Another Successful Weekend for the Women

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The second round of the women’s County Championship Bank Holiday fixtures began on a gloriously hot Sunday at Usk Cricket Club, where Wales were faced by a strong Devon side before facing Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl the following day.

Captain Claire Thomas lost the toss and were made to bowl first on what seemed a very flat wicket. However, opening bowlers Ffion Wynne and Anwen Morgan gave Wales the perfect start, as the former removed Aylish Cranstone for a duck in the third over of the game, triggering a dramatic collapse which left the visitors reeling at 7-5. Devon struggled to recover having lost their top order so suddenly, as Wynne finished with 3-14 and Morgan with astonishing figures of 2-0 off her 5 overs. Sophie Mackenzie gave a brief glimmer of hope, but Claire Thomas continued Wales’ impressive bowling with figures of 4-11 to clear Devon’s lower order, with our girls requiring only 81 runs for a truly comprehensive victory.

Openers Gabby Basketter and Lauren Parfitt began confidently, looking as if they were batting on an entirely different wicket as they cruised to 43 within the first 11 overs. Assisted by some loose Devon bowling which gave away 21 extras, the girls reached the target having only lost the wicket of Basketter, with Parfitt remaining unbeaten on 36 to complete an impressive performance in every aspect of the game.            

A long minibus journey to Southampton followed, but the girls arrived at the Ageas Bowl full of confidence from the previous day. The weather had turned drastically as several layers were required for both players and spectators, but the game still progressed competitively.

Thomas won the toss and chose to bat first on an extremely good wicket with a large, quick outfield for assistance. Parfitt and Basketter again managed to relieve the pressure caused by Hampshire’s opening bowlers by putting on 35 for the first wicket before the former fell for a well-made 26. Following a brief collapse in the middle order, Naomi Davies and Glamorgan Academy youngster Georgia Parfitt steadied the innings effectively, running brilliantly between the wickets to place the pressure back on the opposition. Davies fell to an excellent catch from Katie George for 18, but Georgia continued to play her shots before departing for a vital 22. The lower order managed to boost Wales’ total to 170 off their 50 overs with Charlotte Scarborough finishing 12 not out, but on a good wicket the girls knew they must bowl well.

Ffion Wynne claimed 2 quick wickets to leave Hampshire at 9-2, but an impressive partnership between Windsor and Taylor once again put Wales on the back foot. Claire Thomas again bowled excellently to break the partnership and finish with another 3 wickets to her tally, as a tight finish followed with the game progressing to the final over. Cowdrill played a fantastic innings for Hampshire to finish 33 not out, sending panic through the Welsh camp, but the discipline of Wales’ bowling improved dramatically which allowed them to win a closely fought game by the narrow margin of only 6 runs.            

Following these two great wins, Wales sit comfortably in second place in the Division Two table, with only unbeaten Lancashire above them. With a few T20s in between, they face Worcestershire on 17th July in the next County Championship game as they aim to continue their impressive form. 

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