Lancashire Thunder 151 for 5 (Bolton 87) beat Surrey Stars 148 for 5 (Sciver 95) by five wickets
India’s Harmanpreet Kaur held her nerve to secure a third successive Kia Super League win for Lancashire Thunder as they squeezed past Surrey Stars by five wickets with one ball to spare at The Oval.
In front of a crowd of 2257, Surrey looked favourites when the last over began with Thunder needing 11 to win, especially when Laura Marsh ran out Ellie Threlkeld off the second ball. But Harmanpreet was now on strike and after taking two from the third delivery she hammered the fourth ball back over Marsh’s head to the boundary before launching the next delivery over the midwicket rope for six.
Harmanpreet finished on 34 not out from 21 balls but Thunder’s win owed much to Australian left-hander Nicole Bolton who scored a superb 87 before she was dismissed in the 19th over when Surrey captain Nat Sciver also bowled Emma Lamb to drag her side back into contention.
Bolton, who was dropped on 69, was leg before to a full toss before Lamb fell reverse-sweeping, but Harmanpreet’s power in her debut innings eventually got Thunder over the line.
Sciver certainly didn’t deserve to finish on the losing side. Having earlier made an unbeaten 95 from 57 balls with two sixes and nine fours in Surrey’s 148 for 5 she took 2 for 26.
She led an impressive fightback by the Stars who were 7 for 2 when she came in during the second over and quickly slumped to 17 for 3.
The England allrounder enhanced her reputation as one of the most powerful hitters in the women’s game, striking nine fours and two sixes only to finish tantalisingly short of a deserved century.
She wasn’t fazed by a sluggish pitch or some accurate spin bowling by Thunder, sharing a fourth-wicket stand of 74 in 11.2 overs with Dane van Niekerk before accelerating towards the end of the innings, putting on 41 off just 20 balls with Sophie Dunkley for the fifth wicket, of which her partner contributed five.
It was just the response Surrey needed after their top three all went cheaply. Lizelle Lee edged the fourth ball of the innings from Kate Cross to wicketkeeper Threlkeld before offspinner Lamb picked up wickets in successive overs. Sarah Taylor came down the pitch looking to hit over the top only to send a leading edge to cover while Bryony Smith mis-hit to mid-on. Thereafter Sciver dominate, twice hitting Danni Hazell over mid-wicket during the 18th over.
But Surrey’s total looked no more than competitive and Bolton and Eve Jones gave Thunder a solid platform in their chase by adding 62 in ten overs for the first wicket. Jones, dropped earlier in the over on 20, fell to legspinner Dunkley’s fourth ball without addition after she mis-timed a drive to mid-off.
When Amy Satterthwaite holed out to long on off van Niekerk, Lancashire needed 79 off 8.3 overs.
But Bolton was well and truly into her stride by now, reaching 50 from 42 balls before accelerating, although the outcome could have been different had Eva Gray held onto an easy chance at short third-man when Bolton was on 69. She hit 13 fours in 61 balls faced and also picked up the player of the match award.