Sparks maintain 100% winning record in impressive style
The 23-year-old Worcestershire seamer trapped Maia Bouchier (1) on the crease with the first ball of her fourth over before claiming her hat-trick with the fourth, fifth and sixth deliveries. Georgia Elwiss (0) was also leg before, Charlie Dean superbly caught by the diving Amy Jones behind the stumps and Ella McCaughan bowled through the gate as she finished with 5 for 29.
Vipers seemed to have control in the 18th over when Amy Jones, who had scored 114 and 163 not out in her previous two games, lost her off stump to Dean’s off break for 5 and Sparks were 57 for 3, but skipper Eve Jones and Gwen Davies put on 71 in 16 overs with Jones hitting eight fours before she was run out for 55 by McCaughan’s direct hit from backward point.
Davies was sixth out for 45 but Sparks scored 67 off the last ten overs thanks to some clean hitting by Glenn. On a slow pitch, off-spinner Charlotte Taylor took 3 for 22 from her ten overs while Dean had 3 for 37.
Vipers would have fancied their chances of chasing 225 but Wong and Arlott offered control and got the bounce and carry which had eluded Vipers’ seam attack. Wyatt hit eight fours and doubled the score in an eighth-wicket stand of 52 with Carla Rudd (10) before Arlott returned in the 26th over to have Rudd leg before and Wong finished things off with two wickets, including Wyatt who was bowled through the gate.
“I was so engrossed in the game that it wasn’t until we were in the huddle afterwards that the other girls told me I’d taken a hat-trick,” Arlott said. “I took one when I was 13 in a club game in Worcestershire so it’s a really special feeling.
“We didn’t expect the pitch to offer the bounce and carry we got but Issy [Wong] and I know each other’s games so well and if one of us is bowling well the other looks to contain. Whenever we get wickets we do so as a partnership but I was pleased that she finished with three as well.”