Amy Jones’ century, Charlotte Taylor’s four-wicket haul, allround Kate Cross headline Day 2 of RHF Trophy 2021

Amy Jones (L), Charlotte Taylor (M), Kate Cross were the stars on day 2 of RHF Trophy 2021 © Getty Images/ Women's CricZone

Round 2 of the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Trophy saw Central Sparks and Southern Vipers register their second wins, courtesy of a magnificent 163* from Amy Jones and Charlotte Taylor’s 4 for 21, respectively. Northern Diamonds defended a low score against Lightning to help themselves to a narrow six-run win while allround performance from Kate Cross helped Thunder to their first win of the season on Monday (May 31).

Put into bat in Edgbaston, Sparks suffered an early wobble losing three wickets with just 41 runs on the board. Walking in at four, Jones continued from where she left off in the opening match. Although she started slowly, she was on 10 off 20 at one stage, Jones was her usual fluent self once she hit Georgia Hennessy to register her first boundary of the day.

In the company of Milly Home, Jones took Sparks past the 100-run mark with a six off Mollie Robbins. Despite losing Home in the 28th over – with Fi Morris ending the 81-run partnership – Jones got to her fifty from as many balls and from there she opened up further.

Jones shared another fruitful partnership of 68 runs with Stephanie Butler. Her partner’s dismissal didn’t stop Jones from smashing Danielle Gibson for a couple of boundaries in the 39th over before bringing up her back-to-back hundred from just 83 balls in the next over.

Post her hundred, Jones went on a rampage and continued to be severe on Gibson, clobbering the medium pacer for a four and back-to-back sixes. She then took on Hennessy taking 17 runs from her over as she marched on and reached the 150-run mark with a boundary off Anya Shrubsole in the 47th over.

Jones remained unbeaten on 163, her career-best List A score, from 114 deliveries as Sparks posted a mammoth 295 for 7 from their 50 overs. For Storm, Morris and Lauren Filer took two wickets each.

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In the chase, Heather Knight and Lauren Parfitt got Storm off to a brisk start, adding 50 runs from the first ten overs. The opening duo continued to collect runs even as Parfitt slowed down post the power play and brought up their century partnership in the 19th over.

Meanwhile, Knight, continuing her good form in domestic List A cricket, reached her fifty from 45 balls before losing her wicket to Sarah Glenn in the 20th over. Storm looked on cause for the target with Parfitt adding another 80 runs for the second wicket with captain Sophie Luff.

However, introduction of Ria Fackrell in the 34th over changed the complexion of the match as she accounted for Parfitt with the fourth ball of the over dismissing the opener for a well-made 91. In her final over, Elizabeth Russell trapped Luff in front allowing Sparks to come back into the game sending both the set batters to the pavilion.

From there, Storm kept losing wickets in regular intervals and even though for a brief period it looked like Fi Morris and Anya Shrubsole would power them to another come from behind win, it was too little too late for the Storm as they finished 41 runs short of the target scoring only 254 for 9 from the 50 overs.

For Sparks, Fackrell was the star with the ball as she finished with figures of 4 for 34 from her nine overs while Emily Arlott and Glenn picked up two wickets each.

Over in Beckenham, chasing only 138 to win, Vipers started sedately and lost Georgia Adams early when Freya Davies accounted for her in the sixth over with only 17 runs on the board and they lost the second wicket in the form of Maia Bouchier in the 13th over with score reading 43.

Danielle Wyatt, who scored fifties in all three of her RHF Trophy knocks so far, continued to find boundaries at regular intervals with Georgia Elwiss playing second fiddle. Once settled, Elwiss also joined the party hitting four boundaries from eight balls to take Vipers past the three-figure mark.

Wyatt brought up her fourth consecutive fifty of the competition from 71 balls. By the time Elwiss was dismissed by Bryony Smith to end the 87-run stand in the 28th over, Vipers were only one scoring shot away from an easy win and they completed the proceedings in the next over with Wyatt remaining unbeaten on 64 off 88 balls.

For Stars, Smith finished with figures of 2 for 25 while skipper Natasha Farrant went wicket-less.

Opting to field, Vipers had a fabulous start as Taylor, Player of the Match of the inaugural edition final, ran through Stars’ top-order taking out Alice Davidson-Richards, Sophia Dunkley and Alice Capsey in her first three overs with a solitary run between them. Taylor bowled full and got the ball to drift away from the right-handers, she first had Richards caught at slips by Georgia Adams before getting Dunkley to nick one behind the stumps and when Capsey was caught by Charlotte Dean in the sixth over, Stars were reeling at 24 for 3.

From there, Stars staged a mini-recovery with Bryony Smith and Grace Gibbs adding 41 runs for the fourth wicket. Smith was the aggressor of the two as she scored a stroke-filled 41 off 38 balls in a knock that included seven hits to the fence.

However, with Dean and Wyatt castling set batters in quick succession, Stars looked in trouble yet again with the score reading 83 for 5 in 23 overs. Even though Aylish Cranstone and Kirstie White added another 35 runs for the sixth wicket, once Cranstone became Wyatt’s second wicket for 31, Stars had another collapse and went from 118 for 5 to 137 all out in the 40th over.

For Vipers, Taylor returned with figures of 4 for 21 from her eight overs while Wyatt finished with three wickets.

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Over at Kibworth Cricket Club, put into bat, Diamonds found themselves in early trouble losing first match’s centurion Lauren Winfield-Hill in the second ball of the innings to Kathryn Bryce. Once Sophie Munro dismissed Natalie Sciver in the eighth over, they suffered a collapse losing five wickets for 22 runs. First Kathryn accounted for Hollie Armitage and Kathryn Brunt before Teresa Graves sent Sterre Kalis and Ami Campbell in the same over to reduce Diamonds to 50 for 6 in the 15th over.

In the company of Alex MacDonald, Jenny Gunn took Diamonds’ score to 131 with an 81-run partnership. Gunn scored 40 before becoming Kathryn’s fourth wicket while MacDonald contributed 39. Once Gunn was dismissed, their innings petered out to close on 151 all out in 45.5 overs.

For Lightning, Kathryn was the most successful bowler with figures of 4 for 16 while Graves and Lucy Higham picked up two wickets each.

In reply, Lightning got off to the worst possible start losing the Bryce sisters, Sarah and Kathryn, to Katherine Brunt with only seven runs on the board. Sarah continued her poor form and was bowled for yet another duck by Brunt while Kathryn could score only a single.

Lightning soon found themselves at 57 for 5 when Tammy Beaumont was trapped in front of the wicket by Sciver for 21. Even though lower order stitched small partnerships together to take them closer to the target, Diamonds kept the pressure intact and eventually dismissed Lightning six runs short of the target in the penultimate over to register a thrilling win.

For Diamonds, Brunt finished with impressive figures of 4 for 23 from her ten overs while Sciver, Beth Langston and Katie Levick picked up two wickets apiece.

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Elsewhere in Chester, having elected to bat first, Thunder got off to a solid start with Emma Lamb and Georgie Boyce putting on 45-runs opening partnership. In the 11th over, Sonali Patel dismissed Lamb for 18. Boyce formed small partnerships with other batters to take them past 200 even as Mady Villiers accounted for three wickets in the middle overs.

Meanwhile at the other end, Boyce brought up her fifty from 75 balls in the 27th over with a boundary off Grace Scrivens. She shared a 38-run partnership with an aggressive Kate Cross before Scrivens trapped the opener in front of the wicket for 91. At the other end, Cross scored an enterprising 43 off 47 balls.

In the 49th over, Patel dismissed Cross, Laura Marshall and Alex Hartley in consecutive deliveries to take the first hat-trick in the history of the competition as Thunder finished their innings on 247 for 9 from their stipulated 50 overs.

For Sunrisers, Patel was the most successful bowler taking four wickets for 40 runs while Villiers finished with figures of 3 for 47.

In the chase, Cordelia Griffith and Alice MacLeod started confidently, putting on 37 runs for the opening wicket. In the eighth over, Cross struck twice in consecutive deliveries to dismiss Griffith and skipper Carr to give Thunder a double breakthrough.

However, MacLeod and Fran Wilson steadied the ship with a 72-run partnership for the third wicket. But MacLeod’s dismissal by Sophie Ecclestone caused a mini-collapse with Sunrisers losing their way from 109 for 2 to 127 for 6 in 25.1 overs.

Thunder

Thunder celebrate a wicket © Getty Images

Once Lamb ended Wilson’s aggressive 46-ball 50-run knock, Sunrisers couldn’t recover and despite contributions from the lower order, they were eventually bowled out for 211 runs in 45.2 overs.

For Thunder, Ecclestone and Cross took three wickets each while skipper Alex Hartley took two.

Brief Scores:

Central Sparks 295/7 in 50 overs (Amy Jones 163*; Lauren Filer 2/21) beat Western Storm 254 for 9 in 50 overs (Lauren Parfitt 91, Heather Knight 59; Ria Fackrell 4/34) by 41 runs

South East Stars 137/10 in 39.5 overs (Bryony Smith 41; Charlotte Taylor 4/21, Danielle Wyatt 3/19) lost to Southern Vipers 138/3 in 28.4 overs (Danielle Wyatt 64*, Georgia Elwiss 45; Bryony Smith 2/25) by 7 wickets.

Northern Diamonds 151/10 in 45.5 overs (Jenny Gunn 40, Alex MacDonald 39; Kathryn Bryce 4/16) beat Lightning 145/10 in 48.1 overs (Tammy Beaumont 21; Katherine Brunt 4/23, Natalie Sciver 2/24) by 6 runs.

Thunder 247/9 in 50 overs (Georgie Boyce 91, Kate Cross 43; Sonali Patel 4/40, Mady Villiers 3/47) beat Sunrisers 211/10 in 45.2 overs (Fran Wilson 50, Alice MacLeod 38; Sophie Ecclestone 3/28, Kate Cross 3/49) by 36 runs