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Lancashire Thunder Reach for the Stars!



In a pulsating Charlotte Edwards Cup match at Stanley Park on Sunday, Lancashire

Thunder overcame South East Stars by 16 runs. The game ebbed and flowed

throughout but in the end it was the grit and determination of Thunder that ruled

supreme as their 165-5 in 8.1 overs proved too many for the Stars who were all out

for 149 with four balls of their innings remaining.

Winning the toss and batting on a Stanley Park track that looked just right for

batting, they made 165-5 after a blistering opening partnership of 58 in 8.1 overs

between Emma Lamb, 63 off 38 balls with nine fours and one six, and Liberty Heap,

19. Fi Morris at number three carried on the good work with 44, including five fours

and one six and at 117-1 after 14.2 overs, a total of in excess of 180 looked possible.

But the Stars’ bowlers, led by Phoebe Franklin, 2-18, and Danielle Gregory, 2-

14, led the fightback as runs came more slowly and wickets began to fall. Then

Naomi Dattani struck an 18-ball 30 not out, with four fours, and the total reached a

defendable 165-5.

With Bryony Smith and Paige Scholfield opening, the Stars got off to an even

better start than Thunder had done and the pair put on an impressive 87 in 9.4

overs; Smith 51 off 32 balls with six fours and two sixes as some of the Thunder

fielding left something to be desired. The pair both fell in the same over to the tidy

off-spin of Olivia Bell and this spurred Thunder on to wrest control of the game back.

Runs almost dried up and the middle order failed as Lamb, despite bowling

seven wides, dismissed Aylish Cranstone and Ryana Macdonald-Gay in successive

balls, the first to an excellent stumping off a wide by Eleanor Threlkeld. Kate Cross

then took a return catch to dismiss Tash Farrant for six before Dattani accounted for

Alexa Stonehouse and Kalea Moore as the match began to swing more and more in

Thunder’s favour.

And despite a speedy 18 by Claudie Cooper, who was caught and bowled by

Tara Norris, the coup de grace was provided by the evergreen Cross as she had

Chloe Hill caught by Lamb as the Stars succumbed for 149. The bowling honours

went to the five bowlers who each took two wickets, Norris, Bell, Lamb, Dattani and

Cross for two, 16, 17, 25 and 29 runs respectively.

The victory took Thunder to 13 points and took them fourth place in the table

and put them closer to third-placed Northern Diamonds, who are on 17 points and

who visit Staley Park next Wednesday, 7 June at 11am, for what will be a vital game

in the competition.

Northern Diamonds with a record of four wins and two losses have defeated

Western Storm, Central Sparks, by three runs when they superbly defended a

modest 135, South East Stars and Sunrisers in their first four games but since have

lost to The Blaze and Southern Vipers who are in first and second place in the table

at the moment, with 28 and 17 points respectively.

For the Diamonds, Hollie Armitage with 216 runs at an average of 36.00 and a

scoring rate of 131.70 per 100 balls is the leading runscorer while Katie Levick, 11

wickets, and Grace Hall, 10 wickets, lead the way with the ball. For Thunder, Emma

Lamb is the leading runscorer with 196 runs at an average of 39.20 and a scoring

rate of 141 per 100 balls with Tara Norris leading the bowlers with seven wickets.

Thunder versus the Diamonds is the third and final Lancashire double-header

for this season as Lightning entertain Worcestershire Rapids with a 5pm start on

what should be a thrilling day of T20 cricket.


Gerry Wolstenholme

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