Southern Brave top Hundred table with victory over Welsh Fire Women
The hosts were bowled out for 108 and never looked like chasing down the target of 122 after openers Tammy Beaumont and Hayley Matthews were removed.
Amanda-Jade Wellington, the leading wicket-taker in the competition, moved her tally to eight after picking up one for 21 while Lauren Bell and Georgia Adams, who scored a quick-fire unbeaten 25 with the bat, also bowled superbly to take two wickets apiece.
Brave had got off to a quick start with the bat before Fire removed Smriti Mandhana for 13 and Danni Wyatt for 16 to prevent the Southampton-based side recording a fourth 50-run opening partnership in as many matches.
Fire’s Alex Hartley was excellent in the middle period and finished with one for 12 from her 20 balls to prevent Brave’s acceleration as key wickets fell at fairly consistent intervals.
Fire could have been looking at a much smaller chase but they produced some poor fielding that included a couple of simple dropped catches – one of which was knocked over the boundary rope for six by Annabel Sutherland.
Dunkley was put down on 12 before going on to top-score with a composed 49 from 43 and Adams, who was also dropped late on, played well for her unbeaten 25 from 16 at the back end of the innings to squeeze Brave to 122 for eight.
With Georgia Haynes out ill, Fire were even more reliant on Matthews and skipper Beaumont.
But Beaumont was caught off the bowling of Bell for nine and Matthews struggled to get going before being caught at slip for a run-a-ball 20 off the in-form Wellington.
Brave used the drying pitch effectively to continue to pick up consistent wickets throughout.
When captain Shrubsole had Sutherland caught behind for 22 to leave Fire 67 for five and requiring 56, the result felt inevitable.
Sarah Bryce made a late attack but she was run out off the penultimate ball for 28 to leave Fire 108 all out.
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