Charlotte Edwards Cup Match Report: Thunder v The Blaze

Charlotte Edwards Cup Match Report: Thunder v The Blaze

The Blaze secured their third win on the bounce in the Charlotte Edwards Cup against Thunder, although a prolonged interruption from rain looked to have derailed their day. Thunder found some momentum to post 151 for six, but Kathryn Bryce, with a score of 61, seamlessly moved through the gears just when her side needed it as The Blaze won by five wickets with seven balls remaining.

It took a persistent shower that delayed the game for over an hour to change its momentum. Just as on Friday, Thunder seemed to go into their shell after the first few wickets fell, and Kirstie Gordon was using her bowlers to good effect to keep the runs down when the players had to leave the field at the end of the ninth over with Thunder 55 for three. Fi Morris (11) was bowled by a jubilant Grace Ballinger, and Seren Smale (5) was needlessly run out as Emma Lamb hit a ball straight to Lucy Higham, who delivered the ball into the gloves of Sarah Bryce, who did the rest.

When Ellie Threlkeld was bowled by Gordon with the score on 44 for three, Thunder looked behind the game. The rain break seemed to give Thunder new energy to attack the bowling and Ailsa Lister, in blistering form, scored 44 from 30 balls with four fours in her first eight balls and, along with Lamb, added 73 for the fifth wicket. Lamb batted through the innings to finish unbeaten on 63 from 50 balls to help her side to a decent total, but one that would be difficult to defend on a ground where good shots are rewarded with runs.

What helped Thunder’s cause was two early wickets for Mahika Gaur as Marrie Kelly (0) and Teressa Graves picked out fielders. The Bryces, Sarah and Kathryn, who were both playing in their 50th game, helped get their side back on track, adding 47 runs in 41 balls, but the run rate was starting to hover over the eight runs an-over mark.

It would have been easy to panic from that position and better teams have done so. Kathryn Bryce was joined by Nadine de Klerk with 54 runs needed to win and the pair batted sensibly. They needed to take the game deep and hope that one of them could accelerate at the end to see their side home. It was de Klerk who took the aggression to the Thunder attack as Bryce built an innings. When de Klerk was caught by Hannah Jones in the deep to give Gaur her third wicket of the day, it was Bryce who saw the opportunity to deposit the ball over the boundary. Her 61 included two fours and four sixes, three of the sixes coming in the sixteenth over, taking the runs needed to 24 from 24 and there was only one team going to win from there.

Surprisingly, The Blaze has yet to lose a group game in this competition over the last two seasons and again, they look like a difficult team to beat. Thunder haven’t had the best of starts, but they still have the quality to turn things around and don’t discount them doing so on Thursday at Old Trafford.


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