Recent Match Report – SE Stars vs Thunder 2022

South East Stars 198 (Smith 73*, Brewer 49, Hartley 6-24) beat Thunder 146 (Boyce 68, Miles 3-15) by 52 runs

Lauren Smith made 73 not out and Bethan Miles took 3 for 15 on her debut as South East Stars fought back from 122 for 9 to inflict a third defeat in three games on the north-west based side, Thunder in this year’s Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.

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.

Then Alex Hartley took over. Four balls after she had dropped White when presented with a straightforward chance in the ring off Phoebe Graham, she had the reprieved batter leg before wicket for 12. That began a collapse that saw the Stars lose nine wickets for 55 runs in 19 overs.

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.

Thunder’s pursuit of 199 began poorly when Dottin top-edged a pull off Phoebe Franklin and was caught by White at short fine-leg for 8. Rebecca Duckworth then made 15 of a 53-run stand for the second wicket with Georgie Boyce but by then the Stars had the spinners on and they were getting as much joy from the pitch as Thunder’s slow bowlers had enjoyed.

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.

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