Charlotte Edwards Cup
Charlotte Edwards Cup Logo Fri 31 May, 14:30

Trent Bridge, Nottingham

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The Blaze

The Blaze

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The Blaze

Central Sparks

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Report: Blaze v Sparks, Charlotte Edwards Cup

All-rounder Kathryn Bryce played the starring role as The Blaze maintained their 100 per cent record with a fourth win from four in the Charlotte Edwards Cup, defeating Central Sparks by 10 runs at Trent Bridge.

Bryce top-scored with 57 for out of 134 for six for The Blaze, sharing partnerships of 55 with sister Sarah (22) and 40 with South African all-rounder Nadine de Klerk (19), with Sparks seamer Emily Arlott taking two for 23.

She then took for 28 with her medium pace with Blaze skipper Kirstie Gordon taking two for 27 as Sparks fell short despite the efforts of Katie George (28 not out), captain Eve Jones (26) and Courtney Webb (19) in reply.

Invited to bat on a cloudy afternoon, The Blaze lost both openers in the powerplay. England’s Tammy Beaumont, having helped Arlott’s loosener round the corner for a first-ball boundary, promptly miscued to midwicket. Teresa Graves hit Grace Potts to extra cover, where Eve Jones took a fine one-handed grab.

Kathryn Bryce had an escape on 17 when she was put down at midwicket as she and Sarah plundered 55 in 44 deliveries before Sarah holed out to deep midwicket, leaving The Blaze 71 for three in the 11th.

The Scotland skipper reached the half-century milestone for the second time in as many matches when she paddle-scooped Katie George for her eighth boundary from 44 balls, following up by sweeping Baker for her ninth but was leg before trying to give the same treatment to the next delivery.

De Klerk’s run-a-ball 19 ended with a second catch for Jones at extra cover. Arlott limited Marie Kelly’s contribution to a single but Ella Claridge (10 off eight balls) and Josie Groves (11 off seven) added potentially valuable late runs. 

Needing 6.75 per over, Sparks were behind the clock and three wickets down after their batting powerplay. They had lost Chloe Brewer to a fine catch by substitute fielder Michaela Kirk at deep midwicket, Davina Perrin to a tame return catch and Abbey Freeborn leg before to be 20 for three.

Jones, reprieved on nine after walking on a caught-and-bowled by off-spinner Lucy Higham that umpires Amy Clark and Anthony Harris ruled did not carry, was joined by Webb and by reaching the halfway point with no further losses the pair kept their side at least in contention.

But that changed in the course of two tight overs as Sparks captain holed out to long-on off leg-spinner Josie Groves and Webb was caught by ‘keeper Sarah Bryce off a steepling top edge off Higham, pushing the required rate up to nine, Pavely falling to a superb catch at midwicket by Ella Claridge as the last 30 deliveries began with 46 needed.

Arlott hit two boundaries but was bowled by Bryce, leaving 20 needed off the last over, which despite the efforts of George proved too much.

Sparks skipper Eve Jones: “It was a close game as a few have been. I felt we did a really good job with the ball and we backed ourselves to knock off those  runs on this pitch. We were pleased with the catches we took because we worked hard on our fielding over the winter.

“If we had taken that chance off Kathryn Bryce it might have been a different game but it was a tough one running in from midwicket to be fair. Kathryn showed her class, she batted really well.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t have the powerplay we quite wanted batting and after losing early wickets we were always chasing the game.  We don’t mind losing wickets if we  can get off to a flyer with runs on the board but we lost wickets and were slow getting out of the blocks today.

“But having said that there have been lots of positives in the way we’ve started the season, winning the first three, and there is still a long way to go in the competition.”

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