Kelly's century, Davidson-Richards & Farrant partnership headline round four of CE Cup
Marie Kelly, Alice Davidson-Richards, Natasha Farrant © Getty
Marie Kelly's swashbuckling century and Alice Davidson-Richards-Natasha Farrant stole headlines in round four of the Charlotte Edwards Cup on Wednesday (August 25). Southern Vipers faced their first defeat of the tournament - thanks to Central Sparks - while Lightning is yet to open their account in the points table.
In the match against Sparks, Vipers skipper Georgia Adams smashed a 6-ball 88, taking the team to 162 for four in 20 overs, despite little support from the other batters. Charlotte Dean's 35-ball 31 was the second-highest score in the line-up.
Though it seemed like Adams had taken her team to a safe total, the Vipers were in for a surprise as Kelly came out all guns blazing. The 25-year-old, along with her opening partner Evelyn Jones, added 137 runs for the first wicket. Jones made a 47-ball 51, but Kelly stole the show with an unbeaten century of just 53 balls. It was the second century of the tournament after Emma Lamb's 61-ball 111, earlier in July. The Sparks eventually chased down the target with an over to spare.
In the other Group A fixture, Davidson-Richards and Farrant's counterattack in the lower-order after Alice Capsey's 28-ball 38 helped South East Stars conquer the Lightning. When Capsey got out in the twelfth over, the match was still in the balance, with the Stars going at 80 for four.
The Farrant-Davidson-Richards duo launched a counterattack, smashing 52 runs in the next 19 balls, taking the game away from the Lightning. While Farrant made 35 runs from 18 balls, Davidson-Richards remained not out till the end, with a 25-ball 41. Chasing 176, the Lightning, still searching for their first victory, fell short by 28 runs. Abigail Freeborn top-scored for them with a 50-ball 61.
Western Storm and Northern Diamonds emerged victorious in the Group B encounters. The Storm restricted Thunder for a partly 100 in 20 overs, with Nicole Harvey taking three wickets for 13 runs. Georgia Hennessy and Katie George anchored the chase with 14 balls to spare.
Meanwhile, Naomi Dattani and Kate Coppack ran through the Diamonds top-order at Gosforth. At one point, they were down to 32 for five. Linsey Smith and Beth Langston revived the innings, taking them to 120 for six in 20 overs. The former scored 35 from 25 balls, as Langston made an unbeaten 38-ball 46.
For Sunrisers, Joanne Gardner put up a lone fight, scoring 31 runs from 29 balls as everyone around her at regular intervals. They finished with 101 for seven, falling short by 19 runs. Langston, Alex MacDonald, and Hollie Armitage took two wickets each for the Diamonds.
Southern Vipers: 162/4 in 20 overs (Georgia Adams 88*, Issy Wong 1/20) Central Sparks: 163/4 in 19 overs (Marie Kelly 100*, Charlotte Taylor 2/36) by six wickets
South East Stars: 175/6 in 20 overs (Alice Davidson-Richards 41*, Sonia Odedra 2/20) Lightning: 147/7 in 20 overs (Abigail Freeborn 61, Bryony Smith 2/18) by 28 runs
Western Storm: 100/9 in 20 overs (Emma Lamb 28, Nicole Harvey 3/13) beat Thunder: 101/3 in 17.4 overs (Katie George 47, Hannah Jones 1/22) by seven wickets
Northern Diamonds: 120/6 in 20 overs (Beth Langston 46, Kate Coppack 2/10) beat Sunrisers: 101/7 in 20 overs (Joanne Gardner 31, Alex MacDonald 2/11) by 19 runs