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Middlesex endured a tough start to their 2018 Royal London One-Day Cup campaign with ten and seven-wicket losses to Lancashire and Yorkshire respectively.

On Sunday, Middlesex lost the toss and were sent in to bat, skipper Naomi Dattani and vice Natasha Miles opened. They built a good foundation of 42 before Miles was caught at slip off Sophie Ecclestone for five. Dattani was the left-armer’s second scalp as she top-edged one, departing for a boundary-filled 26 with Middlesex on 59-2. Without adding a run to the score the hosts lost their third as Fran Wilson was trapped lbw by former team mate Alex Hartley for 15.

Sophia Dunkley and the experienced Beth Morgan then added 30 runs before off-spinner Emma Lamb got the breakthrough as Hartley took a good catch at square-leg to dismiss Dunkley for 12. Middlesex could muster only a further 31 runs for the remaining six wickets and were all out for 120 in 33.4 overs. Kate Cross (3-21) and Ecclestone (2-14) were the pick of the visitors’ attack with Cross becoming Lancashire’s all-time leading wicket-taker.

Captain Eve Jones and Lamb opened facing Gayatri Gole and Hayleigh Brennan. With the required run rate only 2.42, wickets were always going to be key for Middlesex. The bowlers struggled to create chances, a tough catch was put down in the 12th off Lamb and three overs later Jones was lucky as the ball dropped just short of the fielder running in from deep square-leg.

Lancashire secured their ten-wicket victory in the 27th over with Jones on 61 (96) and Lamb 45 (67).

Dattani said she was pleased with the opening stand, ‘We work really hard trying to get those partnerships and they’re the key points of the game, Tash and I are starting to work out how we play together.’

Commenting on their bowling, Dattani said, ‘The two Lancashire girls batted very well, we needed to hit the stumps more often, Lancashire did that much more frequently. We tried various plans but they just didn’t come off.’

Looking ahead to the rest of the season Middlesex’s captain said, ‘As a team we’re feeling good, we’ve put in lots of work over the winter, we’re just trying to gel together and put those little things into place.’

In the second match Yorkshire asked Middlesex to bat first. The visitors got an early breakthrough as Miles was bowled by a Katherine Brunt delivery which nipped back and hit the top of off stump with the score on 13. Wilson was the next to fall, caught at cover off spinner Leigh Kasperek for 13, reducing Middlesex to 39-2.

Dunkley joined her captain at the crease and the pair added 30 before Dattani was run out for 26 going for a second off a no ball. Morgan came in at five and shared a 32-run stand before being trapped lbw by Katie Thompson for 14 with Dunkley on 29.

In a similar position to the previous match, Middlesex would have been keen not to repeat their mistakes and suffer a second collapse. Dunkley was the lynch-pin of the innings, rotating the strike well and finding the boundary where possible to finish unbeaten on 67 as the hosts were all out for 160 in 46.4 overs. Kasperek was the pick of the bowlers claiming 3-35 from her ten, while history was made as leg-spinner Katie Levick picked up a wicket to become the leading wicket-taker in women’s county cricket.

In reply Yorkshire got off to a strong start with openers Lauren Winfield and Hollie Armitage scoring 30 off the first five, including four fours, though Brennan and Wolfe did beat the bat and find the edge on occasion. The visitors continued to find the boundary scoring 40 off the next five overs.

It was the introduction of leg-spinner Dunkley which got the breakthrough as Winfield was well caught by Dattani for 58 (54), an innings which included 12 fours. Jess Watson joined Armitage with the score on 85 but soon returned to the pavilion, dismissed lbw by Dattani for a single, as the scoreboard read 89. Armitage continued to bat aggressively, finding and clearing the boundary on occasion. Dunkley claimed her second wicket, bowling former team mate Anna Nicholls around her legs for three, as Yorkshire required just 37 runs from 29 overs with Brunt and Armitage in the middle.

Brunt sealed Yorkshire’s seven-wicket win with a four, with Armitage unbeaten on 59. Dunkley was the pick of the bowlers with 2-49 from her seven overs.

Middlesex will look to get their first win on the board as they host Kent at Mill Hill School on Sunday 13th May.

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Related fixture

Mon 07 May
Royal London One-Day Cup 2018
Teddington CC
Start Time: 11:00

Middlesex Women - do not use Middlesex Women - do not use
Yorkshire Yorkshire

Yorkshire won by 7 wickets