ENGLAND all-rounder Alice Davidson-Richards stole the show for Northern Superchargers as they beat Birmingham Phoenix by seven wickets at Headingley to get their The Hundred campaign off to the perfect start.

Davidson-Richards took three wickets for just 11 runs from her 20 balls as well as taking two catches and claiming a brilliant direct hit run out in an excellent team display from the Superchargers, as they restricted Birmingham Phoenix to a total of 110-8 off their 100 balls.

Australian Phoebe Litchfield top scored for the home team with an unbeaten 42 as they eased their way to victory with 22 balls to spare, with Marie Kelly also adding a valuable 24 at the top of the order.

York's Grace Hall excited to make Northern Superchargers debut in The Hundred

The visitors had got off to a flying start with New Zealand veteran Sophie Devine hitting England’s Kate Cross, who was making her Superchargers debut having made the switch from Manchester Originals, for two boundaries from her first set of five balls.

But the Superchargers quickly pulled things back with Cross claiming the wicket of Eve Jones for 10 before England wicketkeeper Amy Jones became Davidson-Richards’ first victim when she holed out to Scarborough’s Leah Dobson on the square leg boundary for 13.

Devine took centre stage throughout the Phoenix innings scoring an entertaining 46 runs off 36 balls before she was superbly run out by Davidson-Richards’ direct hit from mid-off.

The Phoenix middle-order failed to offer any meaningful support to Devine with Erin Burns, Tess Flintoff and Emily Arlott all falling cheaply. Georgia Wareham’s caught and bowled dismissal of Burns was a particular highlight.

The hosts were brilliant in the field with Phoenix reliant on late-order runs from Abigail Freeborn and Issy Wong to get them up over the 100 mark, Wong hitting a mighty six into the crowd before she became Linsey Smith’s only victim.

Marie Kelly and Jemimah Rodrigues gave the Superchargers an ideal start hitting a partnership of 23 for the first wicket with Rodrigues’ knock of 16 consisting of four boundaries before she was trapped in front by Wong.

Kelly was bowled reverse sweeping by Katie Levick for 24 but Litchfield quickly took charge of the innings as she steered the Superchargers home with an unbeaten 42 off 29 balls including seven fours.

But this was Davidson-Richards’ day and she completed the win with a towering straight six off Hannah Baker to end an excellent showing by the Superchargers.

York Press: England's Ben Duckett batted well before rain forced the abandonment of the Men's fixture later that evening.England's Ben Duckett batted well before rain forced the abandonment of the Men's fixture later that evening. (Image: Danny Lawson/PA)

However, later that evening, torrential rain brought an abrupt end to the competition’s later match between the Superchargers’ and Phoenix’s men, with just 62 balls possible in Phoenix’s first innings.

With puddles forming on the outfield, the umpires were left with no choice but to call a halt to proceedings after a heavy shower engulfed Leeds.

It was frustrating for the hosts who had themselves in a decent position during the play that was possible, with Reece Topley removing opener Jacob Bethell for a duck in his opening set of deliveries.

That brought England star Ben Duckett to the middle and he introduced himself with a ramped shot for six before hitting an unbeaten 34 off 26 balls before the rain poured.

Spin also played its part, with Matthew Short removing Dan Mousley and Shadab Khan in quick succession, the latter facing just his second ball.
England’s Adil Rashid claiming the final wicket of Jamie Smith who was bowled for 13 with the visitors 84-5 at the close. 

Both the Superchargers’ Men’s and Women’s sides are next in action on Sunday against Southern Brave at the Ageas Bowl, with matches scheduled for 11am and 2:30pm.