Match Report: Surrey Women vs. Kent Women

Match Report: Surrey Women vs. Kent Women

Kent Women ended their official season with their first defeat of 2021 after a 92-run loss to Surrey Women at Chipstead in the Women’s London Championship.

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Surrey Women won the toss and elected to bat on a cloudy day at Chipstead Coulsdon and Walcountians Cricket Club.

After a delayed start, the Horses took to the field, stand-in skipper Megan Belt handed the ball to Sydney Gorham as the Surrey openers took their guard. Alexa Stonehouse took the second over, and after two tight overs hitting good lengths, the score was 6/0.

Surrey’s batters came out with a positive intent but Kent’s young bowlers held their nerve and kept searching for the breakthrough.

Switching it up for the ninth over, Belt brought on Hannah Jelfs, who has had a good run in this tournament picking up wickets and bowling economically.

Kalea Moore, Kent’s demon spinner, came into the attack following a tidy over from Jelfs.

The Horses were still searching for the breakthrough wicket when the Surrey batters reached 50/0 in the eleventh over. Both were looking settled, constantly rotating the strike and ticking over the scoreboard. Kent’s fielders, despite the lack of wickets, had their heads high and were tight on the ball, not letting the Surrey bats have many runs cheaply.

Wicketless Kent kept battling when Surrey’s Chloe Brewer reached her 50 in the 16th over and shortly after, Surrey’s openers brought round the 100 run partnership in the 20th over.

At long last the Horses broke through the 114 run partnership, with Brewer chipping high up in the air to Megan Sturge at Extra Cover from Megan Belt’s bowling. The Surrey batter walked back to the pavilion after a commendable innings, scoring 62 runs. Ending the over tightly, the scoreboard read 114/1 from 23 overs.

As they say, one brings two. The Horses picked up another wicket once again from Belt’s bowling – this time Susie Rowe was brought into the game with a flat catch at mid wicket. Madeleine Blinkhorn-Jones left the crease falling short of her 50 by 11 runs.

The wicketless start was now long forgotten as another wicket fell. Grace Scrivens’ spin bowling took the wicket of Rhianna Southby for just 1 run. The Horses went up in shouts as it hit the pad, and Scrivens’ bowling was rewarded with a wicket. The scattered spectators were asking if this was a Surrey collapse as the scoreboard showed 118/3 from 26 overs.

Six overs later and Grace Scrivens’ spin got the better of Surrey batters again. Kirstie White picked out the safe hands of Megan Sturge, leaving the field with Surrey on 149 having lost 4 wickets.

There was tight bowling all-round from everyone that was handed the ball. As the Horses entered the last 10 overs the fielders looked to back the bowlers out on the boundary and in the ring.

With the end nearing the Surrey batters took to the air in hope of adding more runs to their total. Out on the boundary Hannah Jelfs was brought into the game at long on, off of Ryana MacDonald-Gay’s bowling.

Phoebe Franklin bowled the last over to close the Horses’ innings, going for just 9 runs the innings closed at 240/5. The Horses batters, after a short lunch break, needed to keep up with a run rate of 4.82 for victory.

Ready to get their chase on, Grace Scrivens and Phoebe Franklin headed out to the crease to open up the Horses’ innings. The pair quickly settled at the crease and looked positive. Within the 4th over came a smashing six from Franklin straight over the bowlers head, clearing the rope by two metres at least.

After a strong start from the Horses’ batters, Grace Scrivens was caught out at mid-wicket after not getting hold of a ball that she was looking to punish out to deep mid wicket. She departed for 9 runs leaving Kent 32/1 in the 8th over.

Again, one brought two as Phoebe Franklin smashed out to the long on boundary. She picked out Izzy Berry, who took the high ball with careful hands. After having a strong start, with powerful shots, Franklin left the pitch with 23 runs and Kent were now 37/2.

A new partnership, of Maxine Blythin and Susie Rowe, was now at the crease. Together the pair kept the runs flowing by hitting the gaps and sprinting through for quick singles. The partnership was strong until Rowe was bowled for 11 by the work of Danielle Gregory, meaning Ryana MacDonald-Gay came out to join Blythin at the crease. Hitting the 20th over MacDonald-Gay and Blythin carried the Horses to 79/3.

An over later and Maxine Blythin was heading back to the pavilion for 23 runs after finding a Surrey Amy Gordon from the bowling of Gregory. Megan Sturge came out to the middle with Kent still needing 162 runs to win.

Unfortunately the new pair didn’t last long together. MacDonald-Gay, attempting to sweep, ended up picking out another pair of hands. With her walking back to the pavilion, Kent were only on 81 with five wickets down; the chase was looking tough.

Out came Mia Rogers who stayed for one ball before picking out the Surrey fielder at cover. Now at 81/6, two new batters at the crease looked to rebuild Kent’s innings.

After trying to take a quick single Kalea Moore was ran out leaving with just one run. The Horses’ chase was wavering, but batting was definitely still coming despite being at 87/7 from 26 overs. Sturge’s County Age Group teammate Alexa Stonehouse joined her at the crease.

Similarly to MacDonald-Gay, Sturge picked out Blinkhorn-Jones whilst sweeping. She scored 12 after trying to steady the Kent collapse, but alas she headed to pavilion with Kent on 95/8.

In the 33rd over, Hannah Jelfs headed back to her teammates as she had, like most of the line up, found the hands of a Surrey fielder. The Horses sitting at 106/9 saw their last batter and skipper Megan Belt head out to the crease with 135 still needed.

The pair kept Kent afloat until the 46th over. After a steady partnership of 39, Stonehouse smashed a wide ball down the throat of Surrey’s Kirstie White. Despite the end of the match the last pair batted well and picked up runs putting on a good partnership. The end of the Horses Women’s London Championship campaign came as they fell short of Surrey by 92 runs.

It was a disappointing loss for the Horses as they have had a good run in this tournament.

Skipper Megan Belt was positive in Kent’s overall performance in the tournament this season saying: ‘There have been some young girls who have done amazingly, they have stepped up and it’s been great to see.’

By Ella Lockhart

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Kent Women can still be crowned Women’s London Champions should remaining results go their way in the tournament – the Horses are the only side to have played all their matches.

Kent Women are proudly sponsored by Canterbury Christ Church University >>>