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Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy: Latest news, Scores and Updates from today's matches - August 29th

Helen Fenby (Northern Diamonds)
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Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy: All the Latest news, Scores and Updates from today's matches - August 29th

Saturday, August 29, 2020


Central Sparks v Northern Diamonds Starts at 10:30

Northern Diamonds 145/1 (24.1 overs) def Central Sparks 144 (38.1 overs) at Edgbaston

By Emily Marshall

Northern Diamonds got their Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy campaign off to a near-perfect start with a comprehensive nine-wicket victory over Central Sparks at Edgbaston.

The visitors comfortably chased down a target of 144 thanks to a 139-run opening partnership between Lauren Winfield and Hollie Armitage.

Katherine Brunt showed her class with the ball, taking five wickets with figures of 9-2-20-5 in two exceptional spells of bowling.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat, Sparks failed to maintain any momentum during their innings as the Diamonds' well-credentialed attack, featuring four past of present England internationals, proved too good.

Sparks batters Gwenn Davies (36) and Amy Jones (26) top scored for the home side, but the powerhouse of Brunt was ultimately too much as the hosts were bowled out in 38.1 overs.

Diamonds began with some very restrictive bowling before Brunt got the breakthrough and the first of her five wickets, when Eve Jones edged behind for 15.

Beth Langston, who shared the new ball with Brunt, got her first wicket when Marie Kelly chipped to cover for four, before leg-spinner Katie Levick broke a 34-run partnership when Amy Jones attempted to clear the boundary but was caught at mid-on for 26.

Gwenn Davies then looked to be steading proceedings for Sparks, but an unfortunate mix up in the middle resulted in her being run out for 33, after an excellent direct hit from wicketkeeper Bess Heath. Thea Brookes was bowled by Jenny Gunn for four shortly after.

The next four wickets all fell to Brunt to diminish any hopes of Sparks building a larger total. England team-mate, Sarah Glenn was bowled for 23, and Brunt also found the stumps to remove Emily Arlott and Issy Wong in quick succession.

Clare Boycott edged behind, flashing at a wide delivery to give Brunt her fifth wicket. Langston then got her second wicket, trapping Patel lbw as Sparks were dismissed for 144.

Diamonds chased the target with intent as Winfield and Armitage hit boundaries and kept the scoreboard ticking over to ensure they never gave Sparks a chance to get back into the game.

Winfield passed her half-century from 62 balls, with Armitage following and reaching her fifty from 67 balls.

Boycott was brought on, with Diamonds needing six to win and managed to get a last-minute wicket, with Winfield being caught on the boundary for 72. However, Diamonds secured victory in the next over, with Armitage hitting the winning runs and finishing unbeaten on 54.

Northern Diamonds bowler Katherine Brunt said: "Always feels great to contribute to a win and to the first-ever game for Northern Diamonds. It feels really special and feels great to be here as part of such a great win for us. We've really looked forward to this tournament and it's amazing to come out on top in our first game. A great partnership between Hollie (Armitage) and Lauren (Winfield) topped off the day well for us."

Central Sparks captain, Eve Jones, said: "Really disappointing from us, I don't think we played well in all three aspects of the game, not enough runs and didn't capitalise on starts made. For the bowlers, the experienced batters in the Northern Diamonds took the game away from us there, but we look ahead to Monday now, to put the wrongs right."

Sunrisers v Southern Vipers 

Southern Vipers beat Sunrisers by seven wickets

Danni Wyatt opened her Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy account with an effortless 66 as Southern Vipers thumped Sunrisers by seven wickets at the Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford.

Sunrisers vs Southern Vipers Scorecard

Sunrisers 202 lost to Southern Vipers 208/3 by seven wickets 

Experienced England all-rounder Wyatt dominated with seven boundaries during a 111 run-stand for the first wicket – which put the Vipers in complete control of their chase.

Medium-pacer Paige Scholfield (3-33) had earlier helped restrict Sunrisers to 202, with Mady Villiers striking 64, before Scholfield's six saw Vipers over the line with just under 14 overs to spare.

Sunrisers had been left in a malaise when they were restricted to 30 for three, having been put in by Georgia Adams.

Scholfield was heavily in the early action as she caught Amara Carr at midwicket and ran out Katie Midwood, while England international Fran Wilson flicked to deep square-leg.

Naomi Dattani, one of three Sunrisers on a permanent contract, helped build a recovery with homegrown Essex player Villiers – the pair putting on 98 in 20 overs.

When Dattani (42) fell, lbw to Wyatt, England international Villiers continued to keep the score ticking and reached a half-century off 72 balls.

The last Sunrisers wickets only saw 23 runs added, to set the visitors 203.

And that total never looked like it was causing the 2016 Kia Super League champions many problems as Wyatt and Georgia Adams (37) scored freely.

Wyatt, who had been dropped on 14 by keeper Amara Carr, demonstrated her impeccable timing, particularly on the off-side, as she reached her fifty from 51 balls.

Wyatt and Adams both departed with six overs of each other but England Academy duo Bouchier (33) and Dean (27 not out) took Vipers to within 23 of victory with a 40-run stand partnership, before the former was caught behind, with the points secured soon after.

Southern Vipers all-rounder Danni Wyatt:

“Really delighted with the win. I think everyone turned up today which is what Charlotte Edwards spoke about last night.

“We spoke about partnerships being crucial and we got going with a hundred partnership with my fellow Sussex player Georgia Adams.

“I felt alright out there. The ball did a bit early on as it always does. It rained much of the batting innings which was quite difficult but it was an outstanding batting wicket here at Chelmsford.

“I just went out there and tried to hit the bad balls and defend the good ones.

“Paige trained really hard this winter. Tournaments like this are really important for people like her and Georgia Adams to push their cases forward for England.”

Sunrisers all-rounder Mady Villiers:

“It was a frustrating one. It was tough. They bowled well early doors and made it tough for our openers to get a partnership going.

“We fought back well and got a defendable total but they took the game away from us with the powerplay.

“We [Villiers and Dattani] complement each other. I had never batted with her before but we were clear in our plans and it was fun as well.

“I have only ever batted here once before and I got a few then as well. It is a nice batting deck and it is always nice to be home.

“We knew they would come hard at us and Danni can take the game away from you without you even noticing and she did that really well. Credit to them, they didn’t give us a sniff.

“I have loved being with the Sunrisers. There is so much potential in this side. They want to learn and they ask questions.”

South East Stars v Western Storm Starts at 10:30

Western Storm 167/4 (39.5ovs) defeated South East Stars 166 all out (48.1) by six wickets at Beckenham.


The last time England captain Heather Knight pulled on a Western Storm shirt, she made 78 not out off 53 balls to lead the Storm to victory in the 2019 Kia Super League final at Hove. Almost exactly a year to the day later, she carried on where she left off, with a dominant knock of 91 not out as the Storm beat the South East Stars in the opening round of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy by 6 wickets.

Invited to bat first after losing the toss under cold, grey skies, at Beckenham, the Stars posted 166 all out off 48.1 overs, after recovering from 55-5 thanks to 38 from former England star Susie Rowe and 37 from captain Tash Farrant, with allrounder Georgia Hennessy taking 4-31 off 8.1 overs for the Storm. 

It was quickly apparent that it wasn’t anything like enough, as Knight and Fi Morris put on 78 for the first wicket in reply, before Morris ran herself out, taking on the arm of England seamer Freya Davies at mid on, for 27. Wickets did then start to fall, with the Storm middle order of captain Sophie Luff, Georgia Hennessy and Nat Wraith all going cheaply for single figures, but Knight pushed on relentlessly, unperturbed by the losses around her, to chalk up the Storm’s win with more than 10 overs to spare.

Ultimately the Stars paid the price for a lacklustre start to their innings. The first boundary of the day didn’t come until the 5th over, with Alice Capsey slapping a George full toss through the covers for 4, and the Stars reached 10 overs with no further wickets down, but with just 27 on the board for the loss of 1 wicket - England batter Bryony Smith caught at deep midwicket by Alex Griffiths, playing a lazy slog-sweep to the bowling of Katie George, for 5 off 13 balls.

Capsey looked to get a move on, hitting her second delivery from Hennessy for 4, but was then caught by Sophie Luff off the very next ball trying to go over cover. The wickets of Sophia Dunkley (5), Aylish Cranstone (14) and Alice Davidson Richards (6) fell in quick succession, leaving the Stars in some trouble on 58-5 at the 20-over mark.

It was left to Susie Rowe to try to pick up the pieces for the Stars. The 33-year-old former England batter, playing the first professional match of her comeback after focusing mainly on hockey for the past 6 years, quickly raced into the 30s but couldn’t push on, falling to a sharp return catch to offspinner Fi Morris. 

Tash Farrant was at least able to shepherd the tail past 150, supported by Freya Davies’ half-marathon 12 off 50 balls, before Farrant was last out, run out for 37 by Niahm Holland.

After that it was all about Heather Knight, who set out her intent early in the Storm reply, clobbering Tash Farrant for 4 through cover point in the opening over. It was however a controlled chase - Knight took few risks and gave few chances. She was dropped on 32 - a tough caught & bowled chance to Grace Gibbs - but otherwise she played clinical cricket, only really hitting out on what proved to be the final ball - a slog-sweep to cow corner for 4 to bring up the win.

In addition to Morris’ contribution at the top of the order, Knight was assisted at the end by Katie George who hit 19 not out, including a lovely cut through the covers off Tash Farrant to bring up the 150.

None of the Stars attack really hit the mark, albeit having had to do much of their work bowling in heavy drizzle during the second half of the Storm innings, with Bryony Smith’s return of 1/11 off 4 overs, and Tash Farrant's 1/29 off 9 overs, the pick of the figures.

Thunder v Lightning

Thunder (206-9) beat Lightning (146) by four runs (DLS method)

England bowler Sophie Ecclestone offered a rare glimpse of her ability with the bat as Thunder launched their Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy campaign with a four-run win over Lightning in a rain-affected match at Trent Bridge, the left-arm spinner smashing an unbeaten 60 off 61 balls.

The 21-year-old, who tops the women’s world T20 rankings as a bowler but rarely bats above nine in international cricket, hit six fours and two sixes, plundering 21 runs in the last over of the Thunder innings as the North West-based side racked up a challenging 206 for nine from their 50 overs.

Lightning’s hopes of overhauling that total were dealt a major blow when their England opener Tammy Beaumont perished for just two.  Scotland’s Sarah Bryce hit nine fours in her 52 but once she had succumbed to Ecclestone’s bowling the home side’s chances always looked slim.

After 14 overs were lost to rain, a revised target of 151 left Lightning needing 32 off five overs once play resumed, but the combined experience of Ecclestone, England team-mate Kate Cross and World Cup winner Alex Hartley enabled Thunder to prevail in a tight finish.

Teenager Sophie Munro - who turns 19 on Monday - was the pick of the Lightning bowlers, the right-arm seamer taking three for 32, including two wickets in her opening three overs with the new ball.

However, a stand of 82 for the fourth wicket between wicketkeeper Ellie Threlkeld and all-rounder Nat Brown rescued Thunder after a wobbly start and Ecclestone’s big hitting ensured that their hard work was made to count - although some spirited hitting by Abbey Freeborn and Lucy Higham set up a close finish after the rain.

Lightning made good early inroads after Thunder had chosen to bat first on a bright morning, Munro striking with her third delivery for the Loughborough-based home side as Laura Marshall’s miscued pull went straight to Beaumont at mid-wicket.

The right-arm seamer, who took 20 wickets for Nottinghamshire in county cricket last summer, was added to the England women’s training squad during the winter.  She picked up a second scalp in her third over, dismissing Emma Lamb in a similar fashion as Beaumont pouched another straightforward catch.

Thunder were 30 for two after 10 overs and immediately suffered another setback when Georgie Boyce was run out by Sophie Harman’s fine throw from deep cover.

However, Threlkeld and Brown patiently brought Thunder back into contention, Threlkeld punishing England spinner Kirstie Gordon with a series of boundaries before Brown was run out for 38 by Abbey Freeborn’s throw from point.

Munro claimed her third success when Threlkeld, having completed a 76-ball fifty, gave Beaumont her third catch with another mis-hit pull, but though Gordon and fellow spinner Lucy Higham were able to get among the wickets as Thunder chased runs, crucially neither was able to dislodge Ecclestone, who finished with a flourish by striking Higham’s off-breaks for six-four-four-six in the final over of the innings.

Sarah Bryce looked fluent from the outset as Lightning began their reply, striking Brown’s medium pace for three consecutive boundaries, but Beaumont had managed only two singles when, squared up by Brown, she squirted an easy catch to Olivia Thomas at short extra cover.

Joined by older sister Kathryn, the Lightning captain, Sarah led the way in a stand of 52 for the second wicket to keep their side close to the required rate but Kathryn was run out for 17 when Sarah declined her call for a single.  Soon afterwards, after completing her own half-century, the younger Bryce was bowled by Ecclestone off a bottom edge.

Beth Ellis having been leg before to Hannah Jones Lightning were still 88 short of their target with 19 overs left when rain took the players off for almost an hour, after which the DLS calculation revised the requirement to 32 off five.

It gave Lightning a glimmer of a chance but Higham’s leg before dismissal to Hartley sparked the loss of four wickets in seven balls and though Nancy Harman picked up a couple of boundaries, Ecclestone had the last word by bowling her off the penultimate ball.

©Cricket World 2020