Vipers beat Sparks to win Charlotte Edwards Cup

Southern Vipers maintained their undefeated record this season with a six-wicket victory against Central Sparks to win the Charlotte Edwards Cup, named after their coach and the former England captain, at Northampton.

Last Updated: 11/06/22 7:12pm

Southern Vipers celebrate a catch by Maia Bouchier (C) to remove Central Sparks' Amy Jones
Southern Vipers celebrate a catch by Maia Bouchier (C) to remove Central Sparks’ Amy Jones

England off-spinner Charlie Dean took two wickets and shared a match-winning partnership with Ella McCaughan as Southern Vipers beat Central Sparks to win their maiden Charlotte Edwards Trophy title.

A solid bowling performance from Vipers in the final at Northampton, with Dean taking 2-19, restricted Sparks to just 109-8 in their 20 overs despite Amy Jones’ 27.

Maia Bouchier contributed a fluent 32 in the chase before Dean (7) played the supporting role in a 41-run stand with McCaughan, who struck a run-a-ball 30 to take Vipers to a six-wicket victory.

It means Vipers, unbeaten all season, have added the T20 trophy named after their coach Charlotte Edwards to their cabinet after winning back-to-back 50-over titles in the last two years.

Charlie Dean picked up two early wickets for Vipers, finishing with 2-19 from her four overs
Charlie Dean picked up two early wickets for Vipers, finishing with 2-19 from her four overs

Dean struck early, clean bowling Sparks skipper Eve Jones for six in the second over and two overs later Sparks lost their second when Issy Wong (2) drilled Freya Kemp hard to mid-on where Bouchier took a well-judged leaping catch.

Jones has been in ominous form in this competition and Vipers thought they had their prize wicket when she was on nine, only for Georgia Adams to put down a catch off the bowling of Anya Shrubsole.

The batter then rubbed salt in the wound, hitting her former England team-mate for four in the same direction as Sparks finished the powerplay on 36-2.

Jones had advanced to 27 when she fell attempting one big shot too many, with Bouchier taking an excellent tumbling catch at mid-on off Dean.

Abi Freeborn (18) looked to be positive, coming down the pitch to drive Dean through extra cover for four and bring up Sparks’ 50 in the 10th over but she fell shortly afterwards, stumped chasing a wide ball from Georgia Elwiss.

Sarah Glenn (16) went on the attack in an attempt to give Sparks something to defend, but she drilled a ball straight back to Adams – who then brilliantly ran out Emily Arlott in the same over as Sparks eventually closed on 109-8.

Wong removed the dangerous Adams without scoring early in the chase when Eve Jones took a well-judged catch diving forward at short cover, while Wyatt took three boundaries from Grace Potts’ first over – having been dropped at midwicket off the same bowler.

Sparks were grateful that the mistake did not prove more costly as Wyatt was soon caught at midwicket off Arlott for 20, but Bouchier knocked the ball around to take Vipers to 50-2 at the end of the powerplay.

Turning to spin for the first time, Sparks made an immediate breakthrough when Glenn trapped Elwiss in front, but Bouchier continued on her way, pulling the spinner away for four, and scoring all around the wicket.

Emily Arlott took two wickets for Central Sparks, including that of Bouchier for 32, but it was not enough to deny the Vipers
Emily Arlott took two wickets for Central Sparks, including that of Bouchier for 32, but it was not enough to deny the Vipers

Her innings came to an end after a full and straight delivery from Arlott knocked back middle stump, with Vipers still needing 38 to win from the last 10 overs.

However, McCaughan reverse-swept Glenn to the boundary and went on to seal her side’s win by pulling Wong for another four through square leg.

Earlier in the day, Central Sparks‘ opening bowlers blew away the South East Stars batting line-up to set up a two-wicket semi-final victory and eliminate the defending champions.

Grace Potts (3-20) and Issy Wong (2-8) reduced the Stars to 25-5 and, although they recovered to post 104-8, Sparks seemed to be coasting towards that target at 59-1.

However, Bryony Smith’s spell of 4-14 triggered a Sparks collapse and they stumbled to 98-8 before Emily Arlott’s unbeaten 16 edged them over the line with five balls to spare.

Source : Sky Sports