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29th Match, Chesterfield, July 05, 2024, Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy
(49.2/50 ov, T:279) 281/6

Vipers won by 4 wickets (with 4 balls remaining)


Georgia Elwiss extinguishes The Blaze with unbeaten 101

Southern Vipers reclaim top spot after chasing down target of 279 with four balls to spare

Georgia Elwiss plays to the off side, Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Trophy, South East Stars vs Southern Vipers, The Spitfire Ground, May 31, 2021

Elwiss's six in the final over registered her century and a fifth win for Southern Vipers  •  Getty Images

Southern Vipers 281 for 6 (Elwiss 101*, Norgrove 64, K Bryce 2-43) beat The Blaze 278 (Graham 78, K Bryce 65, Taylor 3-32) by four wickets
Southern Vipers strengthened their position at the top of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy table after defeating in-form Blaze by four wickets at Chesterfield.
In a repeat of last season's final, Blaze were hunting their 14th win in 15 games in all competitions, but again found Vipers too strong, as they did in both finals last year.
In the glorious, sylvan setting of Queen's Park, Blaze were bowled out for 278 in 47.2 overs. Heather Graham, who took 6 for 39 against South East Stars last Sunday, this time starred with the bat with 78, supported by Kathryn Bryce 65 and Sarah Bryce 48. Mary Taylor took 3 for 32 and, having finished the innings with wickets with successive balls.
Vipers' reply reached 281 for 6 with four balls to spare thanks mainly to a stand of 136 between Georgia Elwiss (101 not out, 110) and 18-year-old Abi Norgrove (a career-best 64 off 75). They came together with the innings at a crossroads at 124 for 4 in the 22nd over and paced the pursuit perfectly.
After choosing to bat, The Blaze lost Teresa Graves in the sixth over, run out by slick fielding in the covers from Charli Knott but Sarah and Kathryn Bryce added 71 in 12 overs. Sarah Bryce was superbly caught by a diving Taylor at the point off of Ava Lee, but her sister was joined in another productive partnership by Marie Kelly. The fourth-wicket pair added 66 in 12 overs before falling in the space of nine balls, Kathryn Bryce chipping Lee to mid-wicket and Marie Kelly (33) perishing bowled off-stump through the gate by Taylor.
Knott struck with successive balls when Ella Claridge was caught down the leg-side by wicketkeeper Rhianna Southby and Kirstie Gordon fell lbw but Graham rebooted the innings. She took successive fours off Freya Davies and found the gaps cleverly, particularly on the off side, on the way to a 40-ball half-century.
In reply, Vipers soon lost Knott, trapped lbw by a big inswinger from Grace Ballinger, but skipper Adams laid a solid base for the chase with a two half-century stands - 55 in 11 overs with Ella McCaughan and 52 in eight with Elwiss.
Blaze hit back with two wickets in four balls when Adams (47) was run out by a direct hit from the boundary by Lucy Higham and Emily Windsor cut Cassidy McCarthy hard to point.
At 124 for 4, Vipers were vulnerable but Elwiss and Norgrove worked the ball around skilfully on the way to a century partnership in 124 balls. Elwiss reached her 50 from 60 balls and Norgrove followed to hers in 53.
Kathryn Bryce bowled Blaze back into the game with two wickets in four balls when Norgrove chipped to mid-wicket and Alice Monaghan missed a heave and was bowled. Seventeen were needed from the last two overs but 12 came from the first of them to ease the pressure and Elwiss sealed the victory with six over mid-wicket that took her to three figures.

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