Suffolk’s women leave it late to secure play-off win over Cornwall

Suffolk Ladies' cricket team

Suffolk Ladies' cricket team - Credit: Archant

Suffolk’s women’s side are just a game away from promotion to Division Three after vice captain Amanda Ford stepped up to the plate to secure a dramatic play-off semi-final victory by three runs, against Cornwall, at Milton Keynes.

With the final ball of her over, the off-spinner trapped Williams lbw to leave the opposition heartbroken.

In the fabulous setting of Campbell Park, Cornwall won the toss and asked Suffolk to bat first.

Openers Beth Absolon and Catherine Cramner started well and put on 31 for the first wicket before Cramner was well caught and bowled by Pearce.

Vice-captain Ford joined Absolon and these two batted nicely, taking the score to 65, before Absolon, who had batted very well, was caught off a loose shot.

Batting was starting to become harder as the Cornwall spinners made good use of a slow turning pitch, dismissing Emma Elsom and Penny Everett. Even so, with 20 overs to bat, they were well-placed at 107 for four.

Had Suffolk batted their 50 overs they would have surely got 170 plus. Sadly things went downhill with a flurry of wickets, a combination of good bowling and poor shots seeing them slump to a disappointing 127 all out in 41 overs.

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In reply, missing two of their five trusty bowlers, Everett bowled aggressively and was unlucky not to take early wickets, though this was in part to bowling perhaps too short, and it was skipper Vicky Mitchell who made the breakthrough at 28, bowling Hawkin.

The crucial moment of the game came on 36 when Richards, who had looked a class act, top-edged a sweep off Danni Lavender and Pippa Palmer took a good catch at short fine leg. Mackensie was then dropped first ball and she soon struck some powerful blows.

Sheldene Ford had Rowe well caught behind by Natasha Wilson before Mackensie and skipper Nichols added a quality 37 to take the score to 73 before Lavender got Mackensie with a cracker that pitched leg and hit the top of off stump.

So at 73 for four it was game on. The next 30 minutes saw Suffolk push hard but miss what could have been three crucial chances to take wickets and, as the score passed 100 for four, it felt as if the game was slipping away.

Absolon then had the Cornwall skipper caught by Elsom for 19 in the gully and from that point on Suffolk took control with a devastating spell of bowling.

Everett returned and decided bowling at the stumps was far more effective and cleaned out three batters in quick succession.

Bridges battled hard for Cornwall, but skipper Mitchell came back to dismiss Blamey thanks to another good Wilson catch behind.

At 115 for nine, all of Suffolk’s bowling options were shot. Step forward Ford for that dramatic finish.

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