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Women's One-Day
Sun 5 May, 11:00

The Sir Rod Aldridge Community Academy, Brighton

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Sussex Women

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Warwickshire CCC

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Women's One-Day Cup: Warwickshire Women v Sussex Women Match Report

The Bears were bowled out by Sussex for 165 in 43.1 overs and the hosts then scored 167 from 44.3 overs, winning by just one wicket in an incredibly tight finish.

Going in to bat first in the Royal London Women’s One-Day County Championship, having lost the toss, the Bears sent Amy Jones and Bethan Ellis to start the innings.

It was England teammate against England teammate as Freya Davies bowled to Jones. Following a comfortable start to the innings with a couple of boundaries, a partnership of 31 was made until the first wicket fell. A mis-timed hit from Jones (19) in the ninth over was sent straight to fielder Tara Norris at point, giving Nancy Harman her first of six wickets in the match.

The 50 soon followed with Kathryn Bryce hitting a four to give Warwickshire the half century in 19.5 overs. What was initially a dropped catch turned into a run out by Chiara Green for Bryce at the non-strikers end, meaning Warwickshire Women’s captain, Marie Kelly, was in to bat.  A second dropped catch in the 29th over for Kelly was punished on the next ball, helping the captain score 47 from 35 before her wicket fell.

The wickets then came in quick succession for Sussex with brilliant field work and deadly bowling from Harman (7.1-1-40-6). A second run-out, this time for Laura Crofts (2) meant Warwickshire were limited to 165 from 43.1 overs, and the chase was on for the Bears to get Sussex out as quickly as possible.

Put in to bat after lunch, Sussex got off to a strong start despite a couple of close calls in the first two overs, scoring 43 from the first partnership between Georgia Adams and Ella Mccaughan until the first wicket fell, thanks to bowler Liz Russell. It wasn’t long though before the half century came up for Sussex in 13.5 overs.

The Bears then fought back and struck three times in quick succession when Georgia Davis came on to bowl, at 65, 65 and 68 in two overs. Davis (10-2-18-4) rivalled Harman getting four wickets overall, taking her last wicket in her final over, and Russell taking three wickets. The Sussex batting was revived by Carla Rudd and Ella Wadey who put on a 54-run partnership pushing Sussex over the 100 mark and close to within winning before Russell put a stop to their run-scoring partnership.

It was a tense finish to the game with wickets eight and nine falling at 158 and 161 respectively in the 42nd and 43rd overs.  Unfortunately, 16-year-old Issy Wong, making her otherwise perfect first XI debut for Warwickshire, bowled a no ball for height, which then went for four in the 44th over, signalling the game was finished.  Sussex had won by just one wicket.

Looking to fight back tomorrow following an unlucky defeat, Warwickshire take on Kent away on Women’s County Cricket Day, in the second match of the Royal London One-Day Cup, at the Kent County Ground, Beckenham.

MacLeod: "There's a real sense of excitement that competitive cricket is here"

The Bears open their campaign with an away double-header against Sussex at Brighton on Sunday and Kent at Beckenham on Monday.

It is a tough start, but with the squad buzzing after an excellent pre-season under coaches Dominic Ostler and Tom Brown, Warwickshire are in good shape – and further buoyed by the availability of Amy Jones during May following her brilliant winter with England.

We have a lot of really good, promising players in the squad and that competition means that everybody knows that if they don’t perform there is someone ready to take their place.

Laura MacLeod

So those lofty expectations are there – as they should be for any ambitious team, insists MacLeod.

“Our pre-season could not really have gone better,” she said. “With that comes a bit of pressure to translate it into good performances in competitive cricket and I’m comfortable with that. If players are going to play at a high level, they have to deal with expectations and perform under pressure. It’s what successful teams do.

“The girls are so excited about this season and can’t wait for these first two games to arrive. Over the last few months, Dominic and Tom have had a fantastic impact on the squad.

“They have been really honest with the players and been tough when needed. It’s not been fluffy – if something has not been good enough then no-one has shied away from saying so and addressing it. We have a lot of really good, promising players in the squad and that competition means that everybody knows that if they don’t perform there is someone ready to take their place.”

The Bears will enter the seven-game Royal London group phase confident after winning three of their four pre-season games. They bowled Nottinghamshire out for 51 on the way to a 177-run victory, beat Worcestershire by 56 runs, thanks to 132 not out from Bethan Ellis, and defeated Loughborough University and before losing to Shrewsbury School boys 2nd XI by 38 runs.

“The girls have been played some really good 50-over cricket,” said MacLeod. “There were some standout individual performances but what was really pleasing was the way they dealt with phases of games that didn’t go their way.

“The games they won were not easy victories by any means and there will always be times in 50-over cricket when you are under pressure and have to hold your nerve. The girls showed they can do that and that’s one of the things that Dominic, with his great experience, has brought to us.

“There’s a real sense of excitement that, at last, all the practice and preparation is nearly over and the competitive cricket is here. It’s great to have Amy with us, not just as a player on the field but for what she brings to the group, and Sussex and Kent first up will be a great test for us to start with.”

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