Hove: Surrey won the first Women's County Cricket match to be played under floodlights at Hove on August 30 beating Sussex CC by two wickets in the final over of the 50 overs a-side match.
Making first use of the wicket Sussex put up 165 for 8. At one stage, the crowd wondered if the lights would come on at all as Sussex struggled to make runs until England under-17 cap Alexia Walker and Naomi Poletyllo put on 70 for the 7th wicket. Walker made 61 not out whilst exhibiting an attacking and exciting innings.
Surrey made the runs with three deliveries to spare, finishing at 166 for 8 in the 49th over. Emma Jones made 41, and Chanelle Osborne, having taken 3 wickets for 23 runs, made a match-winning 41 not out. The Surrey captain, Caroline Barrs, scored 25.
Sussex and England captain Clare Connor, left arm spinner as well as opening batsman, took 3 for 23 with team mate Charlotte Burton taking 4 for 20. Despite enjoying a winning habit captaining the national side this summer, it wasn't enough to stop Surrey making the required total.
Connor said "It's been a fantastic contest and we are delighted to have taken part in the first floodlit women's game - especially here at Hove. Women's cricket in Sussex continues to be increasingly popular, and hopefully we can create more interest through initiatives such as this. I'm pleased there was such a good crowd enjoying such a close match"
Sussex younger players have enjoyed a good year in Women's Cricket. The under-19 side are in the final of their nationwide county tournament having won the Southern Division. If the under-17's beat Kent this week, they will also be Southern finalists. In addition, the women's club team Brighton and Hove are in the Plate Final in September, a knock out competition contested by club teams nationwide.
With Clare Connor captaining England at the World Cup this year and Alexia Walker and Kate Oakenfold gaining further experience with the successful England under-17 team against Holland this summer, the future looks bright for Sussex under the floodlights at Hove. Surrey retained their first division status at the expense of Sussex at this year's County Championships and it is Sussex, not Surrey, who will fight for promotion next season.