Source: Julian Thompson

The Hundred Trophy 2023 – match 24 – Spirit vs Superchargers

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London Spirit vs Northern Superchargers at Lord’s (London North) on 18 August 2023 

Commentators set the scene with ‘Spirit’ standing outside the ‘Last Chance Saloon’ to stay in the competition, before 14,500 spectators.’ Drama struck when batter Kate Cross was ‘dropped,’ held her nerve and partner Georgia Wareham scored the winning run from the penultimate match ball. Commentators lauded Phoebe Litchfield (Australia), said to be ‘in fantastic form,’ ‘held-the-key’ and (at time of writing’) tops the Women’s tournament batting-leader-board. POTM Meerkat Match Hero Phoebe Litchfield caught Grace Harris (fellow ’big-bash league’ WBBL player); and ‘ran out’ England’s Charlie Dean. Scoring a match-winning 38 (from 34 balls) Phoebe Litchfield paid tribute to batting partner Bess Heath (pictured) who hit 18 runs from just 8 balls, setting-up a close finish. Top-three teams (including ‘Brave,’ & ‘Superchargers’): guaranteed to qualify for the finals. Introduced for SKY TV by Ian Ward with Ebony Rainford-Brent MBE (Director of Women’s cricket at Surrey,) Eoin Morgan & Kevin Pietersen (ex-England) & Ravi Shastri (former India coach.) Also with Stuart Broad (Ashes series.) Match highlights courtesy of Sky Sports (please see below.) Weather at Lords was described as ‘perfect’ for playing cricket, albeit that cricket pundits ‘had their doubts’ about the playing conditions; following early showers of rain.

LS-W Skipper Heather Knight. *[Bess Heath keeping wicket for ’Superchargers’] *International players Richa Ghosh (India), Grace Harris (Australia WBBL) Amelia Kerr (NZ); plus Tara Norris (US.) *England’s Heather Knight, Charlie Dean, Sarah Glenn, Danielle ‘Dani’ Gibson & newly recruited Lauren Filer, now the fastest bowler in the women’s competition (72mph.) *Including U19’s Niamh Holland. *Niamh Holland 2(4) was stumped by keeper Bess Heath (who appealed for ‘leg before,’ from Grace Ballinger); when seen by the keeper ’wandering’ down-the-pitch – showing a ‘clear sign’ of nerves. *After 25 balls ‘Power-play,’ ‘Spirit’ were 22/1. *After launching ‘six’ over ‘Cow corner,’ ‘Spirit’s’ ‘stand-out performer’ Danielle ‘Dani’ Gibson 24(17) lost her off-stump to Georgia Wareham.*Grace Harris’ 5(7) bat hit ’toe-end,’ caught at ‘mid-wicket’ by Phoebe Litchfield, from Linsey Smith’s high ‘full-toss.’ *After facing 7 ‘dot’ balls, skipper Heather Knight 13(17) was ‘run-out’ by her opposing skipper Hollie Armitage from ‘mid-on,’ who made a direct-hit from her underarm-throw. *By mid-way, ’Spirit’ were 53/4 *Richa Ghosh partnership with Amelia Kerr added 37 runs from 26 balls. *Richa Ghosh 21(15) was caught by Kate Cross from Lucy Higham (1/14) *Sarah Glenn 1(4) was caught at ‘square’ by Lucy Higham from Alice Davidson-Richards’ slower bouncer  *Charlie Dean 4(4) was ‘run-out’ by Phoebe Litchfield at the striker’s-end, from the final innings ball.*’Spirit’s’ best batter, Amelia Kerr made ‘fifty,’ closing 60*not out (32.) ‘Superchargers’’ best bowler was Lucy Higham 1/14.

NSC-W *Skipper Hollie Armitage. [*Richa Ghosh keeping wicket for Spirit] *International players Phoebe Litchfield & Georgia Wareham (Australia), Jemimah Rodrigues (India); with England’s Kate Cross, Alice Davidson-Richards & Bess Heath; England ‘A’’s Hollie Armitage, & Linsey Smith * U19’s Grace Ballinger. *Marie Kelly 5(7) ‘feathered’ an edge to keeper Richa Ghosh from Lauren Filer’s third ball (72mph) *Facing a dozen or so ‘dot’ balls during the ‘Power-play,’ ‘Superchargers’ were 29/1 (vs 22/1) after 25 balls; batters reportedly ‘frustrated.’ *Jemimah Rodrigues 30(20) played across-the-line, going ‘leg before’ to Sarah Glenn’s leg-spin (3/19.) *By mid-way, ’Superchargers’ were 63/2 (vs. 53/4). *Next ball, skipper Hollie Armitage 1(4) looped a ‘dolly’ straight to ‘point’ caught by Charlie Dean, from Amelia Kerr. *With fresh knowledge of her England ‘white-ball’ selection, Bess Heath hit England’s Dani Gibson’s seam for ’six.’ 4 balls later, Bess Heath 18(8) was caught at ‘long-on’ by Grace Harris, from Sarah Glenn’s spin (1/24.) *’Strategic time-out’ was taken, sparking a lively debate about its merits, with the game equally contested. *A ‘huge’ wicket when ‘in-form’ batter Phoebe Litchfield 38(34) was caught ‘in the covers’ by Alice Monaghan, from Amelia Kerr. *Alice Davidson-Richards 4(4) snicked-an-edge to Richa Ghosh from Sarah Glenn. *Grandstand finish as 15 runs were needed off the last 10 balls. *Tara Norris dropped Kate Cross, said to be: ‘the simplest of catches’ *Georgia Wareham 19*not out (11) & Kate Cross 15* not out (12) found ‘fours’ between fielders with one ball remaining. *Best ’Superchargers’’ batter was Phoebe Litchfield 38(34) *Best ‘Spirit’’ bowler was Sarah Glenn 3/19.

Match summary: *During the ‘Power-play, both teams peppered each other with ‘dot’ balls. By comparison, ‘Superchagers’ nudged ahead at mid-way, with 2 wickets advantage. ‘Spirit’s’ Amelia Kerr (NZ International) was the batter to score ‘fifty’ [closing 60*not out (32).] Beyond mid-way, POTM Meerkat Match Hero Phoebe Litchfield made top-score for ’Superchargers,’ partnered for 8 balls by Bess Heath. ‘Superchargers’ safely home by a wafer-thin margin, the result knocking ‘Spirit’ out of the competition. Following the match, ’Spirit’ were said to have taken ’Superchargers’ ‘to-the-wire;’ now finding themselves out of the tournament, but with two ‘dead rubbers’ remaining. Separately, commentators speculated that if ‘Rockets’ won their last two matches, they had an outside chance to qualify in place of ‘Fire’ with ‘net-run-rate,’ provided that ‘Fire’ lost their last two remaining matches. Standings (at time of writing): ’Superchargers’ have qualified for finals – joint-1st (10 points); ’Spirit’ 6th eliminated (4 points.) Latest table @URL

Match result: Northern Superchargers Women 136/6 beat London Spirit Women: 135/7 by 4 wickets (with 1 ball remaining)

*’Spirit’s’ batting: 135/7 (from 100 balls @1.3 runs-per-ball); Amelia Kerr 60*not out (32), Danielle ‘Dani’ Gibson 24(17), Richa Ghosh 21(15), Heather Knight 13(17); *’Superchargers’’ bowling: Lucy Higham 1/14, Linsey Smith 1/16, Grace Ballinger 1/20, Alice Davidson-Richards 1/22, Georgia Wareham 1/34; Fow 1-8, 2-32, 3-43, 4-53, 5-90, 6-101, 7-135.

*’Superchargers’’ batting: 136/6 (from 99/100 balls @1.3 r-p-b); Phoebe Litchfield 38(34), Jemimah Rodrigues 30(20), Bess Heath 18(8), Georgia Wareham 19*not out (11), Kate Cross 15*not out(12); *‘Spirit’s’ bowling: Sarah Glenn 3/19, Amelia Kerr 2/24, Lauren Filer 1/32; Fow 1-7, 2-56, 3-63, 4-97, 5-99, 6-105.

*Scorecard courtesy of BBC Sport @URL

*Match highlights courtesy of Sky Sports @URL