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Issy Wong fires Central Sparks to victory at South East Stars
Wong, renowned for her quick bowling, excelled in the role of pinch-hitter with 45 in 28 balls and was well supported by England wicketkeeper Amy Jones with 40, as Sparks rattled up 170 for 6 after being invited to bat
Issy Wong starred with bat and ball as Central Sparks beat holders South East Stars by 34 runs in the Charlotte Edwards Cup.
Wong, renowned for her quick bowling, excelled in the role of pinch-hitter with 45 in 28 balls and was well supported by England wicketkeeper Amy Jones with 40, as Sparks rattled up 170 for 6 after being invited to bat, Alice Davidson-Richards the pick of the host's attack with 2 for 27.
The Chelsea-born speedster returned to the day job, taking 1 for 14, including three frugal overs at the top of the innings. She was ably assisted by Sparks' spin twins Hannah Baker (2-19) and Sarah Glenn (2-22), while Grace Potts (4-36) mopped up the tail, meaning - despite 41 from skipper Bryony Smith - Stars finished well short on 136 all out.
From the moment Wong clubbed Alice Capsey over the scoreboard at midwicket in the first over, Sparks were on the charge.
Wong treated Tash Farrant's bowling with similar distain and, with fellow opener Eve Jones taking heavy toll of Freya Davies at the other end, the fifty stand came off 30 balls.
Davidson-Richards made the breakthrough when Eve Jones top edged to mid-on, but the bowler was out of luck when new batter Jones hoisted her to Emma Jones at deep mid-on, only for the fielder to grass the chance.
Alice Davidson-Richards took 2-27 with the ball for South East Stars [Getty Images]
Emma Jones would partially atone when she caught Wong at cover, but the drop proved costly as England wicketkeeper Jones forged on, driving powerfully to hit six fours before Smith had her caught a cover.
Smith and the impressive Davidson-Richards kept some level of control, but impressive cameos from Ami Campbell and Gwen Davies saw Sparks post an imposing target.
Smith got the chase off to a rattling start with three boundaries off the first over from Potts, and Saturday's half-centurion Aylish Cranstone caught the mood, almost hitting an Emily Arlott delivery into the road.
Wong gave Smith a life on 19 when she shelled a catch on the square leg boundary, Arlott the aggrieved bowler, but the boot was on the other foot in the following over when she too dropped Smith off Wong. Wong, though, wouldn't be denied, removing Cranstone via a top edge, bagged by Amy Jones, as Sparks reached 44 for 1 at the end of the powerplay.
The fielding lapses continued, Abi Freeborn dropping Capsey off an attempted reverse sweep. However, Baker struck twice in four balls as first Smith skied a catch behind and then Jones stumped Capsey who’d given the bowler the charge.
Glenn followed up with two in two to despatch Farrant and Emma Jones before Potts cleaned up.
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Units 7-8, 35-37 High St, Barrow upon Soar, Loughborough, LE128PY
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