Matches (14)
ENG v WI (1)
Legends WC (2)
RHF Trophy (1)
T20 Blast (8)
MLC (2)
32nd Match, Birmingham, June 14, 2024, Charlotte Edwards Cup
(20 ov, T:147) 150/2

Sparks won by 8 wickets (with 0 balls remaining)


Central Sparks seal Finals Day berth with last-ball thriller against Thunder

Freeborn, Jones secure qualification as Seren Smale's 88 goes in vain for Thunder

Abigail Freeborn in action for Central Sparks, Central Sparks vs Sunrisers, Charlotte Edwards Cup, Edgbaston, May 21, 2022

Abigail Freeborn top-scored for Sparks in a thrilling run-chase  •  Getty Images

Central Sparks 150 for 2 (Freeborn 71*, Jones 67*) beat Thunder 146 for 6 (Smale 88, Potts 2-18) by eight wickets
Central Sparks sealed their Charlotte Edwards Cup qualification with a thrilling last-ball eight-wicket victory over Thunder at Edgbaston.
Put in, Thunder totalled a solid 146 for six thanks to a high-class maiden T20 half-century by Seren Smale who struck 88 not out from 61 balls. The 19-year-old reached the crease with Thunder in a tangle at three for two but rescued them with a polished innings which included nine fours. Grace Potts led the Sparks bowling with two for 18.
Sparks then started slowly but from 22 for two were powered to victory by an unbroken third -wicket stand of 128 between Abi Freeborn (71, 57) and Amy Jones (67, 45). Jones struck the last two balls of the 20th over for four to kill off Thunder's challenge both in this game and the quest for qualification.
With Eve Jones ruled out by concussion, Sparks were skippered by Georgia Davis who won the toss, chose to field and saw both opening bowlers strike in their first over. Fi Morris fell second bowl when she missed with a bizarre slog at Potts. Katie Mack left her leg stump exposed, sweeping at Charis Pavely to leave Thunder three for two after two overs.
It should have been six for three when Smale edged Potts between wicketkeeper and slip but neither claimed the catch. They were heavily punished for their indecision. Smale and Emma Lamb (25, 28) added 61 in 51 balls and, after Lamb chipped Davis to mid-off, Threlkeld joined the youngster in a stand of 58 in 41. The captain played very much the supporting role as Smale smoothed to her half-century in 41 balls.
Throwing the bat late on, Threlkeld holed out off Katie George and Sophie Ecclestone was superbly caught by a diving Davina Perrin at backward point. Smale's domination of the innings showed in the boundary count - she struck nine while her team-mates together hit just three.
Thunder started strongly with the ball as Kate Cross lured Ami Campbell into sending up a skier in the first over and Tara Norris conceded just a single from the second.
Ecclestone spun her first ball past Perrin to have her neatly stumped by Threlkeld but Freeborn and Jones rebuilt methodically. Neither were at their most fluent at first but they kept their side in the race, Freeborn passing 50 in 35 balls and Jones in 37, to leave 26 needed from the last three overs.
That came down to ten off the last over, bowled by Phoebe Graham and five from the last two balls. Jones hoisted the first of those over mid off for four and the second to the cover boundary to send Sparks through to Finals Day.

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