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RHF Trophy 2024, SUNR vs. THDER 27th match, match report, June 30, 2024

The fire 318 for 8 (S Bryce 81, Claridge 71, Kelly 52) beat Southeast Stars 185 (Graham 6-39) with 133 runs (DLS method)

The Blaze beat the South East Stars by 133 runs (DLS method) in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy in Beckenham.

The visitors posted an incredible 318 for 8, their highest List A score, despite the innings being shortened to 44 overs due to rain. Sarah Bryce top-scored with 81, Ella Claridge made 71 from 45 balls, her personal best, and Marie Kelly contributed 52.

Heather Graham then took 6 for 39 as the Stars were bowled out for 185 despite a defiant 44 from Alice Davidson-Richards.

Just eight days after Blaze comfortably defeated the Stars in the Charlotte Edwards Cup final, they repeated the feat with an equally comfortable win at the New County Ground.

The leaden skies may have prompted the Stars to bowl first, but after the early dismissal of Teresa Graves, who was bowled out by Phoebe Franklin for 9 runs, the Bryce sisters managed a 94-run stand, broken only by Tilly Corteen-Coleman bowling out Kathryn for 30 runs.

Due to a heavy rain interruption, play was reduced to 44 overs per side and Sarah Bryce was dismissed shortly after the resumption when she pulled a short ball from Alexa Stonehouse to Franklin in midfield.

Graham made 28 before she was bowled by Kalea Moore and Kelly was the victim of a brilliant fielding effort from Franklin, who dived in one move, picked her up at the boundary and lofted the ball in to allow Chloe Hill the run out.

Michaela Kirk played a supporting role for Claridge but was dismissed in the penultimate over, caught by Tash Farrant at the cow corner boundary for 18 off Franklin.

Farrant took two wickets in the last over: Claridge was caught in deep play by Emma Jones and pushed to Cranstone with the bottom edge ball by Josie Groves, but the momentum was maintained by a two-ball cameo from Cassidy McCarthy, who finished with 8 not out.

The target of 319 was not adjusted despite the loss of six overs, but the Stars got off to a rocky start, losing captain Bryony Smith for 11, caught by Kirstie Gordon after a series of dot balls from Kathryn Bryce.

Moore also made 11, hurling Graham almost vertically into Sarah Bryce’s gloves. Graham then had Farrant caught behind for 35 and Jones stumbled for a second ball without a point.

Aylish Cranstone and Franklin scored 39 for the next wicket until the latter hit Groves to McCarthy for 13. Groves then got Cranstone lbw for 33 while attempting a sweep, Gordon stumped Hill for 17 and Alexa Stonehouse was bowled by Graham for a duck off the third ball.

Davidson-Richards went down swinging and attempted to hit Graham out of the ground, but cut her to Kathryn Bryce at backward point and the result was sealed when Graham had Danni Gregory caught by McCarthy at midwicket for 1.