Kent continued their unbeaten start to the 2021 season with two convincing wins over three days against Sussex then Middlesex at the Nevill ground Tunbridge Wells.
On 1 June against Sussex powerful batting saw them reach 228-5 off their 50 overs. Leading the run-feast were the 2nd-wicket pair Jemima Spence (66) and Maxine Blythin (94*) in a stand of 166. It was Spence’s debut; more on her below. Phoebe Franklin (20) and Ryana Macdonald-Gay (16) upped the pace at the close, adding a combined 26 off 16 balls.
In response Sussex found the going tough, taking seven overs longer to complete their first 50. Kent managed to limit the highly promising opener Ella McCaughan to 8 runs, and it was left to the captain Chiara Green to hold the innings together with 32. Sussex used up 42 overs in reaching 118 all out. The opening bowlers, Sydney Gorham and Alexa Stonehouse, proved hard to get away, together taking 4-23 in 10 overs, and skipper Megan Belt increased the pain with another spell of testing off-spin (3-21).
Scores: Kent 228-5; Sussex 118
Points: Kent 17, Sussex 2
Two days later an adjusted Eleven took on Middlesex at the same venue. More tight bowling restricted the visitors to 138-9, Cordelia Griffith (Sunrisers) top-scoring for them with 38.
Kent’s reply included a record that is unlikely to be beaten in a hurry: the opening partnership of 70 involved two players with a combined age of 30! Megan Sturge (16) and Jemima Spence (14) are merely the latest in a conveyor belt of cricketing talent being discovered in the Garden of England.
Once they were dismissed Grace Scrivens (30*) and Susie Rowe (29*) upped the pace to complete a decisive 8-wicket victory.
Scores: Middlesex 138-9; Kent 141-2
Points: Kent 16, Middlesex 1
Other Result: Sussex 178-9 beat Surrey 163 by 15 runs