Georgia Adams half-century helps Loughborough to third win in a row
Lancashire Thunder out of contention for knockouts after slipping to DLS defeat
Loughborough Lightning 157 for 7 (Adams 50, Ecclestone 3-17) beat Lancashire Thunder 74 for 6 (Gordon 3-18) by 35 runs (DLS method)
Loughborough Lightning secured a third successive Kia Super League win with a 35-run victory over winless Lancashire Thunder on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method at Old Trafford.
The Lightning's victory was underpinned by a superb recovery with the bat. Having lost early wickets they scored at more than 10 an over after the Powerplay to make 157 for 7 - Georgia Adams the standout with 50.
After a bright start, the Thunder lost key wickets and were stifled by a strong bowling display and brilliant fielding by Loughborough, who eased to victory as the rain came. Lancashire are now mathematically unable to qualify for Finals Day.
Tahlia McGrath set about trying to make light work of the chase of 158, and crucially getting Thunder ahead of the DLS rate, smashing two huge sixes into the stands off Kathryn Bryce in the fourth over.
But Hayley Matthews hit back in the sixth over with two wickets. First McGrath fell for 26 to a superb one-handed grab by Chamari Atapattu at mid-off before Matthews took an equally spectacular caught-and-bowled effort to remove Sophia Dunkley for a duck.
Thunder were 34 for 2 after the Powerplay. South Africa allrounder Sune Luus batted well to guide her side to 60 for 2 at halfway, but two wickets fell in consecutive overs as Harmanpreet Kaur was caught in the deep for 7 and Emma Lamb was bowled for a duck.
As the rain began to pour down on Old Trafford, Lightning struck two decisive blows as Kirstie Gordon took wickets in consecutive balls with Luus caught for 30 and Sophie Ecclestone for a first-ball duck.
Gordon was deprived a hat-trick delivery as the weather cut the match short with Thunder 74 for 6 after 13.4 overs of their innings.
Having won the toss, Thunder enjoyed an excellent powerplay. Kate Cross trapped England team-mate Amy Jones lbw for a duck in the second over, before Ecclestone struck twice to remove Matthews and Atapattu.
Loughborough were 18 for 3 after six overs but Mignon du Preez counterattacked, launching Alex Hartley down the ground for six. Forty-one runs came in four overs after the Powerplay, as du Preez and Georgia Elwiss put on a 47-run partnership in just 31 balls.
Lamb struck to bowl Du Preez for 18 but Elwiss continued the aggression, smashing a huge six over midwicket. The England star fell for 38, brilliantly caught by McGrath as Cross claimed her second wicket to make it 72 for 5. But Loughborough's recovery was not stalled by the loss of wickets as Adams and Bryce took up the baton, reaching their 50 partnership in 29 balls.
Both were dismissed in the final over of the innings - Bryce bowled by for an 18-ball 32 and Adams run out for a superb 50 from 33 balls - but their partnership of 82 in 45 balls proved crucial.