Katya Witney is an ECB Hundred Rising Reporter
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Northern Superchargers 127 for 4 (Heath 57) beat London Spirit 122 for 7 (Luff 39, Davidson-Richards 2-20) by five runs
Northern Superchargers claimed their first victory of the momen's Hundred as they edged out London Spirit by five runs at Headingley.
Spirit's pursuit of 128 was derailed when they lost two wickets in as many balls as star opener Beth Mooney was run out before Danielle Gibson top-edged Alice Davidson-Richards to fine leg. Superchargers continued to take wickets at key times to leave Spirit needing 13 off the final five and despite some excellent death batting from Sophie Luff the visitors fell short.
Earlier, Bess Heath had hit a superb 57 off 34 deliveries featuring 10 boundaries, digging her side out of trouble.
Heath came to the crease after both Superchargers' imposing openers had fallen early. Jemimah Rodrigues was bowled by Freya Davies for 2 and Alyssa Healy was dismissed for an explosive 22 off 16 including a massive six over the long-on boundary.
After a period of stagnation where runs and boundaries dried up, Heath made her move, smashing Amelia Kerr for three consecutive boundaries. Heath followed up by clubbing Megan Schutt for 11 runs off her set of five, bringing up the 50 partnership between herself and Laura Wolvaardt, of which she had scored 41.
Fielding errors started to creep in for Spirit under Heath's assault, Luff misjudging a catch at deep backward square leg and spilling a second 10 balls later at cover, allowing Heath's pyrotechnics to continue. Heath whacked a floaty delivery from Charlie Dean over the longest boundary for a six after passing 50.
Heath's innings finally came to an end after she mistimed a half-tracker from Grace Scrivens straight into the hands of Natasha Wraith at fine leg, leaving the field to a fitting ovation from the crowd.
Wolvaardt, who seemed almost stuck in quicksand at the other end, finally hit her first boundary off her 27th delivery, finishing with 24 off 29 in the Superchargers' total of 127 for 4, a score that in near-perfect batting conditions looked well below-par.
Mooney then looked ready to demolish the target, fresh from her women's Hundred record 97 not out against Southern Brave in Spirit's previous match.
Mooney hit three fours in the first 10 balls, and after advancing to 30 of 20 balls, a stunning bit of work from Healy behind the stumps brought her innings to a premature end. A mix-up between the batters gave Healy the opportunity and she picked the ball up high to her left above her head and threw down the stumps leaving Mooney short of her ground.
Gibson followed her back to the dugout the very next ball and the baton was passed to Kerr who looked well set to guide her side to victory until she fell for 20 after failing to clear the long-off fielder.
Despite a cameo from Luff, who hit an unbeaten 39 from 30 balls, which included a massive six over cow-corner, Spirit still needed 13 off the last five. Their hopes ended off the penultimate delivery when Dean was caught at cover off Davidson-Richards.
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