Southern Vipers and Lancashire Thunder down to final ball and a quite incredible match ends level
On a slow pitch Thunder’s 132 for 7 didn’t look enough but by the seventh over of their reply Vipers had slumped to 24 for 4. Stefanie Taylor (51) and Maia Bouchier (40) appeared to be taking Vipers to victory but the game seemed to swing back Lancashire’s way again in the 19th over when Taylor was bowled sweeping Sophie Ecclestone, who then ran out Bouchier for 40 with a direct hit on the turn.
Vipers needed 12 off the final over and were back in control when Sarah-Jade Wellington struck the first two balls from Emma Lamb to the boundary only to be stumped off the next. Tash Farrant scrambled two off the fourth delivery but was bowled attempting a reverse-hit off the fifth. Carla Rudd could only manage a single off the final ball to leave the scores level.
Southern Vipers 132 - for 8 wickets
Lancashire Thunder 132 - for 7 wickets
Skipper Kate Cross had made the breakthrough in the second over when Danni Wyatt (1) feathered an edge to the wicketkeeper before Suzie Bates (10) played on to Sophie Ecclestone in the next over. Thea Brookes mis-timed a drive to mid-off to give Cross a second wicket and Lancashire appeared to be in control when Tammy Beaumont (10) squirted a delivery well outside off stump from Ema Lamb to point in the seventh over.
But player of the match Taylor, who had earlier taken 2 for 23, and Bouchier turned things around in a terrific stand of 94 in 12 overs which got Vipers’ target down to 15 off two overs. Taylor took her aggregate in four innings to 173 runs as he hit Sophia Dunkley for two sixes and also struck four boundaries in 51 from 43 balls
Having won the toss Thunder found themselves in early trouble when they lost openers Tahlia McGrath and Sune Luus in the first two overs. McGrath steered Farrant’s third ball to backward point and Luus was run out by Wyatt’s accurate throw from deep mid-wicket as she came back for a second.
Skipper Beaumont mixed up her bowlers effectively and Vipers were in control when New Zealand leg-spinner Wellington came on in the seventh over to pick up two wickets and reduce Thunder to 28 for 4. A promising start by Dunkley (22) ended when she drilled a return catch back to the bowler and Georgie Boyce played across a quicker delivery to fall for a two-ball duck.
Thunder fought back through Harmanpreet Kaur and Lamb, who shared 62 in seven overs for the fifth wicket and played with increasing confidence. Harmanpreet appeared to be moving through the gears when she drove Taylor over extra cover for six and hit the next ball for four but she was caught on the mid-wicket boundary for 34 off the next delivery. Lamb fell for 29 off 24 balls in the next over when she became Wellington’s third victim.
Thunder were 94 for 7 in the 16th but Cross and Ecclestone put on 38 for the seventh wicket and they proved to be crucial runs.
Mark McInnes (Lancashire Thunder coach)
It was a good game from a spectator's point of view. One minute we were up then we were down and I must admit I was preparing for a super over.
After being hit for two fours, Emma Lamb came back really well in the final over and I thought overall we bowled very well, Sophie Ecclestone did well under pressure towards the end and it's just disappointing we couldn't get that win.
We're playing well for maybe 32 overs but at this level you have to play well for 40. A few things have gone against us but we are improving and there are still five games to go. We're a step closer and if we get the run of the green we'll win soon I am sure.
Tammy Beaumont (Vipers captain)
It was a great game. I was happy at halfway that they only got 132 and to be fair you don't win many games from 24 for 4 so that partnership between Stefanie Taylor and Maia Bouchier to get us back in the game was absolutely exceptional. To get two points was probably a fair result. At times we should have gone in for the kill but Lancashire played well and it's a shame we didn't just get one more run. Lancashire held their nerve at the end but it feels like we slipped up. We've got a lot of work to do going into the second half of the tournament.
©Cricket World 2019