Southern Vipers maintain top spot after round 5 of RHF Trophy

Ella McCaughan (L) in action for Southern Vipers. © Getty Images

Southern Vipers maintained top spot in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy after the fifth round while South East Stars, Central Sparks and Northern Diamonds also registered wins on Friday (September 10) to consolidate their position in the top four.

Tara Norris and Paige Scholfield shone for the Vipers in Sale. Captain Georgia Adams’ decision to bowl first was backed by the bowlers led by Lauren Bell and Norris, who reduced Thunder to three for 14 in four overs. Scholfield’s first strike pegged them back again as Thunder found themselves six down at 59.

Kate Cross held one end and pushed Thunder past 100. In the process she scored a half century and was the last player dismissed, scoring 57 off 86.

Vipers found themselves in a spot of bother in reply, slipping to four for 56 and five for 68. But Ella McCaughan’s 41 off 47 balls and a good lower-order hand by Emily Windsor (26 not out) ensured they crossed the line.

In Northwood, Marie Kelly and Gwenan Davies scored steady half centuries in Sparks’ successful chase against Sunrisers. They were set 205 to win and got home with six wickets and over 12 overs to spare. Kelly and Evelyn Jones added 84 for the opening wicket. Davies then added 69 runs with Thea Brookes (22 not out), who finished the chase.

Sunrisers were restricted to 204 thanks to a three-fer from Ria Fackrell and two wickets for Jones. Cordelia Griffith scored 69 opening the batting while Alice Macleod scored 46. The pair was involved in a 77-run second wicket stand.

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Meanwhile, 84 from Bryony Smith and 78 from Alice Capsey helped South East Stars post 293 for nine in their 50 overs at the Kent County Ground. They got together at two for 39 and added 105 together for the third wicket. Kalea Moore then provided the finishing impetus as she made 35 off 39 balls.

While Kathryn Bryce and Kirstie Gordon picked up two wickets each for Lightning, Yvonne Graves picked three for 43.

Skipper Kathryn then kept them in the hunt with 87 off 115. She added 77 with Abigail Freeborn (24), the best partnership in their innings. Sarah Bryce made 45 off just 37 balls batting at the top of the order. But Lightning fell short by 28 runs.

In Chester-le-Street, Diamonds dumped Western Storm by seven wickets, thanks to Linsey Smith’s five for 34. The spell broke the back of Storm’s batting, in which captain Sophie Luff top-scored with 65. Hollie Armitage then finished the chase unbeaten on 68, where she first added 59 with Sterre Kalis (32) and then an unconquered 54 with Bess Heath (32 not out).

Brief Scores

Thunder 110 all out in 32.5 overs (Kate Cross 57; Tara Norris 4/14, Paige Scholfield 3/16) lost to Southern Vipers 112/7 in 33.5 overs (Ella McCaughan 41; Alex Hartley 2/28, Kate Cross 2/34) by three wickets

Sunrisers 204/7 in 42 overs (Cordelia Griffith 69, Alice Macleod 46; Ria Fackrell 3/30) lost to Central Sparks 208/4 in 37.2 overs (Marie Kelly 58, Gwenan Davies 50) by six wickets via DLS Method

South East Stars 293/9 in 50 overs (Bryony Smith 84, Alice Capsey 78; Yvonne Graves 3/43) beat Lightning 265 all out in 49.2 overs (Kathryn Bryce 87, Sarah Bryce 45; Bryony Smith 3/46) by 28 runs

Western Storm 183 all out in 38.1 overs (Sophie Luff 65; Linsey Smith 5/34) lost to Northern Diamonds 184/3 in 31.1 overs (Hollie Armitage 68*; Stephanie Hutchins 2/27) by seven wickets