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Morris stars as Thunder hand Sparks first defeat

Fi Morris batting for Lancashire Thunder

Lancashire Thunder inflicted a first defeat of the Charlotte Edwards Cup campaign on Central Sparks with a three-wicket victory at Old Trafford.

Having won the toss, Thunder restricted Sparks to 121 for eight in their 20 overs, with Phoebe Graham and Fi Morris taking three wickets apiece

Morris then cracked an eye-catching 43 as Thunder chased down their target with an over to spare, although Sparks were in the game until the very end.

Elsewhere defending champions Southern Vipers piled on the runs on their way to a convincing victory over winless Western Storm at Southampton.

Thunder's bowlers set tone for a win

Opening bowler Tara Norris dismissed Sparks duo Chloe Brewer and Davina Perrin with the second and third balls of the match which set the tone at Old Trafford.

Abbey Freeborn was caught by Morris who then took the next two wickets, trapping Courtney Webb lbw and having Sparks skipper Eve Jones caught at backward point by Sophie Morris for 19.

The departure of the former Thunder batter left Sparks on 54-5 at the midway point and although Katie George and Charis Paveley rebuilt after a rain delay, Fi Morris ended their stand with a catch off her own bowling to dismiss George (17).

There was a flurry from Emily Arlott, who put on 47 in 36 balls with Paveley, before Graham had Arlott caught for 28 while Grace Potts fell to the final ball of the innings as Paveley finished unbeaten with a run-a-ball 27 in Sparks' below-par total of 121-8.

The hosts made hard work of their reply and when Georgia Davis dismissed Seren Smale and captain Ellie Threlkeld with successive deliveries, the home side were 42-3 in the sixth over.

Fi Morris restored some stability and though she soon lost Danni Collins, Ailsa Lister helped Morris add 38 in 28 balls before the opener was well caught by George off Hannah Baker.

When Lister holed-out for 23, 24 were still needed off five overs but Tara Norris hit a straight six off Baker before departing and a couple of boundaries from Phoebe Graham saw the hosts home.

Vipers ease to controlled win over Storm

In Southampton, Georgia Elwiss smashed 45 from 35 balls and skipper Georgia Adams made 48 from 34 deliveries as the Vipers posted 173-5 from their 20 overs.

Elwiss and Charli Knott put on 46 from the opening 38 balls before Adams joined Elwiss to add 40 more from the next 31.

After Elwiss was caught behind, Adams and Freya Kemp kept the momentum going with a stand of 70 as the top order combined to hit 15 fours and a six.

Amanda Jade Wellington collected an impressive 3-20 with the scalps of Knott, Adams and Kemp, stumped by Nat Wraith for 34.

The Storm's target 174 always looked imposing even though Wraight (21) and Emma Corney (26) just about kept in touch with the required rate.

Australian off-spinner Charli Knott then took charge to get rid of Corney, Niamh Holland, the on-loan Issy Wong and Alex Griffiths on her way to a career-best haul of 4-23 as the visitors added just 38 runs for the loss of four wickets in five overs midway through their innings.

Skipper Sophie Luff held firm to finish unbeaten on 34, and shared a stand of 46 from 25 balls with Wellington, who smashed a superb 31 from 15 deliveries before being run-out by Knott as her side eventually fell 28 runs short.