Source: Julian Thompson

The Hundred Trophy 2023 – match 30 – Superchargers vs Fire

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Northern Superchargers vs Welsh Fire at Headingley (Leeds) on 22 August 2023  

Dress rehearsal between both teams, already qualified to play the Eliminator. ‘Brave’ were said to have qualified for the final with a game-in-hand. Later corrected by commentators as ‘automatic qualification’ to play the final, unless Brave’s lost their final group-stage match to ‘Originals’ with total below 112 runs: proving highly unlikely. Marie Kelly [69runs*not out (from 46 balls)] was lauded as ‘quite brilliant;’ played ‘really well’ and made ‘top-score’ for ‘Superchargers’ by a wide margin, partnered by in-form batter Phoebe Litchfield. No other batter scored ‘fifty.’ Undoubtedly, the POTM Meerkat Match Hero was  awarded to Marie Kelly who ‘carried-her-bat,’ undefeated, made her maiden half-century and also took two catches to round-off her ‘fantastic game.’ Introduced for SKY Sports by Lydia Greenway with Mark Butcher & Robert Croft MBE (all ex-England); plus NZ TV personality (& ex NZ player) Simon Doull. Match highlights courtesy of SKY Sports and ‘The Hundred’ (please see below.)

NSC-W *Skipper Hollie Armitage. [*Sarah Bryce keeping wicket for ‘Fire’] *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, & Leah Dobson (for Linsey Smith) * U19’s Grace Ballinger. *Bowling the 2nd over, spinner Alex Hartley was struck by Jemimah Rodrigues for 3 ‘fours,’ proving expensive. *After 25 balls ‘Power-play,’ ‘Superchargers’ were 38/0. *After 25 balls  ‘Superchargers’ were 38/0. *Beyond the ‘Power-play,’ Jemimah Rodrigues 14(15) was caught-and-bowled low-down by Sophia Dunkley’s 2nd ball (1/14) *Partnered by Marie Kelly, ‘in-form’ batter Phoebe Litchfield struck ’six’ two balls before mid-way 67/1. *Main 64-run partnership ended when Phoebe Litchfield 40(26) was caught-and-bowled by Claire Nicholas (1/20); said to be ‘a big moment.’ *Commentator’s curse struck 2 balls later when Bess Heath 0(2) ‘who was called-up for England,’ saw her ‘off-stump’ knocked-back, beaten ‘beneath-her-bat’ by Alex Hartley (1/23) for a ‘2nd-ball duck.’ *Skipper Hollie Armitage 4(5) missed a sweep and went ‘plumb leg before’ ‘middle-stump’ to Freya Davies (1/32); without need for review. *Finally, Marie Kelly scored 10 runs from Freya Davies’ last 3 balls. *Best ’Superchargers’’ batter was Marie Kelly 69*not out (46): who carried-her-bat,’ undefeated. *Best Fire bowler was Kate Cross 2/19.

WF-W *Skipper Tammy Beaumont [*’Fire’ keeper Bess Heath ] *Internationals Shabnim Ismail (ex Rep. South Africa), Laura Harris (Australia Women’s Big Bash League), and Hayley Matthews. *England’s Tammy Beaumont, Sophia Dunkley & Freya Davies; with Alex Hartley (ex England) & Scotland’s Sarah Bryce. *Skipper Tammy Beaumont was caught at ‘long-on’ by Kate Cross, for a third-ball ‘duck’; from Lucy Higham (1/5); *5 ‘dot’ balls later, Hayley Matthews was caught at ‘mid-on’ by Phoebe Litchfield, for a fifth-ball ‘duck’; from Kate Cross *Sarah Bryce 4(9) was caught at ‘deep-square’ by Georgia Wareham from Grace Ballinger 2/28 *After 25 balls ‘Power-play,’ ‘Fire’ were 18/3 (vs 38/0); needing 127 runs from 75 balls remaining.*Laura Harris partnered by Sophia Dunkley added 62 runs for ‘Fire’s 4th wicket having made level-pegging by mid-way: 69/3 (vs 67/1.) *Having previously been ‘out’ for a string of low scores, commentator’s curse struck when Laura Harris demonstrated ‘what she can do’ beyond her first 5 balls.’ *5 balls later, Laura Harris 37(20), was bowled ‘in the block-hole’ by Kate Cross’ yorker. *Commentator’s curse struck once again, as soon as Sophia Dunkley ‘got Fire back into contention, after hitting Alice Davidson-Richards for ’six.’ *Next ball, Sophia Dunkley 29(22), was caught ‘low-down’ at ‘fine-leg’ by Marie Kelly, who was having a ‘fantastic game.’ *Skipper Hollie Armitage took herself off, after bowling 2 full-tosses above waist-height, Lucy Higham giving little away from the ‘free hit’ and 3 remaining balls. *Freya Davies 8(14) was caught at ‘backward-square’ by Marie Kelly, from Alice Davidson-Richards *Poised to take a ‘hat-trick’ when she bowls her next ball, Grace Ballinger took 2 wickets with consecutive balls. *Firstly Georgia Elwiss  13(14) was caught at ‘mid-on’ by Phoebe Litchfield from Grace Ballinger 2/28 *Next ball, Alex Griffiths 8(5) was ‘run out’ via Bess Heath’s fumble facilitating an over-throw, egged-on by Shabnim Ismail. *Recovering the ball, Bess Heath provided entertainment by throwing-down the wicket at the non-striker’s end; finding Alex Griffiths short-of-her-ground. *Finally, Shabnim Ismail 8*not out (9) launched Alice Davidson-Richards for ‘four,’ to reduce the deficit from the final match ball. *Claire Nicholas 3*not out (3);

Match summary: ‘Superchargers’ won the Eliminator’s dress rehearsal ‘quite comfortably’ by keeping their opposition’s total score ‘down to 128.’ Commentators sounded critical that ‘Fire’ were ‘let down’ by their top-order batters who ‘failed to fire;’ and ‘never recovered,’ when continued to lose wickets. POTM Meerkat Match Hero cap-and-medal was presented by Simon Doull to Marie Kelly, for her maiden match’-winning fifty; also for taking two catches at ‘deep-and-backward square.’ ’Marie Kelly whose previous tournament-best score was 39, explained that she exploited good ‘pace and bounce’ in the (pitch) surface; and was pleased to get ’Superchargers’ off to a ‘good start.’ Both teams come head-to-head once again, to play in the tournament’s Eliminator to decide which team plays in the final. ‘Superchargers” Grace Ballinger will be poised to complete a ‘hat-trick,’ from her very next ball. With one undecided match to be played at the ‘group stage,’ the three teams moving forward are ‘Brave,’ ‘Superchargers’ and ‘Fire.’ Teams already knocked-out with no more matches to play (at time of writing) include ‘Rockets,’ Invincibles’ and ‘Originals.’

Match result: Northern Superchargers Women 144/4 beat Welsh Fire Women by 128/8 by 16 runs

*’Superchargers’’ batting: 144/4 (from 100 balls @1.4 runs-per-ball); Marie Kelly 69*not out(46), Phoebe Litchfield 40(26), Jemimah Rodrigues 14(15); *‘Fire’s’ bowling: Sophia Dunkley 1/14, Claire Nicholas 1/20, Alex Hartley 1/23, Freya Davies 1/32; Fow 1-44, 2-108, 3-108, 4-122.

*’Fire’s’ batting: 128/8 (from 100 balls @1.2 runs-per-ball); Laura Harris 37(20), Sophia Dunkley 29(22), Georgia Elwiss  13(14); *’Superchargers’ bowling:  Kate Cross 2/19, Grace Ballinger 2/28, Alice Davidson-Richards 2/29, Lucy Higham 1/5; Fow 1-0, 2-0, 3-14, 4-76, 5-84, 6-106, 7-115, 8-115.

*Scorecard courtesy of BBC Sport @URL

*Match highlights courtesy of Sky Sports @URL