Devon Women Survive!

Devon’s lady cricketers ensured that they retained their ECB County Championship Division 2 status by comprehensively beating Durham by 108 runs at the Fortfield.

 

Having lost the toss and asked to bat, openers Amara Carr and Aylish Cranstone made a brisk start on a hard track that promised plenty of runs. However, the loss of both to a smart catch behind (Carr) and then a stumping (Cranstone) left the side wobbling a little. Rebecca Bertrand (56) and skipper Rosalie Birch (48) soon repaired the damage with a 97 run 3rd wicket stand before Birch was bowled two short of her half century. Bertrand went soon after and thereafter a succession of small partnerships ensured the run rate was maintained above 5. Pip Taylor played a super little cameo of 39 from just 27 balls and there were useful contributions down the order from Cait O’Keefe (20no) and Hazelle Garton (24no). Devon eventually closed their innings on 264-9 from their 50 overs. The highest score of the season since they posted 236-3 against Ireland on the opening day.

 

Durham made a steady start and had reached 79 with Laura Ellison and Laura Hockaday both passing 30. The introduction of Hazelle Garton, such a key player for Devon who has missed the season because of injury and who made herself available for this game, despite awaiting an operation on her damaged knee, was the difference between the two sides. She removed both openers and eventually finished with 3-18 from her 10 overs as she strangled the Durham reply. She was ably assisted by youngster Jessie Jones who claimed 2-26 from her 9 overs of developing off spin. Seamer Cait O’Keefe came back well to mop up wickets at the end and there was a wicket apiece for fellow seamers Rebecca Donohue and Emily Ward. The Durham innings subsided from a bright start to close on 156-9. They must now face Netherlands on 15th September, the winner will play in Division 2 in 2014. For Devon the planning now starts for a better 2014 and the challenge remains gaining promotion to Division 1 but perhaps more realistically trying to reach the National T20 Finals having won promotion from Division 2 this season.

 

A difficult season that has tested everyone but in the end has proved a somewhat successful one, well done to all involved.


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