Central Sparks 295 for 7 (A Jones 163*) beat Western Storm 254 for 9 (Parfitt 91, Knight 59, Fackrell 4-34) by 41 runs
Central Sparks emerged victorious by 41 runs against Western Storm thanks to a magnificent innings by Amy Jones, who recorded the highest score in the Rachel Heyhoe Flint Trophy to date. Jones finished not out on 163 not out, her second successive century to guide her team into a winning position, despite a good bowling performance from Storm.
With Sparks reaching 295 for 7, it proved a step too far for Storm, with Ria Fackrell taking 4 for 34, despite an unbroken opening partnership of 102 between Heather Knight and Lauren Parfitt who both scored half-centuries.
It was a restrictive start by Storm taking key early wickets, as the Sparks reached 44 for 3 after 13 overs. Lauren Filer took two wickets in her first spell, with Eve Jones and Marie Kelly dismissed for 5 and 7 respectively, and Gwenan Davies was run out for 15.
However, from then on the Sparks looked comfortable in their innings, as Amy Jones played freely to make her century, and having excellent support from the middle order. Milly Home contributed 18 to a partnership of 80 before falling to Fi Morris; Steph Butler and Amy Jones then put on 68, before Knight bowled Butler for 27.
Jones carried on her excellent form from the Sparks’ victory in their previous game against Diamonds, bringing her century up off 83 balls, including 11 fours and three sixes. The Sparks kicked on after reaching 200 in the 40th over, with Jones finishing unbeaten on 163 from 114 balls, while Sarah Glenn and Fackrell fell for 7 and 11 respectively.
Western Storm did get off to a fast start however, reaching 102 without loss, before Glenn got the much-needed breakthrough, bowling Knight for 59. Parfitt then brought up her half-century, from 80 balls, as the Sparks began to take command, taking five wickets for 35 runs, and restricting Storm. Fackrell claimed her first three wickets to put the Sparks in the driving seat.
Parfitt was first to fall, bowled for 91, followed by Sophie Luff going lbw to Liz Russell for 27 and Hennesey stumped for 4 off Fackrell’s bowling. Nat Wraith was then bowled by Glenn for 2, with Danielle Gibson the third of Fackrell’s wickets, caught for 18.
Left needing 88 from the final ten overs, wickets continued to fall for Storm, with Emily Arlott taking two in two balls: Anya Shrubsole was caught for 13, and Morris dismissed in the same fashion for 21. With Fackrell claiming her fourth wicket, Mollie Robbins caught for 1, the remaining requirement proved too much for Storm.
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