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Derbyshire Women v Wales and Essex T20

Derbyshire Womens 1st XI v Cricket Wales Womens 1st XI

Looking for an improvement in their T20 techniques Derbyshire Women played hosts to visitors Wales and Essex at the Denby Copperyard.

Wales would be first up as Charlotte Horton won the toss and opted to bowl. Leah Kellogg (4-1-18-2) and Lucy Yates (4-0-15-0) opened the bowling against an aggressive intent but were able to repeatedly beat the bat without early success. With Leah switching ends her reintroduction in the 10th over eventually saw the breakthrough and removal of both openers to LBWs, the score on 54. Alice Dyson (3-0-18-0) bowled with pace at the incoming pair whilst taking lead role in a run out with Rachel Hopkins and the ever dependable Amy Lacey (3-0-11-2) continued to ‘bamboozle’ the opposition into submission thanks to another quickfire stumping from keeper Megan Pittman and a catch from Kellogg. Emma Thatcher (2-0-13-0) and Tiarna Gilkes (2-0-12-1) kept the score under control at 5 an over with Gilkes picking up a wicket via a Dyson catch. A Lucy Yates throw to pick up the innings second run out saw the Wales knock end after 20 overs with the score at 99 for 8 including 26 extras, Derbyshire were upbeat and positive.

Derbyshire set about the chase with a new pairing of Rachel Hopkins (27) and Tiarna Gilkes (5) but were to be pinned back yet again in the 6 over batting power play which yielded only 12 runs, a sum that would prove impossible to recover from. With Gilkes dismissal after a 37 ball vigil and the score on 37 for 1 in the 12 over Derbyshire still needed 63 from 48 balls on a ground with big boundaries. The Welsh attack proved to be too accurate with Thomas (4-1-9-4) proving the decisive factor and with only conceding 8 extras the difference was clear to understand. Bess Heath (13) from 14 balls and Charlotte Horton (15) from 16 balls tried to reduce the required run rate. Alice Dyson (0), Leah Kellogg (8) from 7, Rebekah Grimley (0) all perished valiantly leaving Megan Pittman (5*) and Lucy Yates (0*) in at the end. Derbyshire ending on 81 for 7 from their 20 overs.

A more positive approach was now desperately needed following 3 very similar surrenders in the T20, too many extras and a life sapping level of caution in the early overs was terminal, we need to play some ‘village’ cricket and take a more aggressive stance by playing with high risk.

Derbyshire Womens 1st XI v Essex Womens 1st XI

Following a Wales (108-3) victory over Essex (82-9) in game 2 of the day a positive result was now vital. Skipper Horton again called correctly and Essex were batting. Kellogg (3-0-27-0) and Yates (4-0-21-0) again took the new ball with no breakthrough. A Rachel Hopkins run out with the score at 21 from 5 overs followed by a wicket from Emma Thatcher (3-0-15-1) on 44 in the 10th over looked promising as the scoreboard was again kept under control. However the total soon began to rise as Essex took the score from 47-2 from 11 to 92-2 from 15 and the days biggest target loomed. Alice Dyson (3-0-15-0), Amy Lacey (3-0-14-0), Tiarna Gilkes (1-0-15-0) and Rachel Hopkins (3-0-12-0) all toiled to break the partnership but Essex completed their 20 overs on a daunting 123 for 3 including a slightly more acceptable 14 extras.

            Another change saw Rachel Hopkins (27) from 27 and Leah Kellogg (12) from 30 take up arms for the run chase. First to fall after crashing 5 balls to the boundary was Hopkins with the score on 40 in the 8th, Leah was joined by Bess Heath (51) who relishing the challenge immediately made a statement by batting in the way only Bess can. An early single was followed by the first of 6 fours as the ball started to disappear to the ropes with a more gleeful regularity. Leah was to fall after two exquisite cover drives and the score at 59-2 in the 11th. Still behind the run-rate Bess was joined by Charlotte Horton (22*) from 25 and the pair set about the Essex attack. The ‘golden over’ was to arrive in the 14th as Bess blasted 2 sixes and 2 fours catapulting the score to 101 leaving 23 needed from 36 balls. Bess was to bring up an exhilarating 50 with another boundary followed by a 2 to the deep, Bam-Bam was back and the bat raised to cheers from the sidelines. Her 30 ball half century included 6 fours and 2 big sixes into the bank.  Despite falling shortly after on 51 and the score on 117 for 3  skipper Horton steered the team home with 15 balls to spare accompanied by Alice Dyson(0*), Hortons 22 and a return to form came from 25 balls with 3 fours.

Great to see that lessons were being learned and that the team could adapt and respond to honest team talks. T20 can be an ugly form of cricket with technique being abandoned in the pursuit of big scores. It’s a game with no room for a cautious approach and has to be played with high risk where aggressive batting and running compete against the need to bowl accurately. Coupled with the challenge that our promotion brings there will be tough encounters all summer but the team picked up its most welcomed first T20 victory of the campaign and those signs of self-doubt should be dissolved.

That’s how we play T20 !

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