Smriti Mandhana played for India in their 2017 World Cup final loss to England

Western Storm sealed a seven-wicket win over Lancashire Thunder to move level on points with Women’s Super League leaders Loughborough Lightning.

Chasing 154 at Old Trafford, Storm opener Smriti Mandhana continued her excellent form with 102 from 61 balls.

Mandhana, who now averages 94 in the competition, hit four straight sixes but fell with two runs still needed.

Earlier, Amy Satterthwaite had led the way for Thunder with a dominant 85 not out from 57 balls as they posted 153-7.

Despite a half-century stand with Emma Lamb (13) for the fifth wicket, the New Zealander lacked significant support as no other Thunder batter passed 15.

Mandhana’s match-winning innings continued her remarkable sequence of innings for Storm. In five appearances, she has scored 282 runs, at a strike rate of 190.54 per hundred balls, with a lowest score of 37.

Despite losing Rachel Priest and England captain Heather Knight, Mandhana found an able partner in West Indies skipper Stafanie Taylor (33 not out) as the pair added 105 for the third wicket, rotating the strike sensibly and finding boundaries easy to come by against Thunder’s spin-heavy attack.

By contrast, it was a day to forget for Mandhana’s India team-mate Harmanpreet Kaur, who was run out without scoring for Thunder and spilled a difficult chance to remove Mandhana on 49, diving forward from deep mid-off.

Storm and Lightning now hold a six-point advantage over third-placed Thunder at the halfway point of the group stage.


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