Manchester Originals 156 for 2 (Dottin 67*, Ecclestone 36*, Lamb 35) beat Welsh Fire 145 for 3 (Matthews 69, Beaumont 45*) with 11 runs
Dottin’s 67 from 37 balls supported a total of 156 for 2 balls brought in, the fourth highest in league history.
She shared 110 in 72 balls with fellow opener Tammy Beaumont. However, Sophie Ecclestone threw Matthews and Dottin later hit two balls at her average pace twice, and Fire needed 19 from the last set of five. They finished at 145 for 3.
The match, in which Beaumont finished undefeated at 45 for 42 and Dottin at 2 for 21 from 15 balls, narrowly avoided a controversial ending.
Fire actually pitched 101 balls in their innings after a miscount by the umpire team, and the cheat pitch was cut to four by Emma Lamb at the end of the third set of five. For large parts of the chase, it was very realistic that the extra four runs would factor into the final score.
As it was, Dottin’s double strike to get Australians Rachael Haynes caught at midwicket and Annabel Sutherland at midwicket made the score at 123 for 3 after 83 balls and put a telling strain on the run rate.
Manchester’s innings featured contrasting scores from English duo Lamb and Ecclestone in the mid-1930s. Dottin muscled eight fours and two sixes in 37 balls, while opener Lamb struggled for momentum in 35 before undefeated Ecclestone added an excellent rapid-fire late 36 out of 18 with two sixes.
Dottin, the self-proclaimed ‘World Boss’ who retired from international cricket at the start of the month, came in at number 3 with the score 27 for 1 after an early wicket for the outstanding Alex Hartley, the returning left arm spinner to home field .
Dottin, who reached her fifty in 31 balls, dominated a second wicket score of 67 with Lamb before adding an unbeaten 62 with Ecclestone in the last 31 balls.
She was strong on both sides of the wicket, hitting two sixes over midwicket on Matthews and another at long range against Katie George.
Originals scored 96 of the last 50 balls of their innings, a game record.
Hartley, an Original last year and still a mainstay of Old Trafford’s Thunder regional team, was great with 1 for 17 of her 20 balls, making the first breakthrough by letting Lizelle Lee catch on short fine leg from a top edge sweep .
Matthews was strong on both sides of the wicket and punished anything too short or too full when she hit 12 fours.
Like Dottin, she reached her fifty of 31 balls. But when she was bowled trying to get a faster ball out of Ecclestone’s left arm spin, it proved a key moment in an entertaining match that concluded when Kate Cross defended 19 against Beaumont and Fran Wilson.