Natalie Sciver, Sophia Dunkley and Marie Kelly's efforts with the bat helped Northern Diamonds, South East Stars and Central Sparks register victories on Day 2 of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy on Monday (August 31). While Sciver struck the first century of the tournament, Dunkley and Sunrisers skipper Amara Carr fell agonisingly short of the mark.
Meanwhile, Lightning skipper Kathryn Bryce put on an allrounder masterclass taking 5 for 29 with the ball before scoring a valiant 71 not out as her team succumbed to Northern Diamonds by a mere nine runs. Her former compatriot Georgia Adams' allround efforts against Western Storm, however, helped her team over the line by 22 runs.
Central Sparks vs Thunder
Chasing a low target, Central Sparks started cautiously and lost England wicket-keeper Amy Jones in the eighth over for 12. Marie Kelly batted patiently taking singles on offer even as Sparks struggled to score runs against left-arm spinners Alex Hartley and Sophie Ecclestone. The pair combined to bowl 20 overs for only 32 runs while taking four wickets between them. Hartley tried to restrict Sparks even further with another left-arm spinner in Hannah Jones, but there weren’t enough runs on the board for Thunder to play with. Kelly kept her calm and batted through the innings to guide Sparks home. She remained not out on 59 when Sparks reached the target in the 44th over.
Earlier, Thunder got off to a disastrous start after opting to bat when Issy Wong and Emily Arlott sent back both the openers without scoring in the first 10 deliveries of the match. Wong, bowling quick and straight, took three wickets-including the in-form Eleanor Threlkeld to reduce Thunder to 18 for 4 in the 9th over in a spell that read 6-1-10-3. Natalie Brown, meanwhile, tried to counter attack by hitting Wong for three boundaries in her seventh over and formed a 37-run partnership with Ecclestone.
Once Clare Boycott accounted for both Ecclestone and Brown, Thunder’s scoring rate dipped even further with leg-spinner Sarah Glenn tying them down giving away only 17 runs from her 10 overs. Kate Cross (45) tried to bring some respectability to the score with her patient knock and shared a 56-run partnership with Olivia Thomas-Corns. They were eventually dismissed for 135 when Georgia Davis took last three wickets in seven balls to finish the innings.
Southern Vipers vs Western Storm
Danielle Wyatt (53) and skipper Georgia Adams (55) shared a 105-run opening stand to give Southern Vipers a rollicking start. Wyatt, who top-scored during Vipers win in the first match, was her usual aggressive self and Adams kept her company to take the score to 100 without loss in 18.2 overs. Once Sophie Luff introduced spinners Fi Morris and Heather Knight into the attack, the scoring rate dipped, resulting in the dismissal of Wyatt.
Storm reduced Vipers to 211 for 6 at the 43-over mark with Knight taking two wickets but Charlotte Dean (60*) batted through the innings to help Vipers finish with 261 for 7.
Storm looked on course to overhaul the target when Knight and Luff put on a 130-run partnership for the second wicket. At one stage, they were cruising at 149 for 1. However, once Adams had Luff caught by Paige Scholfield, Storm struggled, losing five wickets for 17 runs to stumble to 166 for 6. Norris who went for plenty when the Knight-Luff duo were in the middle, came back to take four wickets in this period.
With the team staring at defeat at 180 for 8, the pair of Lauren Parfitt (33*) and Claire Nicholas (22) put on a 47-run partnership, to give Vipers a scare. But they were eventually bowled out for 239 in 47.5 overs.
South East Stars vs Sunrisers
South East Stars’ decision to bat first looked questionable when they were reduced to 27 for 3 losing Bryony Smith, Aylish Cranstone and Alice Capsey inside first six overs. Sunrisers opening bowlers, Katie Wolfe and Joanne Gardner, looked to swing the ball and were sharp in the first few overs. Sophia Dunkley and Alice Davidson-Richards (61) decided to counter attack and took the score to 86 at the end of 15 overs.
Dunkley brought up her fifty from 58 balls in the 22nd over, soon after which Davidson-Richards hit a boundary to bring up her own half-century, also extending their partnership past 100-run mark. Sonali Patel gave Sunrisers the breakthrough when the latter chipped one straight to Fran Wilson when the score was 150.
Dunkley looked assured, hitting a flurry of boundaries through the off-side. Just when it seemed she would go on to score a century, she dragged a short delivery to the leg-side off Gardner and was caught by Naomi Dattani for 97. Her 116-ball innings included 12 hits to the fence.
Skipper Natasha Farrant played an enterprising 26-ball cameo to score 37 runs towards the end with Susie Rowe (39) giving her support. South East Stars finished at 289 for 8 from their 50 overs, Patel took 4 wickets for the Sunrisers.
Sunrisers lost an early wicket in the chase with Farrant removing Katie Midwood for a duck in the first over. Wilson and Carr took the score to 56 in the 11th over from there, but once Wilson was dismissed, they lost wickets at regular intervals and were reduced to 107 for 6 in 22.4 overs.
Carr got to her fifty from 67 balls and continued to play her shots with Kelly Castle giving her company for a 51-run partnership for the eighth wicket. Unfortunately, Carr couldn’t get to a well-deserved hundred and her valiant innings came to end when she was stumped off Bryony Smith for 99. Once Carr went Smith finished off the Sunrisers innings taking the last two wickets and they were all out for 212.
Northern Diamonds vs Lightning
Chasing a moderate score of 227, England international Tammy Beaumont (51) and Sarah Bryce (57) started sedately and put on 117 runs for the opening wicket. But it was Kathryn Bryce (71*) knock that gave Lightning some momentum, even as batters struggled at the other end.
Lightning needed 37 runs from the last four overs to win the match and Bryce did well to take 13 runs from the 47th over Beth Langtson bowled hitting a six and a four. But the experienced Katherine Brunt and Jenny Gunn combined to give only 14 runs in the last three overs leaving Lighting nine runs short.
Earlier, Sciver fought a lonely battle with no other batter crossing 30 as Lightning skipper, Kathryn Bryce scythed through Diamonds' top order. Sciver, batting at 3, combined caution with aggression even as wickets kept tumbling at the other end. Sciver and Gunn put on a 55-run partnership before Diamonds found themselves again in trouble at 84 for 6.
Sciver found an alley in Alex MacDonald and they doubled the score to 168 when MacDonald was dismissed by Teresa Graves in her first over of the match. Sciver kept going and reached her hundred from 106 balls with a single in the 45th over. She was eventually dismissed by Bryce for 104. Diamonds ended the innings at 226 for 9.
Earlier, Bryce opened the bowling and had a dream spell where she picked up 4 for 7 in her first three overs. She got the ball to swing and castled in-form Lauren Winfield before getting Hollie Armitage to nick one behind and then caught Sterre Kalis plumb in front two balls later. She then got Brunt to hit one back at her, leaving Diamonds reeling at 24 for 4. She came back to complete her five-fer when she bowled the centurion Sciver in the 48th over.
Thunder 135 all out in 46.1 overs (Kate Cross 45, Natalie Brown 35; Issy Wong 3/26, Georgia Davis 3/29) lost to Central Sparks 136/6 in 44 overs (Marie Kelly 59*; Sophie Ecclestone 2/13) by four wickets.
Southern Vipers 261/7 in 50 overs (Charlie Dean 60, Georgia Adams 55, Danielle Wyatt 53; Heather Knight 2/36) beat Western Storm 239 all out in 47.5 overs (Heather Knight 67, Sophie Luff 60; Tara Norris 4/45) by 22 runs.
South East Stars 289/8 in 50 overs (Sophia Dunkley 97, Alice Davidson-Richards 61; Sonali Patel 4/52) beat Sunrisers 212 all out in 45.5 overs (Amara Carr 99; Bryony Smith 3/25) by 77 runs.
Northern Diamonds 226 for 9 in 50 overs (Natalie Sciver 104; Kathryn Bryce 5/29) beat Lightning 217 for 7 (Kathryn Bryce 71*; Natalie Sciver 2/30) by 9 runs.