Report: Central Sparks v North West Thunder
Central Sparks emerged victorious against North West Thunder by 8 wickets, chasing down 167 in 39 overs at New Road thanks to four wickets from Clare Boycott and Eve Jones top scoring on 90 to see her side over the line.
The emphatic victory puts Thunder second in the North Group, with Thunder sitting in third place
After losing the toss and bowling, Sparks bowlers had an all round performance, picking up wickets at regular intervals and not letting the visitors run rare get ahead of them. When the batters’ turn came, they ensured Thunder didn’t get back into the game, and their positive play in the middle secured the win.
Thunder made a steady start to their first innings, putting on an unbroken opening partnership of 53 from the first 17 overs. However Sparks turned their fortunes around and took three wickets for nine balls. Firstly Anisha Patel trapped Laura Marshall lbw for 25, and Boycott followed by taking 2 wickets in 2 overs. She bowled Jackson for 1, and next over got Boyce edging behind for 27.
After the 3 quick wickets Thunder settled and boundaries began to flow as they upped their intent heading to back stages of the innings, although once again Sparks managed to take wickets at regular intervals to halt the visitors.
An amazing direct hit from skipper, Eve Jones dismissed Ellie Threkeld for 22, after a mix up in the middle between herself and Brown, pushing for a single that wasn’t there.
Another three quick wickets followed for Sparks, for just 3 runs. Thea Brookes came into the attack, making an impact, dismissing Brown for 27, caught behind and trapping Olivia Thomas LBW for 0. Boycott got the third, bowling Heap who went without scoring.
Duckworth and Dyson did put Thunder back into the game in the last 10 overs, bringing their score past 150. Their partnership of 35 was broken by Boycott, getting her fourth wicket, when Dyson was caught for 21, with Thunder posting 166.
Sparks made a positive start to their chase, as openers Gwen Davies and Jones brought up their 50 partnership in the 12th over, as they continued to frustrate in their dominant opening partnership.
Captain, Eve Jones passed her half-century in the 24th over, coming from 82 balls, as the 100 partnership from the openers came in the same over.
The partnership flourished as the innings progressed, reaching 114, but Olivia Thomas found a breakthrough, trapping Davies LBW for 37. Marie Kelly came in and continued her great form alongside Eve, but just on the brink of victory Jnes was run out for 90, Nevertheless, the hosts carried out a comprehensive win in an excellent all-round performance.
Eve Jones, Central Sparks captain said ”I think we played really well as a team today, bowlers all chipped in and the batters came out and did their job. It was nice personally to score some runs, and I was really happy with our performance today, it’s all coming together nicely.”
North West Thunder head coach, Paul Shaw said ”We weren’t quite in the field today, which is disappointing, but we are a young team and we appreciate what we have got to learn. With the bat, we built partnerships but we could have extended them further. We were below par today but we look to go again”
Central Sparks’ next fixture in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy is against Lightning at Blackfinch New Road on Friday.