Loughborough Lightning gave themselves the best chance for a direct entry into the final of the Women’s Cricket Super League with a nine-wicket victory over Western Storm on Wednesday, August 15.
Rachael Haynes scored an unbeaten 40-ball 66 to be named Player of the Match in a win that took Lightning to the top of the six-team table.
However, it was the bowlers who laid the foundation for the win, restricting Storm to 124-6 after keeping their big-hitters – Smriti Mandhana (29 off 27), Heather Knight (22 off 15) and Sarah Taylor (18 off 23) – to relatively small totals.
A dominant performance saw @LightningKSL move to the top of the Kia Super League
— England and Wales Cricket Board (@ECB_cricket) August 15, 2018
Lightning chased down the 125-run target in just 12.3 overs, with Haynes putting on a 90-run stand with Sophie Devine. They now have a three-point lead over second-placed Storm heading into the final day of league matches.
Devine, in fact, starred with the ball as well after Lightning opted to field. She returned 2-27, sending back her New Zealand team-mate Rachael Priest (7) early before claiming the scalp of Naomi Dattani (3) late on.
Kristie Gordon, the Scotland medium-pacer, was another starrer. She sent back all of Mandhana, Knight and Taylor to end with excellent figures of 3-19.
— Western Storm (@WesternStormKSL) August 15, 2018
It all meant Haynes and Devine could comfortably go about hunting down the target. For a while, it seemed they were on track for a ten-wicket victory, but Knight had Devine dismissed in the tenth over.
Unperturbed, Haynes carried on, totalling ten fours and a six by the time the target was toppled. Her 35-run second-wicket stand with Amy Jones (6* off 6) ensured the chase was sealed without further hiccups.
Lightning will have an opportunity to confirm their place in the final when they face Yorkshire Diamond in their last league fixture on Sunday.