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Central Sparks fell to a three-wicket loss in Manchester as Thunder the better side on the day.

After a three game winning run to start the Charlotte Edwards Cup, Sparks lost at Emirates Old Trafford after being put in to bat first by Thunder captain Ellie Threlkeld, who won the toss and chose to bowl.

Going into bat first, Chloe Brewer and Abbey Freeborn wanted to start on the front foot but bowler Tara Norris took the new ball and had other ideas. From the first three balls of the game, she took two wickets putting Sparks two down dismissing both Brewer and Davina Perrin back to back.

Unfortunately after a brief recovery from Freeborn and captain Eve Jones, Sparks lost their third wicket when the number 27 went. Jones then got herself 15 runs and Sparks looked alive.

Overseas batter Courtney Webb was next to be dismissed, which followed the wicket of Jones. However, from that point on, Sparks found a way to stop the falling of wickets.

Charis Pavely and Katie George stuck in there and despite the shortest of stoppages for rain, the pair went back out and guided Sparks to the 80 mark.

Pavely ended up (27*) and with a very healthy (28) from Emily Arlott, Sparks got themsevles to 120 and gained themsevles a defendable total finishing 121/8.

With the game in the balance, despite Sparks perhaps wanting a few more runs on the board - Grace Potts bowled the first over of Thunder's reply.

Sparks never looked out of the match, with their first wicket coming when a catch from Chloe Brewer gave Charis Pavely the breakthrough. Emma Lamb chipped a shot in the air which ended up being a simple take for Sparks' number two.

Off-spinner Georgia Davis, who was Sparks' match winner at Headingley on Monday, took two wickets in two balls, dismissing Seren Smale and Threlkeld. Davis' wicket of Threlkeld was a perfect delivery, trapping her lbw to put the home side 42/3 (5.2).

It wasn't the most convincing run chase from Thunder, Sparks kept pinning them back ensuring the visitors kept it close. As the final few overs came around, Thunder needed about a run a ball, but the character shown by Sparks was second to none.

It was Phoebe Graham who hit the winning runs, giving the hosts a win by three wickets ending Sparks' three game unbeaten start to begin the CEC.


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