Thunder finish campaign with 55-run win at Beckenham
Left-arm spinners Hannah Jones and Alex Hartley produced bewitching spells as Thunder ended their Rachael Heyhoe Flint campaign with a 55-run win over South East Stars at Beckenham.
Former England World Cup winner Hartley bamboozled the hosts with turn and bounce in a mesmerizing display taking 2-17 to start Stars’ demise, but if she edged the door ajar it was spin twin Jones who truly kicked it open with 5-33.
It meant the Charlotte Edwards Cup winners never threatened to chase down a target of 186, Kalea Moore top-scoring with 35.
Thunder’s total of 185 all out in 47 overs owed much to Ellie Threlkeld’s unbeaten 70 made off 92 balls with six fours, leg-spinner Dani Gregory bowling beautifully for 2-23 from her 10 overs.
Hartley was almost unplayable from ball one, finding not only prodigious amounts of turn but exaggerated bounce, creating confusion in the minds of all Stars’ batters.
The hosts had already lost Chloe Brewer and stand-in skipper Alice Davidson-Richards with just 23 on the board when Hartley began her mesmerizing spell. It soon proved too much for Alice Capsey, who skied a catch to cover
At the other end, Jones had Grace Gibbs caught, before pinning Kirstie White lbw, but it was Hartley who claimed the crucial wicket of Moore, the ball turning away from the all-rounder who could only poke it into the hands of point.
Phoebe Franklin and Kira Chathli hit some late defiant blows, but Jones continued to pick them off and they came up well short.
Earlier, Threlkeld stood tall while all else fell around after Thunder won the toss and opted to bat.
Coming in at No 3 after the run out of Seren Smale, the 22-year-old produced the only innings of substance all day, successive fours in one over from Moore two of five in a 50 which came up in 71 balls.
While she prospered others came and went, Gregory’s delightful mix of flight and spin accounting for Natalie Brown and Laura Marshall as the visitors slumped from 84-2 to 90-5.
Threlkeld pushed on to 70 not out, but only Liberty Heap who made 19 and Alice Dyson 13 could stay with her for long as Thunder were bowled out with three of their 50 overs left unused.