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Staffordshire Cricket Board Women`s 1st X1 v Derbyshire Cricket Board Women`s 1st X1

Moddershall cricket club was the stage as Derbyshire women welcomed a return to winning ways against a Staffs team relegated from Division 1 last summer. With both teams suffering double defeats over the Bank holiday weekend against the same opposition a victory was essential to both in order to restore much needed confidence.

A fit again Charlotte Horton won the toss and invited a young Staffs team to bat first. Leah Kellogg (8-3-16-2) and Alice Dyson (6-2-11-2) taking the new ball and with some tight bowling Staffs struggled to set the pace. With steady rain now falling and after claiming one wicket for Leah and two for Alice they were replaced at 25 for 3 by Amy Lacey (10-4-10-1) who claimed wicket number 4 thanks to a smart slip catch by Emily Marriott and Lucy Yates (3-1-7-0). New recruit Tiarna Gilkes (3-0-17-1) picked up the 5th wicket as Bess Heath grabbed a simple top edge at square leg to reduce Staffs to 40 for 5. A direct hit by Tiarna brought to an end the biggest partnership at 63-6. Emily Marriott (10-4-14-1) removed the defiant opener Charlotte Whyte for 28 in the 32nd over and Rachel Hopkins (5-0-12-1) with the help of another slick piece of run-out fielding by Tiarna left Leah to mop up with another smart slip Maz catch as Staffs succumbed for 89 in the 45th over.

Opening duo Horton and Hopkins took a cautious approach to the reply until both hit double boundaries to stamp their authority on the Staffs attack. Just when a 10 wicket victory looked likely Rachel (26) lifted a simple square cut into the covers the score to fall on 69. Charlotte (27) fell 3 runs later when pulling a half tracker to deep-square. Maz (7) and Bess (10) were to grab the glory seeing the visitors home in the 22nd over for a convincing 8 wicket victory. Derbys picking up 18 much needed points.

With another Bank Holiday double-header against Hants and Surrey to come this was a powerful confidence boost for Derbys and the exciting challenge of facing Charlotte Edwards, Suzie Bates and other seasoned full internationals would hopefully bring out the best in the players.

Megan Pittman (12) stepped into the breach left by Charlottes absence and opened with Rachel Hopkins but Derbyshire were to suffer early setbacks with the dismissal of Rachel (0), Bess (2) and Maz (5) as the score limped to 34-4. Further dismissals to Lauren Tuffrey (1) and Alice Dyson (0) left the scoreboard on 43-6. They rallied briefly thanks some positive batting when Rebekah Grimley (9) joined Leah (23) but this partnership ended on 72. Lucy (1) and Georgie (1) soon departed and thanks to the impressive spin of Hazelle Garton (10-3-20-6) Derbyshire were finally dismissed in the 33rd over for 87 including 27 wides again leaving Amy Lacey unbeaten on 0. Devon 18pts Derbys 3pts.

Despite restricting the opposition to a very ‘gettable’ target of just over 4 an over the batting failed to show the resilience that was evident last summer but with more games ahead the benchmark for winning games has been set. Defeats at the hands of a single batsman on day 1 who went on to then score another unbeaten 118 the next day and then another defeat largely at the hands of a single bowler show that we will meet match winners in this league and our concentration is vital.

 wOMEN 4     wOMEN 2     wOMEN 3   wOMEN 4

                

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