cricket:image:1272160 [900x506]
cricket:image:1272160 [900x506] (Credit: Harry Trump / © Getty Images)

Williamson reaffirms commitment to New Zealand I want to play as long as I can

Sunrisers 134 fo 5 (Gardner 42, Davies 3-22) beat Southern Vipers 131 for 6 (Knott 50, Munro 4-27) beat by 3 runs

Sunrisers pulled off their first victory in the Charlotte Edwards Cup since the start of the 2021 campaign with a surprise three-run victory over holders Southern Vipers at Arundel.

Chasing a modest target of 135, the Vipers were clear favourites to repeat their comfortable win over the same opposition at Chelmsford on Friday. And the result did not appear in serious doubt after Australian opener Charli Knott - who had an outstanding all-round game - struck a 41-ball fifty, with six fours, putting on 73 for the first wicket with Georgia Elwiss in 10.4 overs.

But in a performance that belied their miserable record in the competition, Sunrisers bowled tightly and fielded ferociously, and Vipers were unable to meet the modest increase in the run-rate that was required of them, as Sophie Munro took 4 wickets for 27 runs.

With 32 required from the last three overs the match was still in the balance after key players, captain Georgia Adams and Freya had fallen cheaply, and Elwiss was out after spending 37 balls scoring 33.

When Emily Windsor was stumped off the last ball of the 18th over, Vipers still needed 22 off two. And when Alice Monaghan was stumped at the end of the 19th they wanted an unlikely 12 from the final over.

Sunrisers were put in to bat and made a solid start through captain Grace Scrivens and Joanne Gardner, who put on 41 in the six over powerplay. In the tenth over they started to accelerate, with Gardner driving Adams for a straight six as 11 came off the over to put them on 66 without loss at the halfway stage.

But it all changed in the next over with the fall of three wickets. Gardner drove Freya Davies to Knott at deep mid-off. Her 39-ball 42 included three fours, and that six. And three balls later Scrivens fell to the same combination, with Knott - whose ground fielding was also very impressive - this time fielding at deep midwicket. Two balls later, it was 67 for 3, with the irrepressible Knott striking again, this time to run out Cordelia Griffith, who had just one, with a direct hit from extra cover.

Sunrisers had lost three wickets for one run in the space of half a dozen deliveries. It didn't get any better for them, with Knott threatening to take over the match. Returning to the attack, she dismissed Alice Macleod, who was well caught by the diving Adams at cover for a duck; 68 for 4 in the 12th. Knott conceded just 18 runs in her four overs.

After that, a big score was beyond Sunrisers. But Mady Villiers and Jodi Grewcock brought up the hundred in the 17th over, thanks to a 14-run over from Mary Taylor, and Villiers finished unbeaten on 34.

Davies was the most successful Vipers bowler with 3 wickets for 22. It was a bad defeat for Vipers, but a memorable win for Sunrisers.