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Kent Women beat Essex in their opening fixture of the London Championship

Kent Women made a winning start to their London Championship campaign.

The Horses beat Essex by 46 runs at Chigwell School on Saturday as Kirstie Gordon took four wickets on her 50-over debut for the team. Susie Rowe (63) top scored with the bat.

Susie Rowe top scored with 63 for Kent Women in their win at Essex
Susie Rowe top scored with 63 for Kent Women in their win at Essex

Essex Women won the toss and elected to field in conditions suited to bowling.

Captaining the side for the first time, Sarah Bryce (32) opened the batting alongside another Kent youth product, Megan Sturge (17), and the pair forged a partnership of 55 runs despite difficult batting conditions.

Sturge and Bryce were dismissed in quick succession but Susie Rowe continued to play aggressively, as she did in Kent’s two T20 matches against Surrey last week, upping what was a slow run rate.

She maintained the charge as other wickets fell, reaching her first half century in 50-over cricket for Kent since September 2011 after 52 deliveries. She eventually lost her wicket in the 29th over, departing for 63 from 65 balls.

Kent posted 203 all out from 47.5 overs.

Essex’s reply got off to a good start. Openers Beth Harmer and Alice Macleod put on 58 together before Kalea Moore made the breakthrough, dismissing Macleod LBW for 28.

Hannah Jelfs added another run out to her impressive career tally to send Harmer back to the pavilion for 34 runs.

On her 50-over debut for The Horses, England international Kirstie Gordon struck with her first ball. After dismissing Brown LBW, Gordon then dismissed her replacement, Speed, without scoring in the same over.

After another over from Megan Belt, Gordon then struck again with the first ball of her second over – Gardner bowled for six. Gordon’s devastating spell was crucial for Kent and she was also responsible for the dismissal of Grace Poole, caught by Hannah Jelfs for seven.

Kalea Moore sealed victory for the Horses by bowling Hughes at the end of the 40th over.

Kent Women face Middlesex Women today (Monday) as part of Women’s County Cricket Day. Their next Women’s London Championship clash will take place at The Nevill Ground, Tunbridge Wells as they welcome Sussex Women on Tuesday, June 1.

More: Kent membership deadline is this week

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