Sonia Odedra led from the front as Nottinghamshire got their Vitality Women’s County T20 Cup season off to a flying start with two wins against Northamptonshire in the East Midlands Group. 

In the opening encounter, the hosts bludgeoned their way to an impressive 154 from their allotted overs, and restricted the visitors to 96 to seal a 58-run victory. 

It looked as if Northants would be vindicated in their decision to bowl first when Notts got off to a steady start. But with the score on 30 for two after seven overs, Michaela Kirk joined skipper Odedra. And the new signing, who is set to represent Notts, Lightning and Trent Rockets this summer, hit her straps in the company of her captain.

Combining boundary hitting with intelligent running, and catalysed by a ninth over worth 14 runs from the blade of Kirk, the partnership accelerated the scoring rate.

By the time Odedra (59) was caught by Siobhan Smith off the bowling of Bethan Soloman, the fourth wicket was worth 84 and Notts were well-positioned on 114 for three.

Jodie Cook accompanied Kirk (61*) as the latter pressed on before Soloman claimed her second scalp, and it was left to Hannah Hughes to assist the half-centurion to a formidable first innings total.

Despite taking 13 from the first over in reply, Northants struggled to build a total and it was to be economical bowling that did the trick for the home side. 

Cook and Amelia Kite did the damage at the death, each going at a miserly rate and picking up five wickets between them to build on earlier pressure provided by Amy Gauvrit and Teresa Graves. When Kite took two fourteenth-over wickets, the total looked insurmountable; and so it proved, Northants falling well short to earn Notts first blood. 

View the full scorecard from game one here

In the second match of the day, Odedra, along with Sophie Munro, caused havoc with the ball to leave Northants 53 runs short of their 148-run target. 

Munro came on after eight overs with the score at 37 for one, and wasted little time in adding to the wickets column, bowling Soloman with her fifth ball. The 19-year-old struck twice more before her overs were completed whilst Odedra’s first over, Nottinghamshire’s eleventh, was a wicket maiden which typified the tone set by the hosts.

Rebecca Widdowson bowled with equal guile, conceding 11 runs from her three overs, as Northamptonshire finished on 95.

Earlier, Kirk and Odedra had once again combined to help Notts to an impressive total in the first innings, building on a solid foundation laid by Teresa (28) and Yvonne Graves (19).

Teresa, in particular, took the attack to Northants, taking 17 balls to reach her total before being stumped to leave the score at 55 for three in the tenth over. 

In the remaining time, Odedra (49) scored with typical fluency, hitting six fours in her 33 balls with Kirk (38) motoring at over a run a ball herself to set what transpired to be an unbeatable total. 

View the full scorecard from game two here.

As the only side in the East Midlands group to have won both matches of their double-header, Notts sit handsomely atop the table with the 2021 season in its infancy. Lincolnshire are the hosts for the Notts’ next fixture on Bank Holiday Monday.