Northern Superchargers into Hundred final as storm extinguishes ends Welsh Fire bid
Northern Superchargers advanced to a first Women’s Hundred final after their eliminator against Welsh Fire was abandoned due to a lightning storm at the Kia Oval.
Fire, who finished bottom of the table in the Hundred’s first two editions, looked well-placed to complete a remarkable turnaround after reaching 104 for two from 75 balls, with Tammy Beaumont still at the crease on 37 from 30.
Beaumont, the leading run-scorer in the tournament, was dropped on five and shared an opening partnership of 59 from 45 with Sophia Dunkley (38 from 28) to give the Welsh side a strong platform.
But a sudden downturn in the weather – with lightning accompanied by rain and thunder – scuppered their chances, with Superchargers qualifying to face Southern Brave in Sunday’s final by virtue of finishing above their opponents in the table.
With the contest initially reduced to 95 balls per side after an earlier downpour, Fire opted to bat despite the slow outfield and Beaumont and Dunkley swiftly justified that decision with a lively stand.
Dunkley dominated the strike, drilling a couple of straight fours and then going two better with a clean hit off Kate Cross that sailed across the fence before scything Grace Ballinger for another four over point to raise her side’s 50.
Superchargers should have removed Beaumont early on when she skied Cross but Phoebe Litchfield, running back from mid-on, shelled the catch as well as fumbling the ball over the boundary.
Dunkley was eventually caught in the deep off Lucy Higham, while Litchfield made some amends for her earlier drop by pouching a routine catch to dismiss Hayley Matthews for 10, paving the way for Laura Harris to launch a brief onslaught on the Superchargers’ attack.
Harris smashed 14 from five deliveries, including a brutal reverse slog sweep for four off Ballinger and dispatching Cross for a maximum over midwicket, but the Australian’s innings was abruptly cut short by the weather with the match officially called off at 4.45pm.
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