Alice Davidson-Richards scored 92 runs across two T20s against Middlesex and Birmingham Bears as Kent Women picked up two points in the Vitality Women’s County T20 at The County Ground, Beckenham on Sunday.
‘The Horses’ first took on Birmingham Bears in the one of three T20s in Metropolian Kent, the visitors winning the toss and electing to bat.
Birmingham’s wicketkeeper-batter Gwenan Davies carried her bat, scoring 66 from 50 balls, despite the Bears losing captain Marie Kelly for a three ball duck, caught by Kent’s Kalea Moore from the bowling of Kent T20 skipper Tash Farrant, after they had only just posted two runs on the board.
A recovery by Davies and Ria Fackrell (16) took the Bears to 48/1 before a well-worked run out by Kent’s Hannah Jelfs sent Fackrell back to the Pavilion.
Thea Brookes (26 from 27) and Joanne Gardner (23 from 19) helped keep up an impressive Birmingham run-rate before Alice Davidson-Richards and Maxine Blythin ran them both out as the Bears chased a big score, finishing on 152/4 from their 20 overs.
Kent’s Grace Gibbs was the first to fall in the hosts’ run chase for four on her return from a long-term injury, run-out as the openers looked to press on against the Bears’ bowling attack and keeping the required run rate manageable.
Fran Wilson joined opener Maxine Blythin at the crease and the two put on 35 runs with some well-timed shots before Wilson departed for 25 from 19 balls after the finding the rope four times, bowled by Birmingham’s Bethan Ellis.
Blythin’s wicket was next to fall after putting on 37 runs, bowled by Georgia Davis, before Phoebe Franklin could only put one run on in a five-ball stay at the crease, trying to hit hard to keep up with a required run rate that had now reached over 12 an over, again bowled, this time by Joanne Gardner.
Alice Davidson-Richards scored a well-made 42 runs from 34 balls, with two fours and one six and putting on 40 runs together with Blythin. As the required rate continued to rise, Kent went for the win with some good running but with Farrant (7) holing out to Davis from the bowling of Gardner for 7 and Davidson-Richards (42) caught by Gardner from Ellis.
Kent finished 20 overs on 130/6, the Bears winning by 22 runs.
The set tone of high-scoring innings continued into the Horses’ second match of the day vs. a Middlesex side that won the competition in 2018. The visitors again won the toss and chose to bat.
Middlesex’s highly-regard stroke player Cordelia Griffith (32) and opener partner Amanda Carr (52) put on an opening stand of 68 before Kent struck, Fran Wilson taking a good catch from the bowling of Hannah Jelfs.
England’s IT20 capped all-rounder Sophia Dunkley came in at three, scoring 25 before Farrant struck again, Maxine Blythin with the safe hands to send Dunkley back to the Pavilion.
Middlesex captain Naomi Dattani was excellently stumped by Kent ‘keeper Lauren Griffiths off Kalea Moore’s bowling for eight.
Carr’s 52 came from 48 balls with three fours before Tash Farrant took her first wicket of the match, Kirsty Dymond taking the catch, leaving Middlesex on 134/4, the visitors ending 20 overs on 149/4.
Kent’s run chase got off to a terrible start as both openers went out cheaply. Kirsty Dymond was run out for a two-ball duck and Maxine Blythin was caught off the bowling of Katie Wolfe for just one and at one stage, the Horses were 4 for 2.
Fran Wilson and Alice Davidson-Richards then put on an inspired partnership of 99 runs, Wilson with some great power hitting to consistently find the boundary, scoring 53 from just 35 balls with nine fours, eventually being stumped by Carr.
Davidson-Richards added to her 42 from the first match of the day by scoring a well-crafted 50 from 43 with 5 fours, before falling caught and bowled to Wolfe.
Tash Farrant was dismissed for one (b Gayatri Gole) and Phoebe Franklin was caught Gole, bowled Dattani for 18, before Lauren Griffiths came in to lay waste to Middlesex’s bowlers, scoring 18 runs from just eight balls with a four and two sixes to seal victory after 19 overs, picking up a four wicket win.
Results from this weekend moves Kent up to fourth in the table, seven points off the top spot with two more fixtures to go (vs. Hampshire & Cricket Wales on Sunday 30th June).