Alice Davidson-Richards stole the show for Northern Superchargers women as they beat Birmingham Phoenix by seven wickets to get their Hundred campaign off to the perfect start.
Davidson-Richards took three wickets for just 11 runs from her 20 balls as well as taking two catches and claiming a brilliant run out in an excellent team display from Superchargers, as they restricted Phoenix to 110-8 off their 100 balls.
Australian Phoebe Litchfield top-scored for the home team with an unbeaten 42 as they eased their way to victory with 22 balls to spare, with Marie Kelly also adding a valuable 24 at the top of the order.
The visitors had got off to a flying start, with New Zealand veteran Sophie Devine hitting England’s Kate Cross for two boundaries from her first set of five balls.
But Superchargers quickly pulled things back, with Cross claiming the wicket of Eve Jones for 10 before England wicketkeeper Amy Jones became Davidson-Richards’ first victim when she holed out to Leah Dobson on the square-leg boundary for 13.
Devine took centre stage throughout the Phoenix innings, scoring an entertaining 46 runs off 36 balls before she was superbly run out by Davidson-Richards’ direct hit from mid-off.
The Phoenix middle-order failed to offer any meaningful support to Devine, with Erin Burns, Tess Flintoff and Emily Arlott all falling cheaply, with Georgia Wareham’s caught-and-bowled dismissal of Burns a particular highlight.
The hosts were brilliant in the field, with Phoenix reliant on late-order runs from Abigail Freeborn and Issy Wong to get them over the 100 mark, with Wong hitting a mighty six into the crowd at one point before she became Linsey Smith’s one wicket.
Kelly and Jemimah Rodrigues gave the Superchargers an ideal start, putting on a partnership of 23 for the first wicket, with Rodrigues’ knock of 16 consisting of four boundaries before she was trapped in front by Wong.
Kelly was bowled reverse sweeping by Katie Levick for 24 but Litchfield quickly took charge of the innings as she steered the Superchargers home with an unbeaten 42 off 29 balls including seven fours.
But this was Davidson-Richards’ day and she completed the win with a towering six off Hannah Baker to end an excellent showing by the Superchargers.
Men’s match abandoned
The men’s match was in the first innings when torrential rain hit the area with Phoenix 84-5 after 62 balls.
With puddles forming on the outfield the umpires were left with no choice but to call a halt to proceedings after a heavy shower engulfed Leeds.
It was frustrating for the hosts who had got themselves into a decent position during the play that was possible as they took five wickets from Phoenix.
After being sent into bat, the visitors saw opener Jacob Bethell bowled for a duck by Reece Topley in his opening set of deliveries.
That brought England star Ben Duckett to the middle and he introduced himself with a ramped shot for six and he had progressed to 34 not out off 26 balls before the rain came.
It’s the third match to be abandoned without a ball being bowled for wet weather at this year’s Hundred after Oval Invincibles women versus London Spirit and Welsh Fire women against Manchester Originals was also called off for the same reasons.
The Hundred continues on Friday with two more games.
Southern Brave women take on Welsh Fire women at 3pm at Ageas Bowl, before the men’s sides meet from 6.30pm.
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