Astonishing Records at the Ageas

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Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy Round 5

Vipers established outstanding new records against Storm at the Ageas, as Georgia Adams hit an unbeaten 154 in a total of 288-1. Ella McCaughan (63) and Maia Bouchier (50*) shared two huge stands of 155 and 133, accompanying her all the way.

That total, just one short of Stars’ current top-ranker, was achieved on the wide-open spaces of the Southampton ground. Long before the end the two batters were stroking the ball away for a succession of fours, no matter how good the delivery was. It was a devastating display against a side many had assumed would carry all before them. Towards the end Adams needed a runner; it made no difference to her domination of the bowlers, nor did it cause confusion with three batters at the wicket.

Central Sparks went on raising their profile by conquering the other pretenders to the crown, Northern Diamonds. In a high scoring game the experienced pair of Eve Jones and Marie Kelly added 123 to set them on the right path.

There was a second heartening win for the youngsters who make up the Thunder team. Their total of 188-9 looked very beatable, but they accounted for both the Bryce sisters in quick succession – Sarah failed to register a fourth consecutive 50 when she was yorked by a great delivery from Natalie Brown – and the rest of the Lightning line-up had no answer to the snares set by the skipper, Alex Hartley. She left the comm box where she regaled the commentator Mike Perkins with her willing chat to remind the England selectors of her prime qualities. Her left-arm spin brought the amazing analysis of 4-5 in 10 overs!

For a side averaging 21 in age this was a really well merited win. It’s surprising to find Lightning, representing the top sports academy in the country, looking so bereft.

Sunrisers suffered as they have before at Chelmsford. They composed a decent total of nearly 200, but the bowling couldn’t contain Chloe Brewer (40), Aylish Cranstone (46) and especially Alice Capsey (73*), who saw the Stars through to a comfortable win. Richard Bedbrook will know why only four Kent players were picked for his combined side.

On pitches that had dried out over a longish period, bowlers had to work hard for rewards, but there were many deserving cases. It was good to see three kinds of spin in operation, with leg-spinners finding considerable consistency and turn.

Figures below show the difference accuracy can make. Thunder and Vipers deserve congratulation on bowling only nine wides between them; contrast that figure with the 122 conceded by the other six sides.

Results:

Southern Vipers 288-1 beat Western Storm 256 by 32 runs
Sunrisers 198 lost to South East Stars 199-4 by 6 wickets
Thunder 188-9 beat Lightning 116 by 72 runs
Northern Diamonds 217 lost to Central Sparks 218-4 by 6 wickets

Vipers are the only side to remain unbeaten

Top Performances

On a sublime September day, the batters drank their fill:

Georgia Adams 154*
Sterre Kalis 87
Sophie Luff 79
Eve Jones 77
Alice Capsey 73*
Natasha Wraith 68
Ella McCaughan 63
Natalie Brown 52
Maia Bouchier 50*

But some of the bowlers enjoyed themselves too:

Alex Hartley 10-8-5-4
Liz Russell 9-0-28-4
Kathryn Bryce 10-0-38-4

Tables

North Group             Points

Northern Diamonds      18
Central Sparks                13
Thunder                            9
Lightning                          4

South Group

Southern Vipers           23
Western Storm             14
South East Stars          10
Sunrisers                        0

A North-South clash in the final would be just what the doctor ordered

The final round of matches to be played on Saturday 19 September:

South East Stars v Southern Vipers (Kia Oval);
Western Storm v Sunrisers (Bristol)
Northern Diamonds v Thunder (Emerald Headingley)
Lightning v Central Sparks (Grace Road)

All start at 10.30

The Latest Wides Count

Lightning 37 Diamonds 25 Stars 19 Sunrisers 16 Sparks 13 Storm 12 Vipers 5 Thunder 4

Endgame:

Not many cricketers can claim to have played on the same ground as England and Australia’s men’s teams just five days later – and in front of the same size of crowd.

But Vipers and Storm can.

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