Match Report: Essex Women v Middlesex


Essex Women v Middlesex

Women’s London Championship
The Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford
Friday 04 August 2023, 10:30am start


Team News:

Essex: Yasmin Daswani, Jess Bird, Cath Dalton, Kelly Castle*, Scarlett Hughes†, Tilly Callaghan, Grace Poole, Bella Howarth, Bella Johnson, Prisha Bedi, Sally Chapman, Sophie Wilson

Middlesex: Issy Routledge*, Natasha Miles, Mariko Hill, Anisha Dissanayake, Chloe Abel, Riva Pindoria, Louise Poulter, Iqraa Hussain†, Sonali Patel, Lucy Porter, Jenny Bloefeld, Gemma Marriott

Match Details:

Umpires: Angela Tuff & P Richardson
Toss: Essex won the toss and elected to bowl
Result: Essex (194-3) beat Middlesex (191-9) by seven wickets

Scorecard: View Here

Match Reaction: Kelly Castle


Match Report:

Jess Bird crunched an unbeaten 88 as Essex completed a comfortable seven-wicket victory against Middlesex in the Women’s London Championship at The Cloud County Ground.

Bird’s knock held together the Eagles’ chase and was ably supported by 49 from captain Kelly Castle alongside Scarlett Hughes’ 22 not out, with the latter striking the winning runs.

It was a chase that the Eagles barely ever failed to look in control of throughout, and it had been teed up by a tight bowling performance led by Castle, Grace Poole, and Tilly Callaghan, who all claimed two wickets apiece.

That showing with the ball vindicated Castle’s decision to field when the coin fell in her favour at the start of the day, and when Poole bowled Gemma Marriott in just the seventh over, it was a sign of things to come.

Issy Routledge steadfastly resisted throughout much of the visitors’ innings to compile 63, though Louise Poulter, who hit a fluent 24, was the only other Seaxes batter to pass 20.


Callaghan’s two wickets came in the space of three overs, as she pinned Natasha Miles lbw on 11 and then saw Mariko Hill chase a wide one to be caught behind by Hughes for just two.

Yasmin Daswani then claimed a pair of impressive catches, including leaping for one above her head, off Prisha Bedi and Bella Johnson to account for Lucy Porter and Sonali Patel, respectively, leaving Middlesex 96-5.

A stand of 35 between Routledge and Poulter restored some respectability to an innings that was teetering on the brink of collapse, though when Poole returned to bowl the latter, the scoring dried up.

Castle chipped in take care of the tail by removing Chloe Abel lbw and then yorking Riva Pindoria, either side of Poole scoring a direct run-out at the non-striker’s end to finally remove Routledge.

A pair of late swipes from Iqraa Hussain saw her put up an unbeaten 16, and though that helped the visitors avoid the ignominy of being bowled out, their total was hardly ever likely to be enough.

Daswani fell early, bowled by Abel just after demonstrating an audacious ramp shot, and Cath Dalton was dismissed shortly afterwards too, caught behind off Routledge, but that only brought together Bird and Castle.

Together, the duo added a sparkling 112 for the third wicket from 146 balls, underpinning the chase and virtually ensuring victory by the time they were eventually parted.


In the midst of that stand, Castle turned a quick two behind square to bring up the team 50 and then swept a single to reach the milestone of the half-century partnership.

Bird, not to be outdone, also took a quick two to take the Eagles into three figures a little while later, and three overs after that, posted her individual fifty with a single to put Essex at 116-2 just before the halfway point.

She then flicked another single to fine leg to bring up the century stand, though it was ended shortly after the 30-over mark when Castle was caught off Marriott for 49.

However, Bird sought revenge for Castle’s dismissal by dispatching Marriott with disdain through midwicket for four to bring up the team 150.

Hughes was watching on from the non-striker’s end at that point, but warmed up over the next nine overs with a swift knock, and crowned it by punching Hill for a straight four that completed the win.

Upcoming Matches

Essex’s season may now be over, but there is still plenty of women’s cricket to come at The Cloud County Ground in 2023.

Chelmsford is set to welcome Heather Knight’s England for an IT20 against Sri Lanka on Saturday 2nd September, before Sunrisers play Central Sparks in a Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy encounter eight days later.

Tickets for both ties are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting the link below: