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On a cold morning at Mill Hill School, Middlesex skipper Naomi Dattani won the toss and elected to bat, opening alongside vice Natasha Miles. The pair got off to a good start, putting on 47 for the first wicket, a partnership which came to an end as Dattani was caught behind for 26 (23) off the bowling of Arlott in the ninth.

Sophia Dunkley joined Miles and looked comfortable at the crease from ball one. With a slow outfield the pair were made to run hard between the wickets and Miles was run out at the striker’s end for 19 going for a third with the score on 68 after 14.

Emma Albery came in at four and played a supporting role to Dunkley who continued to accelerate, scoring all around the ground. Despite a few chances – a dropped caught and bowled off Albery and missed run out opportunities, one occasion where the batters were stranded in the middle – they put on fifty off 79 balls with Dunkley contributing 36 and Albery 13. The pair added forty more before Albery was bowled for 19 by Sally Clarke with the scoreboard on 158.

Middlesex stalwart Beth Morgan joined young gun Dunkley at the crease and the runs continued to flow with ease for the hosts. Dunkley soon brought up her maiden Middlesex century off 92 balls with a single and showed no signs of slowing down. The pair soon added fifty for the fourth wicket - Dunkley (35) and Morgan (8).This quickly became 90 before Dunkley was caught off seamer Clare Boycott for a sublime 138 off 116 balls, an innings which included 14 fours.

Though Worcestershire claimed a further three wickets, Morgan continued to bat well finishing unbeaten on 42 off 35 alongside Gayatri Gole on two to post a formidable 271-7.

In reply Worcestershire struggled to get going, with Gole striking in the third over as skipper Georgie Adock was well caught behind by Iqraa Hussain for five, reducing the visitors to 11-1. Off-spinner Albery was introduced in the eighth over and claimed a wicket with her third delivery as Nikki Chaudhuri was caught behind for three as the scoreboard read 25-2. Gole trapped Boycott lbw for ten with the first ball of the ninth and Worcestershire were struggling at 26-3.

Sarah Glenn and Robyn Matthews put on 25 for the fourth wicket before Matthews was bowled by the leg-spin of Dunkley for nine with the score on 50. Worcestershire continued to tick over the score but with wickets falling at regular intervals they struggled to gain any momentum and it was only Glenn who top scored with 31 and Rachel Howells who made 21 who showed any real resistance. The last four wickets fell for just two runs with a run out, catch off seamer Sonali Patel by Morgan and the last two wickets bowled by Dattani in three balls as the visitors were dismissed for just 103 as Middlesex won by 168 runs.

The wickets were shared around by the Middlesex attack with Dattani claiming 3-16, Dunkley 2-11, Gole 2-15 and one apiece for Albery and Patel.

Commenting on her maiden century which was brought up alongside role model Morgan Dunkley said, ‘I was feeling good from ball one. I’ve done a lot of work on fifty over cricket over the winter so it’s nice to put some of that into practice. It was an amazing feeling [reaching a hundred], I was counting it down and it was really nice to be out there with Beth [Morgan] and I’m over the moon. She just said, keep going and hanging in there but it was really good to bat with her.’

Middlesex will look to continue their impressive form away to Durham next weekend.

Contributed by Georgia Isaac, Middlesex Women’s Media Assistant

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