Royal London Women's County One-Day Championship Round Up

Kate Cross had a four-wicket haul for Lancashire
©Reuters
 

Kent sounded an ominous warning to their Division One rivals with back-to-back wins to begin the Royal London Women's County One-Day Championship.

The seven-time champions got full service from their England stars as they first defeated Nottinghamshire by 49 runs before overpowering Warwickshire by seven wickets over the Bank Holiday weekend.

England all-rounder Laura Marsh hit a half-century in the win over Notts on Sunday before she 24 hours later claimed five wickets as Warwickshire were dismissed for 232.

Marsh picked up the key wicket of England team-mate Amy Jones (67), who shared a 107-run opening stand with Bethan Ellis (74), before Tammy Beaumont (87) and Fran Wilson (83) made light work of the target to rush Kent to victory with 9.2 overs to spare at Beckenham.

Lancashire, champions in 2017, were the only other county to secure a pair of top-flight wins as they scraped a thrilling one-run victory over newly-promoted Surrey in the closest match to mark Women’s County Cricket Day on Monday.

Young Surrey batter Bryony Smith, who boasts three England caps, hit 86 from 89 balls, but Lancashire’s bowlers battled back and grabbed victory from the final ball when Amy Gordon was run out attempting a second. Kate Cross’ four-wicket haul had helped the Red Rose county to a 16-run win over defending champions Hampshire in their opener.

Hampshire suffered a pair of defeats to start their title defence as they also lost to Yorkshire, runner-up for the past two seasons, by 59 runs although 20-year-old leg-spinner Providence Cowdrill provided the bright spot with a pair of thee-wicket hauls.

Newly-promoted duo Sussex and Surrey split their opening-round matches.

Sussex followed a one-wicket win over Warwickshire, in which leg-spinner Nancy Harman claimed six for 40, with a 23-run defeat to Nottinghamshire while Surrey opened with an eight-wicket win over Yorkshire before their last-gasp defeat to Lancashire.

 

ENGLAND WATCH

England captain Heather Knight kick-started her Ashes summer in style as she clubbed 131 from 121 balls as Berkshire secured wins over Essex and Worcestershire in Division Two. Anya Shrubsole also impressed as the England seamer claimed two for nine before an even more miserly return of three for eight from seven overs against Worcestershire.

 

PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEKEND

Middlesex needed to bounce back after losing their opening game back in Division Two and 20-year-old all-rounder Sophia Dunkley stepped up with the highest score of the round. The right-hander blasted 136 from 116 balls, including 14 boundaries, before claiming a pair of wickets in a 168-run win over Worcestershire.