Paige Scholfield career-best condemns Thunder to five-wicket defeat

Paige Scholfield hit an unbeaten 73 from 39 balls Surrey CCC/Getty Images

South East Stars 140 for 5 (Scholfield 73*) beat Thunder 139 for 7 (Morris 41, Farrant 2-17) by five wickets

Paige Paige Scholfield set a new T20 career-best as South East Stars made it two wins from two in the Charlotte Edwards Cup with a five-wicket win over Lancashire Thunder at Beckenham.

The South African born all-rounder plundered an unbeaten 73 from 39 balls with one six and 12 fours to allow the hosts to chase down a target of 140 with four overs to spare.

Schofield shared stands of 67 with Alice Davidson-Richards and 48 with Aylish Cranstone as Stars recovered from 25 for 3 to coast home.

Earlier Fi Morris struck a belligerent 41 with eight boundaries, but Thunder lost their way to total 139 for 7, Tash Farrant the pick of the home attack with 2 for 17.

Morris ensured the visitors made an explosive start, pummelling three boundaries off four deliveries from Ryana MacDonald-Gay.

Phoebe Franklin was treated with similar disdain by Morris, the 30-year-old all-rounder despatching successive short balls to the fence behind square.

With Emma Lamb, 36, lending good support, 53 came from the powerplay and the stand reached 66 before Morris drove off-spinner Kalea Moore into the hands of Bryony Smith at mid-off.

Her departure proved a turning point as Danielle Gregory put the brakes on and a few dots saw Lamb depart bowled for 36 from an ugly swipe across the line.

Skipper Ellie Threlkeld survived a huge lbw shout from Gregory second ball only for MacDonald-Gay to pin her in front for a duck in the following over.

Thereafter, a brilliant run-out by Smith and Farrant's frugal spell throttled Thunder's early impetus, so much so that, despite Smale's 37, only two boundaries came in the second half of the innings.

Their score looked light, but chasing 140, Stars lost Smith, dropped on nought, to a catch at mid-on off Tara Norris later in the opening over.

England discard Sophia Dunkley then top-edged Phoebe Graham into the hands of Liberty Heap at third to depart for just 11 and when Morris held on to one in the deep to see the back of Farrant for only five off the bowling of Hannah Jones Stars were in trouble at 25 for 3.

Davidson-Richards and Scholfield needed to rebuild and the former hoisted a Laura Jackson half-volley for the game's first six, but even so 79 were needed from the last 10.

Three fours for Davidson-Richards from one Jones over raised the fifty partnership. Schofield then caught the mood dispatching a head-high full toss from Jackson and the resulting free-hit was similarly sent to the mid-wicket fence.

Twenty-nine had come from two overs but with Stars in the ascendancy Davidson-Richards smacked a full toss back to the returning Morris, who you just couldn't keep out of the game. Franklin was run out later in the same over as the match threatened another twist.

Schofield though took up the chase, a huge six part of 16 of one Heap over as she sped to 50 from 32 balls.

She needed just seven more balls to complete the triumph leaving Stars in good heart ahead of Monday's clash with Western Storm.

SE Stars 2nd innings Partnerships

1st2BF SmithSIR Dunkley
2nd12PJ ScholfieldSIR Dunkley
3rd10NE FarrantPJ Scholfield
4th67AN Davidson-RichardsPJ Scholfield
5th1PJ ScholfieldPA Franklin
6th48A CranstonePJ Scholfield