International Cricket

Match Report – THDER vs BLZ 18th Match, June 02, 2024

The Blaze 112 for 3 (Beaumont 34*) beat Thunder 111 for 9 (Collins 30. Gordon 5-12, Higham 3-24) by seven wickets

Kirstie Gordon took 5 for 12 and Sarah Bryce completed four stumpings as The Blaze maintained their 100% record in the Charlotte Edwards Cup with a seven-wicket victory over Thunder at Emirates Old Trafford.

Slow left-armer Gordon’s fine bowling and Bryce’s sharp work behind the stumps restricted Thunder to 111 for 9 on a pitch that was being used for its fourth T20 match in as many days and this total proved to be no sort of target for a Blaze team featuring the England opener, Tammy Beaumont.

Beaumont made 34 not out and overshadowed her England colleagues Kate Cross and Sophie Ecclestone as Blaze strolled home with 4.2 overs to spare.

Thunder won the toss but The Blaze grabbed the initiative in the opening overs, restricting their hosts to 22 runs in the powerplay overs and taking two vital wickets.

Fi Morris, the hero of Thunder’s victory over Sparks on Thursday, was caught by Teresa Graves at backward point for 1 off the seventh ball of the match and Seren Smale was smartly stumped by Bryce off her sister, Kathryn, for a 13-ball 2.

Emma Lamb hit two fours but in the eighth over, she was caught at deep mid-on by Marie Kelly off Gordon for 20 and it was only taking ten runs off the tenth over that enabled Thunder to reach the midpoint of their innings on 44 for 3.

Eventually, Ellie Threlkeld and Danni Collins maintained some much needed acceleration until their 43-run stand was ended by Lucy Higham in the 14th over when she had Threlkeld caught at mid-off by Gordon for 20.

New batter Ailsa Lister lasted only half a dozen deliveries before she holed out to Kelly off Higham for 4 and the off-spinner took her third wicket when Collins was stumped by Sarah Bryce for a gutsy 30 when attempting a reverse sweep.

Kathryn Bryce bowled the 19th over and it was the most productive of the innings as far as Thunder were concerned, 17 runs coming off it, thanks in part to a four and six by Ecclestone.

The England slow left-armer put on 26 in 14 balls with Cross before Cross became Sarah Bryce’s third stumping and Gordon completed a memorable afternoon by bowling Ecclestone for 20 and having Phoebe Graham stumped first ball.

By contrast with their hosts, The Blaze openers, Beaumont and Teresa Graves, encountered few problems getting the scoreboard moving and the pair had put on 50 in 6.2 overs before Graves skied Sophie Morris to Tara Norris at mid-off and departed having made 29 off 24 balls.

Kathryn Bryce then added a further 36 in five overs with Beaumont and the No.3’s departure, caught at midwicket by Norris off Fi Morris for 21 did nothing to halt The Blaze’s stroll to victory. Sarah Bryce was caught at cover off Cross in what proved to be the final over of the game.

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