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Edwards steps up as Hampshire women’s director

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Charlotte Edwards, the former England women’s captain, has made her first movement into cricket administration by being appointed as Hampshire’s director of women’s cricket.

Edwards, who will continue to captain Hampshire Women for a second season this summer, will head up the management of both Hampshire Women’s first-team and player pathway sides, as well as the Southern Vipers – the team she led to the inaugural Kia Super League title in 2016.

She takes over the role filled by former Hampshire wicketkeeper Bob Parks, who has announced his retirement after more than 45 years involved in the game.

“I’m extremely excited about my new role as director of women’s cricket,” Edwards said. “Having played for Hampshire and Southern Vipers for the past two seasons, I see an ambitious organisation that will complement my passion for domestic cricket. I look forward to working with players, coaches and staff to help Hampshire become one of the leading domestic clubs in the country for women’s cricket.”

Edwards, who captained the England Women’s side for more than a decade before retiring in 2015, scored more than 10,000 international runs during her 20-year career.

Her career spanned four Ashes series victories, a World T20 title and the 2009 World Cup victory as England captain. In 2014, she was awarded a CBE for her services to cricket.

“We’re delighted that Charlotte has agreed to take up the role,” Hampshire’s chief executive officer, David Mann, said. “She’s a legend in the women’s game and has been a superb ambassador for the Vipers both on and off the pitch over the past two seasons.

“Her wealth of experience and knowledge of the game will be invaluable assets for our management group and we’re excited by the qualities she brings to the role.

“Our thanks must go to Bob Parks who has been an integral part of what the Southern Vipers and Hampshire Women have been able to achieve over the past two seasons and we all wish him well in his retirement.”



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Cricket

Ryan Higgins shows his class as Ben Stokes finds his bowling boots

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Gloucestershire 315 for 7 (Higgins 105, Roderick 67) v Durham
Scorecard

A maiden first-class century from Ryan Higgins put Gloucestershire in a decent position on the opening day of the Specasavers County Championship match with Durham at Cheltenham.

The 23-year-old former Middlesex all-rounder was out in the last over of the day for 105 as his side ran up 315 for seven after winning the toss. Miles Hammond (51) and Gareth Roderick (67) were the other main contributors.

Chris Rushworth and Ben Stokes each claimed three of the wickets, Stokes beginning with a seven-over spell that brought him 2 for 10. But Durham’s other England bowler Mark Wood was off the field having physiotherapy during the afternoon and, although he returned to the field, he bowled only six overs in the day.

Stokes was the star of the early exchanges, generating pace and bounce from the Chapel End after coming on first change.

He pinned Chris Dent lbw for 19 and had Benny Howell taken at gully off a sharply lifting delivery for four after Gloucestershire had elected to bat in bright sunshine.

In between the two wickets Stokes struck James Bracey a painful blow on an elbow. After treatment the 21-year-old batsman headed off to hospital for a more extensive examination.

Hammond, already a centurion at the Festival, again looked in fine form, putting on 40 with Dent for the first wicket. The left-hander was unbeaten on 36 at lunch, which was taken with Gloucestershire 80 for two off 28 overs.

Hammond went on to a half-century off 97 balls, with 9 fours. But he fell early in the afternoon session, bowled by Rushworth, who beat his defensive shot.

Roderick survived a couple of blows to the helmet on the lively pitch to post fifty off 93 deliveries, with 8 fours, and shared a fourth-wicket stand of 107 with Higgins to put their side on top.

Tea was taken at 218 for three, with Higgins having brought up his half-century off 67 balls, hitting six fours. It was an untimely interval for Roderick, who in the first over after the resumption fell lbw to Salisbury on the back foot.

Higgins went past his previous best score of 63 and set his sights on three figures. The injured Bracey returned to help add 64 before departing to the second new ball, an lbw victim for Rushworth.

Kieran Noema-Barnett fell cheaply to the same bowler, but Higgins punched the air at reaching his ton off 141 balls, having increased his boundary count to 12.

He was caught at backward point off what proved the final delivery of the day to his intense frustration, Stokes claiming a third wicket. He ended the day with three for 40 from an impressive 18.4 overs, while Rushworth had three for 82 off 20.



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Surrey dominate as green Trent Bridge pitch backfires

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Surrey 223 for 1 (Burns 97*, Stoneman 93) lead Nottinghamshire 210 (Morkel 4-60) by 13 runs
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Your front lawn may be the colour of straw but the well-watered cricket fields of England remain a luxuriant green, even down to the pitch for the clash of first and second in the Championship.

It was perhaps not what you would expect to see in the third week of July in a summer as scorching as this one but from Nottinghamshire’s standpoint there was logic behind their instructions to the groundsman. No team had accrued more bowling points in the first eight matches of the season and with Stuart Broad and Jake Ball available it was clear where they considered their best chance of winning lay.

There were two or three flies in the ointment, however; bluebottle-sized ones, in fact. First of all, Steve Birks’s verdant strip is as close to the boundary on the Bridgford Road side of the ground as any of Trent Bridge’s Championship pitches, so close that a judiciously placed nudge brings four.

Second, this Surrey side contains the two most prolific batsmen in the top division so far in Rory Burns and Ollie Pope.

And third, with the kind of early cloud cover that has not been seen for several weeks, there was never much likelihood that Surrey would not bowl first, which meant that a Nottinghamshire batting line-up short on experience would be exposed to Jade Dernbach, Sam Curran, Morne Morkel and Rikki Clarke in the most testing atmospheric conditions, while Broad, back in action after recovering from a sore ankle, could only preen his new haircut in the dressing room. As calculated risks go, this one seemed to have a decent chance of backfiring spectacularly.

And so it did. Steven Mullaney, the Nottinghamshire captain, was out to the second ball of the day, edging Dernbach into the wicketkeeper’s gloves, and even a solitary batting point would have eluded his side but for an unlikely partnership for the 10th wicket that saw Jake Ball smash Morkel over cover for six and Harry Gurney, a number eleven in cricket’s best traditions, carve out an inventive unbeaten 29, the second biggest score of his career.

Surrey had 42 overs to negotiate themselves but by the time they began the clouds were clearing and the menace the Surrey quartet had been able to generate eluded Broad and company. The excellent Burns, now past 850 runs for the season, needs three more for a third century. Mark Stoneman, at last looking more like the player who scored almost 1,500 runs last summer, emerged from his troubles with a fine 86, taking him past 10,000 in his career. Unless something very different happens on day two, Surrey can already anticipate a handsome lead.

The first five Nottinghamshire wickets fell before lunch, the other five before tea as the ball jagged around. At times it was a struggle even to lay bat on ball, let alone take advantage of the short route to the fence. Of the first six wickets, three were caught at gully, one at slip and one by the wicketkeeper; the other was to an inswinger from Curran that trapped Samit Patel on the back foot.

Surrey’s catching, for the most part, was outstanding. Rikki Clarke, apart from bowling superbly, took one over his head at slip that required an exceptional leap even for a man of his 6ft 4ins; Ryan Patel, on briefly as substitute fielder at gully with Pope needing attention after catching Will Fraine a couple of balls earlier, held a blinder, diving to his right, to dismiss Jake Libby, as Morkel claimed two of his four wickets in three deliveries. Fraine, the former Durham MCCU batsman, acquitted himself pretty well in the circumstances, thrown in for his Championship debut with Chris Nash still sidelined and Ross Taylor’s stint here finished.

Some 22 points separated these sides at the start of play. Right now the gap feels wider than that and Surrey might well be about to put themselves out of reach.



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Sussex plot haphazard route to promotion-chasing victory

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Sussex 327 (Wells 71, Hogan 4-39, Lawlor 3-59) vs Glamorgan
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Sussex, attempting to boost their promotion ambitions with a third straight win against bottom of the table Glamorgan, needed a spirited last wicket partnership between Jofra Archer and Danny Briggs to gain the upper hand on the opening day of their day-night Specsavers County Championship Division Two fixture at Hove.

Sussex had the better of the opening session but the Glamorgan bowlers proved tenacious and took five wickets in a 20-over spell, assisted by a pink ball that swung after lunch. Sussex, however, have a Manx cat’s tail and the partnership of 61 between Archer (19) and Briggs (46) saw them to a third batting point for passing 300.

Openers Luke Wells and Phil Salt built a decent foundation to the innings, with an opening stand of 73. Salt was in particularly impressive form, striking eight fours in his 52-ball 48 before he was dismissed by a fine delivery from Michael Hogan, which straightened and lifted to have him caught behind in the 19th over.

Sussex were still well set at 114 for 1 at lunch. But they lost Tom Haines to the first delivery after the interval and the Glamorgan bowlers remained on top for the rest of the session. Haines, playing his first championship game since scoring a century on debut against Durham at Arundel last month, came into the side for the rested Luke Wright. But, attempting to work the ball to leg, he edged Lukas Carey to Nick Selman at second slip.

Wells, who had been more sedate than his opening partner, leg-glanced Michael Hogan to reach his fifty from 100 deliveries. But Sussex lost third wicket at 139 when the in-form Harry Finch, driving without any foot movement, was caught behind off Hogan. Finch’s solitary run occupied 32 balls. And one run later Wells hooked Hogan to long-leg for 71 from 142 balls.

Michael Burgess was dropped first ball at third slip but Glamorgan were not made to pay for their aberration. The batsman was caught behind having a swing at a wide delivery from Jeremy Lawlor for 13 – the first of three wickets for Lawlor as he acieved a career-best. And it became 171 for 6 when David Wiese swung wildly to give the busy keeper Chris Cooke another catch.

Ben Brown and Chris Jordan revived the faltering innings with a seventh wicket stand of 83 in 24 overs. Both batsmen failed to reach deserved half-centuries. Brown (49) was caught behind attempting to cut a ball that was too pitched up for the stroke, and in the next over Jordan (46) was bowled by Hogan.

Sussex were 254 for 8 and Glamorgan were on top once more, even more so when Ollie Robinson was caught at second slip at 266 in the first over with the new ball.

But in Briggs Sussex have a first-class century maker batting at No 11 and he and Archer hit merrily under the floodlights until Briggs fell in the last over of the day.



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