Lancashire Thunder continued their winning ways as they registered a 5-wicket win over the Surrey Stars in a final over thriller as Nicole Bolton struck her maiden Super League half-century.
In a match that was broadcasted on live TV, the spectators got exactly what they had hoped for- a match that had them at the edge of their seats. After winning the toss and electing to bowl, Thunder struck early. Kate Cross dismissed Surrey opener Lizelle Lee for a duck in the first over, with Bryony Smith (8 off 10) and Sarah Taylor (4 off 4) soon following her back to the dugout, courtesy of some brilliant bowling by Emma Lamb. At this stage, Surrey was 17-3.
Skipper Natalie Sciver then worked hard with Dane van Niekerk to steady the ship with their partnership of 74 runs. Van Niekerk played a patient knock of 29 off 36 deliveries, supporting Sciver, before being bundled up Alex Hartley. Sciver, however, carried on playing her scintillating knock of 95* off 57 deliveries- a performance she deserved to have scored a century for- to guide her team to the respectable total of 148-5.
Lamb followed her incredible figures of 4-17 in the previous match with figures of 3-34 in this one. Although she was expensive today, the youngster has been very impressive with the ball in this edition of the Kia Super League.
To chase down the total of 148, Thunder needed to start their innings of strongly and because of a 62 run opening partnership between Nicole Bolton and Evelyn Jones; they were able to do so. Jones’ wicket was the first to fall, Sophia Dunkley claiming it, with Amy Satterthwaite being dismissed by van Niekerk shortly afterwards.
This brought KSL debutant and Indian international Harmanpreet Kaur to the crease. Kaur and Bolton then consolidated with their partnership of 68 runs to tip the game in Thunder’s favour. However, just 10 runs short of the total, Bolton’s Player of the Match winning knock of 87 off 61 came to an end as she was accounted for by Sciver. A small collapse followed with Thunder finding themselves at 139-5 from 137-2.
Going into the final over, it could have been anyone’s game with Thunder requiring 11 runs off it. Laura Marsh was thrown the ball and her first three balls went for as many runs and a wicket. The equation then changed to 8 required off 3 balls. Kaur was on strike and in her debut match for the Thunder, she delivered, smashing a boundary of the next delivery and clearing it on the penultimate ball to guide her team to the win in style.