Lancashire Thunder wants to finish Kia Super League on a high when they host Surrey Stars
Lancashire Thunder are desperately keen to end a disappointing four years results wise in the Kia Super League on a high when they host Surrey Stars at Blackpool on Wednesday (2.30pm).
The Thunder travel to Stanley Park for their final Super League event, with the The Hundred to launch next summer as part of a wider restructure of English women’s domestic cricket.
It is a clash between two sides who can’t qualify for this weekend’s Finals Day at Hove, with the Thunder yet to win in nine games this summer.
They have lost eight and tied once, against Southern Vipers at Hove, with a lack of runs a particular problem. They have only posted four individual half-centuries with a top score of 62.
A win against last year’s champions, who include ex-Thunder and current England wicketkeeper bat Sarah Taylor, would at least give captain Kate Cross and co a spring in their step heading into a new era.
General manager Bobby Cross said: “We’ll want to finish well, and I’m sure Surrey will be the same because they can’t qualify either.
“It’s been a disappointing four years performance wise. At times this year - the results haven’t reflected it - we’ve played some really good stuff.
“It’s been frustrating because we’ve had a tie and four of the games have finished in the last over. If we’d had a bit more luck and played better at key times, it could have been different.
“Hopefully we can win well on Wednesday and then start looking forward to next year and how the landscape changes with all of that.
“I’m sure we’ll give it a really good crack.”
In four years of the KSL, the Thunder have won six games in all, including five of them last year as they narrowly missed out on Finals Day.
But they have given plenty of opportunity to homegrown Lancashire talent.
Emma Lamb and Ellie Threlkeld, both girls with England representative experience, are prime examples of players who have grown their games.
“It’s been a great competition for us in that regard,” said Bobby Cross. “We’ve given so many of our young girls the opportunity to play at this level.
“The competition has also been a good tool for England. They’ve found some players on the back of Super League performances.”
He continued: “We’re really excited about how the future looks, especially having a (Hundred) team at Manchester.
“It’s also a fresh start for us. There was only last year where we really competed in the Super League, and the other three years we’ve propped it up.
“There’s a really exciting future in prospect for the women’s game.
“If someone had told me 10 years ago that we’d be playing at venues like Emirates Old Trafford and Trent Bridge and be on TV, I wouldn’t have thought it.
“It’s a really exciting time for the women’s game, and we shouldn’t lose sight of that just because results haven’t gone the way we’d have liked them to.
“It will only get bigger and better, and we’re really excited to be a part of it in Manchester.”
Surrey have only won two of their nine games and sit second bottom in the table above Lancashire.
One of their wins came against the Thunder at Guildford earlier this month when they chased down a target of 121 to win by eight wickets with 5.4 overs remaining.
Lancashire beat Yorkshire on their last visit to Blackpool, last August.