The Hundred: Alice Davidson-Richards' gleeful all-round act

Alice Davidson-Richards finished the game in style with a six, but earlier in the day she picked up three wickets, two catches, and a run out

Shivangi Sinha
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Alice Davidson-Richards

Alice Davidson-Richards with a complete all-round effort © Getty Images

Alice Davidson-Richards was a true allrounder in all sense of the world in her first outing of The Hundred 2023 and every aspect of her game was on display in Northern Superchargers’ electrifying win against Birmingham Phoenix at Headingley on Thursday (August 3).

Davidson-Richards, who has represented England in 13 internationals so far, nipped out three batters at the cost of just 20 runs from her four sets. Her fielding was equally exhilarating as she took two catches and executed a run out with a direct hit. Things did not end there as she later scored 11 runs off just five deliveries in the chase - that included a six over long-off to take Superchargers home in style. 

Runs, wickets, catches and a run-out – it was a fruitful day in the office for Davidson-Richards.

“They have got some unbelievable players, Devine (Sophie Devine) was striking nicely and Eve Jones as well, it's important not to get wrapped up and you have just got to remember it's a simple game, when you forget about everything going on and just back your plan then everything comes a lot simpler,” a pleased Davidson-Richards told Sky Sports in between the innings.

Backing your plan - something that’s simple, yet so hard to achieve. That’s exactly what the pace bowling allrounder did.

It all started when Phoenix captain Evelyn Jones miscued a straight drive right into the hands of Davidson-Richards at mid-on. This laid the foundation for a formidable on-field performance from the South East Stars allrounder.

When Amy Jones and Sophie Devine were trying to build a steady partnership, Superchargers decided to bring Davidson-Richards to bowl the eighth set as the fifth bowling option. It took her just three balls to do some damage when Amy decided to go over deep mid-wicket but only to get caught cleanly by Leah Dobson off a slow bouncer.

© Getty/ Women's CricZone

 After a vivid reflex catch from Georgia Wareham dismissed Erin Burns, came Tess Flintoff, who smashed fastest WBBL fifty during the last season. This prompted skipper Hollie Armitage to bring her wicket-taking bowler back. And in what looked exactly like the replay of Amy’s wicket, Davidson-Richards had Flintoff sky one to Dobson at deep mid-wicket again.

From there, Emily Arlott and Devine were ticking the scorecard with singles and doubles, but one can’t keep Davidson-Richards quiet for long. Her bull’s eye throw hit the non-striking stumps and that was enough to end Arlott’s short innings.

Despite wickets falling at the other end, Devine continued playing her way and was batting on 46 off 35 when Davidson-Richards was brought back into the attack. On the first ball of her third set, she got the prized scalp of Devine as the Whiter Ferns skipper attempted to clear mid-off with Phoebe Litchfield being sharp enough to hold onto a catch.

It was time for the nail in the coffin, just as Issy Wong was starting to look threatening, a fine running catch at long-off by Davidson-Richards saw the back of  her.

The allrounder from Kent ended her dream spell at 3 for 20.

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Superchargers were given a moderate target of 111 and they chased it without much hindrance thanks to young Litchfield playing the star act with a 29-ball 42 not out.

However, it was Davidson-Richards’s day and fittingly it was her who finished off the chase in style with a powerful shot, an off drive over mid-off that went for a maximum. In front of the home crowd, they romped past the target with 22 balls to spare.

But Davidson-Richards has set eyes on the bigger prize and teams will have to work really hard to wipe that Cheshire cat-like smile off her face.

“Yes it's been pretty phenomenal, pretty chuffed for the girls, getting our first win on the board. We were really close last year, we are definitely aiming for those eliminators and again it's doing what we do best for as long as possible,” Davidson-Richards concluded as she walked away with the player of the match award.