The Central Sparks are off to winning ways in the Charlotte Edwards Cup, as Amy Jones’ batting, along with an efficient fielding display proved too much for the Sunrisers as the Central Sparks ran to a victory by 23 runs.
In a game that was played in the Chelmsford sunshine, it was a great spectacle for the T20 opener.
The Sparks fell to four wickets early, but the potent batting of Jones, followed by a strong bowling performance helped the visitors along the way.
Sunrisers won the toss and elected to bowl first, putting the Sparks in to bat. It was a good looking wicket, and one the Sparks would have hoped to have put a good score on, which they did. Sparks' captain Eve Jones, and 16-year-old Davina Perrin opened the batting for the away side, and got the night underway from the bowling of Kate Coppack.
After Perrin’s dismissal for a duck, the Sparks skipper hit consecutive boundaries to put the Sparks in a better position once the loss of one wicket. The second wicket then unfortunately wasn’t far away from a Sparks perspective, neither was the third. A professional innings from Amy Jones though, who hit a half-century from just 33 balls, helped Lloyd Tennant’s side on their way to a defendable score. Jones hit some very mature and well-timed shots, making it very difficult for Sunriser fielders to defend the ball from rolling away for four's.
The Sparks number 40, is used to hitting impressive shots, and did that along with her namesake Eve Jones. However, once the captain was dismissed, it was all about management of the innings from Jones, and helping the various incoming batters along the way.
The Sunrisers’ Kelly Castle was excellent with ball in hand, taking three wickets, alongside Maddy Villiers who took the same amount. Castle saw off Erin Burns and Abbey Freeborn in consecutive balls, before taking the wicket of Katie George.
Despite some rapid wickets by the hosts, putting the Sparks at 59/4, the visitors recovered and eventually put 137 on the board to defend.
Just like the Sunrisers, the Sparks came out the traps fast and took a couple of early wickets, those taken by Grace Potts and George, which saw Grace Scrivens and Lissy MacLEOD go. Just like the Sparks innings was all about Amy Jones, the Sunrisers was Cordelia Griffith.
The Sunrisers at first, looked like they could chase the total put up by the Sparks, then didn’t, then did again, and that was mostly testament to the batting of Griffith. However, with figures of 2-13 from Potts, and 4-23 from Emily Arlott, the Sparks took the game out of reach from the Sunrisers and the difference was made in the field for the visitors.
Sunrisers needed 46 runs from the final five overs, which ended up being too much to ask of them. The Sparks were victorious in their Charlotte Edwards Cup opener and will take the points back to the West Midlands.