Matches (14)
ENG v WI (1)
Legends WC (2)
T20 Blast (8)
MLC (2)
RHF Trophy (1)
1st Semi-Final, Derby, June 22, 2024, Charlotte Edwards Cup
(18/20 ov, T:141) 142/5

The Blaze won by 5 wickets (with 12 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match
44 (39)

Beaumont, Kathryn Bryce and Groves Blaze a trail into final

Courtney Webb and Hannah Baker impress but Sparks come up short in first semi-final

Tammy Beaumont lead The Blaze's run-chase against Central Sparks, The Blaze vs Central Sparks, Charlotte Edwards Cup, 1st semi-final, Derby, June 22, 2024

Tammy Beaumont lead The Blaze's run-chase against Central Sparks  •  Getty Images

The Blaze 142 for 5 (Bryce 44, Beaumont 39, Baker 3-24) beat Central Sparks 140 for 9 (Webb 45*, Graoves 2-16, Ballinger 2-34) by five wickets
The Blaze booked their place in a third consecutive regional women's final as they defeated Central Sparks by five wickets with two overs to spare in the first of the two semi-finals on Charlotte Edwards Cup Finals Day at Derby.
Sparks England Under-19 legspinner Hannah Baker took 3 for 24 but the experience of England opener Tammy Beaumont (39 off 31 balls) and Scotland captain Kathryn Bryce (44 off 39) put The Blaze in control before a cameo 14 off four balls by Baker's international captain Josie Groves saw last year's runners-up across the line.
Australian Courtney Webb rescued the Sparks innings from 93 for 6 with an unbeaten 45 from 31 balls after Davina Perrin (32 from 17) and Ami Campbell (21 from 14) had helped put on 54 in the powerplay after legspinner Groves, taking responsibility in the absence through injury of England's Sarah Glenn, had taken 2 for 16 and left-arm pace bowler Grace Ballinger two for 34.
Having been put in on a pitch that looked quite green, the aggressive approach adopted by Sparks openers Campbell and Perrin paid off with runs on the board, although neither survived the opening six overs.
Blaze skipper Kirstie Gordon conceded 14 in her opening over but continued to toss the ball up to Campbell, who followed a six and two fours by being caught at long-on. And with the last ball of the sixth over, having been made to suffer as Perrin crashed her for three fours, Ballinger found the right line and length to bowl the 17-year-old.
The Perrin dismissal signalled a switch of momentum, Sparks slipping from 75 for 2 in the 10th to 93 for 6 as skipper Eve Jones fell to a good low return catch by Lucy Higham, Kathryn Bryce ran out Abbey Freeborn off her own bowling and Groves bowled Katie George before having Charis Pavely stumped.
Em Arlott hit Heather Graham straight to extra cover to make it 114 for 7 but Sparks finished well as Ballinger conceded 13 off her final over despite having Grace Potts caught at mid-off before a last over in which Webb was dropped on 41 and should have been run out on 43.
The Blaze plundered 51 from their batting powerplay, putting them well on track despite the loss of Marie Kelly, who hit an unbeaten 89 against Sparks in their final points table match last Wednesday, fell for 8 to a catch at mid-off. By the halfway point, the Beaumont-Kathryn Bryce partnership had added 57 to take their side to 78 for 1.
Sparks then made a second breakthrough as seamer George induced a low return catch to dismiss Beaumont for 39 off 31 before Jones' team temporarily dried up the flow of boundaries, removing Sarah Bryce via a smart catch behind the wicket. But a huge six by Graham off Potts left The Blaze needing just 33 off the last five overs.
Graham's stay was short, perishing to a well-judged catch by Arlott at long-on off Webb, and Baker picked up her third wicket to keep Sparks in the hunt as Kathryn Bryce miscued to mid-on, but Groves crushed any hopes they might have had with three fours off the reel off George to seal victory with two overs to spare.

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Charlotte Edwards Cup