Source: Julian Thompson

Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy 2023 – match 41 – Stars vs Thunder

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South East Stars vs North West Thunder at Guildford (Woodbridge Road); at 10h30 on 5 September 2023 

‘Thunder’ came beefed-up by Scots (Olivia Bell) and Irish (Laura Delaney) Internationals, but minus international superstar Deandre Dottin. Previously on 22 April (match 2), ’Stars’ equalled the highest competition score (334/5 vs 203/10.) This time the tables were turned on 3rd-placed ‘Stars,’ who now need to win remaining matches against tough competition to be certain of reaching the competition’s play-off/final. Scotland’s Olivia Bell (4/23) was pick of ‘Thunder’s’ bowlers, dismissing two big-hitters; returning later to bag two tail-enders from ‘leg-before’ decisions. Astonishingly, the hosts failed to chalk-up a defendable score as they ran out of wickets inside 38 overs. England’s Emma Lamb top-scored with ‘fifty’  By comparison, ’Stars’ bowling attack relied upon seam, making scant use of their own quality spinners even though spinners had proved more successful earlier, when ‘Thunder’ dismissed ’Stars’ for a low-score. Commentators were Jamie Reid & Cameron ‘Cam’ Ponsonby (Sports journalist.) Allowance made for ‘Thunder’ gaffed as’ Lancashire’ (rather than North West Thunder.) Video highlights courtesy of ECB and NV Play (please see below.) Weather  at Guildford was ‘hot:’ cloudless, clear blue sky with light breeze 19C.

Stars innings *Skipper Bryony Smith. *[Ellie Threlkeld keeping wicket for Thunder] *With Alice-Davidson-Richards (England) & Jemima Spence. *Without England’s Alice Capsey, Freya Davies, Sophia Dunkley, Tash Farrant or Phoebe Franklin. *’Thunder’s’ seam bowlers (Tara Norris paired with Phoebe Graham) took three ‘Stars’ wickets during the first 8 overs. *Skipper Bryony Smith 5(11) ‘made a slow departure’ when caught ‘smartly’ low-down by Naomi Dattani from Tara Norris. *Alexa Stonehouse 12(14) played-on from bat-and-pad, from Phoebe Graham. *Commentators’s curse struck when Kira Chathli 3(10) arrived to ‘keep the scoreboard moving’ then clean-bowled by Phoebe Graham (2/20.) *Having faced 37 ‘dot’ balls  ‘Stars’ were 37/3, after ten overs’ Power-play. *Partnership between Alice-Davidson-Richards & Aylish Cranstone banked 35 runs until Aylish Cranstone 23(35) was caught by Phoebe Graham from Olivia Bell. *Alice-Davidson-Richards 21(41) departed to a ‘good catch’ by Fi Morris ‘short of ‘four’ or ‘six’,’ also from Olivia Bell. *By mid-way (25 overs) ’Stars’ were 93/5. *Paige Scholfield and Chloe Hill partnership added 51 runs. *Three wickets fell for two runs firstly when Chloe Hill 13(24) was caught by Naomi Dattani from Tara Norris (1/16.) *Secondly when Jemima Spence 1(9) went ‘leg before’ to Olivia Bell; *Two balls later, Paige Scholfield 38(48) (who previously scored a ‘ton’ on 22 April) was caught by Emma Lamb from Fi Morris. *Tail-enders went quickly when Kalea Moore 5(16) was stumped by Ellie Threlkeld from Fi Morris (3/33); *Finally Ryana Macdonald-Gay 11(17) went ‘leg-before’ to Olivia Bell. *Best ‘Stars’ batter was Paige Scholfield 38(48); *Best Thunder bowler was Olivia Bell 4/23.

‘Thunder’s’ innings *Skipper Ellie Threlkeld [*Kira Chathli keeping wicket for for ‘Stars’] *With Emma Lamb (England), Tara Norris (US International) Debutante Laura Delany (Republic of Ireland); Without Deandre Dottin (ex WIndies), Mahika Gaur & Kate Cross (England.) *After ten overs Power-play, ‘Thunder’ were 42/1 (vs 37.3) *Seren Smale 8(7) who was caught by Aylish Cranstone, from Paige Scholfield’s (1/8) ‘short delivery.’  *Partnership between Emma Lamb & Naomi Dattani banked 65 runs until  Emma Lamb 50(59) went ‘leg-before’ to Alice-Davidson-Richards (1/20) *Four balls later Naomi Dattani 25(48) was caught by Paige Scholfield from Danielle Gregory (1/29.) *Two balls before mid-way (140/4 vs 93/5) Fi Morris was caught by Alice-Davidson-Richards from Alexa Stonehouse 1/26. *No further wickets fell as skipper Ellie Threlkeld 22*not out and debutante Laura Delany who struck the winning ‘four,’ bagged victory by a wide margin. *Best ‘Thunder’ batter was Emma Lamb 50(59) *Best ’Stars’ bowler was Paige Scholfield (1/8.)

Match summary: Without key players, ‘Stars’ batters struggled floundered ‘spin.’ ‘Thunder’s’ bowlers took three early wickets during ‘Stars’ Power-play, by which point over half of balls bowled were non-scoring ‘dot ‘balls. Scotland’s Olivia Bell was pick of ‘Thunder’s’ bowlers, dismissing two of ‘Stars’ biggest-hitters; returning later to bag two tail-enders from ‘leg-before’ decisions. Thunder started well, England’s Emma Lamb finding gaps between fielders, top-scoring with ‘fifty’ partnered by Naomi Dattani, said to have been successful during the Women’s ‘The Hundred.’ ‘Two skippers’ (Ellie Threlkeld together with Ireland’s skipper Laura Delany) saw Thunder home by a wide-margin. Chalking-up an unexpected win, ’Thunder’ gave their roses-rivals ‘Diamonds’ aspirations a boost. ‘Diamonds’ are almost certain to qualify to defend their trophy title.

Match result: North West Thunder 147/4 beat South East Stars 145/10 by 6 wickets (with 145 balls remaining)

‘Stars’ batting 145/10 (37.5/50 overs @ 3.8 runs-per-over) Paige Scholfield 38(48), Aylish Cranstone 23(35),Alice-Davidson-Richards 21(41), Chloe Hill 13(24), Alexa Stonehouse 12(14), Ryana Macdonald-Gay 11(17); Thunder’s bowling: Olivia Bell 4/23, Fi Morris 3/33, Phoebe Graham 2/20, Tara Norris 1/16; Fow: 1-10, 2-21, 3-30, 4-65  5-76, 6-127, 7-129, 8-129  9-141, 10-145.

Thunder’s batting 147/4 (25.5/50 overs @ 5.6 runs-per-over) Emma Lamb 50(59), Naomi Dattani 25(48), Eleanor ‘Ellie’ Threlkeld 22*not out; ‘Stars’s’ bowling: Paige Scholfield 1/8, Alice-Davidson-Richards 1/20, Alexa Stonehouse 1/26, Danielle Gregory 1/29; Fow: 1-27, 2-92, 3-96, 4-139.

* Scorecard  courtesy of ECB @URL

* Video highlights, via NV Play @URL

* Match free-to-air courtesy of Surrey Stars (believed to be via NV Play) on ‘YouTube’ Livestream [starting from 4m30s /4h44m16s] @URL: