41st Match, Guildford, September 05, 2023, Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy
(25.5/50 ov, T:146) 147/4

Thunder won by 6 wickets (with 145 balls remaining)


Spin wizardry from Bell, Morris leads Thunder to crushing win over Stars

Duo share seven wickets to bundle hosts out for 145 before Emma Lamb fifty leads chase

Olivia Bell delivers during her spell, Thunder v South East Stars, Charlotte Edwards Cup, Blackpool, June 4, 2023

Olivia Bell snared four wickets  •  Peter Della Penna

Thunder 147 for 4 (Lamb 50) beat South East Stars 145 (Schofield 38, Bell 4-23, Morris 3-33) by six wickets
Olivia Bell and Fi Morris produced spin wizardry as Thunder crushed hosts SE Stars by six wickets at Guildford to keep alive their hopes of a place in the end-of-season play-off.
Bell bowled with great flight and revs to extract sharp turn from the Woodbridge Road wicket in taking 4 for 23, while Morris wheeled away effectively from the other end to return 3 for 33 as Stars were hustled out for 145, Paige Scholfield's 38 the only significant contribution for the hosts.
Thunder chased down the target of 146 with 145 balls to spare, England opener Emma Lamb leading the charge with 50.
Stars soon slumped to 30 for 3 inside the powerplay. Skipper Bryony Smith couldn't replicate her big hitting exploits of The Hundred, miscuing an attempted pull off Tara Norris to mid-on. Phoebe Graham then stepped up to castle first Alexa Stonehouse, then Kira Chathli to leave the hosts reeling.
Aylish Cranstone briefly threatened, only to chip the second ball after the drinks break from Bell to a grateful Graham at midwicket. It marked the beginning of a bewitching spell from the off-spinner who soon disposed of Alice Davidson-Richards for a scratchy 21.
Hopes of a rebuild lay with Scholfield and Chloe Hill, the former having made a hundred against Thunder in the reverse fixture back in April. With Bell briefly removed from the attack - a baffling call given the turn she was extracting, Scholfield took heavy toll of two wayward overs from Lamb as the 50-partnership rattled up in only 25 minutes.
Just as they had a foothold Stars imploded, Hill lofting one from Morris into the deep. The dismissal sparked a dramatic collapse, five wickets tumbling for just 18 runs to the spin twins, Morris securing the prize wicket of Scholfield, caught by Lamb.
With so few to defend Ryana Macdonald-Gay endured a nightmare 10-ball opening over, two wides and two no-balls helping Thunder knock 12 off the target.
The errant bowler was jettisoned in favour of Schofield, who made the breakthrough in the fifth over, having Seren Smale caught at backward point and the South African-born all-rounder might have had two in two if her vociferous lbw shout against Naomi Dattani had been answered in the affirmative, but Stonehouse continued to leak runs from the other end.
Stars unleashed spin in the form of Smith and Kalea Moore in search of inspiration, but Dattani swept the former for four, while Lamb, more comfortable with bat in hand, twice lofted Moore back over her head for glorious straight sixes.
A sweep for four by Dattani raised the 50-stand, while Lamb moved serenely to a half-century from 56 balls, and it was a surprise when she fell lbw to Davidson-Richards without further addition.
Spinner Dani Gregory was belatedly introduced and removed Dattani with one which stuck in the pitch and Morris too departed just before the emphatic win was sealed.

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