With the conclusion of the Sunrisers Smash, the Sunrisers Academy season has drawn to a close after another successful season for the young team.
The season started in April, when they played three fixtures at the Regional Academy Festival in Taunton. Flo Miller shone with the bat in that tournament, hitting an unbeaten 52* in the opening seven wicket victory against Sparks, before following that up with 43 as they beat Diamonds by six wickets.
Jess Olorenshaw top-scored with 49 against Sparks, and Esmae MacGregor took 2 for 24 from her four overs. Charley Phillips was the pick of the bowling in the first match, taking two wickets for 16 runs in her twenty balls.
Jodi Grewcock hit 45* in the third fixture, as the Academy beat Storm by seven wickets to complete a clean sweep in Somerset. Issy Routledge took 2 for 4, with MacGregor finishing with figures of 2 for 19.
They then faced Storm and Thunder in double-header T20 games. Izzy James inspired the Academy to victory in the first match against Storm, claiming 3 wickets for 18 runs, restricting our hosts to 117/9 and 19 runs short of the target, where Jazz Westley top-scored with 26. Bowling first in the second game, Evie Booker took 3 for 15 and an economical Phillips with 2 for 11 in her four overs, before runs from Amu Surenkumar (42) and May Drinkell (31*) took us to a six wicket victory.
It turned out to be honours even against Thunder in Billericay. Sunrisers won the first match by eight runs, posting 161/4 thanks to half-centuries from Westley (56) and Grewcock (51*). The wickets were then shared around, as the bowlers were able to restrict the Thunder batters to 153/7. Thunder batted first in the second game, with Layla Judge taking 2 wickets for 11 runs, but Sunrisers were unable to chase their target of 125, as they were bowled out for 102 – Elsa Barnfather top-scoring with 37.
The squad then travelled up to Leeds to face Diamonds in two T20s, where they came out on top in both games. The first match saw our bowlers restrict the home side to 125, with Barnfather taking 2 wickets for six runs, before rain fell to shorten the Sunrisers chase. Miller (28) gave the innings a solid base, before a tense last over saw the Sunrisers batters creep over the line.
Sunrisers then went on to win the second game by 14 runs. Posting 126/9, Routledge top-scoring with 29, meant that the bowlers had a bit of work to do, but once the surface had dried again, after the weekend’s hot weather, spinners James and Riva Pindoria both took three wickets as Diamonds were bowled out for 109.
The second Regional Academy Festival took place in Shrewsbury, between July 20 to 23. The Academy played three fixtures – a T20 and two 50 over matches – before the final T20 was abandoned before play could start due to the weather.
The T20 was against Central Sparks, which saw James continue her fine form with the ball – she took 4 wickets for just 13 runs from her four overs as Sparks were limited to 117/6. 35 from Grewcock helped the team to a five wicket victory at the start of the Festival.
The next game saw the Academy come up short against a Southern Vipers side. Bowling first, Vipers hit 294/9 from their fifty overs, with Routledge ending with 2 for 21. In reply, Sunrisers were unable to find their rhythm, as they succumbed to a 101 run defeat – Routledge and Surenkumar each hitting 34.
What turned out to be the final match saw Sunrisers bat first against Western Storm in the second 50 over fixture. Posting 239, with 62 from Barnfather, was enough for a convincing 50 run victory, as James, Hannah Davis, and MacGregor shared two wickets a piece.
After the festival, the team played three fifty over friendlies, hosting Lightning at Cambridge University’s Fenner’s Ground twice either side of travelling to Birmingham to face Central Sparks.
The Sunrisers Second Eleven, made up of Academy players and first-teamers looking for extra game time, faced Lightning in Cambridge at the end of July. Batting first, Sunrisers scored 196 thanks to 57 from Miller, before bowling their opposition out for 137 – leg-spinner Davis taking 5 for 23, and Sonali Patel 4 for 23 on her return from injury – to claim a 59 run victory.
Davis continued her fine form, finishing with another five-wicket haul (5 for 29) as the Sunrisers Academy side bowled Sparks out for 106. James supported superbly, with 2 for 13 from her eight overs, before Routledge (49*) steadied the side to claim a four wicket victory after a tight chase.
The side then returned to Fenner’s to face Lightning. On a tricky surface, our batters were unable to play comfortably, with Grewcock (34) showing great patience and skill in her innings. In reply, Davis took six wickets for just five runs, from 7.1 overs, to bowl the visitors out for 45 and complete a remarkable 67 run victory.
The season has just concluded with the Academy Smash, which has taken place over the last three days at Colchester and East Essex CC. The players have played five internal matches of cricket, with two hundred ball contests, two T20s and a fifty over game.
Senior Regional Talent Manager Luke Pomfret, who oversees the Academy programme, was delighted with how the summer has gone:
“The girls in our Academy have had an excellent year. They’ve worked extremely hard, and the performances that they’ve delivered have been impressive. We’ve seen four girls earn Senior contracts which is so pleasing, and shows that there’s a really strong pathway at Sunrisers with a broad and diverse talent pool. I’m very excited to see the levels that all of these young girls are able to reach, I believe the future is bright.”
Congratulations to all our Academy players who have featured this year, and thanks to our sponsors and partners for your continued support of the programme.
SUNRISERS ACADEMY RESULTS
Regional Academy Festival (April 12-14) - Taunton
Hundred: Sunrisers won by 7 wickets
Sparks 117/4 – Phillips 2/16
Sunrisers 120/3 – Miller 52*
T20: Sunrisers won by 6 wickets
Diamonds 116/7 – MacGregor 2/24
Sunrisers 120/4 – Olorenshaw 49, Miller 43
T20: Sunrisers won by 7 wickets
Storm 99/9 – Routledge 2/4, MacGregor 2/19
Sunrisers 102/3 – Grewcock 45*
Friendly (May 24) - Bristol
T20: Sunrisers won by 19 runs
Sunrisers 136/8 – Westley 26
Storm 117/9 – James 3/18
T20: Sunrisers won by 6 wickets
Storm 112 – Booker 3/15, Phillips 2/11
Sunrisers 115/4 – Surenkumar 42, Drinkell 31*
Friendly (July 5) – Billericay
T20: Sunrisers won by 8 runs
Sunrisers 161/4 – Westley 56, Grewcock 51*
Thunder 153/7 – Routledge 1/14
T20: Thunder won by 22 runs
Thunder 124/3 – Judge 2/11
Sunrisers 102 – Barnfather 37
Friendly (July 12) – Leeds
T20: Sunrisers won by 2 wickets (DLS)
Diamonds 125 – Barnfather 2/6
Sunrisers 89/9 – Miller 28
T20: Sunrisers won by 14 runs
Sunrisers 126/9 – Routledge 29
Diamonds 109 – James 3/16, Pindoria 3/17
Regional Academy Festival (July 20-23) – Shrewsbury
T20: Sunrisers won by 5 wickets
Sparks 117/6 – James 4/13
Sunrisers 118/5 – Grewcock 35
50: Vipers won by 101 runs
Vipers 294/9 – Routledge 2/21
Sunrisers 193 – Routledge 34, Surenkumar 34
50: Sunrisers won by 50 runs
Sunrisers 239 – Barnfather 62
Storm 189 – James 2/24, Davis 2/33, MacGregor 2/40
2XI Friendly (July 31) – Cambridge
50: Sunrisers won by 59 runs
Sunrisers 196 – Miller 57
Lightning 137 – Davis 5/23, Patel 4/23
Friendly (August 10) – Birmingham
50: Sunrisers won by 4 wickets
Sparks 106 – Davis 5/29, James 2/13
Sunrisers 107/6 – Routledge 49*
Friendly (August 16) – Cambridge
50: Sunrisers won by 67 runs
Sunrisers 112 – Grewcock 34
Lightning 45 – Davis 6/5