Loughborough Lightning players celebrate the fall of a wicket. ©Getty Images

Match Preview:  Loughborough Lightning v Lancashire Thunder

Date: 25 August 2019

Venue: Trent Bridge

Both fixtures between these two sides have had the good fortune to be played at two of the grand old grounds of England. On Tuesday (August 20), it was Old Trafford that was at the centre of the action. On Sunday (August 25), Trent Bridge will host both sides.

Quite surprisingly, it will be Jenny Gunn’s first game at Trent Bridge. Having played many years for Nottinghamshire, and to have not graced the Trent Bridge turf across a 15-year career tells the sorry story of women’s county cricket.

One player that has played at Tent Bridge is Sarah Glenn, who in 2018 played for the England Academy against the Australia Aboriginal side. Glenn took 3 for 12 that day. In the side alongside her was Ellie Threlkeld, Emma Lamb, and Georgie Boyce. That, of course, means Thunder have more players who have experienced what it is like to play at Trent Bridge.

In the previous game at Old Trafford, it was Thunder who got off to the better start before Lightning fought back well and Georgia Adams scored her first fifty for Lightning.

Then, Lightning’s bowlers finished the job as the rain came down to put a premature end to proceedings. Kirstie Gordon was cruelly denied the chance to go for a hat-trick.

Since that game, Lightning secured their place in finals day with an impressive win over the pre-season favourites, and defending champions, Surrey Stars.

Thunder have continued their winless season with defeat at Scarborough on Friday (August 23). With Lightning secure of their finals day place, Thunder will hope that their opponents take their eye off this game.

It will also be the last games for Kathryn Bryce and Hayley Matthews who will meet up with their international sides.

 

Key players:

Kate Cross

On a ground where early swing can cause batters problems, the contributions of Cross will be pivotal. The Thunder captain is a bowler who keeps things tight from the first ball.

Cross was one of three bowlers at Old Trafford who troubled Lightning’s top order. If she does the same on Sunday (August 25), then Thunder might just register that first win.


Hayley Matthews

It will be the West Indian’s final game before she leaves to meet with her international side as they have an ODI series against Australia.

Matthews will want to leave her side with one last performance. There were glimpses of the power with the bat that Matthews possesses against Surrey Stars.

Where she has been important for Lightning is with her off-spin. Matthews’ nine wickets are the most by any Lightning bowler this year. She has been very effective with the new ball, making sure to take early wickets.

 

Conditions:

With little women’s cricket played at Trent Bridge it will be hard to gauge what will be in store. Generally, in T20 games at Trent Bridge, the pitches produced are full of runs. That shouldn’t be any different this time around.

With the development of the new stand, the boundaries aren’t always conventional. that will give players like Mignon du Preez a chance to score in some interesting areas. There will likely be a short boundary that Harmanpreet Kaur can target.

 

Squads:

Loughborough Lightning: Georgia Elwiss (c), Jenny Gunn, Amy Jones, Kirstie Gordon, Mignon du Preez, Hayley Matthews, Chamari Atapattu, Abbey Freeborn, Lucy Higham, Tara Norris, Alice Monaghan, Kathryn Bryce, Sarah Glenn, Georgia Adams, Jo Gardner.

Lancashire Thunder: Kate Cross (c), Alex Hartley, Sophie Ecclestone, Sophie Dunkley, Georgie Boyce, Emma Lamb, Natalie Brown, Danielle Collins, Alice Dyson, Ria Fackrell, Ellie Threlkeld, Eve Jones, Harmanpreet Kaur, Sune Luus, Tahlia McGrath.

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