Loughborough Lightning beat the ICC Women’s Global Development Squad (WGDS) in both of Thursday’s T20 matches at Haslegrave.
WGDS skipper Kathryn Bryce won the toss ahead of the 10.30 start, opting to insert the Kia Super League side. Lightning skipper Sophie Devine (pictured above) didn’t seem to mind at all, smashing 54 from just 26 balls in a dominant, match-defining knock that featured three sixes and six fours.
The New Zealander’s opening partner, Rachael Haynes of Australia, also cleared the ropes during an 18-ball 22, but the other star of the innings was Georgia Adams, who hit a six and three fours to end unbeaten on 47 from 36 balls. Elsewhere Elyse Villani (16), Jenny Gunn (6), Sarah Glenn (8) and Sonia Odedra (14) chipped in to get Loughborough up to 197/5 from their 20 overs.
In reply, WGDS were bowled out 36 runs short in 19 overs, with Odedra (3/30) and Kirstie Gordon (2/30) the highest wicket-takers for Lightning, though it was the miserly left-arm spin of Linsey Smith (1/23 off four) that perhaps sealed victory.
It had been a spirited all-round effort by the Development Squad, with Ireland’s Gaby Lewis hitting five boundaries in her 27 after the openers fell early. Lewis’ compatriot Shauna Kavanagh top-scoring with a strong 26-ball 31. Nineteen-year-old UAE starlet Esha Oza struck 20* from No.9 but had been left too much to do.
Loughborough, this time captained by Australia’s Villani, won the toss in the second game and chose to field. This time the WGDS openers contributed, with Netherlands’ Heather Siegers making 20 from just six balls – with a six and three fours – before becoming one of all-round Devine’s two wickets. Scotland keeper-batsman Sarah Bryce was more patient, taking 21 balls over her 19 before falling to Gordon. Lewis this time came and went for 10, but there was a promising middle-order rally: Kavanagh again hit 31 – this time from 39 balls – Kathryn Bryce got 18 and 18-year-old Babette de Leede of the Netherlands ended with a well-made 30 not out. But for all the positives, WGDS had made only one run more than earlier in the day and would need to contain Lightning’s batsmen to be in with a chance.
It wasn’t to be. This time Haynes was destructor-in-chief, smashing a dazzling 60 off 26 balls including four sixes and six fours. Though Devine fell for 3, dismissed by Odedra – who had switched side for this match – England Academy hopeful Glenn joined the party at No.3, hitting two sixes and five fours in a highly impressive 53 not out from 40 balls. When Haynes departed to Odedra, Villani was dismissed for 11 by Papua New Guinea’s Ravina Oa, and Adams helped knock off the necessaries to complete a seven-wicket Loughborough victory inside 11 overs.