Marie Kelly half-century extends Blaze unbeaten run to six games

Blaze 245 (Kelly 54, Harvey 3-32, Cleary 3-43) beat Western Storm 239 for 7 (Griffiths 67) by six runs

Marie Kelly led by instance as top-of-the-table Blaze beat Western Storm by 5 runs at Bristol’s Seat Distinctive Stadium to increase their unbeaten run to 6 matches within the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.

She made up for shedding the toss by top-scoring with 54, whereas Michaela Kirk contributed 40 and Sophie Munro and Teresa Graves posted 41 apiece in including 74 for the seventh wicket as Blaze recovered from 149 for six within the thirty third over to boost 245.

Nicole Harvey took 3 for 32 within the center overs and new signing Piepa Cleary returned figures of three for 42 on her debut to maintain Storm within the hunt. However the inspirational Kelly then ran out opener Emma Corney and claimed the important thing wicket of Sophie Luff to dent Storm’s run chase.

Alex Griffiths posted an excellent 67 and Fran Wilson weighed in with 43, however Blaze bowled and fielded with spectacular self-discipline to limit Storm to 240 for 7 and return to successful methods following defeat to Southern Vipers in final month’s Charlotte Edwards Cup remaining.

With out England bowlers Lauren Filer and Dani Gibson, who had been away on Ashes obligation, Storm put their belief in a beforehand untested new ball pairing of Academy product Mollie Robbins and Cleary, the Western Australia proper armer signed simply 48 hours earlier to bolster a depleted seam assault.

Though wayward and a contact costly, the inexperienced Robbins engineered an early breakthrough, Sarah Bryce driving loosely to level with the rating on 17, whereas Cleary, in her first aggressive outing since February, shed any preliminary ring rust to have Georgie Boyce held at foolish mid-off in a new-ball burst of 1 for 17 from 5 overs.

Unperturbed by occasions on the different finish, Blaze skipper Kelly set her stall out to bat via, going quietly in regards to the enterprise of accumulating runs, whereas the extra aggressive Kathryn Bryce cashed in at any time when she was afforded width, plundering three boundaries to offer the innings impetus and assist advance the rating to 73 for two on the finish of the powerplay.

Having placed on 41 for the third wicket along with her captain, Bryce was caught on the wicket for 20 within the act of chopping Chloe Skelton’s off breaks as Storm struck a telling blow. However the guests continued to carry sway, aided and abetted by a fortunate break when Cleary put down a presentable likelihood at mid-off to reward Kirk a life on 19, a lot to the chagrin of Skelton.

Kelly mixed intelligent placement and exhausting working, particularly towards spin, to maintain the scoreboard transferring. Her reward was a chanceless 50. But simply as she was threatening to take the sport away from Storm, she got here unstuck, top-edging a pull shot and holing out to quick tremendous leg, Harvey terminating a progressive fourth-wicket alliance of 42 within the twenty sixth over.

Having been cruising at 130 for 3, Blaze slumped to 149 for six within the face of an incisive spell from Harvey, who claimed three wickets in 15 balls along with her leg breaks to basically alter the steadiness of energy. Nadine de Klerk was bowled and fellow South African Kirk pinned lbw within the act of sweeping as the center order miss-fired.

Storm sensed a possibility to close the innings down and there adopted eight overs by which Blaze didn’t register a single boundary as Graves and Munro battled to restore the harm. Demonstrating sound temperament and willpower, the seventh-wicket pair ultimately prevailed as a see-saw innings swayed again within the guests’ favour.

These two each contributed 41 from 50 balls to place the innings again on observe earlier than falling to the returning Cleary, who proved notably efficient on the demise alongside Alex Griffiths, who eliminated Ella Claridge and Lucy Higham to complete with 2 for 25 from 5.5 overs.

Having discovered from the primary innings, Griffiths and Corney embraced a low-risk technique to supply Storm’s reply with strong foundations, the openers proving adept at placing the dangerous ball away whereas scoring predominantly in singles to publish 69 in 17.4 overs.

Their partnership was damaged in weird trend, Griffiths putting the ball again down the observe and bowler Kelly diverting it onto the stumps with the unlucky Corney out of her floor. Run out for 29 from 40 balls, Corney had however helped set issues up, heading again to the dressing room with Storm requiring an additional 177 runs at 5.47 an over.

However Blaze don’t boast an unbeaten document on this format with out good purpose, and the ever present Kelly additional undermined the chase when bowling the influential Luff for eight with the rating on 91 within the twenty fourth over.

Storm had been closely dependent upon Griffiths and new batter Fran Wilson, who had been conscious of the necessity to speed up from 99 for two on the midway stage. Positive sufficient, Wilson rapidly caressed three off-side boundaries on the expense of Kathryn Bryce and Kelly to set the scoreboard transferring once more, and Griffiths went to her first 50 of the summer season by way of 97 balls because the third-wicket pair injected essential momentum into their batting.

Griffiths had superior to 67 from 118 balls with eight fours and the partnership was value 59 when the Welsh all-rounder chanced her arm as soon as too usually and holed out to Kirk within the deep off the bowling of Graves with the rating on 150 within the thirty third over. Hesitation then proved deadly for Niamh Holland, run out for eight, as Blaze introduced additional stress to bear on the house facet.

Wilson moved to inside seven runs of a half-century earlier than making an attempt to hook Graves and top-edging a catch behind, at which level Storm had been 176-5, nonetheless 70 wanting victory with the cream of their batting again within the pavilion.

Storm refused to offer in, Nat Wraith putting 20 earlier than falling to Graves and Sophia Smale making a spirited 24 as the house facet took it to the final over.

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Printed : 2023-07-02 18:51:26

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