Loughborough Lightning win the contest by 35 runs via DLS method. Lancashire Thunder's wait for a win continues. This was a game that they seemed to be in control at the beginning, only to lost the grip and let it slip completely. The wait for getting a first win just gets longer... Till the next time, goodbye! Take care.
Raining (&) wickets!
Lancashire Thunder 74/6 in 13.4 overs.
The hosts have lost their way completely now, with Sune Luus to be the latest to depart. She walks back for a 30 off 33 balls, featuring three fours and a six. Perhaps the failure of Harmanpreet Kaur (16-ball 7) and Emma Lamb (0) to get going consumed the Protea. Lightning are closing the game quickly now. Kirstie Gordon gets Sophie Ecclestone and Luus off consecutive balls. No sooner did she do it, than it starts pouring.
Matthews to the rescue!
Lancashire Thunder 41/2 in 7 overs.
The penultimate over of the Powerplay went for 17, thanks to Tahlia McGrath, who smashed Kathryn Bryce to all parts of the Old Trafford. She hit a couple of sixes in the over. However, Hayley Matthews came on for her second over in the final over of the Powerplay. It was a double-wicket maiden - she took out McGrath (who departed for a 22-ball 26) and then sent back Sophia Dunkley for a duck. Harmanpreet Kaur and Sune Luus will have to do the rebuilding work now.
Lancashire Thunder 17/0 in 4 overs.
Sune Luus and Tahlia McGrath have begun in a sedate and steady manner. They haven't looked to take any risks and probably, the aim is to see off the Powerplay without losing a wicket. Will Lightning strike soon?
The match started with a flurry of wickets. As Lightning lost three inside the Powerplay, the hopes of Lancashire Thunder registering their first win were raised. At the halfway stage in the innings, the tourists were placed at 59/3. However, even then, such a strong finish would have been hard to think of. Georgia Adams' counter-hitting towards the close meant that this could be tough for Thunder. So, which of these will strike the Old Trafford - Thunder or Lightning?
Loughborough Lightning 157/7 in 20 overs.
Georgia Adams and Kathryn Bryce added 82 for the sixth wicket in just 45 balls. Courtesy that alliance, Lightning have a total they could be confident of defending. They plundered 61 off the last five overs - 11 of which came in the final over of the innings. It was bowled by Sophie Ecclestone, who, despite the runs she gave away, picked up both Adams and Bryce. It was the former's maiden WCSL fifty.
Final hoodoo time?
Loughborough Lightning 112/5 in 16 overs.
Lightning have five wickets in the bank and they have just started to speed up their innings. 43/1 in the last five overs. Sophia Dunkley and Alice Dyson have borne the brunt of that. Georgia Adams belted 14 off Dyson's previous over before hitting a four off Dunkley. Alex Hartley wasn't spared either, as 16 runs were taken of her over - the 16th of the innings. Sophie Ecclestone, in the interim, bowled another economical over. Adams is on 33 off 22. Can Lightning finish on a high then? Four overs left...
Loughborough Lightning 72/5 in 12 overs.
The big fish has been netted. Georgia Elwiss, who was sliding smoothly in her innings, departs for 38 off 33 with two fours and a six. She tried going over the infield by charging down the track. But she could only manage to hit it towards covers. Tahlia McGrath ran right and dived to take that one. Taliyaan (claps in hindi) for the fielding efforts! Three runs and a wicket in that Cross over.
Loughborough Lightning 69/4 in 11 overs.
Emma Lamb was unlucky earlier in the innings. But often greatness is marked by not what luck does to you, but by what you do with the skillsets you have, ignoring the uncontrollable. Lamb fired one in line of the stumps from round the wicket. Mignon du Preez walked across the stump in a bid to exploit the fine leg region. Ended up missing the ball completely and found her stumps shattered. The 31-ball 47 run stand came to an end in a way it shouldn’t have. However, Elwiss is still going strong and ended the over with a maximum over the mid-wicket fence. She danced down the track and smashed it long and hard. Ten runs and a wicket in the over then.
Do you want a partner?
Loughborough Lightning 59/3 in 10 overs.
After being 15/3 inside the powerplay, the girls in purple have recovered well, courtesy captain Georgia Elwiss and Mignon du Preez. The duo has added 44 runs in just 28 balls and is looking good for more. Elwiss is beginning to get a move on as she is on 30 off 28 balls.
Loughborough Lightning 42/3 in 8 overs.
Skipper Georgia Elwiss and Mignon du Preez have stepped up on the gas. Some misfields also are helping their cause. They have managed to take 24 off the last two overs. Du Preez hit Alex Hartley, the left arm spinner, back over her head for half a dozen - the first of the game. She is on 10 off five, while Elwiss is on a run-a-ball 19.
Loughborough Lightning 18/3 in 6 overs.
Sophie Ecclestone is good at building pressure and as she did that yet again, she snaffled out Chamari Atapattu. The Sri Lankan attempted to break the shackles as she tried to slog one out of the park. Couldn't get it outside the 30-yard circle as well as she ended up skying it. It was one of the easier catches for Tahlia McGrath at mid-wicket. Just three runs came off that over. Ecclestone has 2-0-4-2 to show as the Powerplay ends.
Loughborough Lightning 13/2 in 4 overs.
Emma Lamb delivers another economical over, just four runs coming off it. However, she is hard done by, by a call that went against her and Thunder. A flatter one around middle and leg was attempted to cut by Atapattu. However, the ball struck her front pad before going off her glove to the off side. The LBW appeal was turned down. Hawk Eye later returned three reds. Is Atapattu living a cat's life tonight?
Sophie makes 'Hay'ley walk back!
Loughborough Lightning 9/2 in 3 overs.
Sophie Ecclestone's good run with the ball continues. She tosses one up outside off, Hayley Matthews couldn't resist the temptation of going over the top. Attempts to go over covers but the bat turns in her hands and she ends up slicing it up in the air. Ria Fackrell, on debut, backtracks and holds on to it calmly. Just one run and a wicket off the Ecclestone over.
Loughborough Lightning 4/1 in 1.3 overs.
Delivered on a length by Cross, it nips back in after pitching. Amy Jones looks to work it to the on side but didn't account for the inward movement. Misses the ball completely and gets trapped in front. Immediate raise of the finger by the umpire.
Matthews, Jones (wk), Atapattu, Elwiss (c), du Preez, Adams, Gunn, Bryce, Glenn, Higham, Gordon
It was an odd sort of game at Old Trafford. Loughborough Lightning shocked Lancashire Thunder to win a game in which after the first power play, Thunder looked the only winner, but Lightning fought back and fought back hard. They won by 35 runs as the rain ended the contest in the fourteenth over on Tuesday (August 20). Lancashire Thunder became the first side to be officially out of contention for a place in finals day, as Lightning moved up to second place thanks to a bonus point win. Lightning recovered from a disastrous power play which left them at…