A half-century and four stumpings for keeper-batter Abbey Freeborn proved in-vain as Lightning lost by 28 runs to South East Stars in the Charlotte Edwards T20 Cup at Guildford.
Kirstie Gordon – continuing the long and venerable tradition of Scottish skippers at Loch Loughborough by standing in for Kathryn Bryce – invited Stars to bat after winning the toss, and might soon have been regretting it as Bryony Smith raced to 16 off 12 balls with some thumping strokeplay. Although one thump too many did for Smith, caught at mid on by Grace Ballinger, Alice Capsey continued where Smith had left off with some big hits of her own, as Stars finished the powerplay on 49-1.
Post-powerplay, Capsey settled into more of a running rhythm which took her to to a 28-ball 38 before she was bowled coming down the track to Lucy Higham in the 12th over.
From 80-4, things could easily have drifted for the Stars, but Alice Davidson Richards (41 off 25) and Tash Farrant (35 off 18) had other ideas – taking them to a 175-6 at the close, including two 6s off the first and last balls of the final over by ADR.
Lightning’s reply got off to a tough start, with Beth Harmer caught by Alice Capsey off Tash Farrant for a duck in the first over. This brought Freeborn to the crease, who battered the Stars attack for 61 off 50 balls, but with no one else in the Lightning top-order able to stand up and give her some proper company, the ask quickly began to disappear over the horizon.
Shachi Pai, coming in at 6, had some fun hitting 24 off 18, as did Sophie Munro (17 off 8) but with the required rate already over 13 when Pai entered the fray, the game was already gone, with Lightning finishing 28 runs short on 147-7.