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Kia Super League - Surrey Stars beat Lancashire Thunder by 8 wickets

Surrey Stars beat Lancashire Thunder by 8 wickets
Surrey Stars beat Lancashire Thunder by 8 wickets

Surrey Stars continued their Kia Super League title defence with a second consecutive win, and a comprehensive one at that, restricting Lancashire Thunder to 120 for 7 before chasing down the runs with eight wickets and 34 balls to spare, yielding maximum bonus points.

Stars had lost Bryony Smith early in their chase, caught at long-off attempting to send Emma Lamb over the top, but Lizelle Lee and Sarah Taylor (36*) then dominated proceedings with a century partnership.

 Lee, whose 45-ball 66 was founded on some wonderfully clean hitting and included three sixes, was finally dismissed by Alex Hartley in the 13th over sweeping into the hands of Harmanpreet Kaur at deep square leg, but skipper Nat Sciver and Taylor then finished the job with ease.

Stars’ win came in spite of a brilliant 44-ball half-century from Harmanpreet Kaur at the back end of the Thunder innings, the Indian captain finishing unbeaten on 58.

Thunder had been placed on the back foot from the outset, having been put in to bat by the Stars. Marizanne Kapp led the way with a deadly accurate four-over spell at the start of the innings which went for just 14 and yielded the wicket of her South African teammate Sune Luus with a beautiful ball that swung late to take out her off-stump, leaving Thunder 7 for 1.

Georgie Boyce attempted to take up where she had left off in Thunder’s first match, racking up a run-a-ball 12 which included successive boundaries off Sciver’s first outing with the ball.  

However, when the opener fell in the fifth over to the off-spin of Mady Villiers, caught at mid-off trying to drive the off-spinner over the top, the runs quickly dried up for Thunder - no boundaries coming off the bat between the third and the 14th overs.

 By that stage Thunder were already four wickets down, having lost both Sophia Dunkley and Tahlia McGrath in quick succession - Dunkley trapped leg-before to Dane van Niekerk’s leg-spin. 

Van Niekerk later struck again twice in the 17th to remove both Sophie Ecclestone and Ellie Threlkeld, finishing with 3 for 20 off her four overs as the Thunder sank to 75 for 7.

 Harmanpreet - who had initially joined the fray in the seventh over - played an innings of two distinct halves: having taken 36 balls to reach 25, she finally freed her arms to take 33 off the last 11 balls she faced; but the effort came too late in the day to set Thunder back on course.

Stars will be hoping for another win when they face Southern Vipers in their next match at the Kia Oval on Monday while Thunder will be desperate to get points on the board in their encounter against Western Storm at Taunton on Saturday.

Kate Cross (Lancashire Thunder):

“I don’t think we had enough runs on the board - 120 was always going to be hard to defend,” Lancashire Thunder captain Kate Cross said of the defeat.

“Having said that, I didn’t think we were going to get close to 120 at one point - Harmanpreet [Kaur] batted superbly and gave us an opportunity.”

“When she flipped that switch and decided to go, she proved what you can do on a pitch like that. She’s got a bit of confidence now and has still got 8 games to make an effect on our team,” she added.

 Lizelle Lee (Surrey Stars):

“The bowlers set it up very nicely for us, so that as a batting unit we could just go out there and express ourselves,” Surrey Stars opener Lizelle Lee, who hit 66 as her side chased down 120 to beat Thunder by 8 wickets, said after the match.

“Sometimes I have more balls than I think I have, especially with T20, so it was nice having Sarah [Taylor] at the other end saying, ‘stay calm’. I stuck to the basics and just tried not to get out!”

 “The team has been working very hard and we’re so happy to start the campaign the way we did,” she added.

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