Sunrisers v Central Sparks at Northampton (Wantage Road) on June 1 (14h30)
An astonishingly close match unfolded between table-topping Sparks, and Sunrisers as spoonists. Batting first, Sparks main partnership between Eve Jones and Issy Wong (pictured) added 92 runs. Top scorer Eve Jones 69 runs (from 62 balls) played a skipper’s innings. Sunrisers used two more bowlers than their opponents, keeping Sparks’ batters in check. Sunrisers’ Naomi Dattani took two wickets during Sparks final over. Lagging behind at half-way, Sunrisers got themselves back into the game when Joanne Gardner 41(30) and Amara Carr 37*(29) staged a sixth-wicket partnership, crucially adding 81 runs. Sparks slid home for a wafer-thin win, decided by the final ball. Previously Sunrisers surprised their opponents (Storm) by handing them a last-ball win (May 18.) On the day, Sunrisers made three changes: Mia Rogers, Florence Miller and Elizabeth Russell. Sparks looked unchanged. Video coverage came from Central Sparks (please see below.) Also broadcast live stream by social media (including ESPN-cric-info.)
*Batting first, Sparks opening pair Eve Jones 69 runs (from 62 balls) and Issy Wong 35(26) both hit sixes during their power play, adding 52 runs; and another twenty runs by mid-way. *Sparks lost Issy Wong when caught by Mady Villiers in the deep, from Scotland’s Abtaha Maqsood’s leg break spin (92/1.)
*The Joneses’ legendary partnership was short-lived (between skipper Eve and England’s Amy.) Amy Jones was caught behind, feathering a thin-edge to fellow keeper keeper Amara Carr, from Grace Scrivens’ right-arm spin. (97/2) *Sparks’ reached 100/2 after 14.1 overs advancing two overs later to 121/2 after 100 balls (with 20 balls remaining.)
*Drama struck with three overs left, when Abi Freeborn 14(14) went aerial, snapped-up by Gayatri Gole who took a spectacular forward- diving catch, arriving from ‘short fine leg; rewarding Kelly Castle’s bowling (on 124/3.) *Two more Sparks wickets fell during Naomi Dattani’s death over. *Eve Jones 69(62) skipper’s innings closed, misjudging Dattani’s slower ball. Jones’ mis-timed reverse sweep was caught behind by keeper Amara Carr. *Next ball, Dattani found herself on a ‘hat-trick’ sending Ami Campbell’s (0) middle stump flying, for a golden duck. *Facing the last three balls partnered by Gwen Davies, Emily Arlott swung Naomi Dattani’s last ball across the boundary for a vital ‘four.’
Sunrisers reply. *Sunrises faced a fourth-ball set-back when Mady Villiers (1) was caught behind from a thick edge with keeper Amy Jones collecting from slips, with instant results from Issy Wong’s first over. *After six overs of power play, Sunrisers were 40/2 (vs 52/0.) * Sunrisers’ Naomi Dattani 17(25) with Grace Scrivens 27(20) made a second wicket partnership of 37 runs until Scrivens was caught aerial at cover point, by Ami Campbell from Elizabeth Russell’s pace at 39/2. *Skipper Kelly Castle went for a fifth-ball duck, caught by Gwen Davies from Emily Arlott (41/3). *Mia Rogers (2) was ‘run out’ by Hannah Baker, from Arlott. Next ball chalked-up Sunrisers 50 (in 8.4 overs.)
*By mid-way, Sunrisers were slightly behind 55/4 (vs 79/0.) *Naomi Dattani was dismissed when struck on her pads, plumb ‘leg before’, while moving across the wicket to off-side. (55/5.) *Sunrisers made a determined effort to get back in the game with a sixth-wicket partnership between Joanne Gardner 41(30) and Amara Carr 37*(29): that banked 81 runs inside the final nine overs. *As Sunrisers’ last big hitter, Jo Gardner scored ’six’ from Hannah Baker but was later caught in the deep by Gwen Davies, mid-way through Elizabeth Russell’s last over.
*Finally, drama struck when Gayatri Gole struck ‘four’ but was unlucky not to break through the field. *Allowing three runs to be scored from two balls remaining, Sparks slid home to celebrate their wafer-thin win.*Sparks remain top of group ‘B.’ Close rivals Stars have a game-in-hand. Sparks and Stars look set to play each other on finals day if they finish their group stage 2nd and 3rd. Meanwhile Sunrisers look set to retain the wooden spoon.
Result (group B) Central Sparks Women 146/5 (20 overs) beat Sunrisers Women 143/6 (20 overs) by 3 runs
Sunrisers 143/6 (20 overs, 7.15 runs-per-over): Amara Carr 37*(29), Grace Scrivens 27(20), Naomi Dattani 17(25); Sparks Bowling: Elizabeth Russell 2/24, Emily Arlott 1/20, Issy Wong 1/34, Hannah Baker 1/39; Fow 1-2, 2-39, 3-41, 4-49, 5-55, 6-136,
Sparks: 146-5 (20 overs, 7.3 runs-per-over): Eve Jones 69 (62), Issy Wong 35(26), Emily Arlott 15*(12), Abi Freeborn 14(14); Sunrisers bowling Naomi Dattani 2/39, Grace Scrivens 1/12, Abtaha Maqsood 1/15, Kelly Castle 1/24; Fow 1-92, 2-97, 3-124, 4-137, 5-137;
Scorecard and statistics at URL: https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/charlotte-edwards-cup-2022-1298049/sunrisers-vs-central-sparks-group-b-1298068/full-scorecard
Video clips courtesy of Central Sparks@Warwick CCC at URL https://edgbaston.com/fixtures/womens/sunrisers-vs-central-sparks-1-june-2022/