Worcestershire Women’s Rapids are top of their group in the ECB Women’s County Championship Division Three after a 114 run success over Shropshire Women at Kidderminster CC’s Chester Road ground.

The Rapids have now won three of their opening four games and amassed 59 points – five more than nearest challengers Leicestershire and Rutland Women – to give themselves a chance of promotion.

The Rapids won the toss and amassed 249-6 in their 50 overs with half centuries from Clare Boycott and Rachel Howells and then bowled out their opponents for 135 in 36.5 overs with Izzy Watson producing a five wicket haul.

Issy Wong, with 49 off 65 balls with seven fours, and Boycott, 53 from 79 deliveries with eight boundaries, added 66 for the fourth wicket to take the total to 129-4.

Howells came to the middle at that juncture and provided some real acceleration in making an unbeaten 64 off just 54 balls with 11 fours.

Ellie Fleck (16) provided Howells with useful support on her debut for the Rapids during a sixth wicket stand of 46 and then Emily Arlott (14 not out) helped her add an unbroken 40 for the seventh wicket.

The Rapids bowlers quickly established a grip they never relinquished with only Ashleigh Heath, who had earlier picked up three wickets, offering much resistance, with 32.

Watson finished with the excellent figures of 10-2-29-5 and, but for 47 wides being conceded, the victory margin would have been even more convincing.

The Rapids will next be in action this Sunday when they take on Staffordshire Women – again at Kidderminster – and they will be looking to avenge their only defeat in the competition.

Coach Sam Wyles said: “After we lost to Staffordshire, I said that it’s knockout cricket for us. We have put ourselves in a good position with this win, it’s just about keeping that consistency going until the job is done.

“Rachel has been a brilliant addition to our squad. She’s a top fielder and probably needed that big performance with the bat to get her going.

“Issy was unlucky not to get a half century, as she batted really well. She’s deceptively quick with the ball too.”

TABLE

RAPIDS Played 4, Won 3, Lost 1, Batting Points 13, Bowling Points 16, Points 59

Leics-Rutland 4, 3, 1, 11, 13, 54

Staffs 4, 2, 2, 14, 15, 49

Shrops 4, 0, 4, 5, 7, 12