Suffolk Women are regional T20 championsMay 10, 2022
SUFFOLK Women are celebrating being crowned regional T20 champions for the first time.
They beat Cambridgeshire by eight wickets in Sunday’s semi-final, before defeating Essex by five wickets off the last ball in the Group 4 Final at Sawston & Babraham CC.
Australian Lauren Smith, who is turning out for Woolpit CC men’s 1st XI as their overseas player this season, scored a half-century and then took a hat-trick in the final.
Suffolk bowled out Cambridgeshire for 101 with three balls unused of their 20-over allocation, with Lauren Swinburne opening the bowling and claiming 4-1-20-4.
Poppy Sidhu (4-0-22-2) and Smith (3.3-0-21-2) chipped in with two wickets apiece, before openers Smith (58 off 44 balls) and Petra Tweedy (30 off 27 balls) put on 81 in just 9.3 overs.
Suffolk skipper Natalie Samuels struck the winning run as Suffolk chased down their target with 5.4 overs remaining.
Their opponents again won the toss and elected to bat first in the final, with Essex this time closing their innings on 110 for 9.
Smith starred with the ball, returning the remarkable figures of 4-1-9-5 including a hat-trick in the last over of the innings, with sisters Poppy and Isobel Sidhu taking a wicket apiece.
This time Smith (26 runs off 24 balls) and Tweedy (29 off 33 balls) compiled an opening partnership of 37, and Suffolk had reached 55 for 1 at the half-way point of their reply.
Suffolk lost their fifth wicket when Imogen Sidhu was caught and bowled in the penultimate over, leaving ten runs to win from the last over.
Amelie Clarke hit the first ball for four and also scored the winning run off the final ball to seal Suffolk’s success.
Suffolk Cricket Performance Lead Andy Northcote said: “It’s a great achievement for the squad who have played good cricket throughout the competition.
“They lost to Essex in the group stages but bounced back heroically to win the final of Group 4.
“It is equally great to see the tide turning after some tough years for the Women’s squad. Not too long ago the county stopped running the side for a year.
“We have managed to reboot and done so well with great support from Suffolk Cricket, the coaches and local clubs. The pathway leads deep and it’s a squad filled with talent that we’ve developed over the years plus one Australian!
“When Woolpit signed Lauren to be their pro, we jumped on the idea of her helping our young squad and it’s worked a treat, both on and off the field.
“The players try so much harder when she’s around and in turn it’s created a very healthy atmosphere.”
Lauren Smith is pictured above celebrating her hat-trick in the final. Photograph: Chris Winder
Categorised in: Suffolk Women