Source: Julian Thompson

Top Scorer Georgia Elwiss’ Strikes Vipers’ Winning ‘Four’

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Thunder v Southern Vipers at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester on June 1 (19h00 – night)

Once again Georgia Elwiss (pictured) struck the winning ‘four,’ taking Vipers home by a wide margin, and chalking-up their fifth straight win. Previously at Hove, Thunder barely scored 100 (102) and Vipers won by similar margin. Topping their group’s table, Vipers seem certain of booking their place playing at the Charlotte Edwards Cup finals day on 11 June. Having set the scene on a mild floodlit evening, commentators included Philip Harrison and introduced former Australian cricketer Stuart Law as guest commentator. A consolation win for Thunder was said to rest not only on the shoulders of openers batters Emma Lamb and Georgie Boyce; but also bowlers Kate Cross and Sophie Ecclestone; Ecclestone and Cross returning from India’s ‘Three Teams Challenge.’ Even with a consolation win, Thunder couldn’t progress beyond the group stage.

*From a personal viewpoint, any ‘dead rubber’ match should present opportunities to test out new players. For example, last season, Thunder’s Alice Dyson was paired as an opening bowler with Laura Jackson.

*Thunder’s problems began when Vipers skipper Georgia Adams made a diving catch from mid-on, dismissing Emma Lamb during Freya Kemp’s second over.

*Thunder had scored one ‘four’ after six overs power play: 21/1

*Promoted to No.3, Kate Cross went aerial, the same way,  easily caught by Danni Wyatt at ‘deep mid-wicket’ from Charlie Dean’s spin.

*After 10 overs Thunder were 44/3, having lost Georgie Boyce (9) who was ‘deceived’ by pace and ‘swept her bat far too late:’ clean-bowled by Freya Kemp.

*With Thunder’s top three scorers back in the hutch, commentators spoke of a ‘significant breakthrough’ for Vipers.

*Commentators curse struck just as ‘a mini partnership’ was forming between Sophie Ecclestone and Danielle Collins.

*Having returned dot balls straight back to the bowler, Collins (7) was wrapped on the pad and given ‘leg before.’ Commentators believed that the umpires decision was ‘left-sided,’ until replayed as undeniably ’plumb.’

*Umpires’ decision was dead right and commentators had to eat their words.

*During the next three overs, top-scorer Sophie Ecclestone and skipper Ellie Threlkeld scampered mainly singles from Georgia Elwiss and Freya Kemp, following from four ‘byes’ gifted by Tara Norris.

*Thunder were 82/4 at the hundred ball benchmark (16.4 overs.)

*Next ball, Ellie Threlkeld found a ‘thick outside edge’ off Charlie Dean, who dived forward to her left to take the return catch.

*Three balls later, Laura Marshall went for a second ball ‘duck,’ spooning a  simple catch to Maia Bouchier at mid-on, off Tara Norris.

*Thereafter, Sophie Ecclestone and Laura Jackson took ‘ones’ and ‘twos’ from Georgia Elwiss and Anya Shrubsole.

*During the interval, Thunder’s Alice Clarke was interviewed, happy that so many people had remained to watch the women’s game.

*The point was made about young girls having cricketing role models to motivate them.

*Pitch-side, Stuart Law summarised Thunder’s innings, adding that Charlie Dean was ‘outstanding;’ and ‘Vipers professional performance’ had made it difficult for Thunder to score many runs.

*England pairing Sophie Ecclestone and Kate Cross bowled two overs each, from which Danni Wyatt launched Ecclestone for one ’six.’

*After five overs, Vipers lost Wyatt, going down the wicket to ex-England’s Alex Hartley and promptly stumped by Ellie Threlkeld.

*During the sixth power play over bowled by Kate Cross, Georgia Adams was caught by Laura Jackson, inside the circle at ‘extra cover.’

*Pausing for drinks, Vipers were 34/2, needing 61 runs from 90 balls.

*By comparison, after 6 overs, Vipers were ahead by 15 runs: 36/2 (vs 21/1); and 52/2 by mid-way (vs 44/3.)

*Drama struck when Maia Bouchier 13(12) hit a return catch to spinner Hannah Jones; and two overs later Freya Kemp went for a ‘huge heave’ and was ‘smartly stumped’ – said to be ‘quick work’ by Ellie Threlkeld.

*The match reached its conclusion when Georgia Elwiss 38*(35) struck the winning ‘four’ to finish the game, narrowly claiming bonus point, by three balls.

*In summary, as previously stated, Vipers batting success comes from their team’s overall performance (batting strike-rate, bowling ability and fielding competence) rather than depend on one single batter’s performance. Although Thunder’s openers have double-fifties to their name from previous matches, both openers were dismissed by Freya Kemp – the second time that Georgie Boyce’s wicket has fallen to Kemp’s bowling.

*Thereafter, the match followed a similar pattern as before (at Hove) with the majority of Thunder’s batters failing to make double-figures and Vipers losing fewer wickets.

*Vipers scoring rate was faster than Thunder in both matches, enabling them to chase down low targets (around the hundred mark) by a wide margin with three-to-four overs to spare.

Result (group A) Southern Vipers Women 97/4 (15.3 overs) beat Lancashire Thunder Women 94/6 (20 overs) by 6 wickets

Thunder 94/6 (20 overs, 4.7 runs-per-over) Sophie Ecclestone 28*(32) Kate Cross 18(17) Ellie Threlkeld 12(15); Vipers bowling: Charlie Dean 3/16 Freya Kemp 2/20 Tara Norris 1/15; Fow 1-9, 2-34, 3-44, 4-57, 5-82, 6-83; Southern Vipers 97/4 (15.3/20 overs, 6.25 runs-per-over): Georgia Elwiss 38*(35), Georgia Adams 17(21), Maia Bouchier 13(12), Danni Wyatt 13(13); Thunder bowling: Hannah Jones 1/10, Laura Jackson 1/17, Alex Hartley 1/19, Kate Cross 1/24; Fow  1-34, 2-34, 3-57, 4-75.

Scorecard & statistics at URL

Entire match, is free-to-view courtesy of Lancs TV live stream, via  Smart TV (3h18m56s starting from 34m20s) and Youtube at URL youtube