MATCH REPORT | SUNRISERS v STORM
Match Report provided by the ECB Reporters Network
Dani Gibson struck a blistering 62 off just 46 balls as Western Storm chased down 150 to beat Sunrisers by seven wickets and record their second win in this year’s Charlotte Edwards Cup. Storm lost two early wickets, but vice-captain Gibson blazed seven fours and a six to keep Storm well ahead of the run rate throughout a 115-run partnership in 13 overs with former England batter Fran Wilson, who finished unbeaten on 58.
Although Gibson fell with Storm still needing 19 to win, Wilson and skipper Sophie Luff saw their side home with 10 balls to spare.
Sunrisers had posted their highest total in this year’s tournament thanks to an eventful 37 from Jo Gardner. Gardner who was dropped off consecutive deliveries (on 17 and 20) struck four boundaries in a sixth wicket partnership of 48 with Amara Carr to rescue Sunrisers after a mini mid-innings collapse when three wickets fell for 16 runs, two of them to Chloe Skelton. It arrested Sunrisers’ progress after Lissy McLeod (34 off 28 balls) and Cordelia Griffith had also put on a 48-run stand to give the Sunrisers a strong platform of 84 for two at the halfway stage.
Earlier Luff opted to bowl first to make the most of overcast conditions and her decision was immediately vindicated. Despite Mady Villiers taking two boundaries off Claire Nicholas’ first over, the England spinner was bowled off an inside edge attempting a late cut.
Veteran South African international Dané van Niekerk (20) played positively, striking two boundaries down the ground and taking three consecutive boundaries off Lauren Filer before she was caught behind off the same bowler, attempting an upper cut.
Irish international Orla Prendergast bowled a tight consistent opening spell, but her figures took a dent when she conceded five wides and Macleod cut her square for four as Sunrisers finished the powerplay strongly on 48 for two.
McLeod drove Sophia Smale through the covers for four and took consecutive boundaries off Filer, hitting her off her hip over fine leg and edging her down to third.
Griffith (15) largely played a supporting role. She took a step down the wicket to hit Skelton over mid-off for four but fell to the same bowler when she was sharply stumped by Nat Wraith. McLeod’s innings then ended when after stroking Gibson through the covers, she struck the next delivery straight to point.
Grace Scrivens (9) perished when the ball flew off her inside edge to Luff at midwicket off Skelton while Carr (12) stuck around to supported Gardner in a sixth wicket stand in 6.3 overs before she fell to a stunning one-handed catch by Gibson off her own bowling.
When Storm batted, Villiers struck in the first over, her drag down pulled straight to mid-on by Wraith. Prendergast then fell to a brilliant run out at the non-strikers’ end thanks to some sharp work by Scrivens in her delivery stride. From that point at 16 for two, Storm did not look in any trouble with the experienced Wilson combining with Gibson in a match-winning stand.
Gibson went on the attack against the leg spin of Abtaha Maqsood and hit seamer Kelly Castle for consecutive boundaries including one high over deepmidwicket to take Storm to 82 for two after 10 overs, just two runs short of Sunrisers at that stage.
Gibson struck a huge six over deepmidwicket off Gardner to reach her half century off 33 balls, before taking another four off her next delivery.
Wilson meanwhile cut and pulled Scrivens for consecutive boundaries and pulled and reverse swept Abtaha Maqsood for two more before driving Eva Gray through cover to bring up her half-century off 36 balls.
Gibson eventually fell caught in the deep off Castle but by then the winning line was almost in sight.