ashes in the summer of 2015, which led to the exit of Paul Shaw as England's Head of Performance and Robinson's ultimate appointment.

Before he had even met most of the team Robinson was plunged into a tour to South Africa, with a squad he could not have picked for himself. England have no selectors, so you can only assume it had been chosen by the outgoing Shaw and his two coaches, David Capel and Carl Crowe, with input from skipper Charlotte Edwards. England won the ODI series 2-1, and then the T20 series by the same score. It summed up where they were at the time - inconsistent.

The squad returned to England with just four weeks before the WWT20 started in India, and with the WWT20 squad having already been announced before the T20 games against South African had even been played. Quite how much input Robinson had had into that squad selection is not clear, but it seems that the squad was probably already selected before the South Africa tour even started. Suffice to say there were no real surprises, apart, perhaps, from the omission of the hard-hitting Lauren Winfield and the inclusion of left-arm seamer Tash Farrant, who would go on to play no part in the tournament.

England under-whelmed at the WWT20 with their batting again looking fragile and their bowling and fielding not much better. In the semi-final, against a jaded and misfiring Aussie team, they only need to chase down 132. They failed. Miserably. In the post-match press conference, the Head Coach sat alongside his dejected captain, Charlotte Edwards. He knew it was a game they should have won. She knew it was a game they should have won. Robinson blamed lack of fitness and failure to turn ones into twos. Edwards found it hard to speak at all.

And so no triumphant return to England at the beginning of April, before three weeks off for the England girls, ahead of a demanding schedule in 2016, starting with a home series against Pakistan, the inaugural KSL, and then away series to West Indies and Sri Lanka, with qualification for the home-staged Women's World Cup on the line.

The England girls reappeared with the start of the women's county championship at the beginning of May. Well some of them did. Sarah Taylor was mysteriously missing from the Sussex team, despite the fact that they were playing Kent in their second game of the weekend. It subsequently transpired that the world's best woman keeper, and one of the most talented batsmen, was taking her second break from cricket. How long for no-one knows.

Robinson was at that game and chatted amiably with all and sundry as the teams waited for the rain to stop and the pitch to dry out. However all and sundry did not appear to include Charlotte Edwards, who went out and scored just 1 before being bowled as Kent lost to their bitter rivals. The next day she received a text message from Clare Connor saying they needed to talk. Her career as England captain was over and she was not going to be selected for the three series in 2016, to allow Robinson to develop a new team. She decided it was time to call it a day on the international front.

There is no doubt that Edwards has been a huge influence in English women's cricket, but perhaps that influence had been allowed to become too pervasive and introspective. Just before the Ashes series England sacked their selectors. Squad and team selection was left to the management and Edwards. There seemed to be no place for new blood. No new T20 players were tried in the two years before the WWT20.

In South Africa Robinson had moved Edwards to bat at number three in the three ODIs against South Africa, which allowed youngsters Lauren Winfield and Amy Jones to open the batting with a more aggressive mindset. But with the WWT20 looming Edwards was back at number 1 for the T20 series - she made 13, 34 and 2. She took the same role at the WWT20 with her opening partner being her Kent team-mate Tammy Beaumont. Beaumont took the lead, hitting four 6s, until the fateful semi-final when she went back into her shell scoring 32 off 40 balls. It was to be Edwards last game in an England shirt.

So Robinson is now looking to rebuild the England team, around a new captain, who will be named in the next few weeks. It is a difficult balancing act as England also need ICC Women's Championship wins to get them into the top four for the 2017 World Cup. Under the Shaw/Edwards regime England have stumbled to just six wins out of the 12 scheduled games, with two losses to both New Zealand and Australia, and one to South Africa, with one game rained-off. They probably need to win at least five of their last nine games to be sure of qualifying. They are expected to beat Pakistan and Sri Lanka 3-0, but Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka could be a tough gig. In between they have to go to Jamaica to play the Windies, still on a high from their WWT20 triumph. It won't be easy.

Robinson will undoubtedly try a few new players this summer, which is what England should have been doing over the past two years. Instead they declined to look outside their pool of 18 contracted players, even when their international records failed to warrant their selection. It means that Robinson has an awful lot to do in a very short space of time, during which he, and his players, will be under intense scrutiny. Should they lose an ODI to Pakistan you can imagine the tabloid headlines.

Robinson is a smart cookie though, and he knew that he had to make the break with Edwards and the old-style regime now, if he were to have any chance in the 2017 World Cup. If not now then when would it have been? It may still not be long enough to prove effective for 2017, but it could be for the WWT20 in the West Indies in 2018. That has to be his goal. If his new-style England can perform admirably in the meantime then that has to be a bonus.

Robinson's problem will not be with his players, but with the press, and with public perception. They will not care two hoots that he has inherited a team that was allowed to stagnate horribly during Paul Shaw's three year tenure. He is the man in the hot seat and they will demand results. I hope he gets them, but even more, I hope he is allowed time to rebuild his team, even if he doesn't.


Monday, 16 May 2016

Kia Super League Rules & Final Details

The Regulations for the new Kia Super League have hit the bookshelves - well the ECB website actually. If you have an insomnia problem then here they are.

I have to admit that I have not read them in full - it's about 250 pages of riveting prose - but a couple of things have leapt out from a first glance.

The first is that the Finals Day will now only be contested by three teams and not the original four. The team that finishes top of the Super League will automatically be in the final, and the teams finishing second and third will play a semi-final, on Finals Day, with the winner meeting the top team in the final later the same day. We know that that Finals Day will be held at Chelmsford on Sunday 21st August, with the following day set aside as a reserve day for Finals Day. There are no reserve days for the league games, so if they are rained off the teams will share the points.

How points are scored in the league games is obviously crucial to the competition, and here there is another unexpected twist. For a win with bonus point there will be 3 points; for a win with no bonus point there will be 2 points and for no result each team will get 1 point. There are no points for a loss. So how is the bonus calculated? Here I have to quote the rules (sorry):-
"The team that achieves a run rate of 1.25 times that of the opposition shall be awarded one bonus point. A team's run rate will be calculated by reference to the runs scored in an innings divided by the number of overs faced."
What this means is that if a side is batting second they will need to chase down the runs needed within 16 overs to achieve a run rate of 1.25 that of their opponents. If a side bat's first then they will need to bowl out or restrict their opponents to 80% of their score - eg if they score 150, then they will have to restrict their opposition to 120 (150 x 0.8). Calculators will be needed if and when rain shortens games or intervenes half-way through games.

And speaking of rain, the third point of interest is that the Duckworth/Lewis/Stern method of recalculating required scores will be used in interrupted matches. It is not a system which works well in T20 cricket in my opinion, and vastly favours the side batting second. With every point crucial I can see some feverish calculations and recalculations being undertaken, if the weather decides to intervene, and it may make winning the toss a big deal.

On first reading I almost missed perhaps the most important part - prize money!! This will be as follows :-

Winning KSL Host - £15,000
Winning KSL Host total player prize money - £25,000

Runner up KSL Host - £10,000
Runner up KSL Host total player prize money - £15,000

Happy reading!!


Round 2 of the Women's County Championship

After the second round of fixtures in the Royal London Women's County Championship Warwickshire remain top of Division One, with the perfect average, after a second full 18 point win, this time over previously undefeated Berkshire. Kent and Sussex kept up the pressure on the top dogs (or should that be top bears?) with easy wins over Middlesex and Somerset respectively. But the biggest surprise was Surrey's comprehensive defeat of defending champions Yorkshire at Harrogate.

At Wokingham Berkshire's Heather Knight, with 92, tried valiantly to get her side over the line, chasing Warwickshire's 200/9 but with five of her colleagues getting out for 2 or less, her efforts were in vain. Warwickshire were indebted to Meg Lanning's sister, Anna, for her stylish and solid 54 at the top of the Bears' batting line-up and Laura Crofts (47) at the bottom, as Berkshire allowed them to escape from 123/7 to post a respectable (and full bonus point getting) 200. At 97 without loss Berkshire looked in control of the run chase, but when Linsey Smith (40) fell to the spin of Georgia Davis, Berkshire imploded. There was nothing Knight could do as she lost partner after partner, and was last out with Berkshire still 14 runs short (you can read the CricketHER match report here).

Kent with new recruit New Zealand captain Suzie Bates in their line-up, alongside four other current England players and two former England players, bowled out Middlesex for just 92 (Tash Farrant 4/16) and chased down the runs in the 21st over, with Charlotte Edwards (30*) batting at 5, ensuring there were no wobbles after Bates, Beaumont and Marsh had all gone with only 52 on the board.

At a very picturesque Bath CC, Sussex without the injured Georgia Adams, and still without Sarah Taylor (see below), bowled out Somerset for 126, having been 96/2. Georgia Elwiss claimed 6/17, including a hat-trick, as the Somerset middle and lower order were blown away. Elwiss then led the Sussex reply with a measured 45 off 50 balls, as Sussex lost just three wickets before overcoming the Somerset score in the 29th over. As for Taylor it has now been confirmed that she is currently taking a two month break from cricket. The ECB said "Sarah is taking a break from cricket at the moment having decided to take some personal time away from the game.  We will support her, keep in touch and talk with her prior to selection for the Pakistan series and the start of the Kia Super League."

Up in Harrogate Yorkshire won the toss and put Surrey into bat. 50 overs later Surrey had amassed 255/4, with Kirstie White (76), Nat Sciver (56) and Briony Smith (50*) all helping themselves to runs, with 84 coming off the last seven overs. In reply a demoralised Yorkshire never really got going, losing Lauren Winfield (7) early. Only Holly Armitage (62) offered a glimmer of hope, but when she was the fifth wicket to fall, with Yorkshire on 136, the end was in sight, the game ending when Cecily Scutt took her fourth wicket (4/42). In the relegation battle this could prove to be a vital win for Surrey and it is a huge blow to Yorkshire's hopes of retaining the title.

Div 1 Results

Warwickshire 200/9 beat Berkshire 186 all out by 14 runs

Middlesex 92 all out lost to Kent 94/4 by 6 wickets

Somerset 126 all out lost to Sussex 127/3 by 7 wickets

Surrey 255/4 beat Yorkshire 197 all out by 58 runs

In Division 2 Lancashire won their first game of the season and consigned Essex to their third straight defeat, but it was far from a convincing performance. Having bowled Essex out for 115 (Lily Reynolds 33), with left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone opening the bowling and claiming 3/22, Lancashire then struggled to get over the line. They were indebted to new Aussie-import Lauren Smith for an undefeated 54, as they slipped from 55/1 to 88/6, before Smith got them home.

Wales came unstuck against a Notts side that look like they are going to take some stopping in their effort to rebound back into Division One next year. Wales limped to 137/8 in their 50 overs. Amy Gauvrit took 3/26, but new recruit, Scotland's Kirstie Gordon, took 2/9 from her 10 overs. Skipper Sonia Odedra led from the front in the Notts reply, finishing 57*, helped along by Abbey Hawkins (46), after Notts had slumped to 33/4. Notts eventually ran out winners by five wickets.

And finally Worcestershire got their season underway, but suffered an 18 run loss to newly-promoted Hampshire, despite bowling them out for just 110. Abigail Houghton took 4/28 as Katie George (35) top-scored for Hampshire. In reply Worcestershire could not string any decent partnerships together as wickets tumbled regularly, the last three for just 2 runs. Only Aussie Chloe Piparo (26) stuck around for long, but not long enough.

Div 2 Results
Essex 115 all out lost to Lancashire 117/7 by 3 wickets

Wales 137/8 lost to Notts 138/5 by 5 wickets

Hampshire 110 all out beat Worcestershire 92 all out by 18 runs


Wednesday, 11 May 2016

ECB statement on Edward's Retirement

ECB Press Release following Charlotte Edwards decision to retire from international cricket....

Charlotte Edwards announces retirement from international cricket

England women’s captain, Charlotte Edwards, has announced her retirement from international cricket with immediate effect.

The 36-year-old batsman made her international debut as a 16 year old in 1996, and during a 20-year career with England has made more international appearances than any other female cricketer in the history of the game, amassing 23 Test Match caps, 191 One-Day International (ODI) caps, and 95 Twenty20 International (T20I) caps.  With 5,992 runs, she is the current all-time leading ODI run-scorer in women’s cricket, and has scored more T20I runs (2,605) than any other player in the world (man or woman).

Appointed England captain in 2006, Edwards has led her country on 220 occasions, taking the team to ICC Women’s World Cup and ICC World Twenty20 glory in 2009, alongside winning the Women’s Ashes three times as captain – once in England (2013) and twice in Australia (2008 and 2014). 

In 2008 she won the ICC Women’s Player of the Year award, and during 2014 was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, became only the second woman ever to be named as a Wisden Cricketer of the Year, and was the first female cricketer to be nominated for the coveted ICC LG People’s Choice Award. 

Charlotte Edwards said:

“Everyone who knows me – and how much I love playing for England – will appreciate what a difficult decision it has been for me to retire from international cricket. It’s a decision I’ve reached after much thought and detailed discussion with Mark Robinson and Clare Connor about what is best for the team going forward.

“I have given 20 years to playing for England and I leave very proud of the standing in which the women's game is held and of my contribution as a player and captain.  As a 16-year-old girl making my debut for England, I couldn't have dreamt that I would have had such an amazing time with so much success.  I've travelled the world, won World Cups and Ashes series and shared it all with some of my closest friends.

“However, nothing lasts forever.  I believe now is the right time for a new captain to lead the team forward and for young players to be given more opportunities to make their mark on the international game.  After honest and open discussions with Mark, it became clear that he wants to build a new team and I fully support that.  I would have loved to have carried on and whilst I am disappointed that I won’t be doing so, I fully understand and respect what Mark is looking to do.  This is a new era and he wants other players to come to the fore to build a strong team. 

“20 years is a long time and so I have many people to thank: my family, my friends, every single coach who has helped me get better during my career, all the support staff and my England team mates over the last two decades.  They are all special to me and I couldn't have achieved even half of what I have without them.  I also want to thank everyone at the ECB for all their support and guidance over the years, and to the incredible fan base that has grown for the England women’s team throughout my career.   

“Aside from the team's successes and my own personal record, I am most proud of where the women's game is now.  I have loved working with the ECB off the pitch to break new ground and to build a better future for the sport, and I hope to continue to play a role in this moving forwards.”

Tom Harrison, ECB Chief Executive, commented:

“Charlotte Edwards has been at the heart of the England women’s team and a major force in international women’s cricket for two decades.  Her outstanding achievements in the game during that time are unrivalled, and in many aspects, are unlikely to ever be surpassed.  She is a credit to her country and our sport, and deserves nothing but celebration and enormous respect for the way in which she has played the game over the last 20 years.  She leaves the most wonderful legacy, having inspired countless women and girls around the world to pick up a bat and a ball and play the game she so clearly loves. 

“On behalf of the ECB and everyone involved in England cricket, I would like to thank Charlotte for her very special contribution to the game.”

ECB Director of England Women’s Cricket, Clare Connor, added:

“It is impossible to quantify Charlotte’s contribution to England women’s cricket in a few words, so great has her influence and inspiration been as a leader, and so prolific her record as a batsman.  In a staggering career spanning 20 years, she has achieved it all.  She has witnessed great change: from making her debut in 1996 when, aged 16, she paid £50 for the privilege of her first England blazer to turning fully professional for these twilight years of her career.

“Throughout that time, she has adapted, she has thrived and she has become more and more resilient.  But perhaps most importantly she has remained in love with the game.  Unlike her sport and her journey through it, Charlotte the person has barely changed.  Despite the CBE, the professional contract, the media requests and the World Cup medals, she has remained constant, true to herself, an impeccable role model for our sport and, indeed, for all women in sport.  She has given everything to playing cricket for England and the game will forever owe her a huge debt of gratitude.  I wish her every success and happiness as she embarks on the next stage of her life.”

Charlotte Edwards will continue to play domestic cricket, captaining the Southern Vipers in the inaugural Kia Super League this summer, alongside leading Kent in the Royal London Women’s One-Day Championship. 

Her replacement as England captain will be announced in due course.

Charlotte Edwards Profile

Full Name: Charlotte Marie Edwards CBE
Born: December 17th 1979, Huntingdon
County: Kent
Test Caps: 23
ODI Caps: 191
T20I Caps: 95
Role: Right-hand bat / right-arm spin bowler

International Batting and Fielding Averages:


International Bowling Averages:



Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Week 2 of Women's County Championship

The second round of county fixtures are due to be played this Sunday with some intriguing games in store.

In Division One top of the table Warwickshire (1 game/1 win) travel to Wokingham to take on second placed Berkshire (2/2). As well as some of the more familiar names on show watch out for Warwickshire youngsters - pace bowler Katie Green and leg-spinner Georgia Davis, and Berkshire's 15 year old opening bowler Lauren Bell (aka The Shard - you will see why!). None of them have places in this year's KSL, but they all have plenty of potential. Warwickshire looked to have a decent bowling attack against Sussex, and if they can break through the Berkshire top order, they could clock up their second win.
Middlesex are hosted by Kent, who will be keen to bounce back from their defeat to Sussex last time out. With the new addition of New Zealand skipper Suzie Bates to the Kent ranks, they should have far too much batting for Middlesex to cope with, but left-arm spinner Alex Hartley will be keen to impress with the England captain in the opposition ranks.
Sussex have a road trip to Bath to take on Somerset and seem set to be without their skipper Sarah Taylor again. But fresh from their defeat of Kent, and with Freya Davies back in the line-up after missing the opening games due to uni exams, Sussex's bowling looks strong enough to set up a victory even if their batting is looking rather lacklustre.
Yorkshire finally hope to get their season underway with a win, when Surrey make the long trip north. It is difficult to see Surrey, who are already 0/2, coming back with very much from the game.

In Division Two table-toppers Devon get the weekend off, so can watch how their rivals get on. Wales have a tricky trip to Notts, who had an easy win last week over promoted Leicestershire. This will be more of a test, but Notts are likely to come out on top.
Lancashire look favourites to overcome Essex, who lost both their opening weekend games. Lancs game was called off so they could go top of the league if they can pull off an 18 point win.
The final game is the first for Worcestershire this season, and the first for the only county team that offers its girls contracts. Under coach Jason Yip Worcestershire are a county to watch, both on and off the field. They will hope to take their first step towards Div 1 in 2017 with a win over promoted Hampshire.

Fixtures for Sunday 15th May 

Division One
Berks v Warks at Wokingham CC
Kent v Middx at the Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence
Somerset v Sussex at Bath CC
Yorkshire v Surrey at Harrogate CC

Division Two
Lancs v Essex at St Annes CC
Notts v Wales at Welbeck CC
Worcs v Hants at Royal Grammar & Alice Ottley School, Flagge Meadow


Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Round Up of first weekend in Div 2 of the Women's County Championship

Devon made the ideal start to their 2016 campaign to get into Division One of the County Championship, with back-to-back wins against Hampshire and Essex, and with Aylish Cranstone
1st ton for Aylish Cranstone
hitting her first century for the county, and the first century of the WCC 2016 season!

On Sunday newly promoted Hampshire opted to take first use of a fairly spongey pitch against Devon. Opening bowlers Sophie Mackenzie and Rebecca Donohue asserted control over the innings. Mackenzie bowled Charlotte Taylor with a no-ball, who then went on to score an assured 32. Devon built pressure and took regular wickets, despite some resistance from Emily Windsor who stuck around for a 58-ball 13. Lydia Clements bowled tightly in the powerplay to take 1-12 off six, as Hampshire reached 127 all out in the 48th over.

Amara Carr with 53 anchored the Devon innings, which was a stop-start on a pitch where a bit of time was needed to feel comfortable, and Hampshire's bowlers tied up Devon by bowling straight.There were small contributions from a number of batsmen, but Alli Kelly was the pick with 16, and Devon crawled over the line in the 41st over, winning by three wickets.

On Monday Devon racked up 265/5 with Cranstone hitting a magnificent 134* off 140 balls. Essex were unable to string any partnerships together and subsided to 98 all out in the 30th over (for a fuller report see CRICKETher).

Elsewhere Wales ensured that Essex had a thoroughly miserable weekend as they defeated them by 37 runs. Bowled out for 150 (Parfitt 41), Wales proceeded to bowl out their opponents for 113 with Anwen Morgan claiming 4/19.

In the only other game of the weekend new kids on the block Leicestershire were bowled out by relegated Notts for 97. Sonia Odedra took 4/12 in her 10 overs and Kirstie Gordon 4/24 in her set of 10. Former England keeper Jane Smit led Notts to an easy victory with 42*. 

Wales 150 all out beat Essex 113 all out, by 37 runs
Hampshire 127 all out lost to Devon 128/7, by 3 wickets
Leicestershire 97 all out lost to Notts 101/3, by 7 wickets

Devon 265/5 beat Essex 98 all out, by 167 runs
Leics v Wales - abandoned
Lancs v Notts - cancelled


Tuesday, 3 May 2016

County Div 1 Round Up - First weekend

Well who would have thought that at the end of the first weekend of County Championship fixtures the top three in Division One would be :-

1. Warwickshire 18.00
2. Berkshire 17.50
3. Middlesex 17.00

True the rain did intervene somewhat, but the fallacy that county cricket is not a good enough standard for the England contracted players was blown out of the water as fancied Sussex got turned over by unfancied Warwickshire, and then Sussex themselves (without Sarah Taylor) dispatched Kent, despite the fact that all five of Kent's contracted England players were on the park and four of them batted in the top four.

On Sunday Kent steam-rollered newbies Somerset into the Taunton turf, posting 279/4 and then bowling Somerset out for just 58. There were runs for Edwards 79, Beaumont 72, and Greenway 69, as the chasm between Div 1 & Div 2 was cruelly exposed.
Fellow newbies Staffs were also hammered by Berkshire who restricted them to 130/9 and then got them with just two wickets down and eight overs to spare. Amanda Potgeiter took 3/12 and Heather Knight helped herself to 56 to get her season off and running.
In Middlesex the home side managed to score 165 before they were bowled out, having been 113/9 at one stage. Fran Wilson made 63, and Naomi Dattani (30*) and Alex Hartley (28) added 52 for the last wicket. In response Surrey were bowled out for 99 with Bryony Smith top-scoring with 23.
Sussex made another calamitous start to their season, as they did last year, losing by six wickets to Warwickshire. Put into bat they could only manage to put 126 on the board (losing two valuable batting points) and then take only four wickets (losing three more). Georgia Adams top-scored for Sussex with 45, with extras second top-scorer with 37. In reply Warwickshire calmly knocked-off the runs with Minihal Zahoor 39, Marie Kelly 31* and Anna Lanning 25 leading the way.

On Monday the rain washed out the Yorkshire v Warwickshire and the Staffs v Somerset games, but Berkshire made it two from two as they handed Surrey their second defeat of the weekend. Surrey have now lost their last five county championship games and they must already be strong relegation prospects with Kent, Sussex and Yorkshire still to play. They managed to post 153/9 thanks to 69 from Kirstie White. Potgeiter and Knight claimed three wickets apiece. Knight then led the way with the bat with 37, with keeper Carla Rudd hitting 34, just one shy of her best ever for the county. They wrapped up the win with nearly 10 overs to spare.
Meanwhile in Eastbourne the rain prevented play getting underway until just after 2pm, with the game reduced to 30 overs per side. Put into bat Sussex shot out of the traps with Georgia Adams (53) and Georgia Elwiss (20) smashing 30 off the first three overs from Farrant and Pape. Progress then became a little more serene until the penultimate over when Izi Noakes (38) launched Davidson-Richards for two enormous 6s over midwicket off consecutive balls. It meant Sussex reached 172 before they were bowled out in the last over. Kent needed 5.8 per over, but by half way, having lost Edwards early, Tammy Beaumont (49) and Lydia Greenway (33) had left Kent needing 96 off the last 15 overs at 6.5. As England Head Coach, Mark Robinson (who watched the match), said before the game it is important in women's cricket not to get behind the rate, and so it proved. Beaumont and Greenway went in quick succession and Kent collapsed from 101/2 to 131 all out. 

Which means that Berkshire have had a great weekend; Warwickshire have beaten a top team and do not have to play another (Yorkshire); Sussex could win all their remaining games and still not win the title due to only get three bonus points against Warwickshire; and Kent can still take the title, but cannot afford another slip up.

The next round of games is on Sunday 15th May.