After a disappointing showing against Northern Districts on the opening day of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, Central Sparks’ next assignment at home was against Thunder. Their opponent, Thunder, had brushed aside Lightning during their game at Nottingham. This further added pressure for the Central Sparks side.
Thunder won the toss and elected to bat. They were again well-served by the likes of Kate Cross and Sophie Ecclestone whereas Central Sparks had Amy Jones and Sarah Glenn at their disposal. They had a horrendous start with Issy Wong picking up 3 wickets to have them in trouble 18/4 including the important wicket of Elanor Threlkeld. Sophie Ecclestone tried to absorb the pressure, but she too departed for 14. The score at the time of her dismissal was 53/5. That soon became 75/7 with the quick wickets of Ecclestone’s partner, Natalie Brown for 35 and Sophie Turner for just a single run. With Thunder under all sorts of pressure, all eyes were on the experience of England veteran, Kate Cross. Ably supported by Olivia Thomas-Corns, the pair took Thunder to 131 with a partnership of 56 runs, the highest of their innings. However, Georgia Davis broke the partnership with a timely wicket of Kate Cross for 45 runs and cleaned up the tail soon after to end the Thunder innings at 135 all out in the 47th over. Kate Cross top-scored with 45 and Natalie Brown contributed 35 runs to the score. Among the bowlers, Issy Wong and Georgia Davis took 3 wickets each.
With Central Sparks needing 136 to register their first win of the tournament, they lost both their openers before the team could pass fifty. Gwenan Davies followed soon after to make it 53/3. Marie Kelly came to the crease and stitched an important partnership of 45 runs with Milly Home. Kate Cross took out Milly Home for 17 and Sophie Ecclestone joined the act and took 2 quick wickets as Central Sparks got into a bit of trouble at 109/6. However, with such a small target, Marie Kelly and Thea Brookes ensured that there were no further struggles as they took Central Sparks home. Marie Kelly remained unbeaten on a well-made 59 as Central Sparks won with 4 wickets to spare. Sophie Ecclestone and Alex Hartley picked up 2 wickets each for Thunder.
The two teams will again face each other next on September 5th at Worcester. Follow us on Twitter for all the updates.
Thunder – 135 all out in 46.1 overs (K Cross – 45, N Brown – 35, I Wong – 3/26, G Davis – 3/29)
Central Sparks – 136/6 in 44 overs (M Kelly – 59, S Ecclestone – 2/13, A Hartley – 2/19)
Central Sparks won by 4 wickets