In the last of a multi-part special, James Piechowski takes an in-depth look at the Kia Super League squads, finishing with Lancashire Thunder and Yorkshire Diamonds, before making some final predictions.
Pace bowling options: 5
Spin options: 4 (3 OB, SLA)
Wicket Keeping options: 2
Left-Handed Batsmen: 0
- Matthews, Lamb, Taylor*+, Wyatt, Dottin, Newton, Coyte, Miles, Threlkeld, Cross, Ecclestone
- Well balanced England and International selections
- Powerful batting line-up which could post some big totals
- Both pace and spin attacks look relatively strong in the wicket-taking department
- Plenty of specialist batters and bowlers, supplemented by 3 quality all-rounders
- No Left handed batsmen – this will make it easier for opposition bowlers to maintain the line they are aiming for
- Fragility – The likes of Taylor and Wyatt are known to give their wickets away sometimes, making the roles of Matthews, Dottin and Lamb important for stability as well as smashing runs. This could hamper their strike rate
- Pace attack of Coyte, Cross and Dottin are known to concede a few too many runs at times, so Thunder will hope this doesn’t all happen on the same day.
- We don’t know if Taylor will take up all the responsibility of opening the batting and wicket keeping along with the captaincy. Thunder have another wicket keeper, Ellie Threlkeld, who will probably get into the side for her batting even if not wicket keeping. This could allow for Taylor to experiment with her roles, but she may choose not to anyway.
- One of the stronger sides on paper, Thunder definitely look set to make the finals day. They may be a bit hit-or-miss but could beat any of the other sides on their day. I think Thunder will be disappointed with not making the final, and they are strong contenders for the inaugural KSL title.
Pace bowling options: 6
Spin options: 4 (2 OB, 2 LB)
Wicket Keeping options: 2
Left-Handed Batsmen: 2
- Winfield*, Mooney+, Blackwell, Armitage, Brunt, Gunn, Spragg, Ismail, Hazell, Butler, Davidson-Richards
- “Challenger” team with some players looking to impress the England selectors. Winfield will be looking to make her case for England reselection into the T20 performance side
- A very canny brains trust for Winfield to consult, lots of big match experience particularly from Blackwell, Gunn and Brunt
- Generally strong and balanced squad with good mix of youth and also plenty of experience in both batting and bowling
- Two aggressive opening bowlers Brunt and Ismail should work well in tandem and are sure to make the opposition aware of their presence. They could blow away a few in the powerplay
- Both pace and spin attacks look strong
- There’s no denying that the Diamonds’ squad are short of specialist batting. The problem is exacerbated by there being only one batting all-rounder (Hollie Armitage) who was not exactly prolific with the bat in the recent England Academy tour. The only other KSL teams to have only five batsmen in their squads, also have more batting all-rounders to support them.
- I think Diamonds would have liked another international batsman in their first XI line-up too. The batting order looks a little light after a strong top three. This could be a serious concern – unless the likes of Brunt and Gunn can contribute well, Diamonds may have to bring in their development bats Graves and Nicholls, and bowling options then suffer.
- Diamonds may choose to play leg-spinner Katie Levick if Hollie Armitage is not able to bowl her allocation of leg-breaks.
- Another strong contender, Diamonds should be able to reach finals day with a top-four finish, providing the the top three don’t give Brunt and Gunn too much work to do. Whether their batting will be strong enough to get further is another question, but they do have one of the stronger bowling attacks to limit opposition totals. I am not sure they will be able to get further but a place in the final is certainly within their reach.
Exit at Group Stage
- Surrey Stars
- Loughborough Lightning
Predicted Qualifiers (semi-finalists)
- Yorkshire Diamonds
- Southern Vipers
- Lancashire Thunder
- Western Storm