London Spirit 96 for 3 (Knight 34*, Gibson 34*, Mathews 2-18) beat Welsh Fire 95 for 9 (Redmayne 35, Dean 2-22, Sharma 2-14, Knight 2-17, Gibson 2-10) by seven wickets
London Spirit's women's side finished their Hundred campaign with a comfortable seven-wicket victory over Welsh Fire in Cardiff although it was not enough to keep them in the competition.
Fire's first innings saw their batters struggle once again, and they made just 95 for 9 from their 100 balls. London Spirit needed the 96 runs to win in 41 balls or fewer to reach the Eliminator. That was always going to be a tough ask and although they won the game with ease, their run in the Hundred ended at Sophia Gardens in front of a crowd of 4,289.
A sixth defeat from eight games for Welsh Fire meant they finished bottom of the pile, and both they and the Spirit will reflect on what were ultimately two disappointing campaigns.
Spirit had an outside chance of qualifying for the Eliminator at the start of play and chose to bowl first. Fire opener Bryony Smith helped herself to three early boundaries all through fine leg. But she was then caught when she spooned a catch to mid-on where Alice Monaghan took the catch. The key wicket of Hayley Matthews soon followed, who fell lbw to Deepti Sharma.
Fire captain Sophie Luff followed the very next ball, albeit after a change of bowling. She tried to run a ball from match hero Danielle Gibson through the off side for a single, but could only edge behind. Tammy Beaumont took a neat catch behind the stumps and the wickets kept tumbling.
Alice Macleod was caught at long on as Sharma claimed her second wicket, and Piepa Cleary spooned Heather Knight up in the air for a second ball duck. This time it was Sharma with the catch.
At 50 for 5, Fire were totally reliant on Georgia Redmayne getting them to any sort of defendable total. Georgia Hennessy successfully reviewed an lbw, but when Redmayne was clean bowled by Knight for 35 from 28 balls with six fours, Fire were all at sea and their innings fell away from there.
Needing to chase the total quickly, Spirit openers Beaumont and Chloe Tryon attacked from ball one, but many of their shots were wild hacks. Tryon was caught by Nicole Harvey from the bowling of Matthews for just 4 and Cleary clean bowled Beaumont as she again swung hard but missed.
Spirit had no other option other than to keep their foot on the accelerator. Unfortunately for the London side, it wasn't working. Deandra Dottin was caught by Cleary of Matthews with Spirit 36 for 3 from the first 25 balls.
The magic mark of 41 balls passed with Spirit short of the required runs on 63, but Knight (27 not out) and Gibson (42 not out from just 21 balls) guided them home with a mammoth 42 balls left.
Welsh Fire (Women)
London Spirit (Women)
Fire vs Spirit
The Hundred Women's Competition