Diamonds, Vipers, Sparks secure knockout berths in RHF Trophy with a round to go
Northern Diamonds took the pole position in round 6 of Rachael Heyhoe Flint (RHF) Trophy with a dominating 105 runs victory over Thunder on Sunday (September 12), while the Sunrisers narrowly missed an opportunity to post their first win of the tournament against Southern Vipers. In Worcester, Georgia Davis’ four-wicket haul ensured a knock-out berth for Central Sparks with a big win against South East Stars, and Lightning fell quickly against Sophie Luff led Western Storm.
In Chester-le-Street, Diamonds could not get a great start as captain Hollie Armitage was sent back early by Alice Dyson. Sterre Kalis at three provided a solid foundation with a patient half-century as wicket-keeper Bess Heath and Beth Langston’s led Diamonds to a massive score of 294 with their quickfire half-centuries. The pair added 91 runs in the final 10 overs to dismantle any death bowling plans Thunder had against them.
In reply, opener Georgie Boyce played a lone hand trying to get her team a good start, but she didn’t get any help from the other end. Once Boyce was removed in the 33rd over, Laura Marshall tried to keep the Thunder in the chase, but it was too little too late for them. Katie Levick struck four times to break the back of the Thunder’s chase as Diamonds won the match by 105 runs to secure the top position in the RHF Trophy.
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Elsewhere in Chelmsford, a high-scoring thriller saw Southern Vipers score 309 runs in the first innings as captain Georgia Adams (50) and Georgia Elwiss put up a batting masterclass. The pair shared a partnership of 100 runs to take Vipers to 180 for 3 in the 32nd over. Elwiss later shared a quickfire partnership of 62 runs with Paige Scholfield as she remained unbeaten on 112 to see her side end on a high note.
Sunrisers, playing for their first win of the tournament, started well as they put an opening partnership of 75 runs between Cordelia Griffith and Grace Scrivens. Griffith later found a company in Alice Macleod (79) as they added 112 runs for the second wicket. Griffith missed out on her well-deserved century by nine runs as she was trapped in front by Lauren Bell. Fran Wilson scored an unbeaten 61 runs and looked like will take them to a win but Elwiss rounded off her day with superb bowling performance under pressure in the final over to deny Sunrisers a win as Vipers sneaked home to a one-run win.
For Sparks, Davina Perrin top-scored with 43 off 59 balls as they scored 229 after winning the toss and electing to bat first. She was ably supported by captain Eve Jones (39) and Thea Brookes (33). None of the South East Stars batters found any rhythm in the chase as Georgia Davis and Ria Fackrell did not offer any chance of resistance. Jones then ran through the tail to lead Sparks to a 115-run win.
Over in Bristol, Luff’s 70 off 111 led to Storm posting 228 for seven in 50 overs in the first innings. Kirstie Gordon took two wickets – including that of Luff – and Sophie Munro chipped in with two wickets for Lightning. A collective bowling performance from the Storm lead to a Lightning collapse as they were bundled out for 166 runs in the 42nd over. Ella Claridge top-scored for Lightning with her 39 while Nicole Harvey, Georgia Hennessy, and Fi Morris chipped in with two wickets each for Storm.
Northern Diamonds 294/6 in 50 overs (Bess Heath 78*, Beth Langston 58*; Alex Hartley 2/57) beat Thunder 189/8 in 50 overs (Georgie Boyce 67, Laura Marshall 42; Katie Levick 4/34) by 105 runs
Southern Vipers 309/9 in 50 overs (Georgia Elwiss 112*, Georgia Adams 50; Sonali Patel 3/46) beat Sunrisers 308/6 in 50 overs (Cordelia Griffith 91, Alice Macleod 79; Georgia Adams 2/36) by one run
Central Sparks 229/10 in 49.1 over (Davina Perrin 43, Eve Jones 39; Ryana Macdonald-Gay 2/31) beat South East Stars 114 all out in 31.3 overs (Alice Capsey 26, Aylish Cranstone 18; Georgia Davis 4/26) by 115 runs
Western Storm 228/7 in 50 overs (Sophie Luff 70, Alex Griffiths 30; Kirstie Gordon 3/43) beat Lightning 166 all out in 41.2 overs (Ella Claridge 39, Sarah Bryce 27; Georgia Hennessy 2/22) by 62 runs.