Devon Women enjoy successful weekend with two wins

Devon Women started their Royal London County Championship season with a double header over the Bank Holiday weekend playing Hampshire on Sunday and Essex on Monday

Sunday 1st May, Devon v Hampshire at Hursley Park Cricket Club

Newly promoted Hampshire opted to take first use of a soft pitch. Opening bowlers Sophie Mackenzie and Rebecca Donohue asserted control over the innings. Mackenzie bowled Charlotte Taylor with a no-ball, who then went on to score an assured 32. Devon built pressure and took regular wickets, despite some resistance from Emily Windsor who stuck around for a 58-ball 13. A highlight was a skillful legside stumping from Amara Carr off Jodie Dibble, dismissing England Academy's Katie George for 6. Lydia Clements bowled tightly in the powerplay to take 1-12 off six, as Hampshire reached 127 all out in the 48th over. Garton (pictured left) celebrated her 50th Devon wicket with her first dismissal of the innings.

Devon's innings was anchored by opener Amara Carr with 53, who steered the team almost home, falling needing five more. It was stop-start innings on a pitch where a bit of time was needed to feel comfortable, and Hampshire's bowlers tied up Devon by bowling straight, with four wickets bowled and one lbw.

There were small contributions from a number of batters but Alli Kelly was the pick with 16, and Devon crawled over the line in the 41st over, winning by three wickets.

Players' player: Amara Carr, sponsored by JC Cricket


Monday 2 May, Devon v Essex, Felsted School

After being inserted on a green but hard pitch, openers Amara Carr and Aylish Cranstone played positively to build a solid foundation, before Carr was adjudged lbw for 38. Jodie Dibble started in a spritely fashion before being caught out by the lack of pace and gave a simple catch for Bird at mid wicket for 13.

Cranstone and Fairbairn rebuilt and rotated the strike after an early flurry of boundaries, and the batting powerplay added some impetus, before Fairbairn was dismissed, caught for 29, a partnership of 99.

Cait O'Keefe was positive from the start with 26 off 21 balls, before being run out in an unlucky fashion when a dropped return catch was parried onto the stumps. Cranstone (pictured right) continued to hit the gaps and target a short boundary, bringing up her maiden county championship century, with 15 fours and one six in her 134 not out from 140 balls.

Essex's reply showed intent from the start but they lost their first wicket in the second over, caught by Hazelle Garton at mid on off Sophie Mackenzie. A stunning catch from Alli Kelly at point accounted for England development player Cordelia Griffith, easing some concerns over her big hitting potential. The building clouds were a concern, with the Met Office forecasting rain at 4pm, and Devon just completed the 20th over required to constitute a game just as the first drops of rain came down. Essex were still well behind the run rate, losing their sixth wicket in the 21st over, with the score on 75. The light rain continued, but the pressure of the constantly increasing required run rate meant wickets fell at regular intervals. Pick of the bowlers were Hazelle Garton with 4-20 and Rebecca Donohue 3-23, Cait O'Keefe 2-20. A convincing victory wrapped up in the 30th over with maximum bonus points.

Players' player: Aylish Cranstone, sponsored by Wadey Polden LLP.