Somerset Women’s team travelled over the bridge to Usk last Sunday but came away with losses in two close games that they will feel that had a good chance of winning.
Deciding to bat first against Scotland they lost Olivia Hamilton early before Georgina Adcock (25) and Sophie Luff (28) put on a brisk partnership of 43. With Adcock run out Nicole Richards added a further 56 in quick time with Luff before falling LBW for 29. Emma Godman got her skates on with 18 off 16 deliveries and took the score on to 137 for 4 at the close of the innings.
Scotland were relying on their strong top order and Bryce was happy to provide the bulk of their early runs. She took the attack to the bowlers and rode her luck well, being dropped on a couple of occasions. The game seemed to be heading comfortably Scotland’s way when she finally fell with the score on 70.
However, as the run rate slowed Somerset fought their way back into the game with a cascade of wickets in the final overs. The Scots Captain remained to bat through sensibly to the end and the winning total was reached off the fifth ball of the last over. The runs that came from the missed chances possibly making all the difference to the final result.
Lorraine Szczepanski, reliable as ever, took two for 18 with Megan Hodkinson the other successful bowler with one for 24. Three run outs as the pressure built towards the end were just not quite enough to get Somerset home.
In the last game of the day ,Wales elected to bat first and Somerset were rewarded early with the key wickets of Basketter and NZ International Rachel Priest both falling with just 11 on the board. With some accurate bowling on display from Richards, Szczepanski (three for 17) and a pacey Lauren Filer (one for 6 off her four overs) Wales were indebted to some late hitting from Nicholas and Gibson to add 40 in their last four overs to take their final tally to 118 for six.
Adcock fell early this time but Olivia Hamilton (32) was determined to make up for missing out earlier on and made 56 with Luff (27), each striking five boundaries. However, with their dismissals the incoming batsmen found ticking the scoreboard over to be difficult against very full bowling on a slowing pitch.
Godman (16 not out) again scored at a run a ball but the innings closed on 108 for five, Basketter the pick of the Welsh bowlers with 3 for 18.
After the game Somerset Coach, Paul Lawrence, reflected that “catches can’t be dropped at this level if we expect to win games.” He also noted that allowing Wales to take 40 runs from their final few overs made a massive difference. It was also noticeable that both teams had scored the same amount of runs off the bat in the powerplay but Somerset had gifted 17 extras in wides during that period, Wales eventually run out winners by only 10 runs.
The Women’s season reaches its finale this Sunday when Somerset travel to Poulton C.C. to take on mid-table Durham and relegation threatened Gloucestershire. Although promotion is unlikely, two good wins to round off the season will allow the squad to take some positives and come back stronger in 2019.