Sophia Dunkley overpowers Superchargers in a rain-affected affair

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Sophia Dunkley overpowers Superchargers in a rain-affected affair

Sophia Dunkley © Getty

Swashbuckling half-century from Sophia Dunkley after an early collapse helped the Southern Brave trump the Northern Superchargers by seven wickets in a rain-curtailed encounter on Saturday (August 7).

With the forecast of rain around, Brave skipper Anya Shrubsole opted to bowl. The Brave brought in an extra pacer -Tara Norris - for Charlotte Taylor, and Rachel Slater replaced Phoebe Graham for the Superchargers. Rodrigues started the innings with an on-the-up drive through cover point. She followed it up with a couple more of it in the next set by Lauren Bell.

Norris provided the first breakthrough, dismissing Lauren Winfield-Hill for a run-a-ball 14. Rodrigues fell shortly after, miscuing a pull shot off Bell and hit it straight to mid-on. Bess Heath lasted only two balls as she hooked Bell into the hands of Norris at fine-leg. At one point, the Superchargers were struggling at 41 for three.

Laura Wolvaardt and Alice Davidson-Richardson tried to revive the innings as they slowly built a partnership. There were quite a few outside edges off Wolvaardt's bat that ran down to the third-man boundary. Just when it seemed like they were starting to get the innings going, the rain stopped play.

Players came back after a short break for just eight balls before rain interrupted again. The Superchargers innings came to an end at 76 for three from 73 balls. The Brave had 75 balls to chase the DLS modified target of 89 runs, with a 19-ball power play. Each bowler could bowl 15 balls each.

Chasing six runs per set, the Brave lost Smriti Mandhana and Danielle Wyatt early. The former swept Kalea Moore straight to square-leg, and Mandhana got run out. The Brave were down to five for two. Unflutterd by the collapse, Dunkley launched a counterattack, smashing Linsey Smith down the ground and Davidson-Richards over point for sixes. 

However, Stafanie Taylor struggled to keep up at the other end and was stumped off Moore's bowling for nought from six balls. Joined by Maia Bouchier, Dunkley continued to attack the Superchargers bowling, hitting Slater for three boundaries. The Brave needed 30 runs from 30 balls.

She smashed Katie Levick behind short third-man for a boundary. Bouchier, too, joined the party as she hit back-to-back boundaries of Davidson-Richards. Dunkley hit the winning run, bringing up her half-century in 28 balls; Bouchier scored 33 runs from 19 deliveries. Moore was the pick of the bowlers, taking two for nine. The Brave chased the target with 13 balls to spare. 

Brief Scores:

Northern Superchargers: 76/3 in 73 balls (Laura Wolvaardt 21, Lauren Bell 2/19) lost to Southern Brave: 89/3 in 62 balls (Sophia Dunkley 50, Kalea Moore 2/9) by seven wickets (DLS method) Match Hero: Sophia Dunkley