Arlott hat-trick, nineties by Davidson-Richards, Dunkley headline third round of RHF Trophy

(L-R) Emily Arlott, Katherine Brunt, Sophia Dunkley. © Women's CricZone

After batters dominated the first two rounds, the third round of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint (RHF) Trophy was mostly owned by the bowlers on Saturday (June 5). Katherine Brunt, Beth Langston and Jenny Gunn of Northern Diamonds ripped through Sunrisers while youngsters Emily Arlott and Issy Wong handed Southern Vipers their first-ever defeat in the tournament. South East Stars were reborn at the Oval with a 154-run partnership between Alice Davidson-Richards and Sophia Dunkley against Western Storm.

Sunrisers were hoping to register their first victory of the season after a 135-run loss against South East Stars in the opening round and falling 36 runs short against Thunder. But, right from the beginning, nothing went their way. Diamonds’ captain Hollie Armitage won the toss at the FP Fenner’s Ground in Cambridge and invited Sunrisers to bat first. Diamond’s bowling attack, fresh off defending 151 against Lightning, went through their opponent’s batting line-up within a blink of an eye. Opening spell by Brunt and Langston had Sunrisers gasping for air on five for 16 in the 10th over.

ODI World cup winners Brunt, Langston, and Gunn shared 8 wickets between them with only Sunrisers skipper Amara Carr (17) and pacer Gayatri Gole (11) scoring in double digits. There were only four boundaries scored in the entire first innings. And Sunrisers were bundled out for 53 runs in the 30th over.

Diamonds chased it down in the eighth over, thanks to the 24 extras, which included 18 wides.

Elsewhere, Sparks ended Vipers’ winning run in the competition, thanks to first a half century by skipper Evelyn Jones (55) and then supporting acts by Gwenan Davies (45) and Sarah Glenn (40). The efforts meant that Sparks posted 224 with Charlotte Taylor and Charlotte Dean sharing six wickets between them and captain Georgia Adams picking two.

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What followed was a fast-bowling clinic by Arlott and Wong. These two combined to reduce Vipers to five for 17 in the seventh over. The fourth over of Arlott over saw four wickets including a hat-trick which broke the back of Vipers’ chase. Wong also played a fiery role and her first spell 6-2-16-1 was especially good.

Although Vipers opener Danielle Wyatt offered some resistance with a valiant 61, it was not enough to prevent their first-ever loss in the competition.

Over at the Oval, determined knocks by Davidson-Richards (92) and Dunkley (92) saw Stars overcome the challenge from Storm. Chasing 246 for a win, both scored 92 apiece and added 154 together for the second wicket. Leg-spinner Nicole Harvey managed to take two wickets for Storm but it was too little too late.

Earlier, Stars captain Natasha Farrant won the toss and invited Storm to bat first. England captain Heather Knight made the most of it by hitting her third consecutive fifty-plus score in the RHF Trophy 2021. Captain Sophie Luff was the second-highest run-scorer with 55 off 87 balls. Anya Shrubsole’s late hitting helped Storm to take their innings close to 250.

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Brief Scores

Sunrisers 53 all out in 29.1 Overs ( Amara Carr 17; Jenny Gunn 3/10, Katherine Brunt 3/11) lost to Northern Diamonds 54/1 in 7.4 overs (Hollie Armitage 14*, Kate Coppack 1/14) by nine wickets

Central Sparks 224 all out in 49.2 Overs ( Evelyn Jones 55, Gwenan Davies 45; Charlotte Taylor 3/22, Charlotte Dean 3/37) beat Southern Vipers 104 all out in 27.5 Overs (Danielle Wyatt 61; Emily Arlott 5/29, Issy Wong 3/18) by 120 runs

Western Storm 245/8 in 50 Overs (Heather Knight 73, Sophie Luff 55; Natasha Farrant 4/58) lost to South East Stars 249/4 in 43.1 Overs (Alice Davidson-Richards 92, Sophia Dunkley 92; Nicole Harvey 2/43) by six wickets