Match Report – Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy – The Blaze vs Sunrisers

Match Report – Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy – The Blaze vs Sunrisers

When the covers came off at The Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford, for the Sunrisers’ shortened encounter with The Blaze in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, there was a green tinge to the pitch. The match was reduced to 42 overs per side, which would have had the seam bowlers pestering their captain to win the toss and invite their opponents to bat. The bowling of Mady Villiers (three for 18) and Jodi Grewcock (one for seven) put The Blaze into a spin, securing victory for the Sunrisers by seven wickets. 

Grace Scrivens won the toss and inserted a Blaze team still missing important parts of their batting line-up through injury and international duties. The Blaze have struggled to make any real impact with the bat in their opening games and their struggles continued as Kate Coppack and Nicola Hancock made the early breakthroughs, dismissing both openers Marie Kelly (5) and Teressa Graves (6). 

The Blaze started to get back into the game with a 41-run partnership between on-loan Daisy Mullan (14) and Nadine de Klerk (15). They both looked comfortable against the opening bowlers even though they were getting the ball to move in favourable conditions.  Spinner Mady Villiers took her fiftieth wicket for the Sunrisers and Grewcock took control of the game, never letting The Blaze back in. It feels a bit too soon, at 25, to write off a Villiers recall, but she looked the part, albeit against a batting line-up that is struggling for form. It can’t be against the realms of possibility, finishing with figures of three for 18 from her allotted overs.

Jodi Grewcock, who is very much at the other end of her England career, kept things tight at the other end and picked up the wicket of Ella Claridge (0), who lasted eleven balls. Grewcock has started turning her promising ability into performances and has been a consistent part of the England under-19s, coached by The Blaze’s Chris Guest. 

Of the remaining batters, only Kirstie Gordon (10), The Blaze captain, made double figures and when Cassidy McCarthy was bowled running past a Hancock delivery, The Blaze were out for 87. Hancock had mopped up the tail for the Sunrisers as she did against Western Storm at Cardiff last week. She has given the Sunrisers a bit more bite in their bowling, which could be the difference in how they perform this season. 

While The Blaze feel they have the bowlers to take ten wickets, it was always going to be an uphill battle to defend a total in double digits. Both Grace Ballinger and de Klerk bowled well, beating the edge of the openers on several occasions before Ballinger swung one in at off-stump and through the defence of Ariana Dowse (13). It meant that all Grace Scrivens (46 not out) and Cordelia Griffith (5) had to do was see off the bad ball and bat sensibly. The cause wasn’t helped when Griffith was run out, turning back after attempting a run that clealry wasn’t there. 

Grewcock and Scrivens batted patiently as The Blaze brought their England spinners Sarah Glenn and Kirstie Gordon on, and Scrivens and Grewcock (13) waited patiently for their scoring opportunities. Sensing that victory was in sight, Scrivens hit two lusty blows off Gordon to move to 37.  With 12 to win, Grewcock tried to loft Lucy Higham over mid-off, but Daisy Mullan hung on, thankfully, for the catch. Villiers (eight not out) was the next to join Scrivens, with the Sunrisers’ skipper six short of a tenth List A fifty. It didn’t happen as Villiers powered a four down the ground to win the game she had set up. 


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.