Source: Julian Thompson

Last Group Round of the RHF Trophy

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Some more excellent cricket, spoiled only by rain at Chester-le-Street, which reduced the game to an 18-over slog. Results come lower down.

It didn’t prevent Sunrisers from completing their third successive victory, to total five. For me, theirs is the team achievment of the tournament.

But the plaudits go to SE Stars and Blaze, who move through to the eliminator. In the final the winner will meet the Vipers, who seem to reach finals as of divine right.

It’s a pity that the Blaze look the least likely to walk off with the trophy. Having registered six wins in July, this month they have managed one win, then three losses. They looked threadbare today.

The batting medal today goes to Ellie Threlkeld (107*), who helped Thunder to a hard-earned victory in a record-breaking stand of 177 with Naomi Dattani who also struck a personal best with 82.

In the crucial winner-takes-all game at Edgbaston, Stars walked all over Sparks, led by skipper Bryony Smith, who, fed up with her recent offerings, got within three runs of a second ton of the day off just 81 balls. Her stand of 125 with Kira Chathli threatened to take the game away from the hosts, then Alice Davidson-Richards (26), Maddie Blinkhorn-Jones (24) and especially Chloe Hill (34/33) made sure it did.

Sparks never really got going, Ryana Macdonald-Gay and Alice Davidson-Richards securing a combined 6-47.

It was kind of the Surrey management of the Stars to allow three Kent players on the field.
Two of this year’s Under 19 bowling squad found themselves opening the batting, Sophia Smale and Alexa Stonehouse. Then Smale had the delight of getting Seren Smale (another U19) lbw, and Stonehouse took the new ball again.

We had what must have been our first husband and wife partnership on the mike, as the creators of accepted yet another challenge in the game. But I didn’t hear them mention three wicket-maidens which deserved some attention.

Two young off-spinners have been tearing up trees: Georgia Davis (Sparks) finished the group-stages with an astonishing 27 wickets, and Olivia Bell, the Scottish player with Thunder, with 14.

Four more scores of 250+.

Size of crowds

The ECB still has work to do to entice people through the turnstiles. The only game to allow us copious views of the stands, Edgbaston, made it look rather like a ‘No-go’ area.


SE Stars 283-7; Central Sparks 131 (35.1 0vers)
SES win by 152 runs

Northern Diamonds 126-7; Sunrisers 126-4 (17.3 overs); 18-over match
Sunrisers win by 6 wickets (DLS method)

Southern Vipers 288 (49.5 overs); The Blaze 162 (39-1 overs)
Vipers win by 126 runs

Western Storm 250-7; Thunder 254-5 (46.4 overs)
Thunder win by 5 wickets

Points Pre-Knock-Outs

Vipers 38
Blaze 38
Stars 32
Sparks 31
NDs 30
S’risers 28
Th’der 22
Storm 16

Still to come

Play-off: SE Stars v Blaze, 21 September, tbc
Final: Vipers v ???, Northampton, 24 September, 10.30 start