Source: Julian Thompson

Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy 2024 – match 7

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Southern Vipers vs Central Sparks at Wormsley, Bucks (Sir Paul Getty’s Ground ) on 24 April (10h30)

Overseas signing Charli Knott assured Vipers of victory after hitting her match-winning maiden ‘fifty’ – please see video highlights below. Commentators added that Sparks total ‘never looked enough’ and Charli Knott’s ‘fine innings’ ensured that Vipers were never put under ‘any pressure.’ Vipers batters were always ‘in control’ and ‘looked comfortable’ during what turned out to be a one-sided match. Earlier, Vipers bowlers peppered their opponents with dot balls that saw Sparks placed in a ‘difficult position’ to come back from. Bowler Linsey Smith set a new Vipers record for ten-overs economy [2/20] previously held by Charlotte Taylor (guest player on commentary.) Lead commentator was Kevan ‘Kev’ James (BBC radio Solent) with Phil Green (Hursley Park.) After the first 25 overs commentators reported a ‘noticeable’ temperature drop ‘below 9C.’

Sparks’ Innings  *Skipper Evelyn ‘Eve’ Jones with Issy Wong (England & England A) & Hannah Baker (England A) Davina Perrin (England u-19s) *Without Amy Jones (England) [*Rhianna Southby keeping wicket for Vipers] *Eve Jones was ‘run out’ by Maia Bouchier at ‘mid-off;’ *Abbey Freeborn (who scored fifty in 1st game) went for a 3rd ball duck, playing Linsey Smith’s straight ball ‘too square.’ *After 10 overs power-play 27/3; Commentators lauded Linsey Smith who took a ‘fantastic’ return catch low-down, ‘hit hard’ by Ami Campbell; *Playing her 6th match for Sparks, Chloe Brewer was theatrically caught by Emily Windsor in the covers, from Charli Knott; *Issy Wong was short-lived, caught by Ella McCaughan from Charlie Dean; *Tail-ender Ria Fackrell played ‘an important innings’ until ‘run out’ by Freya Kemp, from Mary Taylor. *Reached 69/5 by mid-way (25 overs.) *Bowler-turned-batter Katie George top-scored with ‘fifty’ *Gifted 30 extras by Vipers including 17 wides & 5 penalty points. *Sparks’ batting *Only four batters made double-figures *Commentations said Sparks total score ‘never looked enough.’ *Bowlers-turned-batters Katie George top scored 52(99); & Ria Fackrell scored 39(64); Chloe Brewer 23(58); Emily Arlott 12(31); *Vipers’ bowling two-thirds of deliveries were dot balls 216/300; *Linsey Smith 2/20, Georgia Adams 2/23, Charli Knott 2/30, Charlie Dean 1/33;

*Vipers’ Innings skipper Georgia Adams, with Maia Bouchier, Charlie Dean, Freya Kemp (England), Georgia Adams & Linsey Smith (England A), Mary Taylor (England u19s), Georgia Elwiss (ex-England) & Charli Knott (Australia big bash) without Danni Wyatt [*Abbey Freeborn keeping wicket for Sparks] *After 10 overs power-play 49/0 (vs 27/3); *Maia Bouchier 33 took a ‘long time’ to leave the crease, going ‘leg before’ to Katie George who ‘looked like the most likely wicket taker’ and lay celebrating ‘on the floor.’ *By mid-way (25 ov) 114/1 (vs 69/5) *Commentators curse struck just as Vipers were ‘playing nicely;’ *Ella McCaughan 43 was caught by Katie George diving forward ‘in the deep,’ from Izzy Wong; *Finally, as commentators were contemplating: ‘what else could happen?’ Georgia Elwiss 18 went plumb ‘leg before’ to Ria Fackrell. *Two balls later, Charli Knott 58*not out steered a ‘late cut’ between fielders to score the winning ‘two’ runs and bag the bonus point.

*Vipers’ batting Charli Knott 58*not out (89), Ella McCaughan 43(75), Maia Bouchier 33(32), Georgia Elwiss 18(38); *Sparks’ bowling Katie George 2/23, Ria Fackrell 1/15, Issy Wong 1/44; Vipers awarded five points.

Match result: Southern Vipers 173/3 (38.5/50 overs; target 173 @4.4 runs-per-over ) beat Central Sparks 172/9 (50/50 overs @3.4 rpo) by seven wickets with 67 balls remaining;

*Scorecard courtesy of ECB @URL NB: Apple users may need to re-navigate to select correct option

*Video highlights ‘Knott Hits Maiden Fifty’ free-to-air courtesy of Southern Vipers via ‘YouTube’ <09m19s> @URL

*Match free-to-air courtesy of Southern Vipers TV via ‘YouTube’ <6h14m11s> @URL

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