Source: Julian Thompson

Charlotte Edwards Cup – match 11 – The Blaze vs Central Sparks

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The Blaze vs Central Sparks  on 26 May 2023 (14h30) in Leicester, (at The Uptonsteel County Ground)

The Blaze kept their unblemished 100% record with three wins out of three matches, after posting an ‘enormous score’ (with twice as many ‘sixes’): when coming head-to-head with last year’s finalists, Central Sparks. Two England batters made stand-out performances. Nat Sciver-Brunt hit 96*not out from 50 balls for Blaze; and Amy Jones replied with ‘fifty’ (55 runs from 27 balls) for Sparks. As Sparks struggled to ‘keep pace’ with their run-chase, commentators noticed that Blaze fielders vocalised ‘every good bit of fielding.’ Commentators were Richard Wilson (WM radio) Mike Perkins (Sports journalist) with guest Melinda ‘Mel’ Farrell (Australian cricket journalist.) Video highlights from ECB online (NV Play) with full match video from ‘The Blaze’ Cricket – please see below. Weather was described as ’sunny.’

Blaze innings *Skipper Kirstie Gordon [with Amy Jones keeping wicket for Sparks] *Blaze with England’s Nat Sciver-Brunt, Tammy Beaumont & Sarah Glenn. *With Scotland’s Kathryn & Sarah Bryce. *International player Nadine deKlerk (Republic of South Africa)*Opener Tammy Beaumont scored ’six’ from Emily Arlott’s 1st over, and struck three consecutive ‘fours.’ *Next over, Tammy Beaumont 11(9) was clean-bowled by Grace Potts’ 12th ball. Two balls later, fellow opener Marie Kelly 24(17) was caught ‘tamely’ by Eve Jones at ‘mid-off,’ From Georgia Davis. *After 6 overs’ PowerPlay, Blaze were 57/2 *Blaze reached mid-way without further loss 95/2. *Nat Sciver-Brunt and Georgie Boyce banked 34 runs when Georgie Boyce 32(20) was skittled by Issy Wong. *Kathryn Bryce 12(6) was short-lived, caught by Abbey Freeborn from Bethan Ellis. *After 100 balls, Blaze were 171/4 with 20 balls remaining. * Finally Sarah Glenn was caught by Emily Arlott from Issy Wong. *Best Blaze batter was Nat Sciver-Brunt  who scored 96*not out, that included 15 ‘fours’ and 2 ’sixes.’ *Best Sparks bowler was Issy Wong 2/39.

Sparks’ innings *Skipper Eve Jones [with Sarah Bryce keeping wicket for Blaze] *Sparks with England’s Amy Jones and Issy Wong. Debutante Bethan Ellis. *International player Erin Burns (Australia.) *During the third over of PowerPlay, Bethan Ellis 12(11) was caught by Nadine deKlerk, from Lucy Higham.  *After 6 overs’ PowerPlay, Sparks were 44/1 (vs 57/2.) *Skipper Eve Jones 9(16) who ‘never really got going’ was caught by Marie Kelly at ‘long-on’, from Nadine deKlerk.  *Next over, Sparks reached mid-way without further loss 69/2. *During the 11th over, Amy Jones 55(39) attempted a sweep but went ‘leg before’ to Sarah Glenn. *Similarly, Erin Burns 16(13) whom commentators had lauded as loving the ‘thick-of-the-action’ was ‘going’ (leg before); then ‘gone,’ missing a carbon-copy sweep from Kirstie Gordon. *Ami Campbell 7(8) was caught at ‘backward point’ by Lucy Higham from Nadine deKlerk. *After 100 balls, Sparks were 129/5 (vs 171/4.) Run-rate escalated beyond 20-runs-per-over, requiring 84 runs with 20 balls remaining. *During the final over, Emily Arlott 16(9) struck a defiant ’six’ but was caught two balls later by Marie Kelly from the bowling of Nat Sciver-Brunt. *Abbey Freeborn closed 31*not out. *Best Blaze bowler was Nadine deKlerk 2/26.

Match summary: Blaze posted ‘an enormous score,’ with all batters making double-figures (compared to 5). Sparks struggled to ‘keep pace’ with the required-run-rate, that became impossible to manage for the last 20 balls. Once the direction-of-travel tipped irrevocably to Blaze’s advantage, fielders vocalised their support for their team-mates efforts, whenever Sparks runs were prevented. The winning margin between the teams approximated to the difference between runs scored by best performing batters from either side (i.e.: England players Nat Sciver-Brunt for Blaze; and Amy Jones for Sparks.)  After the match, Mel Farrell said it was encouraging (from what she’d seen) that England sectors now have more choice when selecting players ’to take-on Australia.’

Match result: The Blaze Women 212/5 beat Central Sparks Women 156/6 (target 213 from 20 overs) by 56 runs

Blaze batting: 212/5 (20/20 overs @10.6 runs per over) Natalie ‘Nat’ Sciver-Brunt 96*not out (50), Georgie Boyce 32(20), Marie Kelly 24(17), Kathryn Bryce 12(6), Tammy Beaumont 11(9), Nadine deKlerk 10(6), Sarah Glenn 10(12); Sparks bowling: Issy Wong 2/39, Grace Potts 1/14, Bethan Ellis 1/17, Geogia Davis 1/22; Fow: 1-35, 2-35, 3-129, 4-152, 5-189.

Sparks Batting: 156/6 (20/20 overs @7.8 runs per over) Amy Jones 55(27), Abbey Freeborn 31*(24), Emily Arlott 16(9), Erin Burns 16(13), Bethan Ellis 12(11); Blaze bowling: Nadine deKlerk 2/26, Lucy Higham 1/12, Kirstie Gordon 1/19, Natalie ‘Nat’ Sciver-Brunt 1/33, Sarah Glenn 1/36; Fow: 1-15, 2-66, 3-86, 4-99, 5-127, 6-151.

Scorecard with video highlights, courtesy of ECB via NV Play on YouTube at URL:

Match video (starting from 15m26s/3h34m50s) courtesy of The Blaze (at Trent Bridge) on YouTube at URL:

The Blaze remain top, unbeaten with 3 wins to date. Latest England and Wales Cricket Board tables at URL: