An unbeaten 66 from Rachael Haynes powered Loughborough Lightning to a nine-wicket victory against Western Storm in a top-of-the-table clash on Wednesday, 15 August.
Opting to field, Lightning put up a strong bowling performance to restrict Storm to 124/6. Smriti Mandhana (29 off 27), Heather Knight (22 off 15) and Stefanie Taylor (18 off 23) all got starts, but failed to turn them into big scores. That had a lot to do with Kirstie Gordon, the Scotland medium pacer, who took all three wickets to return 3/19.
Lightning then lost just one wicket – Sophie Devine (38 off 30) – in their chase, toppling the target in 12.3 overs.
Victory meant they could enjoy the view from the top of the table, heading into the final day of league fixtures.
Devine's fine all-round display was one of the highlights for Lightning. She first returned 2/27, including the wicket of New Zealand teammate Rachel Priest, before putting on a dominant 90-run stand with Haynes.
Devine was dismissed late in the chase by Knight, but Haynes (66* off 40) guided the Lightning past the finish line, adding 35 with Amy Jones (6*).
Lightning have accumulated 31 points from nine games so far. They will take on Yorkshire Diamonds at Leeds on Sunday, and if they can secure a victory, they will proceed directly to the final.
If they lose, however, and Storm win their clash against Surrey Stars, they have a chance to finish on top.
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