LCB Women Clinch NatWest Women's County T20 Title
LCB Women clinched the NatWest T20 Division 1 Title yesterday (Sunday 30 July) for the first time in their history with victories in both their final 2 games of the campaign at Banstead CC in Surrey.
The women had travelled south knowing that they would probably need to win both games to secure the title with both Warwickshire and Sussex waiting to pounce if they slipped up, and the team didn’t disappoint with a 21 runs victory over Surrey and a 5 wickets win over Yorkshire bringing the title to the Red Rose county.
Match 1 Report - Surrey
After heavy rain on Saturday and overnight, they arrived at the ground to find the ground saturated and the groundstaff working hard to mop up and make it playable. A long nervous wait ensued until the umpires decided that it was fit enough to start, albeit with the first game against Surrey reduced to just 9 overs each.
Skipper Megan Fairclough won the toss and decided to bat first and was rewarded for her decision as Emma Lamb produced a top quality innings of 37 in just 26 balls. That and a brief cameo from Natalie Brown helped take the total up to a very useful 66-6 and leave Surrey chasing over 7 an over in reply.
Despite matching their target in the first over Surrey never really threatened to get that close as wickets began to fall regularly. Brown completed a good personal game with bowling figures of 2/8, and with Rachel Dickinson and Kate Cross grabbing a wicket each, including 3 excellent run outs Surrey were restricted to 45-7 as once again the ladies produced a great team effort to win the first fixture.
At the end of the game news filtered through that Warwickshire had lost their 1st game and Sussex and had their other game called off, so Lancashire were confirmed as champions at this stage.
Scorecard -> Lancashire Women won by 21 runs
Match 2 Report - Yorkshire
The Roses clash was up next and the team were determined to end the campaign on a high note. Again the game was reduced, this time to 18 overs a side, but with the sun now out conditions were much better.
Yorkshire won the toss and elected to bat and once again the team dug deep to produce a fine team effort. Sophie Ecclestone bowled superbly to take 1/9 from her 4 overs , Brown and Dickinson grabbed 2 wickets each, Cross and Fairclough 1 each with another 3 run outs helping dismiss the White Rose for 87.
Any thoughts of a comfortable win were removed by a brilliant spell from Levick taking 3/7 and despite 20 from Evelyn Jones and 15 from Rebecca Duckworth, Lancashire found themselves 52-5. Cross and Ecclestone came together at this point and timed their charge perfectly as they added the remaining runs to see the Red Rose home with 4 balls to spare. Cross finished on 22 and Ecclestone 14 to spark off wild celebrations after the game.
Scorecard -> Lancashire Women won by 5 wickets
Dan Atkinson, LCB Women’s Head Coach was delighted and said: “I'm really proud of how far the girls have come over the last couple of years through a series of promotions to get to this point where they have won the first ever top flight silverware. The girls have worked incredibly hard over the winter and a lot of work has gone on behind the scenes to get to this point.
“We had spoken a lot about the style of T20 cricket that we wanted to play and this campaign has been really enjoyable to watch as their confidence has grown. I'd like to thank the girls for their hard work and commitment, Meg Fairclough for her leadership and also my coaching colleagues that have supported the T20 programme.”
The LCB Women return to action in the Royal London Women’s One-Day Championship on August Bank Holiday Weekend when they play their two remaining fixtures against Nottinghamshire on August 27th at Heywood CC and Warwickshire the following day at Edgbaston Foundation Ground. Wins in both games could yet see them pull off a remarkable double success.
In the intervening period 9 of the LCB Women squad will be involved in the 2nd edition of the Kia Super League over the coming weeks.
Click for full fixtures and results for LCB Women.