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WOMEN: Sussex Women relegated on final weekend

29-Aug-2017

After 16 years in the top Division of the Royal London One Day Cup, the Sussex Women were relegated to Division Two this weekend after their loss to Middlesex on Monday.

The side played a double header over the bank holiday weekend and knew if they came away with two wins, they would survive and remain in Division One. Things did not go to plan, however, even after a convincing win on Sunday to Berkshire.

On Sunday, the Women played at The 1st Central County Ground and having lost the toss were sent out to field. Berkshire had New Zealand international and Western Storm batsman, Rachel Priest playing for them, and with Norris opening the bowling Priest hit 21 off her in her first over, before Burt claimed her wicket with a catch at mid-on from Green.

Norris came back stronger from her first over and soon took the wicket of opener Bell caught by 15-year-old debutant Cassidy McCarthy.

Kia Super League players, Carla Rudd and Lissy Macleod started to build a partnership for Berkshire, with Macleod scoring freely and quickly before she gloved one back to Freeborn behind off the bowling of Wyatt on 38 with Berkshire on 80-3.

Wickets then came at regular stages of the game and Sussex soon bowled Berkshire out for 121 in the 34th over, with Wyatt taking 3-17, Burt 3/35 and Green 1-14 off her 7 overs.

Sussex didn’t start well, losing both Adams and Collis for only 8 runs, but new overseas signing, Du Preez and Wyatt were determined to see Sussex home to victory. After a couple of cautious overs, both opened up scoring regular boundaries in all areas of the ground and running well together, pushing for quick singles and twos.

Wyatt scored a quick 48 off 36 balls which included nine fours before she was caught at square leg with Sussex on 92. Du Preez and Freeborn saw Sussex home to victory in 18 overs, with Du Preez on 47 not out off 48 balls and Freeborn 10.

Sussex claimed maximum points on the day, which meant all they had to do to secure their top-flight status was win against Middlesex after they had won against Kent.

Sussex travelled to Middlesex and were without Wyatt but Elwiss and Davies came back into the squad after a rest day. Sussex won the toss and elected to field first.

The women started well with Davies taking the wicket of Dattani clean bowled with Middlesex on 12/1. In the 13th over Burt took the key wicket of England batsman, Fran Wilson for 32, caught behind by Freeborn, and Freeborn was again in the game soon after with a stumping off the bowling of Harvey.

However, Morgan and Dunkley started to rebuild for Middlesex and ran well together, as they looked to avoid any risks. Morgan scored 41 before Du Preez made a quick stop and a direct hit to run her out, with Middlesex on 151-4. Dunkley continued to bat well reaching her 50 in 64 balls and was well supported by Dalton who also scored a 50. 

Middlesex reached 259-6 off their 50 overs and Sussex knew they had to chase this if they were to remain in Division One.

Sussex started well, scoring 11 off the first over but soon lost Collis for 5 after being caught then Du Preez for 6 who was bowled by Huddleston.

Adams looked to try and lead with the bat before she hit one back to Dunkley and was caught on 34, with Sussex on 65-3. 

Sussex lost Freeborn for 17 and it was down to Elwiss and Davies to rebuild which they started to do and looked to be putting on a good partnership until Elwiss was caught on 38 off the bowling of Dattani, soon followed by Davies who was stumped on 29, leaving Sussex on 143-6 off the 35th over.

Middlesex bowled tightly and built pressure on our batsman and wickets came thick and fast and in the 42nd over Sussex were bowled out for 169, consigning them to Division Two of next year’s Royal London One Day Cup.
Sussex head coach, James Anyon said, “The season has not gone our way and we are bitterly disappointed to finish second from bottom in the table and out of Division One. 

“We will look back at areas we need to improve on and work on them this winter and I know with the players we have, we will come back stronger and fighting to get back into to top flight again next season.”

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