When Loughborough Lightning beat Lancashire Thunder by a whacking 9 wickets at Haslegrave, they opened up a margin of 12 points over their nearest rival, Surrey Stars. The table-toppers Western Storm have a 2-point advantage over them after seven rounds.
The competition has been characterised by its unpredictability. But as we move into its final stages the strong are beginning to laud it over the relatively weak. Thunder started well enough in this clash of the elements, Georgia Boyce (38 off 33) playing one of her best innings against the menacing Sophie Devine. Devine seemed to increase her pace against her fellow White Fern, Amy Satterthwaite (47 off 41), who responded in like style.
From 100-2 Thunder declined to an unfulfilled 136-7. This mirrored the problems of all the lower-placed sides: their inabilty to maintain the scoring-rate without losing cheap wickets.
In retrospect, Lightning’s response seemed a foregone conclusion. The two overseas openers, Rachael Haynes (40*) and Devine (22), set off with total confidence, but they were quite outshone by home-grown Amy Jones who was at her supreme best (66*). She delighted her supporters with one of her most dismissive innings (8×4, 3×6).
Thunder have four England bowlers in their line-up – not one of them took a wicket, Haynes going to a run-out. Let’s be charitable and lay the blame four-square on the white ball.
The table after 7 Rounds: