South East Stars 148 for 3 (Cranstone 66*, Moore 57*) beat Western Storm 145 for 6 (Hennessy 50, Knight 35) by seven wickets
The Stars won the toss and chose to field, but they toiled for the first half of the innings, with the visitors reaching 49 without loss after the powerplay.
Yet having advanced to 81 for 0 the Storm stuttered, the breakthrough coming in the 12th over when Knight was run out by Alice Davidson-Richards, who deflected a violent drive by Hennessy onto the stumps at the non-striker’s end with Knight stranded.
Hennessy brought up her 50 with a driven single off Smith, but she was out to the next ball she faced when she was caught and bowled by the same bowler. Smith then took her second wicket when she had Sophie Luff caught by Freya Davies for 12 at mid-on.
Danielle Gibson scored the first six of the match when she smashed Alice Capsey over cow corner, but she was out to the same bowler for 11, caught on the boundary by Phoebe Franklin. Fi Morris was then run out by Moore for 7 and Davidson-Richards trapped Natasha Wraith lbw for 5 with the penultimate ball of the innings, leaving Katie George to hit the final ball to boundary.
The Stars’ chase got off to a rocky start when Nicholas claimed two wickets from successive balls in the fourth over. Smith was caught by Luff and Capsey bowled for a golden duck. The hosts were on 39 for 2 at the end of the powerplay and in the next over Franklin was caught for 8 when she hit Knight to Gibson.
Davidson-Richards had damanged her hand, giving Moore an opportunity to move up the order. “It was a last-minute thing, me coming in,” she said, “but quite frankly I took the opportunity and I’m glad I did. It was actually a really nice wicket to bat on and with Aylish I felt very, very comfortable because she’s so experienced. I thought if, us two keep ticking we’re going to be perfectly fine.”
Cranstone skied George’s final ball of the tenth over, but the chance was dropped, leaving the Stars on 72 for 3 at the halfway point. Smart running between the wickets helped Cranstone and Moore complete their 50 partnership; Cranstone reached her half-century with a driven two from Nicholas and Moore passed the same landmark in the penultimate over with two off Hennessy.
Cranstone then hit the winning runs when she swept Hennessy for four with the final ball of the 19th over. “I thought if I keep ticking here, she can hit the bad ones,” Moore said, “although I must say, I don’t think I’ve run so many twos in my life.
“We always know we can back each other to run, so with such a big boundary we always knew we could hit twos. It’s a very happy dressing room. It’s good that we bounced back from Wednesday and as team we did very well overall.”