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SPARKS CROSS LINE IN CANTERBURY THRILLER



Central Sparks took victory in Canterbury at the Spitfire Ground against the South East Stars to end a three game losing run and stay within the top four of the Charlotte Edwards Cup table.


In glorious Kent sunshine, the Central Sparks lost the toss and started the match in the field. A brilliant start with the ball meant Sparks restricted Stars openers Bryony Smith and Sophia Dunkley to just 14 from the first three overs.


After three overs of pressure, the visitors' early hold on the Stars told as Katie George stepped up to dismiss home captain Smith. Running the Stars number four out off her own bowling, a top effort from George put the hosts 14/1.


It wasn't then until the 11th over where Sparks grabbed their second wicket, that one being taken by Charis Pavely. Just like Saturday's game though, Sparks left it late on in the South East Stars' innings to take a heap-load of wickets.


Three wickets were taken in the 17th over, and Em Arlott took a hat-trick. Two caught, one bowled, a truly fantastic three balls from the away side's number 37. Dismissing Sophia Dunkley, Tash Farrant and Ryana MacDonald-Gay, Arlott was on top form.


Wickets for George then followed, which looked as if hat-trick number two was on the way. Unfortunately, George's third ball was defended and she ended with figures of (2-31).


Sparks ended up being given a target of 123 to win down south and the chase was kickstarted by Ami Campbell and Davina Perrin.


Wickets fell early for the visitors, but always looking comfortable, and a more than healthy (31) from Courtney Webb set Sparks on their way.


It was captain Eve Jones who scored the bulk of the runs with (43). Finally dismissed by 17-year-old Tilly Courteen-Coleman, Jones left it to Arlott to win the game, which she did in the final over.


Needing eight from the final six balls, Arlott took aim and hit back to back fours for the victory, ending a three game losing run and keeping Sparks in the CEC top four.

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