Warwickshire Women start with a tie
Warwickshire began their Royal London Women’s County Championship season with a real nail-biter at Nailsea as their opening match against Somerset ended in a tie.
The Bears appeared to be heading for defeat when the newly-promoted home side, replying to 124, reached 94 for three.
But Anisha Patel’s dismissal of England star Anya Shrubshole triggered a collapse to 116 for nine, leaving Somerset’s last pair Georgia Tulip and Lorraine Szczepanski with nine runs to find. Amid the highest tension they collected eight to level the scores but then Tulip was caught by Liz Russell off Jenny Gunn and the match was tied.
Put in, Warwickshire reached 51 for two thanks to Amy Jones’s 25 (41 balls). They then hit trouble which saw a collapse to 100 for nine before a last-wicket partnership of 24 between Gunn (45 not out, 82 balls) and Patel gave them something to bowl at.
Somerset’s reply was pegged back by two early wickets for Russell before Shrubsole (28, 61 balls) and Olivia Hamilton (31, 52) took them to 94 for three and apparently cruising to victory. But a wicket-maiden from Patel, including the dismissal of Shrubsole, began a strong fightback. Captain Marie Kelly trapped Hamilton lbw and when Russell returned to dismiss Nicole Richards, Somerset were 108 for seven, still 17 short of victory.
After a stumping and a run out, last pair Tulip and Szczepanski needed to score nine and managed eight before the honours were shared in a real thriller.
* The Bears are straight back into action tomorrow when they face another newly-promoted side, Hampshire, at Basingstoke.