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Updated: May 16, 2022

Match Report provided by the ECB Reporters Network.

South East Stars (123-4) beat Sunrisers (122-6) by six wickets

Aylish Cranstone struck her first Charlotte Edwards Cup half-century as South East Stars launched their defence of the trophy with a five- wicket win over Sunrisers at Chelmsford.

The Stars opener, a key member of the side that claimed the inaugural title last September, hit an unbeaten 56 from 46 balls to ensure Stars chased down their target with 3.2 overs to spare.

It was a solid rather than dazzling display from the champions, who performed well in the field to restrict Sunrisers to 122 for six.

But tight bowling by the home spinners meant Stars were dependent on Cranstone’s knock to get them across the line.

Put in to bat, Sunrisers struggled to gain any traction as Freya Davies sent down three consecutive miserly overs, although Cordelia Griffith (26 from 28) did her best to raise the tempo with two crunching cover boundaries.

But Griffith lost her wicket cheaply, sent back after she attempted an ambitious single off Dani Gregory and failed to beat Kirstie White’s throw to the keeper.

Mady Villiers (20 from 13) threatened to guide Sunrisers towards a strong total, placing her shots with precision and drilling Gregory for the only six of the innings.

However, when Villiers steered Emma Jones into the hands of point, the home side never recovered, suffering another run-out courtesy of Davies’ arrow throw from mid-off that took out middle stump and left Mia Rogers short.

Scarlett Hughes became the third Sunrisers batter to be run out during the closing stages, with Jo Gardner (16no from 19) at least ensuring Stars were set more than a run a ball.

If that offered Sunrisers a glimmer of hope, it was swiftly countered by Cranstone, who struck Naomi Dattani for six and four in the opening over of the chase as she and Bryony Smith set about the bowling.

The pair added a rapid 46 before Villiers tempted Smith (14 from 15) to misjudge a sweep to deep midwicket – and Alice Capsey was fortunate to get away with a similar stroke later in the same over, with the ball falling just short of the fielder.

When Capsey (14 from 10) fell to a smart return catch by Grace Scrivens, that triggered a mini-collapse, with Alice Davidson-Richards caught behind attempting to reverse-sweep Gardner and Jones run out by Flo Miller’s throw from the deep.

Scrivens might also have accounted for Cranstone, but she spilled the chance this time and the Stars recovered their composure to clinch victory, with Chathli dispatching Kelly Castle for the winning boundary.

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