Underperforming South East Stars took on Western Storms in the South Group of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy. At the midway segment of the group stages, Western Storm came into this match having lost only once in their first 3, with the South East Stars winning only one.
Western Storm asserted their dominance once again, with a match-winning knock of 104* from their captain in red-hot form, Sophie Luff, and a massive 162-run 3rd wicket partnership with the youngster, Georgia Hennessy.
The encounter at Bristol saw the Stars winning the toss and elect to bat first. Despite a shaky start at the top, Kirstie White and Maxine Blythin consolidated South East’s innings at 112/2. An inspired moment in the field from Emma Corney to run out White saw the next 7 wickets tumble for just 91 runs. All-rounder, Hennessy played a vital role in the bowling department as well, picking up 3 scalps for 40 runs in her 10 overs.
Even though she was slightly on the expensive side, Alex Griffiths took the all-important wicket of Maxine, the lone wolf with Stars struggling at 192/7 after 47 overs. Maxine had just completed her half-century and could have added at least 10 more runs to the final score, had she stayed till the very end. However, that was not to be when the quickie, Griffiths, came back for her final spell to send Maxine back to the pavilion, and the Stars finishing at 212/9 at the end of their 50-overs.
The second innings at the Bristol County Ground saw a magnificently constructed run chase in what was considered to be a “difficult pitch.” Stars got an early boost in their defense of the small total when Tash Farrant cleaned out Fi Morris’ stumps in just the third ball of the innings. The wicket never seemed hard enough for Luff though, with a solid 49-run partnership for the second wicket with Lauren Parfitt.
Young Hennessy proved to be a perfect partner in crime for Luff, stroking the ball beautifully from the get-go, with the majority of her first 20 runs coming in boundaries. Luff played an innings to remember, which mixed the boundary-hitting approach and nudging quick singles and doubles. Her innings saw 12 deliveries hitting the boundary ropes, and one sailing over for a maximum. Storms won the match with 7 wickets in hand and 23 balls to spare.
With this, Western Storms got the 4 points and sit comfortably at second place, with 14 points – 5 behind group toppers, Southern Vipers. South East Stars are in desperate need of consecutive and comprehensive victories if they are to stand any chance to qualify for the next stage. They finish the day in 3rd place, with just 5 points.
SOUTH EAST STARS: 212/9(50 overs)
Kirstie White: 50 (77)
Maxine Blythin: 50 (90)
Georgia Hennessy: 3/40(10)
Alex Griffiths: 2/53(9)
WESTERN STORM: 215/3(46.1 overs)
Sophie Luff*: 104 (133)
Georgia Hennessy: 86 (106)
Tash Farrant: 1/28(7)
Megan Belt: 1/39(7)
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