Kia Super League: Western Storm go top, Surrey Stars boost finals chances

Lizelle Lee batting for Surrey Stars
Lizelle Lee struck 48 off 28 to guide Surrey Stars to victory against Loughborough Lightning

England captain Heather Knight led Western Storm to a fifth successive Women's Super League win after a 76-run victory over Lancashire Thunder.

Holders Storm also moved clear at the top as skipper Knight struck 76 off 50 balls in an imposing 185-4.

Thunder were then skittled out for 109 in reply, with Claire Nicholas (3-11) the pick of the Storm bowlers.

Meanwhile, Surrey Stars moved up to third as they beat Loughborough Lightning by seven wickets.

Storm are now four points clear of second-placed Loughborough and on the verge of a return to finals day with three group matches to play.

As well as Knight, West Indies all-rounder Stafanie Taylor (51 not out) and India's Smriti Mandhana (49) helped to post a menacing total.

Mandhana struck seven fours and two sixes in her 25-ball knock.

Knight and Taylor then shared a 102-run partnership for the third wicket with England spinner Sophie Ecclestone claiming 2-27 for Thunder.

Their reply never really threatened as they failed to deal with the Storm spin attack, with Eleanor Threlkeld's 33 off 32 balls the only real contribution.

Thunder have work to do to reach finals day at Hove on 27 August - they are fourth with three games left.

Lancashire's defeat and victory for Surrey saw the Stars move above Thunder into third after their win at Guildford against Loughborough.

A two-hour rain delay at produced a 13-over-a-side contest, but play was then further halted just five overs into Loughborough's innings.

Stars seamer Grace Gibbs suffered what appeared to be a serious right knee injury as the right-armer fell awkwardly in her follow through.

The 23-year-old required lengthy treatment on the wicket before she was stretchered off and taken to hospital by ambulance.

Grace Gibbs is comforted by Surrey Stars team-mates after being injured at Guildford
Surrey Stars team-mates Sarah Taylor and Lizelle Lee comforted Grace Gibbs after her knee injury

Loughborough posted 100-7 with England all-rounder Georgia Elwiss (26) top-scoring. Marizanne Kapp restricted the run-rate, her three overs costing just four runs.

Lizelle Lee (48) led the run chase as she and Bryony Smith (31) put on 62 for the opening wicket off just 43 balls.

Nat Sciver then wrapped up the win with 10 balls to spare smashing Elwiss for six over deep mid-wicket.