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Arlott takes hat-trick in Sparks win over Stars

Central Sparks’ Emily Arlott took a hat-trick before hitting the winning runs to condemn South East Stars to their first defeat of the Charlotte Edwards Cup at Canterbury.

The seamer finished with figures of 4-21 and then came to her side’s rescue with the bat, striking Tash Farrant for successive fours as Sparks squeezed over the line by three wickets in the final over.

The Blaze became the first team to book a place at Finals Day, maintaining their 100% record as they held off Northern Diamonds to win by 13 runs at Headingley, with leg-spinner Sarah Glenn taking three wickets.

At Bristol, defending champions Southern Vipers registered their second successive win after bowling out Western Storm for 119 to triumph by 18 runs, despite England captain Heather Knight’s innings of 69.

Lancashire Thunder boosted their hopes of a semi-final spot, with spinner Sophie Ecclestone taking 3-18 as they edged past Sunrisers by five wickets at Blackpool.

Bryce steers Blaze to seventh straight victory

Kathryn Bryce continued her impressive form with the bat, hitting her third half-century of the tournament to help The Blaze post a winning total of 159-7 against Northern Diamonds.

The Scotland international hit 54 from 39, sharing a second-wicket stand of 78 with Tammy Beaumont (45 from 33) before being caught at short third off Katie Levick (2-19).

Erin Burns took 3-20 for the Diamonds, who looked on course when Bess Heath (59 from 32) and Sterre Kalis (41 from 32) put on 76, but Glenn (3-33) made the breakthrough in her first game of the tournament and the home side faded to finish 146 all out in the final over.

Sophia Dunkley’s second half-century in three games appeared to have put South East Stars in a strong position against Central Sparks before Arlott intervened, dismissing her for 58 from 49 before removing Farrant and Ryana MacDonald-Gay to complete the hat-trick.

Katie George (2-31) also helped to ensure the Stars’ collapse from 110-2 to 122-8, with five wickets falling in eight balls – but Sparks struggled in response, with teenage spinner Tilly Corteen-Coleman taking 3-14 as they slipped to 41-4.

Eve Jones (43) and Courtney Webb (31) shared a partnership of 59, but MacDonald-Gay claimed two quick wickets to leave Sparks 115-7 and needing eight from the final over.

However, Arlott stepped up to the plate, hitting Farrant’s first two deliveries to the rope to finish unbeaten on 19 from seven and clinch victory with four balls to spare.

Adams leads from the front for Vipers

An excellent all-round display from Southern Vipers skipper Georgia Adams meant Knight’s efforts with the bat for Western Storm were ultimately in vain.

Adams held the Vipers’ innings together with 55 from 40 balls as they laboured to 137-9, with Storm seamer Lauren Filer taking 3-8 in her four overs and Amanda Jade-Wellington 3-17.

But Linsey Smith (2-16) made early inroads when Storm replied, taking two wickets in two balls – and that feat was matched by both leg-spinner Charlie Dean (3-24) and Adams (3-23), who removed Knight in the penultimate over to effectively end the home side’s chances.

Lancashire Thunder secured their first win in three games after restricting Sunrisers to 151-9, built around a stand of 60 between Lissy MacLeod (60 from 43) and Amu Surenkumar (32 from 23).

Seren Smale’s unbeaten 39 from 33 kept Thunder on track as Sunrisers fought back, with Eva Gray taking 2-28, but Kate Cross smashed an undefeated 17 from six deliveries to seal the win with three balls to spare.