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Match Report provided by the ECB Reporters Network

Sunrisers pulled off their first victory in the Charlotte Edwards Cup since the start of the 2021 campaign with a surprise three-run victory over holders Southern Vipers at Arundel.

Chasing a modest target of 135, the Vipers were clear favourites to repeat their comfortable win over the same opposition at Chelmsford on Friday.  And the result did not appear in serious doubt after Australian opener Charli Knott – who had an outstanding all-round game - struck a 41-ball fifty, with six fours, putting on 73 for the first wicket with Georgia Elwiss in 10.4 overs.

But in a performance that belied their miserable record in the competition, Sunrisers bowled tightly and fielded ferociously, and Vipers were unable to meet the modest increase in the run-rate that was required of them, as Sophie Munro took four wickets for 27 runs.  

With 32 required from the last three overs the match was still in the balance after key players, captain Georgia Adams and Freya Kemp had fallen cheaply, and Elwiss was out after spending 37 balls scoring 33.

When Emily Windsor was stumped off the last ball of the 18th over, Vipers still needed 22 off two.  And when Alice Monaghan was stumped at the end of the 19th they wanted an unlikely 12 from the final over. 

Sunrisers were put in to bat and made a solid start through captain Grace Scrivens and Jo Gardner, who put on 41 in the opening six over powerplay.  In the tenth over they started to accelerate, with Gardner driving Adams for a straight six as 11 came off the over to put them on 66 without loss at the halfway stage.

But it all changed in the next over with the fall of three wickets.  Gardner drove Freya Davies to Knott at deep mid-off.  Her 39-ball 42 included three fours, and that six.  And three balls later Scrivens fell to the same combination, with Knott – whose ground fielding was also very impressive - this time fielding at deep midwicket.  Two balls later it was 67 for three, with the irrepressible Knott striking again, this time to run out Cordelia Griffith, who had just one, with a direct hit from extra-cover.

Sunrisers had lost three wickets for one run in the space of half a dozen deliveries.  And it didn’t get any better for them, with Knott threatening to take over the match.  Returning to the attack, she dismissed Lissy Macleod, who was well caught by the diving Adams at cover for a duck; 68 for four in the 12th. Knott conceded just 18 runs in her four overs.

After that a big score was beyond Sunrisers.  But Mady Villiers and Jodi Grewcock brought up the hundred in the 17th over, thanks to a 14-run over from Mary  Taylor, and Villiers finished unbeaten on 34.  Davies was the most successful Vipers bowler with three wickets for 22.

It was a bad defeat for Vipers, but a memorable win for Sunrisers.

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