Essex Women 190, Cheshire Women 192-4. Cheshire won by six wickets.
The Route Organisation-sponsored Cheshire Women began their season in division two of the County Championship in fine style with victory over Essex at Cheadle. Their successful run chase was spearheaded by a dominant, virtually chanceless innings from Dawn Prestidge.
Beth Wild hit 71 for Essex in an excellent anchoring innings, but Cheshire took the wickets of her team-mates on a regular basis, especially when the innings subsided to 175-5 to 190 all out. Lorna Thomas took 3-39 and Laura Newton 2-27, but perhaps the pick of the attack was Kate Skelhorn with 2-23.
This was not a large target considering the good pitch and lightning fast outfield, and Prestidge and Jennie Kitzinger added 63 for the second wicket in reply to take Cheshire to 81-1. Kitzinger then fell for 28, the first of two quick wickets for Hannah Courtnell, but with Prestidge having just hit three boundaries in successive deliveries, she was determined to see her side home.
Lauren Griffiths (40) duly added 97 in 20 overs with Prestidge, taking the game away from Essex, before Griffiths was run out within sight of the target. Thomas hit the winning runs leaving Prestidge unbeaten on 82, made from 116 deliveries with 11 boundaries.
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photos Janos Schmidt