In a dramatic match which went down to the penultimate ball, Lancashire Thunder came out on top thanks to the cool head of Harmanpreet Kaur, making her debut 3 games into the KSL campaign after bureaucratic issues delayed her arrival.
Off strike with 10 required from 5 balls, Harmanpreet clearly decided that the wicket of Ellie Threlkeld was a sacrifice she was willing to make – running a single which looked suicidal even before Threlkeld slipped. The Lancashire keeper’s face looked like… well… thunder as she walked back to the dugout, but it was ultimately justified as the Indian T20 captain hit a huge 6 to win the match with a ball to spare.
“I had that belief if I got two boundaries we would be able to win the game,” Harmanpreet said afterwards. “The person I like to take responsibility is me, and I’m really happy today that whatever expectations our team had on me, I did that.”
“There were some visa issues going on – there was a strike, so I wasn’t able to get my passport as soon as possible; but I’m really happy to join the team now and happy my team is doing well.”
From a Surrey perspective it was a disappointing afternoon, after a massive innings of 95* from Nat Sciver had put them in a match-winning position at the break. But the home crowd of over 2,000 – many likely tempted by the opportunity to come to just the first match of this double-header for as little as £1 for kids – still got to see an exciting game of cricket in a brilliant atmosphere; and full credit to Surrey for making that happen on a mid-week afternoon, which probably isn’t the ideal time to get bums on seats.
The result puts the Thunder firmly in the top half of the table, defying many expectations – including ours! With the much-fancied Vipers going down to another defeat, this time at the hands of the Storm, the table is perhaps starting to take shape, and on this form you’d now be mad to bet against the Thunder rolling on to Finals Day.