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Derbyshire Women V Sussex & Essex

Derbyshire Women V SussexDerbyshire Cricket Board Womens 1st XI v Sussex Womens 1st XI

Record breaking Bank holiday temperatures greeted the players in Brighton for the opening weekend. A relegated Sussex boasting world cup winners, internationals and academy players would prove a difficult challenge. New skipper Kayleigh Best and debutant Natasha Allen replacing the retired Charlotte Horton and Durham bound Rachel Hopkins. Having won the toss Sussex chose to bat first. Danni Wyatt (19) and Georgia Adams (106) opened confidently, both being dropped early in their innings. Wyatt eventually falling to a Sarah Glenn catch off Alice Dyson (8-0-50-1). Opener Leah Kellogg (7-0-53-0) bowled with good pace as Sarah Taylor (58) showed her skills at the crease. Amy Lacey (5-0-24-0), Sarah Glenn (7-0-42-0) Lucy Yates (5-0-32-0) all bowled with little support in the field as 6 catches went down. Kayleigh Best (10-0-68-4) provided the breakthrough with the first ball of her spell removing Taylor. Another international arriving at the crease (Georgia Elwiss 16) became Georgie Harrisons (8-0-43-2) first victim thanks to a good catch behind by an impressive Bess Heath. With the scoreboard ticking over at 6 an over another Georgie Harrison wicket and 2 more from the skipper, one thanks to a smart Lauren Tuffrey catch saw the innings end at 316 for 7.

If the chase wasn’t daunting enough Derbys got off to the worst start possible, Megan Pittman (0) falling to an unplayable first ball from the impressive Freya Davies (10-6-10-6). With Lauren (1), Sarah (4), Kayleigh (2) and Bess (0) all falling early the scoreboard at 17 for 5 and still 300 required, looked gloomy. Alice (27) and Leah (15) took the score to 47 but as wickets continued to fall Tash Allen (3) Lucy (0) and Georgie (3) left Amy unbeaten on 3, 65 all out. A lesson from a team playing in the wrong division was given out. In front of England manager Mark Robinson the game proved very one sided but to watch and compete against the very best the womens game has to offer should provide some inspiration.

Derbyshire Cricket Board Womens 1st XI v Essex Womens 1st XI

Straight into the cars and an 80 mile commute from Brighton to Southend on Sea to prepare for Essex. The impressive Garon Park hosted the fixture. With Megan Pittman travelling back to Durham University and Emma Thatcher coming into the side another hot and sunny morning would ensure a second blistering day in the field. Winning the toss meant Kayleigh put Essex into bat. Leah Kellogg (5-2-7-0) and Alice Dyson (10-0-41-3) taking the new ball. Lucy Yates (4-0-16-1) and Amy Lacy (7-1-18-0) provided the back up as Essex toiled at 48 for 4. 5th & 6th wicket partnerships took the score to 118 for 6 but with 4 magnificent catches from Bess and 3 Run outs Essex stumbled to 130 for 9. A spirited final wicket partnership of 13 from the final 3 overs proved frustrating as the innings closed on 143 for 9.

Lauren Tuffrey (4) and Tash Allen (10) opened but Laurens early departure meant some early caution as Sarah Glenn joined Tash. The score advanced to 35 for 3 as Tash and Bess (0) fell in quick succession. Alice (28) and Sarah then took Derbys to 116 as Sarah hammered the ball to all corners. As Alice fell chasing a wide delivery Leah (5) partnered Sarah to within 13 of victory. However, just as a victory looked the only possible outcome the team capitulated, firstly Leah then Lucy (0), Sarah for a magnificent 72 that included a towering 6, Emma (0) and the runner assisted Kayleigh (2) thanks to a farcical run out and Amy (0) falling first ball all went quickly leaving the score at 139 all out. Derbyshire condemning themselves to defeat, a single hit from winning a game they looked like winning for 90 of the 93 overs played. A long and silent journey home for the players who, but for a couple over the weekend, all need to take a good look at the way they failed in Southend. With more difficult away fixtures in Devon and Wales to come the players need to knuckle down and show more resilience. That final Essex batting partnership and a crumbling confidence with the bat, proving decisive.

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