Mahika Gaur got her Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy career off to an excellent start on Sunday with figures of 3-39 for the North West Thunder against Western Storm.

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The Reading-born 17-year-old joined Manchester Originals as a Wild Card Pick in the Hundred last year after making her T20I debut for the UAE in 2019 at the age of just 12. She has since racked up 19 international appearances and joined Lancashire-based Thunder at the start of this season.

Gaur, who looks an awkward bowler to face as a two-metre tall left armer, has made an excellent start in the tournament, pinning Alex Griffiths lbw with a booming in-swinger that came from just the fifth ball she bowled.

She then lured Emma Corney into a big drive with a nicely angled delivery from over the wicket that had her caught behind. After three overs, she had two maidens, two wickets and had conceded just one run. While Western Storm came back into the game, Gaur added one more scalp, enticing Danielle Gibson to chip a simple catch at mid-off.

Thunder were well-beaten despite Gaur’s impressive contribution, with Ireland’s Orla Prendergast scoring a run-a-ball 115 to guide Western Storm to a six-wicket win with eight overs to spare.

Gaur looks a potentially important find for the Thunder, though, and could be a player to watch as women’s cricket continues to grow.

She has also shown steel with the bat in recent weeks and made a vital 33* off 25 balls for UAE under 19s in their only victory at the recent Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup.

Watch: Mahika Gaur picks up an LBW wicket with a brilliant in-swinger on her Rachel Heyhoe Flint Trophy

She then picked up another with a nicely angled ball from over the wicket

Danielle Gibson gave her a third when she chipped a catch at mid-off