Lancashire Thunder beaten by Loughborough at Blackpool
Lancashire Thunder v Loughborough Lightning
Australian star Ellyse Perry hit an unbeaten 78 and took two wickets to take Loughborough Lightning to their first Kia Super League win of 2017 with an emphatic 51-run victory over Lancashire Thunder.
It keeps alive the Lightning’s hopes of making Finals Day on September 1. It was a third successive defeat for the Thunder and eliminates them from the competition after another collapse when chasing left them well short of the required 141-run target.
Their chase got off to a bad start, as Perry removed both opener Emma Lamb and the key wicket of England star Sarah Taylor, both for just four runs in her first two overs.
The Thunder needed someone to play the Perry innings in their ranks and New Zealander Amy Satterthwaite looked like she could take on the role.
But Satterthwaite was beaten by Lucy Higham and stumped by Abigail Freeborn for 21 and that triggered a major Thunder collapse for the second consecutive match.
They lost six wickets in 33 balls for 27 runs to leave the score at 71-8 with another 70 runs needed from 31 balls.
A late cameo of 18 from Ellie Threlkeld, only the third to make double figures, dragged the total up but two quick wickets ended the innings with Lancashire all out for 90 and the Lightning winning with 2.4 overs to spare.
Beth Langston finished with the pick of the figures, taking 3-14 from her two overs.
Perry was brought to the crease after just five balls of the Loughborough innings when her international teammate Elyse Villani was dismissed by Kate Cross for six.
She struck a boundary from her first ball and began to build a partnership with 18-year-old opener Sarah Glenn.
Spin was to be Lancashire’s key weapon once again. Danielle Hazell finished with the pick of the figures with 2-16 from her four overs and she removed Glenn for 22 – a second catch for Emma Lamb.
Perry would find partners hard to come by. England international Georgia Elwiss came and went for just five before Sonia Odedra was on her way for one from 10 balls, bowled by Ecclestone.
That left Loughborough 81-4 in the 13th but Perry carried on relentlessly, bringing up her half-century from 41 balls with two boundaries off Cross.
Lancashire would rue Sarah Taylor’s missed stumping of Perry in the 16th over as she went on to share an unbroken stand of 39 with Abigail Freeborn, hitting the last two balls of the innings from Sophie Ecclestone for four to post a total of 140-5 which was well out of reach of the Thunder.
Lancashire Thunder Assistant Coach Tom Smith
"Full credit to Loughborough, Ellyse Perry played a blinder of a knock on that pitch and obviously showed her class, you’ve got to hand it to her there.
"We are obviously very disappointed not to chase the runs down but a great learning experience for our younger players.
"The batting collapses are something that you learn from with experience. We have lots of young players who will have watched how Perry played today, how she paced her innings and went hard at the end and will learn from it.
"Collapses are a little bit the nature of the beast."
Ellyse Perry – Loughborough Lightning
"It was really nice for the team more than anything to come out and play the way we did everyone just really enjoyed it today. We had a tough couple of games coming into this and it showed a lot about the personnel and the character in the team that we wanted to turn it around today.
"I felt pretty responsible for the results in the last couple of games and haven’t taken enough ownership when I went in to bat. I was pleased to do that today. Everyone was a part of it today and everyone really contributed.
"It would be nice to make Finals Day but a bigger picture is in terms of building a strong team culture and taking confidence for the future as well."