Source: Julian Thompson

Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy 2023 – match 54 – Storm vs Thunder

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Western Storm vs North West Thunder at Emirates Old Trafford Manchester, on September 16 

Setting the scene, commentators Michael McCann (Sports journalist) and Melinda ‘Mel’ Farrell (journalist & ex Australia women) explained that neither team was ’in qualifying contention.’ Both teams lacked a sufficient number of points needed to go beyond the group stage. As a consequence they were knocked-out of the competiton and playing for pride. Three Storm batters (Sophia Smale, Emma Corney & Sophie Luff) made ‘fifty.’ ‘Thunder’ made a disastrous start to their innings, losing three wickets cheaply. ‘Thunder’s’ skipper Ellie Threlkeld (pictured) with a career-best 107*not outmounted a recovery with Naomi Dattani that banked banked 177 runs. Together with their partnership assured ‘Thunder’ of their winning position from their last game-of-the-season. Video highlights courtesy of ECB (NV Play) & Lancs CricketTV (please see below.) Weather at Old Trafford was mainly overcast.

‘Storm’s innings’ *Skipper Sophie Luff [*Ellie Threlkeld keeping wicket for ’Thunder’] Debutante Izzy Patel. Returner Mollie Robbins. *Without Heather Knight, Danielle Gibson & Lauren Filer (England call-up) *After 10 overs Power-play, ‘Storm’ were 53/0 *Emma Corney 53(64) was caught at ‘long-on’ by Tara Norris on-the-turn, from Olivia Bell *After 25 overs, ’Storm’ were 125/1 *Fran Wilson 24(28) was bowled through-the-gate bails sent flying, by Olivia Bell *Sophia Smale 56(82) was caught-and-bowled ‘middle-and-off-stump,’ by Olivia Bell (3/30) *Six balls later, Niamh Holland 0(2) was bowled ‘middle-and-off-stump,’ by Liberty ‘Libby’ Heap. *Natasha Wraith 8(11) was bowled bowled, ‘middle-and-off-stump’ by Libby Heap. *Katie Jones 16(14) mis-timed hook to ‘backward-square,’ caught by Danielle Collins from Libby Heap (3/39) *Chloe Skelton 26*not out(35) & Izzy Patel 2*not out(3) *Sophie Luff played a skipper’s innings, chalking-up 50 during the penultimate over. *Skipper Luff 54(65), was caught by Naomi Dattani, bowled by Tara Norris (1/37) during ‘Storm’s’ final over. *Best ‘Storm’ batters were Sophia Smale 56(82); Sophie Luff 54(65); & Emma Corney 53(64.) *Best ‘Thunder’ bowlers were Olivia Bell 3/30 & Liberty ‘Libby’ Heap 3/39.

‘Thunder’s’ innings *Skipper Ellie Threlkeld [*Katie Jones keeping wicket for ‘Storm’] With internationals Tara Norris (US) & Laura Delany (Republic of Ireland) & Olivia Bell (Scotland); without Deandre Dottin (WIndies Caribbean League.) *Without Emma Lamb, Kate Cross, or Mahika Gaur (England call-up) *Disaster when three wickets fell for 17 runs. *Firstly, during ‘Thunder’s’ 1st over,’ Liberty ‘Libby’ Heap 0(4) was run-out’ by Fran Wilson’s throw to Katie Jones, receiving at the striker’s end for a ‘4th ball-duck.’ *15 balls later, Seren Smale 3(11) went plumb ‘leg-before’ to Sophia Smale. *Thirdly, the 8th-over, Fi Morris was caught-and-bowled by Sophia Smale *After 10 overs Power-play, ‘Thunder’ were 23/3 (vs 53/0) *After 25 overs, ‘Thunder’ were 115/3 (vs 125/1) *Record partnership for ‘Thunder’s’ 4th wicket between skipper Ellie Threlkeld and Naomi Dattani banked 177 runs. *Naomi Dattani 82(114) was caught-and-bowled with a one-handed dive, from Niamh Holland *Laura Delany went plumb ‘leg-before’ to Niamh Holland (2/35.) *Thunder’s best batter Ellie Threlkeld was 107*not out (115); *Best Storm bowlers were Sophia Smale 2/33, Niamh Holland 2/34.

Match summary: Batting first, three Storm batters scored ‘fifty (Sophia Smale, Emma Corney & Sophie Luff.) Two ‘Thunder’ bowlers took 3-fers (Olivia Bell & Libby Heap.) Reported elsewhere that Olivia Bell has a 25 wickets haul from eight ‘Thunder’ matches. Disaster struck Thunder’s final innings of the season when three wickets fell for 17 runs (Libby Heap, Seren Smale & Fi Morris.) Record 4th wicket partnership between skipper Ellie Threlkeld and Naomi Dattani banked 177 runs to get ‘Thunder’ into a winning position. Ellie Threlkeld played a skipper’s innings chalking-up her career-best ‘class-A’ century, for a ‘clinical’ finish to the season. Thunder (26 points) finished their season at Old Trafford on a ‘high,’ beating ‘Storm’ by a comfortable margin. ‘Storm’ finished their group stage in 8th place (16 points), earning their inaugural wooden spoon.

Match result: North West Thunder 254/5 beat Western Storm 250/7 by five wickets with 20 balls remaining

* ‘Storm’s’ batting 250/7: (50/50 overs @ 5.0 runs-per-over) Sophia Smale 56(82), Sophie Luff 54(65), Emma Corney 53(64), Fran Wilson 24(28); ‘Thunder’s’ bowling: Olivia Bell 3/30, Libby Heap 3/39, Tara Norris 1/37; Fow: 1-98, 2-138, 3-145, 4-150, 5-160, 6-199, 7-249.

* ‘Thunder’s’ batting 254/5: (46.4/50 overs @ 5.4 runs-per-over) Ellie Threlkeld 107*not out(115), Naomi Dattani 82(114), Laura Delany 22(15), Danielle Collins 12*not out(13), Fi Morris 11(12); ‘Storm’s’ bowling: Sophia Smale 2/33, Niamh Holland 2/34; Fow: 1-1, 2-3, 3-17, 4-194, 5-230.

*Scorecard courtesy of ECB @URL

*Video highlights, via NV Play @URL

*Match free-to-air courtesy of ‘Lancs Cricket TV’ for North West Thunder (believed to be via NV Play) on ‘YouTube’ Livestream [starting from 0m38sm/6h53m10s] @URL