Orange Lionesses again take an ECB Twenty20 title
After an indifferent start to the season the Netherlands womenís side again carried all before them in the ECB Twenty20 Cup this week, winning their Midlands and North Division 3 group with a four-match unbeaten record.
Having warmed up with a successful series against the visiting MCC womenís side and then winning their County Championship match against Durham on Sunday, the Orange Lionesses beat Durham, Cheshire and Cumbria in quick succession before repeating their victory over Cheshire with an astonishing 10-wicket win in the final.
Cheshire had posted 152 for six in the round-robin match, with the Dutch completing their five-wicket victory off the final ball of the game.
But in the final the Englishwomen were dismissed for 94, as Leonie Bennett, Denise Hannema and Carlijn de Groot claimed two wickets apiece and Esther de Lange and Claire Crewdson one. Miranda Veringmeier (30 not out) and Helmien Rambaldo (45 not out) then needed just 12.5 overs to knock off the runs as the Netherlands cruised to victory.
It completed a very good day for Rambaldo, who had earlier made a 33-ball unbeaten 54 as the Dutch ran up 161 for three against Cumbria. Equally encouraging for the rest of the season was the continuing emergence of 15-year-old Heather Siegers, who also needed just 33 deliveries for her 57 not out in that game, and who had previously batted with great maturity for 35 not out in her teamís round-robin win against Cheshire, closing out the match with overseas player Crewdson (28 not out).
With Ireland also having won their Twenty20 Cup division the stage is set for an enthralling European Womenís Twenty20 championship in Northern Ireland from 14-16 August, although the Orange Lionesses sights will first be set on their County Championship fixtures this weekend against Warwickshire and Wales.
Warwickshire, currently top of Division 2 with an unbeaten record, will be very tough opposition indeed, but the Dutch will need to win their match against Wales on Monday to ensure that they stay well clear of the relegation zone.