Smriti Mandhana’s Western Storm registered a comfortable six-wicket victory over Harmanpreet Kaur’s Lancashire Thunder in a Kia Super League encounter on Sunday.
Thunder elected to bat first and South African opener Sune Luus was the star of the show, scoring 62 off 48 deliveries. Her knock included four sixes and three fours before Claire Nicholas accounted for her, with Mandhana taking the catch.
Kaur coming into bat at number 4, scored a quickfire 30 off just 18 balls to help her side reach a competitive 141.
Deepti Sharma picked a wicket and conceded only 22 runs in her four overs.
Even though Mandhana was dismissed early for 2, Heather Knight and Fran Wilson scored solid half-centuries to guide their side home without too much fuss and with six wickets to spare.
“We knew our partnership was key," Knight told Sky.
“We lost those two early wickets, and knew the pitch was quite slow, and that it was going to be hard to score heavily at the back end. I was just trying to give Wilson the strike at one point.
“She batted lovely - hit her areas really well, manipulated the field. I’m really pleased for her. She’s worked really hard on her T20 game, so for her to play that innings and win the game for us today was outstanding."
“We were in the game for a long time," said Thunder captain Cross.
“Heather and Fran needed [to score at] eights for most of the game, and we nearly got them up to nines at one point. There were a few loose balls under pressure. Hats off to Heather and Fran, the way they batted - they didn’t really give us a chance."