Essex beaten in Women’s London Championship opener


Middlesex v Essex

Women’s London Championship
Haberdashers’ Boys’ School
Sunday 26 May 2024 | 4:30pm


Team News

Middlesex: Issy Routledge*, Saskia Horley, Artemis Downer, Lucy Porter, Mariko Hill, Louise Poulter, Bhavika Gajipra, Sonali Patel, Kate Coppack, Iqraa Hussain+, Anisha Dissanayake, Layla Judge.

Essex: Jessica Bird, Bella Howarth, Jasmine Westley, Katherine Speed, Jessica Olorenshaw+, Kelly Castle*, Sally Chapman, Grace Poole, Sophia Mitchell, Hannah Davis, Prisha Bedi, Jessica Pugh.

Match Details

Umpires: A Sherma & K White
Scorers: C Bryant & J Johnson
Toss: Essex won the toss and chose to bat
Result: Middlesex won by eight wickets

Scorecard: View Here

Match Report

Despite Bella Howarth’s fluent 84, Essex ended up convincingly defeated by eight wickets by Middlesex in their first Women’s London Championship match as defending champions.

Having been dismissed for 211 in 49 overs, with 84 from Howarth and Jasmine Westley’s 33 the top scores, Essex were unable to stop Middlesex powering through to victory.

The hosts reached their target just two wickets down and with more than 10 overs to spare, as opener Saskia Horley racked up an unbeaten 108 in spite of a wicket each for Hannah Davis and Grace Poole.

After winning the toss at Haberdashers’ Boys’ School on the outskirts of Borehamwood, the Eagles made a solid start to reach 89-2 at halfway, with Howarth and Westley together.

However, the loss of the latter brought two further quick wickets to leave the visitors in a stickier situation at 101-4 five overs later, even as Howarth went on to post an 85-ball half-century.

A short rain delay immediately prior to that had allowed time to regroup, and Howarth and captain Kelly Castle kept the scoreboard ticking over with a partnership of 50 for the fifth wicket.

Castle’s dismissal, caught by Kate Coppack off the bowling of Layla Judge, left the Eagles on 149-5 with a little more than ten overs to go.

They did successfully up the scoring to pass 200, but at the cost of wickets falling, and although Howarth aimed to steady the ship, her wicket precipitated the end as the tail was wrapped up quickly.

In response, Horley underpinned the chase as despite Poole removing captain Issy Routledge for 16 early on, a stand of 70 for the second wicket gave Middlesex early dominance.

Horley went to her fifty in the midst of that from 65 balls, and although Davis then broke through again to see off Artemis Downer for 26, caught by Sally Chapman, Middlesex were already halfway there.

Shortly after the team had reached 200, Horley brought up her own century, as her unbroken stand of 110 for the third wicket with Lucy Porter, who struck 49 not out, was enough to steer the hosts to victory.