Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy: Amy Jones smashes 163 to maintain Central Sparks’ unbeaten start

Amy Jones reaches her century for Central Sparks against Western Storm
Amy Jones has made scores of 114 and 163 not out in her first two Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy innings

An unbeaten 163 from England keeper Amy Jones helped Central Sparks to victory over Western Storm, to maintain their unbeaten start to the campaign.

Jones was in fine form as she helped Sparks post an imposing 295-7 which proved too much for Storm to chase.

Southern Vipers also made it two wins from two as Danni Wyatt’s unbeaten 64 helped them beat South East Stars.

Elsewhere, Northern Diamonds picked up a narrow six-run victory over Lightning and Thunder overcame Sunrisers.

It was a certainly a day to remember for Jones whose 163 from 114 balls, batting at number four, helped Sparks to post the highest total of the day over Storm at Edgbaston.

The wicketkeeper’s remarkable innings included 17 fours and six sixes, with Storm’s bowlers failing to come up with any answers in the Birmingham sunshine.

Storm’s reply with the bat got off to a good start as Lauren Parfitt (91) and England captain Heather Knight (59) put on 102 for the first wicket.

But Ria Fackrell (4-34) stemmed their progress and, although Storm saw out the 50 overs, they failed to get close enough to threaten victory, ending on 254-9.

Danni Wyatt
Danni Wyatt hit her second half-century in as many games to continue her fine start to the season

Vipers’ victory over the previously unbeaten Stars was spearheaded by Wyatt claiming her second half-century in as many games.

Responding to the Stars’ 137, England duo Wyatt and Georgia Elwiss (45) saw the Vipers comfortably reach their target in the 28th over.

Wyatt’s 64 came from came from 88 balls and included nine fours with the Stars bowling attack unable to remove her, despite a good showing from Bryony Smith (2-25) who claimed her team’s best figures.

Earlier on at Beckenham, Stars opener Smith struck 41 from 38 balls but the rest of her team-mates failed to make an impact, with the exception of Aylish Cranstone (31) and Grace Gibbs (29).

Northern Diamonds endured a nervy finish at Kibworth but they just about got over the line with a six-run victory over Lightning, who have now lost two from two.

Diamonds’ England players Lauren Winfield-Hill, Katherine Brunt and Nat Sciver all failed to fire, scoring 13 runs between them, but they were indebted to Jenny Gunn (40) and Alex MacDonald (39) who helped them to 151 from 45.5 overs.

Kathryn Bryce claimed 4-16 from her eight overs but Lightning’s run chase started badly with the loss of opener Sarah Bryce after only three balls.

England’s Tammy Beaumont steadied the ship with 21 but Lightning lost wickets at regular intervals and struggled to 109-8.

Yvonne Graves (19) and Kirstie Gordon’s (19) fighting spirit ensured it would be a tight finish but, as they crept closer to an unlikely win, the latter was removed by Beth Langston to see Diamonds take the points.

Katherine Brunt
Katherine Brunt’s 4-23 helped Northern Diamonds to a first win of the season over Lightning

Thunder enjoyed a 36-run win over winless Sunrisers, as Georgie Boyce hit an excellent 91 from 117 balls.

England seamer Kate Cross (43) also added important runs before falling victim to Sonali Patel (4-40) as Thunder posted a total of 248.

Sunrisers openers Alice MacLeod (38) and Cordelia Griffith (22) started well and Fran Wilson (50) put them in a decent position on 109-3.

But the run-rate slowed thanks to a good bowling display from England’s Sophie Ecclestone (3-28) and Cross (3-49) as Sunrisers were all out in 45th over.

Results and scorecards

Central Sparks (295-7) beat Western Storm (254-9) by 41 runs (Birmingham) – scorecard

Lightning (145) lost to Northern Diamonds (151) by six runs (Kibworth) – scorecard

South East Stars (137) lost to Southern Vipers (138-3) by seven wickets (Beckenham) – scorecard

Thunder (247-9) beat Sunrisers (211) by 36 runs (Chester) – scorecard

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