After an incredible start to the season Birmingham Bears women finally had their unbeaten run come to a stop, with two successive defeats against Lancashire Lightning and Sussex Sharks.
Bears vs Lightning
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In the first fixture of the game at Edgbaston Foundation Sports Ground, the Bears won the toss and captain Marie Kelly elected to field. Lancashire pair Evelyn Jones and Emma Lamb went on an early attack and reached 50 from just 49 balls in the opening part of the game. Jones was dismissed a few runs later, but Lamb remained Lancashire’s bedrock and allowed others to play short cameos around her. Eleanor Threlkeld and Lamb made a particularly useful 28 from 25 deliveries. BY the time Emma Lamb was eventually out, caught by Laura Crofts, Lancashire had already ticked the scoreboard over to 110. A final flurry of runs came from Sophie Ecclestone and Jessica Couser, before Liz Russell bowled out the tail ending Lancashire’s innings at 120 for 8 after 20 overs. Liz Russell finished with figures of 4.0-0-22-3.
The Bears chase got off to a great start, opening pair Amy Jones and Marie Kelly scoring 50 from 38 balls and looked to be going well before Jones was caught by Eleanor Threlkeld leaving the Bears at 58-1. Georgia Hennessy, Joanne Gardner and Bethan Ellis all came and went without reaching double figures and that trend continued right the way through the Bears order. Despite the high turnover of batters, the ladies were still on target to reach the Lancashire total. When Marie Kelly finally fell on 52 after being run out by Megan Fairclough, the Bears 106-6 and only required 14 from their 4 remaining wickets. Laura Crofts contributed a useful 7, but the other girls in the lower order fell just one run short as the Bears lost their first game of the season to to tight Lancashire bowling.
Bears vs Sharks
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In the Bears second fixture of the day at Edgbaston, the Bears lost the toss with Sussex Sharks electing to bat. Just 8 balls into their over Birmingham had their breakthrough with captain Georgia Adams caught by Georgia Hennessy for one. Paige Scholfield and Ellen Burt tried to get some momentum fro the Shraks, but Katie Green bowled Scholfield for 14 and Marie Kelly caught Ellen Burt. The Bears looked were in a commanding position with Sussex pinned in at 36-5. Freya Davies and Ella Wadey provided a late surge for the Bears, much to the frustration of the field. Sussex finished at 98-7, but the Bears will be most unhappy at giving away 23 extras in their innings.
The Bears innings was largely overshadowed by the bowling of Freya Davies, who had opening partners Amy Jones and Marie Kelly both removed leaving the Bears at 19-2 after 5 overs. Only Georgia Davis and Becky Grundy were able to offer any kind of resistance, but when Davis fell on 66-8, the task proved too tough for the tail to chase down the target. It was a frustrating weekend for the women’s team, but they will look to bounce back quickly as they play their final round of fixtures on Sunday 30 July. Come on You Bears.