Harmanpreet Kaur in action for Lancashire Thunder. ©Getty Images

Match Preview: Lancashire Thunder v Loughborough Lightning

Date: 20 August 2019

Venue: Old Trafford

Lancashire Thunder has been slightly unfortunate not to register their first win of the season yet. They have competed most of their games right up until the end. So far though, they have only managed the two points in a tied game with Southern Vipers.

Loughborough Lightning have started to find their feet in the competition – back-to-back wins against Surrey Stars at Guildford and their first home win of the season against Yorkshire Diamonds.

Last season Lightning won their games in the first half of the group stage and while they topped the table, they were unable to sustain that form for finals day. This year has been less straight forward. With four group games to go, they now find themselves in third. The teams around them facing the more difficult fixtures, Surrey Stars are yet to play Western Storm.

Since the first game between these two sides in 2016 which Thunder won by six runs, Lightning have not lost against these opponents. With momentum on their side, and an in-form middle order, they will be hoping to continue that domination over Thunder with another clinical display on Tuesday (August 20).

 

Key players:

Harmanpreet Kaur

Averaging 42 with the bat during the current Women’s Cricket Super League season Kaur is a top draw performer – a batter who is able to change a game with some hard-hitting. What is probably Kaur’s downfall is she tries to win it on her own too often.

Thunder has batters like Sophia Dunkley and Emma Lamb that can match her shot for shot and she may need to trust them more. There is no arguing that on a stage like Old Trafford, Kaur is going to want to put on a show. Thunder will be counting on her to deliver the goods yet again.


Kirstie Gordon

With Thunder’s strengths in their middle-order, Gordon will have to be at the top of her game. She has a good cricket brain and is good enough to outsmart her opponents.

In 2018 Gordon was the leading wicket-taker in the WCSL. While she hasn’t quite hit that form she is still an important part of the Lightning bowling attack. When Gordon bowls there are wickets around so she will, as usual, be one to keep an eye on.

 

Conditions:

With Thunder taking their games to all parts of their region this will be the only time that they play at Old Trafford this season.

Smriti Mandhana scored a hundred at Old Trafford and Lizelle Lee smashed 70 in WCSL games in 2018. This indicates that the track should be a good one to bat on. There will be few demons and once in, the batters will get full value for their shots.

The lowest score by a team batting first is 133 for 6 in WCSL games at the ground.

 

Squads:

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.

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.

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