Central Sparks fell short of victory against the Northern Diamonds, in a three-run loss.
Despite some terrific fielding, along with another classy bowling performance, the Sparks couldn’t finish the job with the bat as they fell to a three-run defeat at home to the Diamonds.
The second Charlotte Edwards Cup game of the campaign for the two sides was played at Edgbaston, in front of 1,500 local school children, and the spectators in attendance certainly saw an eventful game of cricket.
After winning the toss, the Sparks chose to field first, and they’d thank captain Eve Jones for making that decision as they held the Diamonds to a very workabke score.
The game swung back and forth, with both sides in the ascendancy at different points in proceedings.
The visitors started extremely well, hitting various boundaries early on through the batting of Lauren Winfield-Hill and Leah Dobson. Dobson hit a top score with 41 runs. Within their innings, the Diamonds produced some brilliant runs, after losing Winfield-Hill early on. Captain Hollie Armitage and Dobson got things moving at pace, producing 68 runs inside the first eight overs.
It was Emily Arlott who took the first wicket for the Sparks, who did that with a wicket ball, after ending the previous game against the Sunrisers with a wicket.
Dobson was certainly the pivotal figure for the Diamonds, who was responsible for a big chunk of the away side’s early domination.
After coming out the traps fast, Danielle Hazel’s team seemed to struggle against spin, as the Sparks’ Georgia Davis took three wickets, along with Erin Burns grabbing two.
The Diamonds got to 90/4 when Arlott took her second of the game, and then, the visitors could only manage a further 45 runs until the Sparks had them bowled out.
There was some fantastic fielding on display from the home side, with Katie George the pick of the bunch. The Sparks number 99 claimed a run-out wicket with an explosive throw from mid-off.
Sparks captain Jones also caught the ball twice, which all together saw the Northern Diamonds all out for 135.
Sparks made a good start to chasing 136 to win, with Jones chalking up some runs, until she was out. After the dismissals of Davina Perrin, Amy Jones, and Ami Campbell, it was down to Arlott and Abbey Freeborn to secure the win.
Freeborn put in a great shift, hitting four consecutive fours to take the Sparks to within 10 runs of victory. When Freeborn was then eventually caught out, off the bowling of Lizzie Scott, Issy Wong came in and hit a six off the last ball, which ended up not being enough.
An entertaining game, which unfortunately the Sparks came on the receiving end of. Lloyd Tennant’s side go again on Friday in Leicestershire, where they take on The Blaze.