On Sunday Middlesex travel to Chelmsford to take on Essex in the first Royal London Women’s One-Day-Cup match of the season.
Middlesex have a strong batting line-up and captain Naomi Dattani will look to lead from the front. The skipper will likely open the batting and has found early form, scoring 40 against Kent in a pre-season warm up match last weekend.
Cordelia Griffth looks set to join Dattani at the top of the order following an impressive 94 in the warm-up game against Kent. This was Griffth’s first 50-over outing for Middlesex, after signing from Essex, making an immediate impact.
All-rounder Sophia Dunkley returns to domestic cricket following a busy winter touring with England; part of the World T20 runner-up team and the squads that toured India and Sri Lanka. Dunkley will be looking to put in some good performances with both bat and ball as she strives to make her One Day International debut this summer. In 2018 Dunkley averaged 23.00 with a top score of 67 and claimed 10 wickets at 18.90 with her legspin.
Middlesex and former England batter Beth Morgan will likely continue to play an important role in the middle order. Morgan has the ability to steady the innings or score quick runs as and when required. Morgan could share key partnerships with Iqraa Hussain who will take the gloves and has already shown in the fixture against Kent she can score useful runs if required, on that occasion she was unbeaten on 33.
Middlesex has a well-balanced attack with a range of seamers and spinners. With three right-arm quicks in Gayatri Gole, Katie Wolfe and Sonali Patel and two left-armers in Dattani and Rebecca Tyson, the skipper might choose to bowl left/right armers in tandem to make it tough for the batters to settle.Tyson should go into the fixture with some confidence after picking up two wickets against Kent.
In the spin department Middlesex will look to leggies Dunkley and Emily Thorpe as well as Emma Albery and Bhavika Gajipra with perhaps the odd over from Morgan. Albery had an impressive 2018 picking up ten wickets at just 9.40 in four RLODC matches and will be hoping to repeat this feat. Offspinner Gajipra also enjoyed success last summer, claiming 12 wickets at 8.91 in T20s and will look to replicate that in the longer form of the game.
Key wickets for Middlesex are likely to be Catherine Dalton who enjoyed a run-filled summer for Finchley Cricket Club last year as well as Beth Dodd and wicketkeeper Jessica Bird who made centuries for Essex last summer. One bowler Middlesex will need to negotiate carefully is opener Poppy Timson who took 19 wickets at 13.16 across club and county matches in 2018.
The match begins at 11am and is free entry for all.
Contributed by Georgia Isaac, Middlesex Women’s Media Assistant
Naomi Dattani ©
Iqraa Hussain (wk)