The Hundred (Women) Trophy 2023– match 28 – Fire vs Spirit

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Welsh Fire vs London Spirit at Cardiff (Sophia Gardens) on 20 August 2023

Before the match, ‘Fire’ were said to have gathered ‘team momentum’ with ‘one-foot-in-the-door’ and ‘needed and wanted’ to qualify for the next stage of the tournament. ‘Fire’ attained this year’s 3rd highest Women’s score-to-date (2023) to win the match by a comfortable margin. ‘Fire’ have knocked-out ‘Rockets,’ and leapfroged ‘Superchargers’ into second place. Only three top teams: (‘Brave,’ ‘Superchargers’ & Fire’) ‘qualify for the next stage. Welsh commentator Robert Croft said that ‘big players’ had played ‘big innings’ and was convinced there was just ‘one more step to go’ before ‘Welsh Fire’ lifted the tournament’s trophy. Key to ‘Fire’s’ success was POTM Meerkat Match Hero Sophia Dunkley [68 runs from 48 balls] who top-scored with ‘fifty’ from her bat. Sophia Dunkley also took 2 wickets with the ball (2/15.) Introduced by Mark Butcher, Eoin Morgan & Robert Croft MBE (former England players); & Natalie Germanos (Rep. South Africa); with guest player Steven Finn. Match highlights courtesy of Sky Sports (please see below.) Weather at Cardiff was overcast, with grey clouds and a detectable cross-breeze

WF-W skipper Tammy Beaumont [*Spirit keeper ‘Richa Ghosh’] *Internationals Shabnim Ismail (announced as ‘former’ Rep. South Africa & just retired from playing International cricket), Laura Harris (Australia Women’s Big Bash League), and Hayley Matthews (2nd game.) *England’s Tammy Beaumont, Sophia Dunkley & Freya Davies; with Alex Hartley (ex England) & Scotland’s Sarah Bryce. *Play started around 15h00, following early morning drizzle, without any overs lost. *At mid-way after 50 balls, ‘Fire’ were 75/0. *Tammy Beaumont 40(28) was clean-bowled by Sophie Munro’s Yorker, said to be a ’slower ball.’ *Next ball, Laura Harris 0(1) ‘who was yet to make any impact’ went for a ‘golden-duck’ upon review; snicked to keeper Richa Ghosh from Sophie Munro (2/24) *Drinks were taken after 75 balls, ‘Fire’ 118/2. *Scoring her second competition fifty’ this season, Sophia Dunkley 68(48) was caught by Lauren Filer from Amelia Kerr (1/27.)*Recovering from a shoulder injury, Hayley Matthews 36(23) who ‘added quality,’ was ’very good on the off-side;’ but was ‘run-out’ from the last ball. *Sarah Bryce who struck her first ball for ’six was 7*not out(2.) *’Fire’s’ best batter was Sophia Dunkley 68(48) *’Spirit’s’ best bowler was Sophie Munro (2/24.)

LS-W Skipper Heather Knight. *[Sarah Bryce keeping wicket for ‘Fire’] *International players Richa Ghosh (India), Grace Harris (Australia WBBL) Amelia Kerr (NZ); plus Tara Norris (US.) *England’s Heather Knight, Charlie Dean, Sarah Glenn, Dani Gibson & Lauren Filer *Including U19’s Sophie Munro (recalled for 2nd match) *Dani Gibson 18(7)went ‘leg-before’ to Shabnim Ismail. *Amelia Kerr 5(6) was caught by Tammy Beaumont from Claire Nicholas (1/21.) *Grace Harris 10(10) went ‘leg-before’ to Shabnim Ismail (2/26.) *By mid-way, 89 runs were needed, from 50 balls remaining. *Richa Ghosh 34(26) was caught at ‘short-third’ by Hayley Matthews, bowled by Sophia Dunkley *Heather Knight 34(28) was played-on from an ‘inside-edge’ from Sophia Dunkley (2/15.) *Without any opportunity to ‘play-herself-in,’ Sarah Glenn 2(3) was caught by Georgia Elwiss, bowled by Alex Hartley (1/20.) *Sophie Munro 0(2) was snicked an edge to keeper  Sarah Bryce from Freya Davies (1/35); and went for a ‘second-ball duck’ upon review, from a ‘good-length’ ball. *Lauren Filer was 4*not out (5) *Best ‘Spirit’ batters was Richa Ghosh 34(26); *Best ‘Fire’ bowler was Sophia Dunkley (2/15.)

Match summary: ‘Fire’ went off to a flying-start, until Sophie Munro had ‘immediate impact,’ deceiving skipper Tammy Beaumont 40(28 by her slower-ball. Tammy Beaumont went top of the batting leader-board with 253 runs-to-date; overtaking Australia’s Phoebe Litchfield (226.) Sophia Dunkley had ‘a superb knock,’ scoring her second competition ‘fifty’ this season, said to ‘create a platform’ for what turned out to be this year’s third highest team score, despite more use of ‘spin’ than ‘seam.’ Commentators lauded ‘Fire’ for their ‘wonderfully constructed’ innings’ with ‘good running’ between the wickets. Receiving her POTM Meerkat Match Hero cap-and-medal from Eoin Morgan, Sophia Dunkley had taken ’time away’ and came back to play some ‘great’ cricket. Standings after 7 rounds (at time of writing): ‘Brave’ 1st (12 points); ‘Fire’ 2nd (11 points); ’Superchargers’ 3rd (10 points.) One match remaining when ‘Fire’ play ‘Superchargers’ at the group stage – also a ‘dress rehearsal,’ if playing ‘Superchargers’ in the ‘eliminator.’ Latest table @URL

Match result: Welsh Fire Women 161/4 beat London Spirit Women 138/7 by 3 wickets

*’Fire’s’ batting: 161/4 (from 100 balls @1.6 runs-per-over) Sophia Dunkley  68(48); Tammy Beaumont 40(28), Hayley Matthews 36(23); *’Spirit’s’ bowling: Sophie Munro (2/24), Amelia Kerr (1/27); Fow 1-75, 2-75, 3-153, 4-161. *’Spirit’s’ batting: 138/7 (from 100 balls @1.3 r-p-o) Heather Knight 27(21), Richa Ghosh 23(18), Danielle ‘Dani’ Gibson 18(7), Grace Harris 10(10); ‘Fire’ s’ bowling: Sophia Dunkley 2/15; Shabnim Ismail 2/26, Alex Hartley 1/20, Freya Davies 1/35, Claire Nicholas 1/21; Fow 1-22, 2-28, 3-34, 4-102, 5-107, 6-110, 7-115.

*Scorecard courtesy of BBC Sport @URL

*Match highlights (6m55) courtesy of Sky Sports @URL