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Western Storm are off to the KIA Super League finals for the second year running.

The defending champions have booked their place for the big showcase day by thumping Lancashire Thunder by 76 runs at Somerset CCC’s Taunton grounds on Thursday 9th August.

Skipper, Heather Knight lead the way with 76 as Western Storm powered their way to 185 for 4 from their 20 overs. She shared stands of 66 and 102 for the second and third wickets with Smriti Mandhana and Stafanie Taylor.

Lancashire Thunder were bowled out for just 109 giving the StormTroopers their fifth successive victory to move clear of the Loughborough Lightning at the top of the table.

Free-scoring Mandhana smashed a series of impressive boundaries in her 49 as the home-side recovered from losing Rachel Priest in the first over. Then Knight and Taylor got together to drive Western Storm to their impressive total with 100 partnerships. Knight was eventually out in the last-but-one over, but West Indian Taylor carried her bats to finish unbeaten on 51 from 37 balls.  

Welsh International, Claire Nicholas, was the pick of the Western Storm Bowlers, finishing with 3 for 11 from 3 overs. Also faced with 3 good stumpings from keeper Rachel Priest and some excellent catches. Lancashire were never really at the races.

After the match Nicholas said: “It was a great team effort and a pretty-comprehensive win, but we’re still not firing on all cylinders. The best is still to come and, hopefully, we can go up a couple more gears.

“Smriti is on fire right now and everything she does seems to come off for her and the team. I thought Heather and Stafanie played really intelligent innings and we always fancied ourselves defending a total like that.

“We stuck to our plans in the field, bowled a tight line throughout and took early wickets, which really made the difference. It’s tough bowling up top against the best batters, but you have to believe in yourself, even when things don’t go to plan. It was good to get among the wickets and that will do my confidence the world of good. That’s five wins in a row and we’re building real momentum going into the final stages of the tournament.”

score card:

Western Storm 185 for 4 (Knight 76, Taylor 51*, Mandhana 49) beat Lancashire Thunder 109 (Nicholas 3-11) by 76 runs

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