Stars cruise to Old Trafford win over Thunder

Stars cruise to Old Trafford win over Thunder

 

A blistering 70 from Lizelle Lee, coupled with a fine half-century from Sarah Taylor and a superb bowling display, guided Surrey Stars to their first KSL win in four matches.

They eased to the win at Old Trafford over a Lancashire Thunder side that beat them at the Oval seven days ago. It makes it back-to-back defeats for Thunder after they’d strung together three successive victories.

Lee’s innings really took the game away from the Thunder bowlers. After a steady powerplay, in which they lost opener Bryony Smith, Stars were 40-1.

But from there, they began to cut loose. South African Lee shared a half-century stand with Taylor from just 31 balls and brought up her rapid fifty from 27 balls – it included 4x4s and 4x6s.

Her departure, for 70 from 37 balls, served to slow Surrey down to a degree. She was quickly followed back into the dressing room by Natalie Sciver to leave Stars 114-3 in the 13th over.

Taylor batted beautifully, finding the gaps with great regularity on her way to 51 from 35 balls. She lost partner Dane van Niekerk for 19 before departing two balls after reaching the milestone.

Danielle Hazell took two wickets in as many balls as Stars lost a flurry of wickets in the closing overs. Ultimately they scrambled to 167-8, which represented a good comeback from Thunder given the start the visitors made to the innings.

In truth it never looked like a total Thunder were ever going to chase down. Opening pair Eve Jones and Nicole Bolton got bogged down inside the powerplay, reaching 32-0 after their first six overs.

Their partnership wasn’t broken until the 10th over when Bolton picked out Smith in the deep to give a wicket to Van Niekerk. Thunder were 55-1 and that brought India Women’s captain Harmanpreet Kaur to the crease.

She struck a maximum to seal that victory over Stars last week but was run out for a duck for the second game in succession – this time without even facing a ball!

It means that her two matches at Old Trafford have yielded no runs. Amy Satterthwaite looked set to make the game interesting, racing to 21 from 10 balls after her rapid 85* last Friday.

But she and Jones both fell in the 14th over to Van Niekerk to end Thunder’s hopes. At 86-4 at the end of that over, they required 82 from 36 balls – which was far too much of an ask.

Wickets tumbled with increasing regularity as the innings wore on. They were bowled out four balls short of their allocated 20 overs for just 122, giving Stars a resounding 55-run victory – one which gave them a bonus point.

Thunder captain Hazell doesn’t believe her side are too far short of where they need to be, despite suffering back-to-back defeats.

“It’s been a little bit up and down but we are learning, it’s a ten-game competition this year which makes it more interesting,” Hazell said.

“You can absorb a couple of defeats, you don’t want to, but that can happen. We will look at ourselves again and get back to that team that won three in a row. We are not far off that and that’s T20 cricket.

“We have to dust ourselves off, get on the bus to Taunton and face Western Storm next.”

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