All-round Capsey, fifties from Jones, Luff headline round five of CE Cup; Thunder knock Sunrisers out with a tie

All-round Capsey, fifties from Jones, Luff headline round five of CE Cup; Thunder knock Sunrisers out with a tie

Evelyn Jones (L), Alice Capsey, Sophie Luff (R) © Getty Images

Evelyn Jones, Alice Capsey and Sophie Luff hit match-winning fifties in round five of the Charlotte Edwards Cup on Saturday (August 28). In the fourth match of the day, despite Cordelia Griffith’s 63, Thunder defended nine runs of the last two overs to force a tie to knock Sunrisers out of the tournament with one round left to play.

In Group A match in Worcester, skipper Jones scored 71 off 55 to guide Central Sparks to a spirited chase with a ball to spare as Lightning succumbed to their fifth defeat from as many matches. Jones hit seven fours and three sixes during her knock as Sparks came back from the early losses of Marie Kelly – centurion from last match – and Millie Home with only 17 runs on the board. Although they lost Jones in the penultimate over, Issy Wong got them over the line with a boundary off Grace Ballinger in the last over. For Lightning, Sonia Odedra picked up two wickets.

Batting first, Lightning scored 136 for eight with top four batters contributing with 20 plus scores. But none of them could convert it into big scores as Abigail Freeborn top scored with 32. For Sparks, Emily Arlott and Ria Fackrell picked up two wickets each.

In other group A fixture in Southampton, Capsey took South East Stars to the top of the table with an all-round performance against Southern Vipers. Put into bat, Stars posted a formidable total thanks to multiple contributions. Bryony Smith smashed an aggressive 42 off 25 at the top before Capsey formed a 64-run partnership with Phoebe Franklin. The 17-year-old scored 61 off 46 before getting out in the penultimate delivery of the innings. Vipers bowling attack struggled in the absence of Lauren Bell – missing the match after having to isolate as a potential COVID-19 contact – to concede 167 runs.

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In the chase, Capsey dealt two body blows early in the piece sending openers Georgia Adams and Tara Norris back to the pavilion inside three overs. Soon Vipers were reduced to 46 for four, Georgia Elwiss tried to resurrect the innings with a 45-run knock and Alice Monaghan scored an enterprising 30 not out from 17 balls even as they fell 20 runs short. Capsey finished with figures of two for nine from her two overs.

Elsewhere in Chester-le-Street, Luff led her Western Storm side to a narrow win over Northern Diamonds in the Group B fixture to keep their hopes of making it to the Finals Day alive. Coming to bat at four with the score reading six for two in the moderate chase of 111, Luff soon lost her partner Danielle Gibson when Rachel Slater bowled her for just three. From fourteen 14 for three, Storm skipper formed a valuable partnership with Katie George to take the score to 63.

Post the dismissal of George, Storm suffered another mini collapse and soon were reduced to 78 for six but Luff kept her cool and reached her fifty from 44 balls with a boundary off Alex MacDonald. They needed 25 from the last four overs and in the company of Lauren Parfitt – who scored 20 off 17 - Luff guided her side to a win with a single off Jenny Gunn in the third ball of the final over as she remained not out on 60 off 54 balls.

Earlier, put into bat, Diamonds struggled to get scoreboard moving as they lost wickets at regular intervals with a couple of run outs while Fi Morris and Nicole Harvey accounted for two wickets each. At one stage, they were 62 for six with seven overs still left in their innings. Gunn and MacDonald added a crucial 36 runs for the seventh wicket to take them to the eventual score of 110 for nine.

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In other Group B match in Northampton, it looked like Sunrisers were cruising to their second win of the competition with Griffith scoring a 40-ball fifty. She shared a 79-run stand for the second wicket with Grace Scrivens. Post the dismissal of Scrivens, Griffith hit Laura Jackson for a couple of boundaries to put Sunrisers firmly on track for a win - needing only 13 runs from the last 20 balls.

However, Piepa Cleary gave away only four runs in the 18th over before Kate Cross accounted for Griffith with the second ball of the penultimate over when she castled the settled batter for 63. Only three more runs came from the over leaving Sunrisers to get five from the last six balls. Left-arm spinner Hannah Jones gave three singles in the first three deliveries before dismissing Florence Miller with the fourth one. Joanne Gardner played a dot ball and could take only a single in the final ball as the match ended in a tie. The tie meant Sunrisers are out of the tournament with a game to play while Thunder still have a chance to make it to the knock outs.

Earlier, opting to bat first, openers Georgie Boyce and Daisy Mullan put on a fifty partnership for Thunder. Once they removed Boyce for 31, Sunrisers came back into the match with Emily Thorpe striking twice to remove Mullan and Cleary. Meanwhile, wicket-keeper Eleanor Threlkeld was playing a measured knock at the other end scoring 28. Skipper Cross came and smashed a 19-ball 26 at a strike rate of 136.84 - highest of the match - to take her side to 124 for five at the end of the stipulated 20 overs.

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Brief Scores:

Lightning 136/8 in 20 overs (Abigail Freeborn 32; Emily Arlott 2/13, Ria Fackrell 2/27) lost to Central Sparks 139/6 in 19.5 overs (Evelyn Jones 71; Sonia Odedra 2/14) by 4 wickets

South East Stars 167/4 in 20 overs (Alice Capsey 61, Bryony Smith 42; Georgia Adams 1/16) beat Southern Vipers 147/7 in 20 overs (Georgia Elwiss 45, Alice Monaghan 30*; Alice Capsey 2/9) by 20 runs

Northern Diamonds 110/9 in 20 overs (Alex MacDonald 22; Nicole Harvey 2/20, Fi Morris 2/24) lost to Western Storm 111/6 in 19.3 overs (Sophie Luff 60*, Lauren Parfitt 20*) by 4 wickets

Thunder 124/5 in 20 overs (Georgie Boyce 31, Eleanor Threlkeld 28; Emily Thorpe 2/17) tied with Sunrisers 124/4 in 20 overs (Cordelia Griffith 63; Kate Cross 2/20)