Warwickshire were involved in their second tie of the season as they restricted Nottinghamshire to 160 for 7 from their 50 overs to come away with a share of the spoils.
The floodlights of Trent Bridge looked on the drama from just down the road as Amy Gauvrit and Hannah Hughes scrambled a single from the final ball to level the scores. This would finish in drama fit for the world-famous venue.
It is in truth a game that either side should have won and both teams will feel aggrieved that they didn’t win. It was a game that swung from one direction to the other. Warwickshire got off to a great start as openers Amy Jones and Gwenan Davies added 58 for the first wicket.
Both batsmen looked comfortable against the pace of Sonia Odedra and Sophie Munro. It was when Odedra took herself out of the attack and brought on the left-arm spin of Kirstie Gordon that Nottinghamshire made the breakthrough. The first ball from Gordon saw Davies play a back-foot drive through mid-wicket only to find the safe hands of Jodie Dibble. Three balls later Jones feathered a catch to the wicketkeeper Megan Burton and suddenly Nottinghamshire were back in the game.
The runs suddenly came hard to come by as Gordon and Lucy Higham bowled tight lines. The first fifty runs took 44 balls to come by. The second fifty was gained from 114 as the spinners started to dictate play. In those 114 balls, only two wickets fell as Nottinghamshire were patient in the field believing the wicket would come.
Higham bowled well with little reward; her ten overs only went for 27 runs. Her only wicket came when she got Marie Kelly to hit one on the full to give Georgie Boyce a relatively straightforward catch. Joanne Gardner and Amelia Kite offered some late resistance; Gardner with 22 and Kite with 19 made sure that Warwickshire posted a total that was at least defendable.
Warwickshire had squandered their good start as the left-arm spin of Gordon and Dibble took seven of the ten wickets. Gordon recorded the second-best figures by a Nottinghamshire bowler with 5 for 18 from 8.2 overs. It appeared that whatever Warwickshire did Nottinghamshire were keen to equal; Nottinghamshire replied with an opening partnership of 66.
Having seen off the opening bowlers Katie Green and Laura Crofts it would Davies who would make the breakthrough. With her second ball she convinced Boyce to come down the track and Jones took a good stumping. It caused something of a collapse as four wickets fell for 14 runs. Yvonne Graves, Dibble and Odedra fell within three overs. A run out saw off Odedra, while Yvonne Graves and Dibble were both caught by Jenny Gunn at mid-on off the bowling of Anisha Patel.
Teresa Graves and Higham steadied the ship as they added 20 for the fifth wicket. Higham will have every right to feel aggrieved as she hit what looked like an above waist height full toss to Joanne Gardner off the bowling of Warwickshire captain Marie Kelly. It again looked Warwickshire’s for the taking when they dismissed Gordon and Teressa Graves within two balls. First, the impressive Gardner snuck yorker under the bat of Gordon and with the first ball of the next over, Graves drove straight to cover to give Kelly her second wicket.
Hughes and Gauvrit started to knock the ball into gaps to run ones and twos. With every ball, the tension started to tell, and Warwickshire were guilty of giving Nottinghamshire wides and no balls. Gardner was taken out of the attack after bowling two over waist high no balls. Neither were dangerous, but the new rules say the bowler is out of the attack.
Laura Crofts the replacement did the same with her first ball. Warwickshire must have started to wonder if they had thrown the game away. When Kelly bowled three wides in the next over it looked as if Nottinghamshire were going to win easily, however, as this game had proven so often it was never going to be that easy.
With six runs to win off the last 12 balls, Warwickshire regained some momentum as Crofts only conceded two runs from her final over. Four runs were needed from the last over Gauvrit got the single from the first ball things looked tough for the West Midlands side.
Kelly kept her cool as Hughes could not find the shot to unlock the Warwickshire infield. Gauvrit gained the strike for the final ball. With two runs to win a shot off the square would win it for the home team. Nottinghamshire could only scramble a single to level the scores level. Both sides were well matched, and it proved a thrilling end to a well-fought contest.
Warwickshire are still without a win but can take many positives out of this game. They will again wonder how they tied their second game of the season.
Both teams face Kent and Middlesex next week in a bank holiday doubleheader.