A bitterly cold Bank Holiday weekend marked the opening of the last season of Royal London One-dayers in their present form.
Kent opened their account with a 49-run win over Notts at the Polo Farm Ground Canterbury.
It’s vital for any team not to panic when the top batter goes relatively cheaply. Skipper Tammy Beaumont made only 16, but the next four all chipped in, adding 147 between them. Maxine Blythin made an encouraging 43 on debut, and Laura Marsh showed her batting credentials with 55*.
Tash Farrant took two early wickets after the break and the visitors were indebted to Polly Inglis, the keeper, for a determined 49*, but Jenny Gunn, returning to her home county after a spell with Warwickshire, wasn’t able to stay long enough to guide Notts to victory, Megan Belt was the pick of the bowlers, taking 3-20 with her off-spin.
The weather for the next day at Beckenham was no better. Spectators were muffled up in their winter togs; the players weren’t.
Despite this, Warwickshire got off to the best of starts, Amy Jones and Bethan Ellis putting on a hundred. In this sort of form Jones is a glory to watch. Beckenham usually provides the plumbest of pitches, and the Kent bowlers must have wondered how they were ever going to take a wicket. Almost inevitably it was Marsh who began to weave her magic. Jones mistimed a shot for Fran Wilson, one of Kent’s new signings, to take the catch.
As so often happens, the next wicket followed at once, Kathryn Bryce falling to the first of Beaumont’s three catches, two of them very special.
The visitors reached a highly promising 194-4, but then the innings fell apart. Four wickets fell as they passed through the nervous 190s.
By the close of the innings Marsh had claimed a magnificent 5-36, and the fielders had supported her well.
Last year at Edgbaston, Beaumont hit a memorable 98. This year there was no Sophie Devine around to winkle her out, but she did mistime a stroke on 87 when apparently set for a ton. Sadly for Warwickshire Wilson took this opportunity to post her own first big score for the hosts (83). Together they put on 125.
Blythin came in at No 4 to partner Marsh to a convincing win by 7 wickets.
This was a disappointing result for Warwick after their narrow loss the previous day to Sussex at Brighton College. They take on Yorkshire next time round.
Other Results in Division One
Sunday May 5
Monday 6 May