Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy
Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy Logo Sat 27 April, 10:30

The County Ground, Beckenham

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South East Stars

South East Stars

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South East Stars

Central Sparks

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Report: South East Stars v Sparks, RHF Trophy

Central Sparks’ Hannah Baker claimed five wickets in 4 balls to finish with career-best figures of 5 for 45, but Ryana MacDonald-Gay’s sensational start to the season continued as she took four for 18 to help bowl the South East Stars to a 71-run (D/L) win over the Central Sparks in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy match at Beckenham.

The Maidstone-born seamer now has 12 wickets for the season after just three matches and a lethal spell helped finish the Sparks off after Paige Scholfield and Tash Farrant gave the Stars a platform with 65 and 54 respectively.

England U19s Baker put the hosts in a spin as they faltered from 230 for three to 268 all out, but the total proved way beyond the Sparks, who never seriously recovered from losing four wickets for two runs, having been on 56 for two. They eventually closed on 118 for six when play was abandoned.

The Stars chose to bat in bitter conditions and the Sparks initially struggled in the field, spilling a succession of chances as the openers put on an opening stand of 103.

Farrant, captaining the side in the absence of Bryony Smith, was put down at cover by Ami Campbell off Wong when on 10 and the next delivery, from Grace Potts didn’t quite carry to slip. She was dropped again, at cover, off Potts when on 29 by Ria Fackrell.

Moore was dropped by Campbell off Katie George when on 25 and when Campbell did finally grab Moore it was off a free hit.

Farrant drove Fackrell through cover for four to reach her third half-century in as many games this season but the partnership was finally broken when Kalea Moore called Farrant for a single and Campbell ran her out from mid-wicket.

In the next over, the 23rd, Fackrell had Moore caught at cover by Eve Jones for her highest List A score of 42

Sophia Dunkley was on 18 when Campbell couldn’t cling on to a violent pull shot, but she went for 37, caught behind by Abbey Freeborn off Bethan Ellis.

Scholfield pulled Ellis for four through cow corner to reach 50 but got a life when she skyed the next ball, only for Ellis to stumble as she was about to take the catch.

At that point the Stars looked on course for a total well over 300 but Baker then dragged the Sparks back into the contest.

Phoebe Franklin went for 10, caught by Eve Jones at cover, Scholfield was taken on the long on boundary by Fackrell and Alice Davidson-Richards was caught at cover by Davina Perrin for five. Baken then conjured some turn to bowl Aylish Cranstone for 16 and with the final ball of her spell she had Ryana MacDonald-Gay caught for a duck.

Potts got the wicket she deserved when Bethan Miles got a thick edge and was caught for a duck by Perrin.

Issy Wong wrapped up the innings with two balls to spare when she bowled Danni Gregory off her pads for one.

Eve Jones and Chloe Brewer put on 35 for the first wicket for the Sparks, but the Sparks collapsed after the latter went for eight, pulling Farrant to Cranstone at mid-on.

MacDonald-Gay then sent Davina Perrin’s middle stump flying for just three, before bowling a double-wicket-maiden in the 18th over. First she removed Jones for 29, the victim of a brilliant diving catch by Cranstone at point, then she had Campbell caught by Kalea Moore at square-leg. 

MacDonald-Gay then snared Freeborn at point for three to give Davidson-Richards a deserved wicket, but she was denied a fifth wicket when Wong was spilled by Franklin at mid-wicket. Wong and Ellis showed some fight, the former hitting MacDonald-Gay for a six back over her head as they put together a partnership of 61 for the seventh wicket, but with 20 overs remaining the players went off for rain at 5pm. Wong was unbeaten on 34 while Ellis was 18 not out, but with the rain becoming torrential and no realistic prospect off a resumption, play was abandoned.

Sparks Hannah Baker said: “It’s disappointing that we haven’t won today but the weather wasn’t on our side. Overall it was a good performance and I wouldn’t have had my five-for without the catches the girls took, especially the one by Katie George as well. 

“There were a few possible chances that hurt us a bit early on but I think we fought back well. Grace Potts bowled very well as well.

“I’ve no idea what we’d have done if we’d won the toss, it was a wet day. It was pretty cold and the handwarmers do a job. I’ve got quite a lot of confidence from the last three games so hopefully it can continue. I’ve never got a five-for before, so my brother doesn’t have that one up on me any more!

On the apparently delayed reaction to celebrating her fifth wicket. “All I saw was Eve Jones running towards me and it was quite a scary sight actually.”

Over 13,000 sold for Women’s IT20 vs Pakistan

Pakistan Women will be in Birmingham on Saturday 11 May 2024 and over 13,000 tickets have already been sold.

With the Men’s IT20 already sold out, this is your last chance to see Pakistan at Edgbaston next summer and tickets are available from only £17, with under 16s £5.

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