Thunder defeat Sunrises to record first win of 2021
Thunder beat Sunrises by 36 runs at Chester
Thunder recovered from their heart-breaking one wicket defeat on the opening day of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy to beat Sunrisers by 36 runs at Chester Boughton Hall and record their first win of the season.
Georgie Boyce hit a superb 91 in Thunder's total of 247 in which Sonali Patel took a hat-trick to finish with figures of 4 for 41.
Sunriser's spirited reply was based around an excellent half century from Fran Wilson but three wickets apiece for England stars Kate Cross and Sophie Ecclestone ensured the target was too much for Amara Carr's side.
Boyce and Emma Lamb got the hosts off to a steady start and the pair had reached 44 when Patel made the breakthrough thanks to a smart catch from Alice Macleod at mid-off.
A pattern was quickly set as Boyce was joined by a revolving supporting cast with Pippa Cleary, Natalie Brown and Ecclestone all departing to Maddy Villiers' off breaks without hurting the Sunrisers too much.
It was not until the arrival of Cross that Boyce found a partner of any real note as the 29-year-old sparked an acceleration of the run rate with some powerful hitting.
When Boyce finally departed nine short of a well-deserved century, trapped in front Grace Scrivens, Thunder had passed the 200 mark with Cross continuing to bludgeon her side to a competitive total.
It was just as well as when Cross skied one to Wilson for a vital 43 she became the first instalment of a Patel hat-trick with Laura Marshall stumped next ball for 13 before Alex Hartley departed first delivery caught by Scrivens.
The clatter of wickets ensured Thunder closed on 247 for nine which felt a little short of what they would have liked and Sunrisers began their chase in confident fashion.
Macleod and Cordelia Griffith had reached 37 unbeaten in the eighth over before Cross claimed two wickets in two balls to dismiss the latter for 22 and skipper Carr caught behind first ball.
Wilson began to rebuild the innings and Sunrisers looked to have got themselves back in contention as together with Macleod the pair built a third wicket partnership of 72 until Ecclestone struck trapping the opening batter in front for 38.
Wilson's lone resistance proved fruitless as the visitors lost their next three wickets for just nine runs with Hartley accounting for Naomi Dattani and Villiers before Lamb claimed the crucial wicket of Wilson bowled around her legs for 50 with Sunrisers 127 for six.
Some late resistance from the tail saw Sunrisers pass 200, but Ecclestone and Cross came back to wrap things up before Hannah Jones trapped Gayatri Gole in front for 15 and claim the victory.