Sophie Ecclestone took five for 15 to give Thunder the second win of their Charlotte Edwards Cup campaign this season. The Lightning had few answers to the North West side playing their second game at Old Trafford in the space of three days. It was a slick fielding performance from the home side
On a used track that had seen Thunder succumb to Southern Vipers on Wednesday, it looked the sensible option for Lightning captain Kathryn Bryce to bat when she won the toss.
Things started well for the East Midlands side, racing to 27 for none from the first ten balls. It could have been one of those days as Marie Kelly skipped down the track to Alex Hartley and missed everything before thudding into the pads of keeper Ellie Threlkeld. The next ball, Kelly dispatched for six.
Thunder used four spin bowlers, and it did the trick as Hartley fired in a delivery that Kelly played all around. The wickets started to tumble. It was great to have a bowler of the quality of Ecclestone as the first change, and she took two wickets in her first over. Ella Claridge was the first to go for a duck. Beth Harmer followed for seven to a committed catch from Daisy Mullan.
Bethan Ellis was unfortunate to lose her wicket with the coolest of one-handed catches from Phoebe Graham after it looked as if the ball had sailed over her outstretched palm. Lighting were 54 for five and had yet to use half their overs.
Kathryn Bryce and Lucy Higham were victims to close run-outs with Piepa Cleary calling them to their doom, and from that point, Lightning were never going to post the sort of defendable total they were looking for. To make matters worse, they were bowled out with 12 balls of the innings left.
Ecclestone polished the tail off in five balls when Sophie Munro was striking the ball nicely, and Cleary was looking for support to bat out the 120 ball allotment.
Thunder, like Lightning, never make it easy for themselves. They were soon 25 for three in the Powerplay.
Ecclestone, batting at four, couldn’t repeat her heroics with the ball and was lbw to Kathryn Bryce for one. Thunder were looking for someone to stay with Emma Lamb. It doesn’t matter where Thunder and Lightning play; you can be assured that Lamb is in the middle, scoring essential runs. She contributed 42 from 35 balls today and, along with Danielle Collins, shared a fifty run partnership for the fourth wicket.
Two wickets were to fall late on, but Thunder were almost over the finishing line by that stage and won with 28 balls to spare.
Both teams will move onto the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy next month and will hopefully show they are more adept at the fifty over format.