Yorkshire will have a new captain and vice-captain of the Women’s team for the 2014 season. England star Lauren Winfield (pictured above left) will captain the side alongside her international teammate Katherine Brunt (pictured above right) who will take over as vice-captain.
“Reaching the County Championship final was a great achievement, and although we came out second best against a talented Sussex side, we learnt a lot about the day." - Mark Loker
Winfield and Brunt are currently starring for England in the Women Ashes series in Australia, where England lead the series after victory in last week’s Test match in Perth.
After a successful 2013, where Yorkshire reached the final of the County Championship losing out to Sussex, First team Coach Mark Loker believes the team can build on their efforts going into 2014.
“We are looking to improve again this year,” he said.
“We have a number of excellent players coming through and with the experience of our England players in the side and the blend of youth; we will be amongst the best teams in the new campaign.
“Reaching the County Championship final was a great achievement, and although we came out second best against a talented Sussex side, we learnt a lot about the day.
“The players have now had a taste of what it is like playing in a major final and we want to get back there. Hopefully, this time we can go one better and win the title.”
Fixtures for the new season can be viewed here
First Team Coach Mark Loker summaries the exploits of his team from the 2013 season.
Surrey away at the Kia Oval – May 5 2013
Yorkshire won by 12 runs
Batting first we compiled a total of 169 all out with Lauren Winfield 96 and Hollie Armitage on her debut 22. Surrey then started their chase and at 129 for 5 with 11 overs to get 40 runs and most of our bowling options used up our Captain Salliann Briggs gave the ball to Hollie Armitage who bowled her leg-spin and finished with figures of 1.3overs 2 runs for 3 wickets and our first win of the season, hopes high that we can follow that the next day with a game against a strong Essex Team.
Essex away at the Toby Howe Cricket Ground – May 6 2013
Yorkshire won by 69 runs
Essex the following day in Billericay CC, another sunny day and another toss won, so we batted once again and posted an average score of 195 for 5, probably 20 runs short. Solid performances from Lauren Winfield & Jess Watson with a vital innings from Danni Hazell added to these were a quick partnership between Salliann Briggs and Laura Spragg pushed the score nearer to our target of 210. Essex came out to bat and as in the previous game we opened with our leg-spinner Katie Levick and the experienced Laura Spragg and it was the later who came through with fine match figures of 5 for 11, including 3 of the top 4 batters. Another success away from home, a very satisfied Captain and Coach.
Warwickshire home at St George’s Road, Harrogate – May 19 2013
Warwickshire won by 34 runs
Warwickshire Women visited Harrogate to play and we were hoping that another victory would be easier than the first two, how wrong we were, not sure we turned up really. We asked Warwickshire to bat and they posted a gettable 166 for 6 from their 50 overs, no one stood out more with the ball than Katie Levick with 10 overs 25 for 1. We started our innings and never really got it going losing wickets regularly and being bowled out in the 49th over for 129. I do hope that we would learn from such a poor performance?
Sussex away at Horntye Park, Hastings – May 26 2013
Yorkshire won by 7 runs
Another two away games followed in May against Sussex, the top team really despite the efforts of Kent and Berkshire. The Sussex game played, well almost in France, was great game, all our plans worked. Sussex won the toss and asked us to bat, a solid start from the opening pair Kathryn Doherty and Lauren Winfield (right) (38) followed by scores from Danni Hazell (58) and a spirited innings from Laura Spragg (31) meant our score of 179 for 7, was if nothing else a challenging score on a wearing wicket and the England trio of Adams, Elwiss and Brindle had all bowled well. Sussex began their innings with our bowlers bowling the correct lines and good fielding made their job harder and as we squeezed we collected wickets at regular intervals and their innings came to an end when the overs were bowled and their score 172 for 7. Our bowler Beatrice Firth claiming 21 for 2 from her 10 overs. Sussex beaten for the first time in a long time away from home, next stop Berkshire.
Berkshire away at Sindlesham – May 27 2013
Berkshire won by 108 runs
A long drive after the game against Sussex may have contrived to the result the next day, really it came down to poor batting against Berkshire at Wokingham CC. We lost the toss, Berkshire batted and the first ball of the day was a no ball hit for six over square leg, this led to Heather Knight (120) starting a great innings and showing just how good a summer she would have culminating in an innings of 156 against the Australians in the Ashes series. We took wickets or should I say they gifted wickets at regular times at the other end but reached 213 a/o when Knight was out last ball of the innings stumped by Elise Good, playing only her second game. We batted but not with any purpose and our shot selection/execution was very poor and led to our final score of 108 a/o. Not only our lowest score of the season but not enough to claim any batting points. Well we thought the Warwickshire game was poor but this was by far our worst performance of the season in all disciplines and all in the same game. Berkshire had been in the bottom two, very much like Warwickshire but after their performance they now pulled away from that position.
Nottinghamshire away at Nettleworth – July 7 2013
Yorkshire won by 10 wickets
Next came one of our most complete games away to Nottinghamshire. We lost the toss on a very hot day; yes we had a few of them too, and were asked to field. Notts got off to a solid if slow start to their innings, the first wicket fell at 65 but some quick wickets, tight lines from Levick and Hazell backed up by tight fielding in the circle we restricted them to 175 for 7 only Jane Smit (50), Sonia Odedra (39) and Olivia Thornton (36). Our innings started well and basically got better and better, both openers Lauren Winfield (76no)and Jess Watson (79no) played shots all-round the wicket and in double quick time securing a massive win inside 40 overs. This result really had the girls buzzing and they could not wait for the following weekend’s game at home against the title holders, including the England Captain Charlotte Edwards of Kent. Would we hold our nerve?
Kent home at St George’s Road, Harrogate – July 14 2013
Yorkshire won by 6 wickets
Kent arrived full of confidence and whilst we took the quieter route in preparation of the days game which included for the first time this season our opening bowler Kathrine Brunt on her rehabilitation bowling 6 overs for only 12 runs but in doing so kept Charlotte Edwards quiet whilst Beatrice Firth bowling better all the time the season progressed and now charged with the new ball. Later in the innings she was to come back and remove Charlotte Edwards for 93 when she looked set for another 100. Kent scored 187 for 7 but we were quietly confident that we could beat the score and hopefully do it with sufficient wickets in hand to stop Kent progressing to the final at our expense. This we duly did with another solid opening partnership from what should be Yorkshire and possibly England’s opening partnership in a years to come from Winfield (69) and Watson (54) who put on 138 in quick time, we lost a couple of quick wickets but rather than wobble Hazell (21), Briggs (16) and Kathryn Doherty (11) saw the Team home and Kent were out, how would that stand, no Kent in the final?
Middlesex away at Canons Park – July 20 2013
Yorkshire won by 6 wickets
Well, we had one game to play from a rearranged fixture against Middlesex. The original game set for April 14th (off due to snow and rain) was played in Middlesex and they won the toss and batted, this did help as we could secure wickets that should enable us to stay on course for a final with Sussex in September. Middlesex posted a challenging score and a bit tricky 170 a/o but the girls really applied themselves again to chase it down. Miles (50) and Morgan (42) with our bowling success of Firth 19 for 2, Levick 28 for 2 and Doherty 34 for 2. Our openers set the game again with an opening stand of 69 followed by another stand taking the score to 121 with Winfield (65), keeping up her good form that would ensure she kept knocking on the England selectors door, before a couple of wickets fell before Ami Campbell (13) and Briggs (10) saw us through to the total, we had done it, won when we did not really have to play. This game was noted as an exceptionally good gesture from the girls and was highlighted in the ECB’s notes later in the year for sportsmanship awards.
County Championship Final against Sussex at Milton Keynes, September 15 2013
Sussex won by 95 runs
So to the final in September, after such a great summer would the weather hold, well the game was later than normal due to the successful Ashes campaign, but we practised well before the day and we really thought that we would win the game against a very strong Sussex side who welcomed back both Sarah Taylor and Holy Colvin. We won the toss on a day that started bright, well the weather and our opening bowlers too, without Brunt who still had to play as a batter only. We had Sussex 10 for 2 both wickets to Firth, however Sarah Taylor (126n/o) and Brindle with a spirited innings of 51 from the young Izzy Collis set Yorkshire 240 to win. This was the largest score we had chased but when fielding in temperatures that did not get above 5/6 degrees, it was almost like winter, we had numerous rain breaks and time when driving rain did not deter the Umpires who had been told to get a result today whatever happened. Well we set about our target after a very short turn round with our girls hardly time to eat never mind warm up. We did at the time understand why we had to do this but still not the way to finish a season?
We lost 2 quick wickets in doing so Winfield run out backing up a fortunate straight drive just touched by the bowler.
Campbell (20), Hazell (26) and a solid 38n/o from Brunt almost saw us to the target which was adjusted a couple of times with the rain breaks but then we lost too many wickets to sustain the run chase successfully and so our season finished with a whimper, not the dream we all had the previous day. It was a shame as the men too finished runners up in their Championship season. We were advised by Salliann Briggs that she would stand down as Captain and also for the short-term withdraw from playing. This was not what we needed but the girls understood and a full break down after the game on the season pointed to a successful future.