LANCASHIRE THUNDER 87 all out Hazell 37 Smith 3-16
SOUTHERN VIPERS 88 – 4 Wyatt 46 Ecclestone 2- 19
Lancashire Thunder saw their win less streak in the Kia Women’s Super League competition continue on, as the Thunder suffered yet another terrible batting collapse at home to the title chasing Southern Vipers in Liverpool, where the Thunder fell to a six wickets defeat to their opponents.
Before the start of play, their opponents the Southern Vipers had only suffered one defeat so far in the competition and that came this past Sunday against the leaders Surrey, to which it needed Duckworth/Lewis coming into play and have them losing out. For the Thunder, they have lost all their games in the competition so far, and have also really struggled massively for form with bat or ball from their side this year.
From the get-go, it saw the home side on the back foot almost immediately from the off and had the Vipers getting ready to strike at their wound opposition, as the innings seem to have the home side showing a lack of confidence. Lancashire lost opener Emma Lamb early on thanks to Linsey Smith clean bowling the youngster for 1, as the Vipers player would have an exceptional day with the ball.
England’s Sarah Taylor then came to the crease for the hosts but was soon heading back to the dugout after she hit a ball straight back to Windes International Hayley Matthews for one, which had the home side on 8-2.
New Zealander Amy Satterthwaite made a three ball duck to see the Thunder side three down, while Linsey Smith helped herself to her second wicket of the match. Smith would soon after pick up another wicket for her troubles, as she knocked over Eve Jones for 7 saw the hosts now 10-4 and in desperate trouble.
Australian Jess Jonassen and youngster Ellie Threlkeld then helped to put on a mini partnership to halt the collapse during the Lancashire Innings and have both steering the hosts past 30-4.
That mini revival didn’t last too long and saw Suzie Bates bowling Jonassen out for 11 and see the Thunder five down. Elle Threlkeld was next to go for Lancs, as she was run out for a stubborn score of 6 and have the scoreboard reading 31-6 and have the hosts in real danger of not making a half century.
Lancashire desperately needed a knock from someone in the middle order to just make it a fairly competitive contest, and up stepped the captain Danielle Hazell, as she tried to rally the Thunder with some brilliant shot making out in the middle. Sadly for her, she saw wickets tumble at the other end with Sophie Ecclestone and Natalie Brown both failing to score and seeing the Vipers putting on a clinic as the Lancashire Innings was coming to an end.
England’s Kate Cross then joined her skipper at the crease with the score at 57-8 and it would need a huge push by the two of them to help post anything that was relatively possible to defend against their opponents. Both batters played some good shots, with Hazell hitting a couple of big sixes and seeing Cross picking up a couple of handy boundaries along the way as the hosts looked to score as many as they could inside the final three overs.
At the start of the final over, it saw the Thunder captain looking to go big and throw the bat but her effort sadly came up short and had Tash Farrant picking up the wicket of Hazell, with Suzie Bates taking the catch to dismiss the England International for 37. Cross was the final wicket to fall in the Lancashire Innings, with the Lancashire pairing running in vain for an extra score to the total and see the England International run out for 19 and have the Thunder all out for a lowly 87.
The Southern Vipers were set just 88 for victory and it seemed liked it was a pretty much cut and dried thing, with the Vipers seemingly just knocking the runs off quickly. As it was, the Thunder were determined to make it as hard for their opposition while it lasted and were keen to make amends for their poor batting display.
Lancashire started with Jess Jonassen and Sophie Ecclestone opening the bowling attack for the home side, with the hope that they could take an early wicket much like the Vipers had done against them. Sophie Ecclestone opened her spell with a wicket off the first ball, as Hayley Matthews could only loft it up in the air as far as Lea Tahuhu and the New Zealander took the catch to give the home side an early breakthrough.
Chester-born Ecclestone then struck again later in the over to claim her second wicket of the Innings, as the spinner bowled Georgia Adams out for a duck and see the Vipers not having it all their own way with the visitors 7-2.
However, Southern Vipers duo of Suzie Bates and Danni Wyatt then managed to get to grips with a low bouncing pitch and punish some poor deliveries at times at the crease too. The Australasian connection of Jess Jonassen and Amy Satterthwaite brought the Thunder a third wicket as a reward for plugging again, as Satterthwaite took the catch from a Suzie Bates shot and have the visitors 26-3.
South African Mignon du Preez then played a little cameo Innings for the Vipers before Danielle Hazell bowled her out for 9 and have the visiting side 41-4, with the visitors needing another 47 runs for victory. Lancashire used an entire bowling attack mainly made up of spin, as the quickies were getting much out of the pitch and the Thunder side chose to use spin as their form of attack against their opposition.
Vipers Danni Wyatt proved to be the match winner in the game with the England International finishing on 46 not out and see both her and teammate Arran Brindle who finished on 19 unbeaten too, as the Southern Vipers eased to victory by six wickets and qualify for Finals day. This defeat was the fourth straight loss in this year’s competition and see their winless streak moving to seven in a row, with the Thunder’s last win coming against Loughborough in last season’s competition.
Lancashire still have one more game left to play in 2017 tournament, as the side travel down to Bristol to face the Western Storm on Saturday and will be playing for pride and also hope to a build on a battling effort with the ball.