Priest’s Power Inspires T20 Success for Wales Women
On a windy and overcast day at Dumbleton CC, Wales Women continued their winning streak with two further wins against Gloucestershire and Berkshire in the T20 cup. This ensures that Wales have won four games from four heading into the penultimate round of fixtures next week, putting themselves in a very promising position.
Captain Lauren Parfitt won the toss for the first game against Berkshire, and elected to bat first. Despite taking 16 off the first over mostly due to a large amount of extras, Rachel Priest was dismissed for just 1 off the bowling of Lauren Bell. The score progressed rapidly to 28 off 2 overs, with Gabby Basketter smashing 3 boundaries on her way to 12 before she was also back in the pavilion. Parfitt added 18, but a flurry of low scores left Wales struggling at 85-6. However, young Danielle Gibson, on her home ground, hit an inspired 31 off 25 balls to carry the total to 132-9 off 20 overs.
Wales began strongly, with Claire Nicholas claiming the first wicket in the third over after an economical start. Phoebe Graham (14) and Lauren Bell (35) batted attackingly, but wickets fell far too regularly throughout the innings as Berkshire failed to reach the required run rate at any point, which had risen to more than 10 an over. The wickets were shared, demonstrating a fine team performance, with Parfitt claiming two scalps, and Nicholas, Wynne, Cartwright and Basketter also contributing.
After a quick turnaround, it was straight back onto the field for the second fixture of the day against the hosts, Gloucestershire. Parfitt again won the toss and chose to bat, and Rachel Priest provided a masterclass in T20 batting that left even her own team speechless! She smashed her way to 107, with her 100 coming off just 51 balls with 17 fours and 2 sixes. Gabby Basketter executed the anchoring role perfectly – of their 88-run opening stand, she contributed a vital 14! Alex Griffiths hit 19 and Claire Nicholas 11, and Wales managed to post an excellent 176-5.
With spirits high following Priest’s fireworks, Wales went out to field full of confidence. Abi Evans began aggressively for the hosts, hitting 24 before she was caught behind off Danielle Gibson. Wynne bowled the other opener early, and Wales began making inroads into their batting order with regularity. Naima Milhofer (12) and Molly Thomas (18) counterattacked positively, but the total was simply too vast and Gloucestershire scraped their way to 100-7 off their 20 overs.
It was another successful day for the women, who will be excited and confident for their home fixtures against Somerset and Scotland at Usk CC next week.