Lightning 259 for 5 (Beaumont 89, K. Bryce 74) beat Thunder 125 (Lamb 42, Gordon 4-23) by 134 runs
Half-centuries for Tammy Beaumont and Kathryn Bryce and four wickets for spinner Kirstie Gordon ensured Lightning posted their first victory in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy after a one-sided clash with North West Thunder at Chester Boughton Hall.
Beaumont confirmed her status as one of the finest batters around with a chanceless 89 before Bryce’s 74 took Lightning to a daunting total of 259 for 5 off their 50 overs. Gordon then claimed 4 for 23 as Thunder slumped to 125 all out with Katie Higham’s 3 for 10 also contributing to the 134-run win.
Earlier, Beaumont had begun the day in confident fashion in sharp contrast to her opening partner, Sarah Bryce, who took until the eighth over to get off the mark.
But once the pair got into stride the runs came easily with both Kate Cross and Piepa Cleary struggling to make an impact as the stand advanced to 74 before Bryce hit Alex Hartley straight to Nat Brown at mid-off for 24.
Kathryn Bryce replaced her sister at the crease and with Beaumont continuing to show her class, 98 runs were added for the second wicket until the World Cup winner fell 11 short of a deserved century after Hartley took a superb tumbling catch off Sophie Ecclestone.
England spinner Ecclestone was proving the one thorn in Lightning’s side and she picked up a second victim by bowling Abigail Freeborn for 0.
When Sonia Odedra fell soon after to a sharp caught-and-bowled chance taken by Emma Lamb, Thunder looked to be dragging themselves back into the contest with Lightning 187 for 4 with less than nine overs left.
Bryce had other ideas and the attacking shots began to come out as she reached 74 before hitting a Hartley delivery to Ecclestone in the deep.
Teresa Graves and Lucy Higham continued the momentum allowing Lightning to set 260 to win which proved far beyond the host’s capabilities.
Thunder did enjoy a decent start thanks to Lamb and Georgia Boyce and the opening pair had compiled a stand of 39 when Gordon bowled the latter for 13.
It was the start of a golden spell for Gordon who quickly rearranged Ellie Threlkeld’s stumps before Graves claimed Cleary and Lamb, who undid her good work by slogging one to Gordon on the midwicket boundary for 42.
Higham chipped in with the wickets of Ecclestone and Danielle Collins either side of two more scalps for Gordon as Cross and Laura Marshall both went without scoring.
All of a sudden Thunder had lost four wickets for 13 runs and the game was over bar the shouting with only Brown’s 24 and Hartley’s 28 lending respectability to the Lightning scorecard.
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