Charlotte Edwards Cup Match Report: Thunder v Central Sparks

Charlotte Edwards Cup Match Report: Thunder v Central Sparks

With Thunder occupying the final semi-final birth, but with only one win from their opening three games, it was imperative that they got back to winning ways after defeat at Loughborough on Sunday. Tara Norris got them off to the perfect start. At the same time, the always reliable Fi Morris, with both ball and bat, ensured that the Thunder’s Charlotte Edwards Cup campaign is finally underway with a win by three wickets with six balls remaining. 

They were facing early pacesetters Central Sparks, at Emirates Old Trafford and after the third ball they were on top due to a fantastic opening burst from Tara Norris. Under overcast conditions the left-arm bowler, who made a name for herself in the inaugural Women’s Premier League, was into the wickets with her second ball, bowling Chloe Brewer off the pads. It was a searing delivery that would have beaten most batters, but her next ball was even better, going through Davina Perrin’s defenses and splaying her stumps in all directions. 

After that, Central Sparks were guilty of gifting wickets away at regular intervals and had to rely on a seventh-wicket partnership of 47 from 36 balls between Charis Pavely and Emily Arlott. Pavely is an all-rounder with great promise and has started to feature more for the Sparks having being a regular part of England Under-19s. She is starting to prove her move into senior cricket will be just as exciting. She batted patiently, which even in T20 cricket, there is time to do. With Arlott at the other end, a clean striker of the ball, they kept the scoring moving and took Sparks into the final over.  

That final over from Phoebe Graham cost only two runs and she picked up the wickets of Arlott and Grace Potts, as Pavely was denied most of the strike to finish on a run a ball 27. The bowling of Fi Morris in the middle overs had really hurt Sparks and she finished with figures of three for 22 from her quota. 121 for eight never looked enough on a surface made for scoring runs. 

Thunder were going along nicely in the powerplay before Pavely took the wicket of Emma Lamb for 10, in the fourth over, to continue her excellent form, if not that of her team. 

Georgia Davis hit the winning runs against Northern Diamonds on Monday at Headingley and was as calm as ever with the ball. She delivered with Sparks needing quick breakthroughs, drawing the thinnest of edges from the dangerous Seren Smale for six, and the next ball had Ellie Threlkeld lbw trying to sweep. 

Danielle Collins was bowled by Katie George for five, and the Sparks were back in the game. The fall of Collins brought in the Scotland international Alisa Lister, who batted intelligently on Sunday and did so again as she partnered Fi Morris to a fifth-wicket partnership of 38, taking their side within sight of victory with 32 runs needed from 41 balls. Morris will have been disappointed not to have reached her second T20 fifty as she picked out the safe hands of George at deep mid-wicket for 43. 

Lister’s innings of 23 ended when she skied an Arlott delivery high in the air, Abbey Freeborn meeting it in her gloves before it landed. It might have been panic stations for Thunder of old, but Norris is a more than capable batter and, in many regional sides, would be batting slightly higher in the order. Liberty Heap is also a player with plenty of shots in the locker. Together, the pair went about their business, Norris hitting a big six that sailed way over the boundary at the Brian Statham end. Norris was bowled by Arlott, but by then Thunder needed just five to win with nine balls remaining. Phoebe Graham, with two fours from three balls, sealed the victory. 

Sparks don’t have time to reflect on this defeat, as they have a game at Trent Bridge tomorrow and will be keen to put an average performance behind them. For Thunder, this will be a confidence boost against the team top of the table, as they look to make finals day for the second year in a row. 


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