Northern Superchargers tied Southern Brave for first place in The Hundred 2023 standings after Alice Davidson-Richards held her composure to grab two wickets in the final five balls to edge out Manchester Originals by four runs in a rain-affected encounter at Headingley.
A heavy shower reduced the home team’s aim to 113 off 80 balls after they had made 133 for five after their hundred balls. Emma Lamb’s 49-run knock appeared to have given the Originals a chance, but Fi Morris got trapped on the deep square-leg area by Linsey Smith off Davidson-Richards while attempting to smash the game-winning six.
Originals had their first victory of the day in The Hundred 2023 with the score being 27 when Jemimah Rodrigues got beaten at deep midwicket by Katie George off Mahika Gaur for nine. Phoebe Litchfield then hit three consecutive fours off Deandra Dottin, but Marie Kelly was run out for 22 off the next delivery after being pushed back by Litchfield and struck by Morris’ throw from the point boundary.
However, Litchfield and Hollie Armitage raised the score to 84, and it appeared that Originals would rue Dottin’s decision in dropping Litchfield off Amanda-Jane Wellington after the batter had made 24. Originals skipper Sophie Ecclestone took a much-needed wicket as she clung on to a strong drive from Litchfield and dismissed her for a 29-ball 39 that contained six beautiful boundaries.
Armitage attempted to accelerate the run rate but was caught for 17 by wicketkeeper Ellie Threlkeld after she crested a botched slog-sweep off Morris. Bess Heath knocked George into the Western Terrace for the opening six runs of the game, but she was caught at point by Laura Wolvaardt off Kathryn Bryce for an 11-ball 20 in The Hundred 2023.
Davidson-Richards hammered two of the penultimate four balls of the inning for four runs, giving the Superchargers a manageable 133 off 100 deliveries. However, this Headingley field appeared to be well suited to slower bowlers, as seen by Morris’ one for 15, Ecclestone’s one for 17, and Wellington’s nought for 21. All three of the spinners pitched their allotted 20 balls.
However, rain reduced the Originals’ aim by 21 runs in 20 fewer balls, but their innings began disastrously. Wolvaardt attempted a fast single with Lamb but was run out for five on a direct shot by Grace Ballinger. Ami Campbell was next caught behind for a two-ball nought by Lucy Higham, leaving the opponents on 16 for two after 14 of their 80 balls in The Hundred 2023.
Lamb and Dottin took their time rebuilding their side’s innings, but the pace picked up when Dottin hurled Smith through the square leg fence for six and smashed Georgia Wareham through the covers, over midwicket, and through midwicket for three fours in one set.
Originals needed 63 off 40 balls in The HUndred 2023 game when the lethal Dottin was smartly caught at deep midwicket boundary by Wareham, who completed a fantastic sprinting catch inches inside the boundary off Davidson-Richards.
George barely scored a single before succumbing to Smith, leaving Lamb and Ecclestone, the Orginals’ premier players, to score 56 off 32 balls. The two responded admirably, with Lamb returning to form with a variety of aggressive blows and Ecclestone launching Smith for an uncontested six in her nine-ball 13 before gifting a return catch to ex-Originals seamer Kate Cross.
Originals needed 13 from eight balls with 10 off the last five balls bowled by Davidson-Richards. She claimed the final wicket to end with three for 23 after Lamb was caught behind onto the first of these deliveries in The Hundred 2023.
The Hundred 2023: Northern Superchargers vs Manchester Originals Brief scores
Northern Superchargers 133/5 in 100 balls (Phoebe Litchfield 39; Sophie Ecclestone 1-17) beat Manchester Originals 108/7 in 80 balls (Emma Lamb 49; Alice Davidson Richards 3-23) by 4 runs (DLS method).