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Northern Superchargers 134 for 4 (Litchfield 38) beat Trent Rockets 125 for 7 (Smith 70, Higham 3-29) by nine runs
Trent Rockets threw away what had seemed a guaranteed first win of the season, losing five wickets in the space of 13 balls to collapse from 102 for 2 107 for 7 before losing by nine runs against Northern Superchargers.
With opener Bryony Smith hitting nine fours and three sixes in a superb 70 off 44 balls, Rockets had looked entirely comfortable, needing 43 to win with 35 balls left. But spinners Lucy Higham - herself a former Rocket - and Linsey Smith turned the match on its head in a dramatic conclusion that saw the Superchargers pick up their second win in the competition and leaves Rockets winless after three matches.
Superchargers had backed themselves to defend a target after winning the toss, posting 134 for 4 from 100 balls, Phoebe Litchfield leading the way with 38 from 27 balls after Jemimah Rodrigues had opened with 33 from 32, the total bolstered by Bess Heath's 23 from 10 at the death.
Nat-Sciver Brunt admitted she would have batted first too, given the chance, but Katherine Sciver-Brunt limited the consequences of losing the toss, conceding only eight runs from 15 balls in the powerplay. At the other end, left-arm spinner Kirstie Gordon benefitted from the pressure Sciver-Brunt created as Marie Kelly skewed her first ball to short third, the Superchargers posting 24 for 1 from 25.
Rodrigues got lucky on 17 when an edge off Naomi Dattani struck keeper Lizelle Lee on the knee, and again on 20, driving Gordon on the off side, where Fran Wilson put down a good chance at extra cover, but then Alexa Stonehouse struck an important blow for Rockets just past halfway, bowling the India star behind her legs for 33.
Superchargers, needing boundaries, lost Georgia Wareham to some excellent work from Lee standing up to Dattani, the South African grabbing a thin top edge above her head, after which Litchfield, having heaved a six over cow corner off Alana King, holed out attempting a repeat.
But Heath whacked a six and three fours to lift the total, with Katherine Sciver-Brunt oddly not bowled out.
It did not look enough as the Rockets put themselves ahead of the game by collecting 33 without loss from the first 25, Superchargers offering too much width to Smith and Lee, although the former was put down on 21 when Alice Davidson-Richards shelled a straightforward catch at mid-off.
Lee eventually departed for 16, caught at deep midwicket, but by the halfway point the target was already down to 64, the irrepressible Smith smiting big sixes off Wareham and Lucy Higham to reach 50 from 32 balls, her second half-century in the 100-ball format.
The 25-year-old right-hander muscled a third maximum, this time off Linsey Smith, before another mighty slog off Wareham at last found a fielder, Higham taking her second catch to end what had looked nailed on as the match-winning innings.
Rockets needed 33 from the final 25, yet suddenly the picture changed with only seven runs accrued from the next 16 balls and five wickets lost. Higham bowled both Nat Sciver-Brunt and Wilson in the space of three balls with her clever offbreaks, Smith took two in four to dismiss Jo Gardner and Harmanpreet Kaur - again both bowled - before Higham resumed with a third in the space of four balls, hitting the target again as Dattani's swing failed to connect.
Suddenly the contest was down to the last five deliveries and Rockets, having looked almost home and dry minutes earlier, needed an implausible 24 to win, falling 10 short despite Katherine Sciver-Brunt's six off the last ball.