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RESULT
1st Match, Southampton, May 18, 2024, Charlotte Edwards Cup
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(20 ov, T:113) 109/9

The Blaze won by 3 runs

Report

Kirstie Gordon the all-round hero for Blaze in low-scoring thriller

Ninth-wicket stand thwarts Vipers' victory march, before bowling turns the tables

Kirstie Gordon bowls, Southern Vipers vs The Blaze, Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy Final, Northampton, September 24, 2023

Kirstie Gordon starred with bat and ball for The Blaze  •  Getty Images

The Blaze 112 for 9 (Higham 36*, Gordon 29, Taylor 2-12) beat Southern Vipers 109 for 9 (Gordon 2-13, Bryce 2-16) by three runs
Kirstie Gordon provided heroics with the bat and ball as The Blaze got revenge over the Southern Vipers in their re-match of last season's Charlotte Edwards Cup final.
Blaze skipper Gordon put on a competition record 62 for the ninth wicket with Lucy Higham, to save her side from being 48 for eight - after a destruction from the Vipers' fast bowling unit.
Needing 113 to win, Vipers botched their reply with slow run-scoring and regular wickets with Gordon picking up two for 13.
It was left to Nadine de Klerk to defend 10 in the final over, which she did by dismissing Rhianna Southby and Emily Windsor as Vipers ended up three runs short.
The Vipers were without their talismanic skipper Georgia Adams for the first time in a CEC match - injured with a thigh problem - but didn't miss her at the toss as stand-in Windsor chose to bowl on a very green pitch.
Marie Kelly lasted until the fifth ball before advancing to negate the new ball swing of Davies, but picked out midwicket.
Two wicket-less overs were followed by Australian Charli Knott castling Kathryn Bryce with her first delivery, and then Taylor turned the wobble into a collapse by pulverising the stumps in the following over.
Sarah Bryce was the first to lose her off stump when trying to pull the England under 19 star, before Tammy Beaumont was left perplexed by one which nipped back.
South African de Klerk tickled Davies behind, before Teresa Graves survived getting dropped but couldn't stop Alice Monaghan rattling her stumps, and teenager Ava Lee pinned Josie Groves in front.
Ella Claridge provided some respite with 14 to show the light for Gordon and Lucy Higham to build from before Nancy Harman bowled her.
The ninth wicket pair made the pitch seem much more friendly for batting, as they found the boundary with relative ease in a stand worth 62 - beating the previous best 28 put on by Sunrisers' Kelly Castle and Kate Coppack last year.
Higham - dropped on 4 - rotated power and inventiveness to find gaps in her 36, and while Gordon was bowled in the last over, it had returned a sense of respectability to the scorecard.
Vipers' reply was even less fluent. Ella McCaughan was dropped on two but saw her fellow top order tip over.
Knott chipped to mid off, Taylor was run out, Freya Kemp - released by England for this match - picked out cover and Georgia Elwiss was bowled.
At the half-way point of the innings, Vipers were only on 49 for three, and the run-rate continued to rise with a lack of boundaries between the 11th and 17th overs.
Windsor and Harman had built a solid 30-run partnership before the latter was run out and Monaghan was bowled by Gordon for a golden duck to leave the equation of 21 off 16 balls. And put Blaze on course for a successive thrilling turnaround.
That was brought down to 10 off the last, but after Southby was bowled and Windsor caught, the Blaze continued their 2023 record of not losing a group game.

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Charlotte Edwards Cup

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CS963260.483
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SUNR9278-1.140
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