Wong returns from England Ashes duty to help her team mates to victory over Stars

South East Stars   vs Central Sparks

 Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy

Friday 7th July 2023

Peter Moore at Guildford

Central Sparks  246-8 (50)       South East Stars  225 (47.3)

  Central Sparks won by 21 runs

England Women’s Issy Wong proved the match winner with both bat and ball to condemn South East Stars to their third loss in a row.

Wong featured in a valuable partnership of 102 with Charis Pavely and in so doing made her maiden list A half-century. Released from England Ashes duty for this fixture, she then took 2 for 37 in seven overs to help the visitors to victory.

Sparks won the toss and elected to bat first on a glorious sunny morning in Surrey.

The hosts struck early when captain Eve Jones(5) nicked behind off Ryana Macdonald-Gay who was returning back in the side after featuring for England A women against Australia recently.

The upcoming 19-year-old then produced a delivery with extra bounce that Abigail Freeborn(7) edged behind.

The visitors woes continued when Erin Burns(9) chipped the ball straight to Alice Davidson-Richards first delivery to leave Sparks 34 for 3 in the 13th over.

Davidson-Richards then bagged the wicket of Ami Campbell(10)caught behind as the visitors struggled against the home attack.

Sparks were helped by a partnership of sixty between Bethan Ellis and Katy George, before George- who was caught off a waist high full toss when she had made five- was trapped leg before by Danielle Gregory.

Ellis(42) who opened the innings, went soon after falling leg before to Bryony Smith. Another crucial partnership bought Sparks right back into the contest, this time a superb stand of 102 featuring Charis Pavely- playing in just her second match and Issy Wong.

The 21-year-old Wong bought up her half century before falling at short third with just four overs remaining.

By the end of the 50th over, Pavely finished unbeaten with 57, with Sparks posting an extremely competitive total of 246 for 8.

In reply, Stars lost Kiara Chathli(16) to Wong who also picked up the wicket of Bryony Smith for duck, thanks to a sensational one handed catch at wide mid on from Ami Campbell to leave the hosts 36 for 2 in the 10th over.

Georgia Davis then had Alexa Stonehouse(29) caught in the deep before Jemma Spence had a life when she had made four after Eve Jones spilled a chance at slip. Jones was quick to atone for her error by taking a blinding catch at slip to remove Spence(6).

Stars were struggling against a very accurate attack with the visitors picking up wickets at regular intervals with Erin Burns bowling Paige Scholfield(7) to leave Stars with a mountain to climb, with the total on 94 for 5 in the 22nd over.

Alice Davidson-Richards and Maddie Blinkhorn-Jones set about stopping the rot with Davidson-Richards on the verge of a half century, before the excellent Katie George struck with Davidson-Richards(48) holing out straight down deep square legs throat to give George her first wicket when on any other day she could easily have had three or four.

George then picked up the wicket of Kalea Moore(6) to put Sparks fully in control. Although it looked an impossible task for Stars to snatch victory away from the visitors, while Maddie Blinkhorn-Jones was still at the crease, there was hope.

However, with 22 runs still required Blinkhorn-Jones went for a fine 77, made off 80 balls and with it Stars hopes of gaining victory.