Notts hold nerve to overcome stubborn Warwickshire

Jamie Ramage
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Notts hold nerve to overcome stubborn Warwickshire

Battle of the Bryce. Kathryn bats for Warwickshire as sister Sarah watches from behind the stumps. ©Jamie Ramage/Women's CricZone

It was another agonizingly close defeat for Warwickshire their third in three weeks. Ruing their luck Warwickshire lost to Nottinghamshire at the Lady Bay Ground by 4 runs. Providing yet another thrilling finish.

With overcast skies in the morning, Warwickshire won the toss and chose to bowl.  The ball swung early on and opening batters Sonia Odedra and Sarah Bryce set about in a business-like manner.

For Warwickshire Issy Wong and Liz Russell ran in. Wong is quick despite being just 17. Both struggled early on to control the swing. The Notts batters struggled early for runs with the bat, however, the score managed to tick along.

There were many subplots in this game. Jenny Gunn playing against her old side was one. The most interesting was the ‘battle of the Bryces.’ Sarah Bryce who got the upper hand of the two sisters scoring 51 from 104 balls. Sarah would eventually be the fourth Notts wicket to fall being caught by all people her sister Kathryne.

Davies leg-spin was the pick of the bowlers with 4 for 43 from 10 overs.

Notts had their innings disrupted by rain with 3.2 overs of their innings left. Gunn had fallen just three balls earlier to give Kathryne Bryce her second wicket to finish with figures of 2 for 25. Still advantage Sarah.

Notts managed to pass the 200 mark to finish their 50 overs on 207 for 9. In the innings, Warwickshire gave away 40 extras including 28 wides. Games are won by fine margins it did not help the bears cause.

It would be facetious to say that Warwickshire’s hopes hung on the innings of Amy Jones. There is no doubting her talent. 2018 was her breakthrough year at international level. Today she showed that that hunger for runs that has served her so well in the last 12 months has not been diminished.

Sonia Odedra led her Notts players from the front with a tight opening spell.

Jones started to find her rhythm. She was dropped on three occasions though. The first when she was on just 28 as Gunn couldn’t hold on to a difficult chance. The second was an easy chance when on 51. It was that type of luck that made it feel as if it might be Warwickshire’s day for once.

Warwickshire continued to lose wickets at regular intervals, and it wasn’t until Jo Gardner joined Jones that the Warwickshire innings started to settle down.

Gardner found the boundary regularly as Jones anchored the chase. The pair together scored 75 for the sixth wicket.

Notts didn’t panic at any time though as Kirstie Gordon coming back from injury conceded 16 runs from 10 overs and in tandem with Lucy Higham they put the pressure on the Warwickshire batters.

With 9 an over still needed from the five overs Jones mistimed a shot on 89. It rose far into the Nottingham air with Sarah Bryce under it. The wicketkeeper kept her nerve and the ball. It was the first of 2 wickets in the over for Munro who bowled Laura Crofts second ball.

Gardner was still in the middle and fast approaching 50. She brought it up with a well-timed four and followed it up next ball with a six.

It was looking like an improbable Warwickshire win when Davies took 7 runs off the first three balls of the penultimate over.

Warwickshire needed 10 runs from the final over but Munro bowled Gardner for 59 and it was just out of reach from the last pair of Wong and Russell.