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cricket:image:1430629 [900x506] (Credit: Getty Images)

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South East Stars 283 (Smith 67, Scholfield 56) beat Thunder 201 (MacDonald-Gay 4-34) by 82 runs

South East Stars produced a superb display with bat and ball to ease to an 82-run Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy victory over Thunder in Blackpool.

Bryony Smith and Paige Scholfield both made half-centuries as the visitors posted a strong total of 283.

Ryana MacDonald-Gay led the way with four wickets as Thunder were bowled out for 201, 7.2 overs short of their 50 overs.

Stars have now won five of their eight group games while Thunder still have just two wins under their belt.

Smith negotiated an accurate spell from Kate Cross - now the top-ranked seamer in the world - before accelerating the scoring in stylish fashion.

Smith opened with a lovely push through the off side and a drive straight down the ground and Stars looked well set having won the toss.

Tara Norris got Thunder's first wicket by bowling Kalea Moore for 13 but Smith moved confidently to her half-century from 56 balls in the 20th over.

Alexa Stonehouse fell to Naomi Dattani for 23 and Stars were three down when Smith picked out Danni Collins in the deep off Fi Morris for 67 from 71 balls.

At the halfway mark, Stars were 119 for three.

Alice Davidson-Richards was positive for her 20 before being caught by Cross off Hannah Jones but Scholfield was marshalling the innings well.

The 28-year-old showed great touch all round the ground as she moved to her half-century from just 50 balls.

Thunder needed wickets to check Stars' momentum and picked up three quick scalps. Scholfield was bowled by Dattani for 56 before Phoebe Franklin and Chloe Hill fell cheaply to Jones and Morris respectively to leave Stars 245 for seven with five overs to go.

MacDonald-Gay made a brisk 18, Aylish Cranstone departed for a well-made 43 and Tilly Corteen-Coleman a duck as Stars were bowled out for 283 two balls short of their 50 overs - with Jones the pick of the bowlers with three for 56.

Thunder's chase began in dreadful fashion as Emma Lamb edged Franklin behind for a duck after just three balls.

Katie Mack was soon on her way for 12 but Seren Smale began positively and quickly raced to 30.

But Smale was the first wicket for MacDonald-Gay as she edged behind to Hill and Thunder were 51 for three.

Fi Morris was joined by captain Ellie Threlkeld and the pair kept Thunder in the hunt with a patient stand of 67, matching the rate set at halfway by Stars at 115 for three.

But Stars picked up a string of wickets to seize the initiative. Morris fell first to MacDonald-Gay for 37 before Moore claimed two wickets in an over as Threlkeld was bowled for the same score and Collins went for a duck.

When Smith dismissed Dattani for 19 and Moore removed Cross for six, Thunder had slipped from 118 for three to 151 for eight.

Jones and Norris hit back with a quickfire partnership of 44 but MacDonald-Gay returned to dismiss Norris and Sophie Morris and seal a dominant win.