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Recent Match Report – Storm vs Vipers 2021

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Maia Bouchier seals effortless chase to leave Western Storm winless

Southern Vipers 178 for 2 (Adams 77, Bouchier 57*) beat Western Storm 177 (Dean 3-27, Bell 3-40) by eight wickets

Talismanic captain Georgia Adams inspired Southern Vipers to a comprehensive eight-wicket triumph over arch rivals Western Storm in a one-sided Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy contest at Taunton.

Adams posted an authoritative 77 and Maia Bouchier made 57 not out as the defending champions chased down a victory target of 178 with 15.1 overs to spare to return to winning ways in the 50-over competition.

Charlie Dean and Lauren Bell took 3 for 27 and 3 for 40 respectively to spearhead an impressive Vipers display in the field as the home side were dismissed for an inadequate 177 in 49.3 overs, Katie George top-scoring with 37 from 60 balls.

Beaten for the first time since 2019 by Central Sparks in their last outing, Vipers summoned the perfect response and remain on course to retain the title they won last season. But Storm, weakened by the absence of England stalwarts Heather Knight and Anya Shrubsole, have now lost three matches in succession, their chances of progressing all but over.

Storm won the toss and elected to bat on a sound track, but the innings failed to achieve lift-off in the face of accurate bowling and intense fielding. Off spinner Dean undermined the top order, inducing openers Lauren Parfitt and Fi Morris to hit to mid-on for 10 and 32 respectively, and luring Sophie Luff into a front-foot indiscretion to claim three wickets in 19 balls. Alice Monaghan then removed Georgia Hennessy, who was brilliantly held by Adams at mid-on, as the hosts lurched to 95 for 4 in the 29th over.

George and Nat Wraith launched a recovery of sorts, adding 42 for the fifth wicket, but Bell comprehensively bowled the latter for 21 to initiate a collapse which saw Storm surrender their last six wickets for just 41 in 11 overs.

Bell produced another in-swinger to clean bowl George for 37 and had Danielle Gibson caught behind in the act of cutting for 16, while Charlotte Taylor pinned Nicole Harvey without scoring. Adams accounted for Emma Corney and Mollie Robbins was run out in the final over as the tail drooped. Tara Norris conceded just 32 from 10 overs, helping restrict Storm to 11 boundaries in an innings starved of meaningful momentum.



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Men’s Hundred 2021 – Faf du Plessis ruled out of first three Hundred matches with concussion symptons

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Northern Superchargers understood to be lining up Dane Vilas as cover

Faf du Plessis has been ruled out of Northern Superchargers’ first three games of the Hundred as he continues to suffer symptoms of concussions following a sickening blow to the head during the final stages of the PSL.

Du Plessis suffered the initial concussion when his head collided with his Quetta Gladiators team-mate Mohammad Hasnain’s knee during a fixture against Peshawar Zalmi in Abu Dhabi in June. The injury ruled him out of the tournament and he returned to South Africa shortly after, before travelling to Croatia to quarantine ahead of the Hundred.



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Recent Match Report – Fire vs Supercharger 4th Match 2021

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Bairstow, Duckett post imposing 173 but it’s only just enough in epic at Headingley

Welsh Fire 173 for 4 (Bairstow 56, Duckett 41) beat Northern Superchargers 168 for 7 (Brook 62, Qais 4-13) by 5 runs

A blistering half-century to Jonny Bairstow capped by a devastating bowling performance from Afghanistan legspinner Qais Ahmad delivered Welsh Fire a nail-biting five-run victory over Northern Superchargers in their Hundred clash at Emerald Headingley.
Harry Brook launched a valiant rescue mission after the hosts had stumbled to 50 for 4 inside the first half of their sizeable run chase. He nearly pulled it off with a knock of 62 from just 31 balls which was every bit as impressive as Bairstow’s.
Having seen Jemimah Rodrigues rack up a jaw-dropping 92 not out off 43 on the same excellent batting track in the afternoon match – the highest score across the men’s and women’s competitions so far – Bairstow would doubtless have wanted to press on. But, even though they only have him for the first two matches before he reports for England Test duty, Welsh Fire won’t have any complaints.

The crowd swelled from the 5026 for the afternoon match between the women’s sides, won by Superchargers on the back of Rodrigues’ innings, to 10,324 for the men. The relative lack of students in fancy dress suggested the throngs in the pubs lining the route to the ground at lunchtime had decided to stay put. But the largely civilian-clad fans in attendance were in strong voice, quietened briefly when Ben Stokes fell cheaply, but whipped into song by Brook’s charge.

Bairstow blitz

If you could only write one player’s name on the Hundred, Bairstow would have to be right up there in lights and, in his first outing of the tournament, he lived up to that billing with an explosive innings that included five fours and three sixes.

He launched David Willey over wide mid-off for six on the 11th ball of the match and then hit Willey’s next two deliveries for four. He drove Mujeeb Ur Rahman past a diving Stokes at mid-off for another four and then pummelled Brydon Carse into the fifth row over deep midwicket. Bairstow brought up his fifty off 28 balls with a mammoth six off Mujeeb that sailed into the stands 20 rows back over deep midwicket.

Stokes, captaining in place of the absent Faf du Plessis, brought himself on and made the breakthrough with his third legitimate delivery, a back-of-a-length ball which Bairstow pulled straight to Willey at deep midwicket. Ben Duckett got in on the act with 41 off 27 balls, including six fours. Combined with Jimmy Neesham’s unbeaten 30 off 11 balls and Glenn Phillips’ 23 off 14 – including two sixes, the first of which he powered off Adil Rashid high into the stand cleared by Liam Livingstone in the T20I last weekend – they helped push Fire to what was comfortably the highest total of the competition to date.

Brook no challengers

Brook had been in fine touch for Yorkshire this season with a Championship century and seven scores above 40 in his last eight T20 matches at Headingley. On this occasion, he clattered five sixes and three fours to keeper the Superchargers in the hunt.

Brook shared a 68-run stand with Tom Kohler-Cadmore, in the side after recovering from a broken finger which kept him out of much of Yorkshire’s Blast campaign. When Kohler-Cadmore was run out on the 74th ball, Superchargers still needed 55 runs to win and Brook didn’t stop. In the next set of five, he picked off another four and a six off Liam Plunkett, who had bowled with good pace in his first pro game for nine months but was expensive.

Brook’s impressive effort ended however, when he was trapped lbw by Ahmad, two balls after the same bowler had John Simpson holing out to Ian Cockbain at long-on during a frenetic passage of play in which Carse also survived a drop and failed run-out attempt by Matt Critchley.

Superchargers needed 11 off the last set of five but Jake Ball held his nerve, despite copping a hefty blow to the heel of his hand as Matty Potts struck the penultimate ball back at him with force. Carse managed just one off the last ball instead of the six needed to tie and Fire prevailed.

Qais on song

Welsh Fire accounted for both Superchargers openers in the space of five balls, Adam Lyth spooning Critchley straight to Tom Banton at cover after a short and sweet 25 off 14 and Chris Lynn caught by Ian Cockbain off Ahmad for a run-a-ball 11.

Ball then had Stokes caught by Phillips at deep cover for just 5 and when Willey’s attempted drive off Ahmad resulted in a low edge to Critchley at backward point, he was forced to walk off to a blast of “Where’s Your Head At” by Basement Jaxx and Superchargers were in terrible trouble.

Just 20 years old, Ahmad ended with 4 for 13 off 20 balls – Stokes was the only other bowler to concede less than a run a ball – his early dismissal of opener Lynn and his role in ending Brook’s innings proving pivotal.

Valkerie Baynes is a general editor at ESPNcricinfo



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Royal London Cup – Ben Brown omitted from Sussex squad after removal as captain

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Wicketkeeper pays price for poor team performance in early part of season

Ben Brown has been removed as Sussex’s club captain and left out of their squad for Sunday’s Royal London Cup game against Durham.
Brown was appointed as club captain in early 2018 after taking on the role midway through the 2017 season, but Sussex have been in transition throughout his tenure in four-day cricket in particular, with a number of senior players leaving the club and Jason Gillespie departing as coach at the end of last summer.

The club released a statement on Saturday morning saying that their performance cricket committee “has decided that the time is right for new leadership” in 50-over and four-day cricket. “A new captain or captains will be able to develop alongside the young, homegrown players that will form the core of Sussex’s 50-over and Championship sides in the years ahead.”

Brown has hit hundreds in both of Sussex’s last two Championship games but they struggled badly in the initial phase of the competition, finishing bottom of Group Three with a single win in their 10 games. He was left out for the first Royal London Cup game of the season, with Tom Haines taking over as captain, and is not part of the squad named for Sunday’s fixture. Haines will continue as captain throughout the Royal London Cup with a Championship captain named later in the season.

“As Ben Brown leaves his captaincy roles, Sussex Cricket would like to thank him wholeheartedly for his service over the past four years,” the statement said. “Ben has never been anything but fully committed to the role and has played an important part in guiding the club in recent years, both on and off the pitch.”

Brown is under contract until the end of the 2023 season, and the statement suggested there is no immediate prospect of him leaving the club. “His experience will be of huge value to the dressing room and we look forward to his continued contributions as a player,” it said. Brown himself is yet to comment publicly on the decision.

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98



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