South East Stars 198 (Smith 73*, Brewer 49, Hartley 6-24) beat Thunder 146 (Boyce 68, Miles 3-15) by 52 runs
After posting a clearly competitive 198 all out on a wicket helpful to the spinners, the Stars dismissed Thunder for 146 to complete a fine 52-run victory and achieve their second win in the 50-over competition.
The Stars’ innings was composed of three very distinct phases. In the first 13.1 overs of the game Chloe Brewer and Kirstie White took advantage of some loose bowling and the quick outfield to put on 67 for their side’s first wicket.
Hartley was the chief beneficiary and she finished with 6 for 24 from her ten overs, which is just outside her List A best of 6 for 23. The spinner bowled superbly but was helped by some indifferent batting and also by a quite brilliant catch by Daisy Mullan, whose full-length diving effort at deep midwicket saw the end of Rhianna Southby for 8 and also gave Hartley her fifth wicket.
When Miles was ninth out, bowled by Deandra Dottin for nought, Thunder probably anticipated a relatively simple run-chase, but Smith and her last-wicket partner, Dani Gregory, had other ideas. Showing exemplary common sense, they defended straight balls capably and took advantage of anything loose to put on 76 in 15.3 overs.
Smith reached her fifty off 70 balls and went on play the innings that set up a fascinating second half of the match. Dottin took the last wicket when she had Gregory caught behind and she finished with 3 for 49 from 9.5 overs. Hannah Jones also bowled a tight spell and took the important wicket of the opener, Brewer, who was bowled by a flighted, full-length delivery for 49.
Duckworth was gated by an off-spinner from Lauren Smith, skipper Ellie Threlkeld was bowled when attempting to sweep Miles and the debutant followed her maiden wicket by running out a dawdling Natalie Brown for 2 and trapping Shachi Pai leg before for nought.
Slow left-armer Miles then took the vital wicket of Boyce for 68 when she beat the opener in the flight with a beautiful looping delivery and that left the last four Thunder wickets with the task of scoring 72 runs in 18 overs.
Despite some useful blows from Graham, who made 11, they never looked like reaching their target and, appropriately enough it was Smith who took the last wicket when she had Hartley caught at mid on with 9.5 overs to spare. Smith ended the game with 2 for 20, Gregory took 2 for 36 and Franklin, 2 for 25.