Manchester Originals 156 for 2 (Dottin 67*, Ecclestone 36*, Lamb 35) beat Welsh Fire 145 for 3 (Matthews 69, Beaumont 45*) by 11 runs
Dottin’s 67 off 37 balls underpinned a total of 156 for 2 having been inserted, the fourth-highest in competition history.
She shared 110 in 72 balls with fellow opener Tammy Beaumont. However, Sophie Ecclestone bowled Matthews and Dottin later struck twice in two balls with her medium pace, and Fire were left needing 19 off the final set of five. They finished on 145 for 3.
The game, which saw Beaumont finish unbeaten on 45 off 42 and Dottin with 2 for 21 from 15 balls, narrowly avoided a controversial ending.
Fire actually bowled 101 balls in their innings following a miscount from the umpiring team, and the rogue delivery was cut for 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 come into play in the final reckoning.
As it was, Dottin’s double-strike to get Australians Rachael Haynes caught at mid-on and Annabel Sutherland caught at midwicket left the score at 123 for 3 after 83 balls and brought about a telling squeeze in the run rate.
The Manchester innings included contrasting scores in the mid-thirties from England duo Lamb and Ecclestone. Dottin muscled eight fours and two sixes in 37 balls, while opener Lamb struggled for momentum in 35 before unbeaten Ecclestone added an excellent quick-fire late 36 off 18 with two sixes.
Dottin, the self-professed ‘World Boss’ who retired from international cricket at the start of the month, came in at No. 3 with the score 27 for 1 after an early wicket for the excellent Alex Hartley, the left-arm spinner returning to home turf.
Dottin, who reached her fifty in 31 balls, dominated a second-wicket stand of 67 with Lamb before adding an unbeaten 62 with Ecclestone in the final 31 balls.
She was strong on both sides of the wicket, hitting two sixes over midwicket off Matthews and another over long-off against Katie George.
Originals scored 96 off the final 50 balls of their innings, a competition record.
Hartley, an Original last year and still a mainstay of the Old Trafford-based Thunder’s regional team, was superb with 1 for 17 from her 20 balls, making the initial breakthrough by getting Lizelle Lee caught at short fine leg off a top-edged sweep.
Matthews was strong on both sides of the wicket, punishing anything too short or too full as she hit 12 fours.
Like Dottin, she reached her fifty off 31 balls. But when she was bowled trying to cut a quicker ball from Ecclestone’s left-arm spin, it proved a key moment in an entertaining fixture wrapped up as Kate Cross defended 19 against Beaumont and Fran Wilson.