Opener Smriti Mandhana smashed the joint-fastest fifty in Women’s T20 history as Western Storm beat Loughborough Lightning in a rain-shortened encounter at The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton. With rain a constant presence, the game was reduced to a 6-over shootout.
After being inserted to bat, Mandhana was in an aggressive mood throughout the innings bringing up her fifty in the last over of the innings. In the fourth over of the innings, Mandhana took a severe toll on Kirstie Gordon pummeling her for two fours and a six. That over produced 15 runs and set the momentum which never stopped. Mandhana continued her good run in the tournament, following up scores of 48 and 37. Mandhana also has the most sixes in the tournament so far, 11 by the end of the conclusion of the Sunday clash.
She ended up with 52 off 19 balls – an innings which contained five fours and four sixes. Mandhana’s effort of 18 balls tied her with New Zealand’s Sophie Devine who had achieved a similar feat in 2015. Western Storm made 85 in their allotted six overs.
Chasing a huge target, the Lightning openers went after the bowling but the asking rate was too much for Rachael Haynes and Sophie Devine who remained unbeaten but could only take their side to 67 at the end of their stipulated quota. With today’s win, Western Storm moved onto nine points, going past their opponents with an extra point under their belt.
Brief scores: Western Storm 85/2 in 6 overs (Smriti Mandhana 52*; Georgia Alwiss 1-17) beat Loughborough Lightning 67/0 in 6 overs (Sophie Devine 46*) by 18 runs.
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