South East Stars won by six wickets at Trent Bridge with 41 balls to spare. A player of the match performance from Bryony Smith sealed the win. Smith might be the forgotten name in terms of international selection but today, she showed why she couldn’t add to her solitary ODI cap and three T20I appearances.
Today she guided her young side to victory with ease against Lightning in the first game of the Charlotte Edwards Cup, the new regional T20 competition.
South East Stars included three debutants in their side. They showed no nerves as Alexa Stonehouse, Emma Jones and Kalea Moore all took wickets in their first overs with the ball in hand.
Stonehouse was only confirmed in the Stars squad yesterday, and if there was going to be any comparisons with her Kent teammate Tash Farrant they were well justified as she bustled in over the wicket with her left-arm seam. It bounced more than Sarah Bryce was expecting, and the Scotland international was departing for one caught by Alyish Cranstone.
The player that would have the most significant impact on the game was Smith. She didn’t come into the attack until the 14th over. Teresa Graves and Abbey Freeborn starting to rebuild an innings that had promised much after the blistering start by Bethany Harmer made with 34 runs from 25 balls.
Graves and Freeborn had been in decent touch during the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy and were looking to maintain that form as they knocked the Stars bowling around the ground, accumulating the singles. Freeborn was starting to add boundaries to her innings but was gone for 30 when Smith bowled her, leaving Lightning 90 for six.
Smith soon wrapped things up, accounting for Kirstie Gordon and Graves in the eighteenth over and Nancy Harman with the first ball of the last over. Smith finished with figures of four for 15, and Lighting had been bowled out for 107.
With a small total to chase, Smith set about chasing it down with minimal fuss. In just 14 balls, she all but sealed a victory for her side as she clubbed the bowlers to all parts of Trent Bridge. The ropes were cleared twice added to four fours. It took a fantastic catch from Michaela Kirk to end Smith’s brief cameo. Lightning were all but out of the game.
It was an odd sort of performance from Lighting, who looked a spinner short without Lucy Higham to bowl in the middle overs. South East Stars had plenty of spin options and they always looked effective as they bowled tight lines and gave little for the batters to feed off.
Lighting travel to Arundel to face Southern Vipers next week, while South East Stars host their first home T20 against Central Sparks at Canterbury.