Source: Julian Thompson

Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy 2024 – match 9

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North West Thunder vs Western Storm at Manchester (Emirates Old Trafford) on 27 April 2024 (09h30 with delayed start)

Sophie Luff 76 (pictured) who played a skipper’s innings with top-score, later said she was ‘really proud’ for a ‘great team performance.’ During Storm’s innings, commentators lauded Sophie Ecclestone who was ‘pick of Thunder’s bowlers,’ taking a 3-fer. Storm posted a match-winning 162 runs from their last 30 overs. When Thunder replied, Storm’s Australian World Cup winner Amanda-Jade Wellington was hit for back-to-back ‘sixes,’ but later proved decisive by removing both of Thunder’s top batters (Katie Mack & Emma Lamb) just eight balls apart. Thereafter, Thunder’s challenge fell away. Storm’s bowlers Sophia Smale and Chloe Skelton both chalked-up 3-fers, lauded as ‘pivotal’ for Storm’s first win of the season. Commentators for LancsTV, Alex Hartley (ex England women), with Paul Shaw (ex Thunder Coach.) Weather was chilly, overcast, slowing outfield with rain forecast.

*Storm’s innings skipper Sophie Luff; with Danielle ‘Danni’ Gibson & Lauren Filer (England), Sophia Smale (England u-19s), Fran Wilson (ex England), &  Amanda-Jade Wellington (Australia World Cup winner & Big bash) *One change: Katie Jones for Mollie Robbins;  [*Ellie Threlkeld keeping wicket for Thunder]; *After 10 overs power-play: 41/0; Alex Griffiths was bowled by Sophie Ecclestone; *Two wickets fell 5 balls apart firstly when Sophia Smale was bowled by ‘Sophie Ecclestone; *Next over, Fran Wilson was caught by Naomi Dattani from Phoebe Graham; *Danni Gibson was also bowled by Sophie Ecclestone; *By mid-way (25 overs) 92/4; *Nat Wraith was caught at ‘mid-on’ by Sophie Ecclestone’s ‘diving catch to her right,’ from Phoebe Graham; *Niamh Holland was caught by Katie Mack, from Mahika Gaur;*Sophie Luff partnered by Amanda-Jade Wellington added 56 runs from Storm’s last six overs; *Storm’s batting posted a defendable score – around 250; Sophie Luff 76(100); Nat Wraith 38(53); Amanda-Jade Wellington 31*not out(19); Alex Griffiths  24(38); Sophia Smale 28(48); Niamh Holland 22(24); Danielle ‘Danni’ Gibson 16(12); *Thunder bowling Sophie Ecclestone 3/16 with best economy from ten overs (1.6); Phoebe Graham 2/56, Mahika Gaur 1/49 also bowled full ten overs with joint 2nd place for economy;

Thunder’s innings *Skipper Eleanor ‘Ellie’ Threlkeld *With Sophie Ecclestone, Kate Cross, Emma Lamb (England), Seren Smale (England u19s), Katie Mack (Australia Big bash); with one change: Mahika Gaur for Tara Norris; [*Natasha ‘Nat’ Wraith keeping wicket for Storm] *During the power-play Seren Smale was caught by Danni Gibson at ‘cover’ from Lauren Filer; *Level-pegging scores after 10 overs 39/1 (vs 41/0); *Katie Mack partnered by Emma Lamb were bowled by Amanda-Jade Wellington eight balls apart; *Katie Mack’s middle stump was skittled by a ‘dead-straight’ ball; Emma Lamb (gaffed by commentators as Fi Morris) missing a ’sweep’ shot; *Approaching mid-way, Chloe Skelton was on a hat-trick after Fi Morris snicked an ‘outside-edge’ to keeper Nat Wraith; *Naomi Dattani was bowled ‘middle-and-leg’ for a golden duck at ‘bail height;’ *Alex Griffiths also snicked to Nat Wraith, this time from Sophie Ecclestone; *By mid-way (25 overs) 104/6 (vs 92/4); *Ellie Threlkeld partnered by Kate Cross added 69 runs from Thunder’s next 14 overs; *Both batters departed 3 balls apart: firstly, when Kate Cross was bowled by Sophia Smale *Also, Ellie Threlkeld went ‘leg-before’ to Chloe Skelton. *Next over, Mahika Gaur went for a 2nd ball duck from Sophia Smale; *Finally, Phoebe Graham was bowled by Sophia Smale. *Thunder batting Emma Lamb 38(53); Kate Cross 36(42); Eleanor ‘Ellie’ Threlkeld 32(60); Katie Mack 28(32); Fi Morris 16(23), Phoebe Graham 10(12); *Storm’s bowling Chloe Skelton 3/35, Sophia Smale 3/42; Amanda-Jade Wellington 2/46, Lauren Filer 1/13 with best economy (3.25); Alex Griffiths 1/15;

Match result: Western Storm 252/6 (@5.0 runs per over from 50/50 overs) beat North West Thunder 186 (@4.3 rpo from 42.4/50ov; target 253 from 50 ov) by 66 runs (with 44 balls remaining)

*Scorecard courtesy of ECB @URL AppleMac users may need to scroll down the left-hand margin

*Video highlights courtesy of Western Storm & NV Play via ‘YouTube’ <04m49s>@URL

*Full match free-to-air courtesy of Lancs TV & NV Play via ‘YouTube’ <7h04m15s> @URL

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