Source: ECB

‘Belter Of A Day’ For Sophie Luff

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‘Western Storm Women’ vs ‘Lightning’ at Bristol on 12 September (Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy – round 6)

Making top score of the day, skipper Sophie Luff (70) staged a decisive 70-run partnership that proved to separate the two teams. Luff guided ‘Storm’ (who previously suffered 5 ‘ducks’) through a cautious start, scoring below 3-runs-per-over. ‘Lightning’s’ front line bowlers (Kathryn Bryce and Grace Ballinger) delivered two-thirds (33/48) of ‘Storm’s’ first 8 overs as ‘dot’ balls. *Storm progressed to 38/0 without loss after 10 overs.

* ‘Storm’s’ opening pair were undone when ‘Lightning’s’ spinner Kirstie Gordon came into the attack, trapping Fi Morris (25 runs from 33 balls) ‘leg before,’ 1st ball.

*Fellow opener Lauren Parfitt fell to Sophie Munro, caught by Bethany Harmer.

*Remarkably, Sophie Munro’s 2ndover followed the same pattern as her 1st over, with 3 ‘dots’ and a ‘single’ scored by Sophie Luff, followed by another ‘dot’ and a 2nd wicket.

*This time, Georgia Hennessy was caught-and-bowled by Sophie Munro for a 7th ball duck.

*At the 100-ball benchmark (16.4) overs 54/3 vs 61/4, skipper Sophie Luff went on the counter-attack, ‘Storm’ passing the mid-way point at 82/3.

*Sophie Luff and Alex Griffiths (30 from 48) added 70 runs for the 4th wicket until Griffiths was clean-bowled by Kathryn Bryce (1/44.)

*Kirstie Gordon struck again during her 9th over. Danielle Gibson (29 from 26) was trapped ‘leg before’ and skipper Luff (70 runs from 110 balls) was caught 4 balls later – a 2nd catch by Bethany Harmer (also off Gordon).

*Nicole Harvey (19*) and Chloe Skelton (13*) both struck 3 ’fours’ in a closing cameo, making good use of ‘Storm’s’ final three overs.

*‘Lightning’ lost 3 openers cheaply within 9 overs. Firstly Bethany Harmer (5) was run out 5th ball by Danielle Gibson. Secondly Kathryn Bryce (4) was caught behind from Lauren Filer. Filer’s recent net-practice paying dividends with much improved accuracy with fewer ‘wides’. Thirdly, Sarah Bryce (27) was clean bowled by Chloe Nicholas. After 10 overs, ’Lightning’ were ahead, but already three wickets adrift (44/3 vs 38/0).

*Lucy Higham took on the anchor role, partnering Abigail Freeborn (7) who was clean bowled by Nicole Harvey.

*At the 100-ball benchmark (16.4 overs 54/3 vs 61/4.) Teresa Graves (17) who’d struck Danielle Gibson for ‘six’ and was caught behind, next ball. By mid-way (25 overs) ‘Lightning’ were still ahead but remained three wickets adrift (91/5 vs 82/3.)

*‘Lightning’s’ tail-enders did well to reduce a 100 run deficit with a last-wicket stand adding 38 runs. Bowlers-turned-batters Kirstie Gordon (3) and Sophie Munro (3) were caught mis-timing shots; and Yvonne Graves (8) was caught behind – Gordon and Graves deceived by Georgia Hennessy.

* Ella Claridge made top score (39*) adding 38 runs for the final wicket with Grace Ballinger.

Result: ‘Western Storm -Women’ 228/7 beat ‘Lightning -W’ 166 by 62 runs (with 52 balls remaining)

‘Storm -W’ 228/7 (50 ov, 4.56 runs-per-over); Sophie Luff 70 runs (from 110 balls), Alex Griffiths 30(48), Danielle Gibson 29(26), Fi Morris 25 (33), Nicole Harvey 19*(19), Chloe Skelton 13*(12), Natasha Wraith 13(14); ‘Lightning’ bowling: Kirstie Gordon 3/43, Sophie Munro 2/35, Kathryn Bryce 1/44, Grace Ballinger 1/50; Fow: 1-38, 2-40, 3-42, 4-112, 5-178, 6-181, 7-210;

’Lightning -W’ 166-10 (41.2/50 ov, 4.01 r-p-o) Ella Claridge 39* (48) Sarah Bryce 27(39) Lucy Higham 23(50), Teresa Graves 17(33); ‘Storm’ bowling: Georgia Hennessy 2/22, Nicole Harvey 2/25, Fi Morris 2/34, Claire Nicholas 1/22, Danielle Gibson 1/27, Lauren Filer 1/34 ; Fow: 1-11, 2-38, 3-38, 4-57, 5-85, 6-100, 7-116, 8-119 , 9-128, 10-166.

Scorecard at: https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/rachael-heyhoe-flint-trophy-2021-1252263/western-storm-vs-lightning-1252286/full-scorecard