Somerset’s Women’s team began their Division Two T20 campaign with two convincing wins last weekend against Northamptonshire and Berkshire.
Fielding first against the “Steelettoes” they were soon rewarded with Cassie Coombes trapping opener Brown LBW in her first over. However, Somerset were slightly off their usual pace in the powerplay and only got truly into their stride with bowling changes in the sixth over.
Georgia Tulip’s inswing, coupled with the spin of both Lorraine Szczepanski and Nicole Richards, soon put the brakes on and from a very healthy 42 for one Northants lost five wickets for only nine more runs.
Patricia Hankins (30) struck some powerful shots but in truth had little in the way of a tail to marshal, the innings finishing on 94 for nine. Three run outs, coupled with two for 15 for Richards and two for 12 for Szczepanski, indicated an issue with playing slower bowling and having options to rotate the strike in between playing bigger shots.
In reply Somerset lost Olivia Hamilton early, just failing to clear mid-off but Georgina Adcock (37) punished anything slightly off length and combined well with Sophie Luff (32 not out) to break the back of the total. Adcock finally fell with the score on 74 which brought Sophie Hamilton (14 not out) to the crease to help see the team home for an eight wicket win.
After a short break, and asked to bat first by Berkshire, Adcock and Olivia Hamilton enjoyed a similar powerplay to that seen in the earlier game. The former was again powerful through the legside and pulled savagely but was first to depart for 17. Hamilton found her timing to strike up and over the ring on the offside for her 29.
Captain Luff found an able ally in Emma Godman (10) with the innings poised at 84 for four and together they put on nearly 40 runs in quick time. Luff finished on an unbeaten 59 as Somerset ran up 133 for five. Alice Macleod was the pick of the bowlers with her four over returning two wickets for an economical 14 runs.
With a slight re-shuffle of the bowlers Somerset opened with Cassie Coombes (one for 16) and Georgia Tulip (nine off three overs) and controlled the powerplay overs far more successfully than they had in the previous game. With run rates climbing several of the Berkshire bats got a start but couldn’t find a big over to break the shackles and kick on to a challenging chase.
Carla Rudd top scored with 22 but none of the main Somerset bowlers used went for more than five an over. Richards was again the most successful with two for 20 off her spell. Berkshire ran out of overs with their score on 102 for six.
Somerset are next in action this weekend with two games at Taunton Deane on Sunday. They play Cheshire in the first game at 10.30, followed by a break before taking on fellow title challengers Hampshire at 4.30pm. Entrance is free and all support would be warmly welcomed.