Interview: Blackwell urges Thunder not to dwell on defeat
Alex Blackwell has told her Lancashire Thunder side to make sure they don’t dwell on Friday’s Kia Super League defeat against Western Storm, admitting: “I’m very proud of how this team is going.”
The Thunder’s Australian coach has had an immediate impact at Emirates Old Trafford, overseeing three wins from five games to leave them well placed to reach a maiden Finals Day at Hove later this month.
Lancashire sit third in the table at the halfway stage with 13 points.
There are four on offer for a win, plus one for a bonus point on run-rate, with today's opponents Surrey Stars immediately behind them on seven.
A win against Nat Sciver and co in front of the TV cameras at Old Trafford (2.30pm) would ensure they take a giant step towards Finals Day.
They head into that clash on the back of defeat to champions Western Storm at Old Trafford on Friday when India star Smriti Mandhana scored a stunning 102 off 61 balls in pursuit of 154.
Mandhana is the leading run-scorer in this season’s KSL with 338 from six innings (the next best is Yorkshire’s Lauren Winfield with 181 from five), so Lancashire are certainly not alone in being on the wrong end of the 22-year-old’s blade.
“We are featuring well on that table, and we have done pretty well batting first and batting second,” said coach Blackwell.
“I wasn't too unhappy about Friday. We pushed it pretty deep against a fairly unbelievable batter in Mandhana.
“We know we can be better, but it’s not something that we are going to hang our heads about.
“We probably cost ourselves 10 runs with sloppy fielding, and also they were 18 runs more than us in their power play. We weren’t even at a run-a-ball in ours. So that’s probably an area where we can see we’ve not done our best.
“I think we’d have taken this position (at halfway).
“We are really positive. We know we can play ever better than we have, and we came up against a very good side in Western Storm, where one player had a day out.
“We don’t take too many negatives, but we will debrief and keep our thought processes the same whether we win or lose.”
Arguably the biggest positive Blackwell and the Thunder can take from the first half of the competition is that individual performances are coming from all areas in their squad - batsmen, bowlers, internationals and homegrown stars.
On Friday, their 153-7 batting first was built around New Zealand overseas Amy Satterthwaite’s classy 85 not out off 57 balls.
After the Surrey clash, which precedes a top of the table men’s Vitality Blast meeting with Durham, also on Sky Sports, the Thunder travel to Taunton on Thursday to tackle the Storm and Mandhana once more.
Satterthwaite added: “We have to go again.
“We know we have two strong teams coming up, so we have to bounce back and look forward to that.
“Last week was a long one with three games in quick succession.
“We’ve had a few days to recover mentally as much as anything and then get straight back into it.”
Lancashire beat Surrey at the Kia Oval last Tuesday by five wickets chasing 149.
The Stars have won one, lost three and had a No Result from their first five games.
Thunder will once again have a full squad of 15 available for selection.