Unbeaten streak continues for Vipers and Diamonds; Lamb and Cross help Thunder bag first win

Vipers and Northern Diamonds continued their winning runs. © Getty Images

Southern Vipers and Northern Diamonds continued their undefeated streaks in the ongoing Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy 2022 as they defeated Sunrisers and Lightning on Saturday (July 23). Thunder also managed to get the monkey off their back as sparkling performances from Kate Cross and Emma Lamb helped them bag their first 50-over win of the ongoing season.

Meanwhile, South East Stars clinched their third win of the tournament as they defeated Western Storm by 36 runs to consolidate the third spot on the points tally.

Southern Vipers vs Sunrisers

The skipper of Southern Vipers, Georgia Adams, won the toss and chose to bat at the Rose Bowl in Southampton. Vipers got off to a nightmarish start as they lost their top-five batters with just 38 runs on the board. 

But just when it appeared that they were going to fold pretty quickly, a 105-run stand between Paige Scholfield (74 runs off 72 balls) and wicket-keeper batter Chloe Hill (55 runs off 110 balls) rescued them from jeopardy.

Vipers ultimately posted 233 runs on the scoreboard to give their bowlers a decent total to bowl at. Kate Coppack caused the maximum damage to Vipers as she bagged a four-wicket haul.

Sunrisers lost opener Grace Scrivens with 25 runs on the board. But a 74-run stand between the other opener Cordelia Griffith and Naomi Dattani stabilised their innings. Griffith, who had scored a half-century in the last match against Western Storm, continued her bright form and posted another fifty.

Sunrisers looked poised to reach the total but as soon as Vipers saw the back of both the set batters their (Sunrisers’) batting order registered a collapse. Barring Joanne Gardner (43* runs off 45 balls), none of the other batters showed resilience and Sunrisers fell 11 runs short of the target.

South East Stars vs Western Storm

Electing to bat first after winning the toss at the College Ground in Cheltenham, Stars posted 283 runs on the board in their 50 overs. There were three half-centurions for Stars – Chloe Brewer, Alice Davidson-Richards, and Rhianna Southby. 

The other Stars’ batters also got starts but none of them really managed to build on the same. For Storm, Chloe Skeleton bagged a five-wicket haul, including the prized scalps of Brewer and Southby.

In reply, Storm lost opener Natasha Wraith with just 21 runs on the board. But a 102-run partnership between skipper Sophie Luff and Alex Griffiths got them over the early setback. Griffiths perished at an individual score of 48. 

Centurion in the last match, Luff kept running out of partners after Griffith’s dismissal and that didn’t help Storm’s cause. Luff played a valiant hand in the end as she just fell five shy of what could have been another fine century. Skipper Davidson-Richards led from the front in the field for Stars as she bagged a four-wicket haul and guided Stars to a 36-run victory.

ALSO READ: Emma Lamb a possible solution to long term pain point for England

Lightning vs Northern Diamonds

After winning the toss at the Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street, Lightning chose to bat first. The duo of Tammy Beaumont (70 runs off 105 balls) and Marie Kelly (37 runs off 37 balls) put together a 69-run partnership upfront.

After Kelly’s dismissal in the 14th over Beaumont added yet another half-century stand, this time with Sarah Bryce. But Diamonds’ skipper Hollie Armitage dismissed both Sarah and her opposite number Kathryn Bryce in quick succession to bring her side back into the game.

Beaumont also fell soon after Kathryn’s dismissal and Lightning eventually folded for 199 in their 49.1 overs. 

After losing opener Linsey Smith in the second over of the innings, Lauren Winfield-Hill and skipper Hollie Armitage added 70 runs together. But Armitage’s wicket in the 13th over triggered a batting collapse for Diamonds. They lost a cluster of wickets in a jiffy and looked in dire straits. But a valuable 41*-run knock from veteran Jenny Gunn steered them to victory with two balls to spare.

Thunder vs Central Sparks

The last game of the day saw Thunder take on Central Sparks at Old Trafford in Manchester. The match had to be reduced to 48 overs per side due to rain. Sparks won the toss and asked Thunder to set a score on the board.

Emma Lamb’s purple patch with the bat continued as she scored a half-century for Thunder. But she failed to convert her fifty into a three-figure mark and got out at an individual score of 68. 

Batter Laura Marshall and skipper Eleanor Threlkeld also got promising starts but they both fell in their forties. A valuable contribution from Kate Cross down the order propelled Thunder to 236 at the end.

Chasing 237 to win, the top-three batters for Sparks chipped in with good scores. While skipper Eve Jones scored 26, batters Davina Perrin and Abigail Freeborn scored 46 and 72 runs respectively. 

But none of the other Sparks’ batters could really kick on and they eventually lost the contest by 28 runs (D/L method). Both Lamb and Cross sparkled with the ball in hand as they bagged a three and a two-wicket haul respectively.

Brief scores:

Southern Vipers 233/9 in 50 overs (Paige Scholfield 74; Kate Coppack 4/48) beat Sunrisers 222/8 in 50 overs (Cordelia Griffith 65; Charlie Dean 3/31) by 11 runs

South East Stars 283/8 in 50 overs (Chloe Brewer 61; Chloe Skeleton 5/54) beat Western Storm 247 all out in 48 overs (Sophie Luff 95; Alice Davidson-Richards 4/33) by 36 runs

Lightning 199 all out in 50 overs (Tammy Beaumont 70; Leigh Kasperek 3/39) lost to Northern Diamonds 200/9 in 49.4 overs (Lauren Winfield-Hill 61; Lucy Higham 3/50) by one wicket

Thunder 236/9 in 48 overs (Emma Lamb 68; Emily Arlott 4/36) beat Central Sparks 191 in 41.4 overs (Abigail Freeborn 72; Emma Lamb 3/26) by 28 runs (D/L method)