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Central Sparks beat Sunrisers by 7 wickets in the Charlotte Edwards Cup, in what was the first game played at Worcestershire's New Road in 2024.

In the Worcester sunshine, the Central Sparks came out on top to begin their Charlotte Edwards Cup campaign on a high.

After winning the toss and electing to bowl first, Sparks captain Eve Jones backed her bowlers to deliver pressure to Andy Tennant's team from the off.

A flurry of fours to start things off from the visitors got them to 40/0 before they lost their first wicket when Sunrisers captain Grace Scrivens was ran out by Davina Perrin.

The momentum very quickly swung to the Sparks, as Hannah Baker stepped up next with a wicket as she bowled Jo Gardner, who was playing her 50th cap for Sunrisers. Picking up from where she left off in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, Baker took her second of the game when she also dismissed Cordelia Griffith for just two.

Sparks found their length, were energetic in the field and kept their foot on the gas as Sunrisers struggled to make runs. Em Arlott took a wicket when she delivered a peach of a delivery to see off Mady Villiers.

A great catch in the field from Perrin off the bowling of Bethan Ellis was a nice moment given the away side had totted up 50 runs between the fourth and fifth wicket.

However, Sunday's visitors did have an ace up their sleeve with Lissy MacLEOD, who hit a half-century to guide Sunrisers to a decent score of 138/6.

MacLEOD was taken out of the game by Arlott as she was trapped lbw, but her top-score of (54) was an impressive one as the side captained by Scrivens set Sparks 139 to win.

As Sparks came out to bat with Ami Campbell and Abbey Freeborn up top, Campbell held nothing back as she hit a four off the first ball to get her sides chase going.

Unfortunately, Campbell was caught for just (8), as she made way for Davina Perrin. With the control of Freeborn, and the flair of Perrin, Sparks had a good thing going.

17-year-old Perrin was performing excellently with bat in hand, after her run out in the field Sparks' number eight was having a very fine day out.

She was playing shots easy on the eye and it seemed Sunrisers didn't have an answer.

At points Perrin would hit consecutive boundaries, first two fours in a row, then three in a row including a six. She was punishing Sunrisers' bowlers and even when Sparks lost Freeborn, with the introduction of skipper Jones - it was far from panic stations.

Young Perrin was the story of the Sparks innings though, she'd go on to score a quite outstanding, unbeaten (79*) and her fifty came off just 25 balls.

A short but sweet cameo from overseas batter Courtney Webb, (27) off 15 balls complimented Perrin's terrific knock, as the side led by Jones went on to win at a canter by seven wickets.

After ending the losing run in the RHFT last week, yesterday was a performance that had been a long time coming after weeks of perserverance and determination.

An opening Charlotte Edwards Cup game, an opening win. A great team performance, headed by a remarkable performance by Perrin.


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