In match number 20 of the Hundred, Welsh Fire went up against Trent Rockets at Cardiff. It was the Welsh Fire who won the toss and elected to bat first. Dunkley and skipper Beaumont were off to gracious starts. The powerplay witnessed shots instilled with glamour from both ends and continued into the second phase of the innings as well.
The duo set up the platform beautifully with an opening partnership of 81(46). But the Rockets scalped up their first wicket in the form of Dunkley for 24(18) who then made way for keeper Sarah Bryce.
And what followed was a fairytale-like innings with Beaumont and Bryce striking the ball beautifully. To add to the woes of the Rockets, the two were instrumental in setting up a partnership of 100(53) which ensured that they accumulated 181/3 at the end of their quota of 100 balls.
Beaumont starred with 118 off just 61 deliveries. Her monstrous innings consisted of 20 fours and 2 sixes. With a well-scattered wagon well, she peppered the fence with great precision and stood as the backbone of their innings.
The batter from England experienced a stroke of luck when she was not dismissed with a score of 32. Additionally, she successfully challenged a given lbw decision when she was at 75, showcasing her dominance in the game.
Her remarkable score stands as the highest in both the men’s and women’s Hundred format. In addition to this, the Fire’s team total of 181-3 also establishes a new record in the women’s category.
The Rockets then, were off to quite some start after openers Lee and Bryony Smith began their time in the middle with some flamboyant strokes. The two put together 78 runs for the first wicket, after which Lee had to depart for 26(24). It did not take long for Welsh Fire to scalp another wicket, as the well-set Bryony Smith also departed for 48(21).
Huge 41 Runs victory for table-toppers Welsh Fire.
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) August 14, 2023
It now meant, there were two new batters on the crease in the form of Nat Sciver and Harmanpreet. But The Rockets’ party was crushed by some exceptional bowling, as instability rose with the quick succession of wickets. Nat Sciver had to depart for just 10 off 8 balls and the batters to come did not have the ammunition that was required to rally behind a mammoth total.
Although Harmanpreet remained not out for 22 off 23, the Rockets fell short by 41 runs at the end, handing a comprehensive victory to the opponents. Alex Hartley (1/28), Shabnim Ismail (1/23), Freya Davies (2/19), and Sophia Dunkley (1/16) were among the top wicket takers.
Beaumont was crowned the player of the match for her spectacular 118(61), which ensured a comprehensive victory for Welsh Fire.