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Derbyshire Cricket Board v Staffordshire Women

 

The T20 third round took us to Fordhouses CC in Wolverhampton under a gloomy looking sky with points now becoming vital in the battle for survival. With Notts sitting comfortably at the top of the Division and Staffs currently joining Derbyshire and Essex in the 3 relegation spots points were now a premium.

 

First up were Staffs. The welcomed return from injury of 2016 player of the year Sarah Glenn would hopefully boost a team battling against the challenges brought by last summer’s promotion. Opener and stand-in skipper Rachel Hopkins paced to the wicket with Sarah looking for a positive start but Rachel (0) was to suffer the setback of being given out caught behind off a ‘ghost’ edge 4 balls into the match. A rejuvenated Bess Heath (30) from 34 balls joined Sarah as the pair set about the Staffs attack. A blistering assault from Sarah saw her hit a succession of boundaries in her run-a-ball 31 before being stumped with the score on 39 for 2 from 9 overs. Bess took up the mantle when joined by Leah Kellogg (5) from 12 balls but their progress was halted by a 30 minute spell of rain. Now facing a huge disadvantage the match was reduced to 16 overs per side and Derbys had lost 4 of their remaining 8 over run-fest. With Leahs dismissal at mid-on (68 for 3) some big hitting was needed. Bess fell next to a catch at deep mid-wicket, 76 for 4, Rebekah Grimley (8) from 6 caught at long-on and Alice Dyson (11*) from 10 dragged the score to a hopeful 92.

 

 

Facing the difficult task of defending a restricted target against a team batting with the distinct advantage of knowing they had 16 overs from the start would prove difficult, particularly on a wet outfield. Requiring 5.8 per over Lucy Yates (1-0-8-0) and Sarah Glenn (4-0-12-2) opened the bowling, Sarah’s leg-spin proving a decisive factor hitting the stumps twice. A lively Leah Kellogg (2-0-14-1) and Amy Lacey (2-0-13-1) both chipped in with a wicket Alice Dyson (4-0-22-2) removed top scorer Evans and Rachel Hopkins (1-0-10-0) all struggled to keep the run chase under control but it was Tiarna Gilkes (2-0-5-2) and a Bess Heath catch that edged things in Derbyshires favour, Staffs falling 4 runs short, the 4 points were in the bag, a huge result.

 

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