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WOMEN'S COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND-UP: Kent and Lancashire the big winners in week one

Catch up with all the action as the new season got off and running with a bang over the Bank Holiday weekend

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Syd Egan | 07/05/2019 at 12:14

Kent and Lancashire set the pace on the opening weekend of the Women’s County Championship, both winning two-from-two with Kent just edging ahead on bonus points at the top of Division 1.

Kent’s weekend began at Polo Farm, batting first against Nottinghamshire. With none of the top order quite able to convert starts into big scores, it was left to Laura Marsh to shepherd the tail on her way to 55 not out, taking Kent to 192 for 9 off their 50 overs.

It wasn’t enough for maximum bonus points – achieved by reaching 200 – but it was enough to win the game, with spinner Megan Belt taking 3-20 as Notts were bowled out for 143.

At Beckenham the following day, Kent inflicted the second of two defeats endured by Warwickshire over the Bank Holiday. Warwickshire posted 232, all out off the final ball, with Amy Jones (67) and Bethan Ellis (74) hitting half-centuries but it wasn’t anything like enough as Tammy Beaumont (83) and new signing Fran Wilson (87) made short work of it for a seven-wicket victory.

Lancashire began their Bank Holiday road trip with a visit to the Ageas Bowl to face champions Hampshire.

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Both sides had lost players to the Women’s IPL currently underway in India, but Hampshire missed Suzie Bates just a bit more than Lancashire did Sophie Ecclestone, with Kate Cross taking a career best 4-14 to bowl Hampshire out for 163, defending a slightly under-par 179.

Women’s County Cricket Day then dawned at Guildford for the match of the weekend, and possibly of the season, between Lancashire and Surrey, with Surrey falling an agonising one run short off the final ball to give the Red Rose their second win of the weekend.

The previous day, Surrey had made short work of Yorkshire – bowling them out for 118 in 26 overs, with Bryony Smith taking 3-14. Smith (37), Kirstie White (44) and Aylish Cranstone (26*) then finished the job as Surrey strolled to victory by 8 wickets.

Yorkshire, however, picked themselves up to beat Hampshire on the Monday, as spin-twin Katies – Thompson and Levick – took three wickets apiece to bowl Hampshire out for 131 chasing 190.

Meanwhile Sussex, weakened by the absence of Dani Wyatt (Women’s IPL), Georgia Elwiss (injured) and Sarah Taylor, scraped an opening-day win over Warwickshire by one wicket – Ella Wadey top-scoring with 38. But their batting then imploded against Notts, with opposition skipper and England one-cap-wonder Sonia Odedra taking 4-11 as Notts successfully defended 150.

The Cricketer is syndicating CRICKETher's coverage of women's domestic cricket in England and Wales throughout the 2019 season

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