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Match Report provided by the ECB Reporters' Network

Mady Villers’ beguiling spin proved too much for an understrength and out of form The Blaze as Sunrisers raced to an 7-wicket win in a rain-shortened encounter at Chelmsford.

The former England white-ball international returned 3-18 from nine overs as the visitors, missing the likes of Tammy Beaumont, Bryce siblings Kathryn and Sarah and the injured Georgie Boyce were routed for 87 in a game reduced to 42 overs a-side.

England U19 Jodi Grewcock wheeled away at the opposite end from Villiers to take 1-7 from eight overs, meaning the Blaze lost four wickets for four runs, collapsing from 48-2 to 52-6 before Australian seamer Nicola Hancock mopped up the tail with 3-20.

Sunrisers suffered a couple of early setbacks, but skipper Grace Scrivens’ unbeaten 46 saw Sunrisers home in the 21st over, Villiers fittingly making the winning runs.

Overnight and morning rain delayed the start until noon and under leaden skies and on a pitch with a generous covering of grass it was no surprise when Scrivens invited The Blaze, a side dismissed for 135 and 126 in their opening two defeats to bat first.

Marie Kelly, out for a duck last time out was given an early life when Cordelia Griffith spilt a regulation catch at slip, Hancock the unlucky bowler. Kelly though wouldn’t make the most of the reprieve, bowled in Hancock’s next over by one which came back through the gate. Fellow opener Teresa Graves was similarly castled by Kate Coppack eight balls later to leave The Blaze 18-2.

Daisy Mullan and Nadine De Klerk briefly threatened a fightback, the former driving Hancock straight for four before striking another boundary over the top of mid-off.

However, the introduction of spinners De Villiers and Grewcock proved decisive. Villiers trapped De Klerk in front before bowling Mullan who had become frustrated, the runs having completely dried up.

Grewcock chipped in by piercing wicketkeeper-batter Ella Claridge’s defences and Villiers took her figures to 3-3 when fellow England spinner Sarah Glenn tickled one into the gloves of Amara Carr.

There would be no recovery from 52-6 as Hancock and Coppack returned to clean up the tail, Blaze skipper Kirstie Gordon their only other player to reach double figures.

Sunrisers, themselves bowled out for 150 in a heavy defeat to Thunder three days earlier, initially made hard work of the chase.

Ariana Dowse was undone by one from Grace Ballinger which kept low, but their next wound was self-inflicted, Griffith setting off for a run which was never there and being run out having been sent back by her skipper.

Scrivens and Grewcock calmed any nerves with an increasingly belligerent stand of 40 and though the latter departed before the end Sunrisers romped home.

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