BARBARA DANIELS, in her year out from international cricket, took the batting and bowling honours as Kent based Invicta beat North Riding by nine wickets in the Premier League final at Milton Keynes yesterday. Daniels took 4-23 as the North champions were bowled out for 129 in 49.2 overs on the flat Campbell Park pitch. Batting at number three she then struck 44 runs off just 46 balls in exactly one hour. She remained unbeaten, as did England opener Charlotte Edwards who finished on 46.
Sue Metcalfe hit 34 and Nicola Payne 33 of Riding's disappointing total.
They bowled well to begin with when Invicta started their reply, with Payne bowling Liz Whelan for 16.
The wicket only meant the arrival of Daniels who hit four boundaries before she and Edwards reached the 130 target with no further losses.
Invicta captain Jill Hennessy said: "We didn't expect such a decisive win at all, you can never expect to win a final because it's all about what happens on the day.
"We played well throughout and North Riding were probably disappointed with their batting. It's been a great season for us especially after being outdone last year when we had to default against Old Stacians because of a problem with one of our pitches."
England bowler Melissa Reynard captained North Riding and admitted that her side had been below par. "That's not to take anything away from Invicta though, because they played very well and bowled tightly.
"We bowled well to start with but mid-way through Invicta's innings we bowled too many bad balls which you can't do with such a low total. They batted patiently and deserved to win."
Invicta delayed their victory party until the end of the season but Hennessy admitted they weren't fit to celebrate after the match. "It was such a hot day and we had to travel back. We were knackered," she said!