Kia Super League – James Piechowski’s Deep Cover Points – Lancashire Thunder & Yorkshire Diamonds

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.

Lancashire Thunder

Batsmen: 7
Bowlers: 5
All-rounders: 5
Pace bowling options: 5
Spin options: 4 (3 OB, SLA)
Wicket Keeping options: 2
Left-Handed Batsmen: 0

Possible Team

  • Matthews, Lamb, Taylor*+, Wyatt, Dottin, Newton, Coyte, Miles, Threlkeld, Cross, Ecclestone

Strengths

  • 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

Weaknesses

  • 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.

Uncertainties

  • 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.

Prediction

  • 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.

Yorkshire Diamonds

Batsmen: 5
Bowlers: 5
All-rounders: 5
Pace bowling options: 6
Spin options: 4 (2 OB, 2 LB)
Wicket Keeping options: 2
Left-Handed Batsmen: 2

Possible Team

  • Winfield*, Mooney+, Blackwell, Armitage, Brunt, Gunn, Spragg, Ismail, Hazell, Butler, Davidson-Richards

Strengths

  • “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

Weaknesses

  • 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.

Uncertainties

  • Diamonds may choose to play leg-spinner Katie Levick if Hollie Armitage is not able to bowl her allocation of leg-breaks.

Prediction

  • 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.

Summary

Exit at Group Stage

  • Surrey Stars
  • Loughborough Lightning

Predicted Qualifiers (semi-finalists)

  • Yorkshire Diamonds
  • Southern Vipers

Finalist

  • Lancashire Thunder

Winner

  • Western Storm
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7 thoughts on “Kia Super League – James Piechowski’s Deep Cover Points – Lancashire Thunder & Yorkshire Diamonds

  1. First, I want to say how much I appreciate the detailed coverage of women’s cricket on this site! (Especially English women’s cricket, which below the international level I knew almost nothing about.)

    In the KSL/WSL, I think I’ll be supporting Lancashire (because of Matthews, Wyatt and Dottin, three of my favourite players) and the teams with Kiwis! In particular, I hope that Sophie Devine, holder of the all-comers’ fastest provincial T20 century in NZ (off 44 balls v Auckland at the Basin Reserve) sheds her sometimes inconsistent form and dominates with bat and ball.

    To the ongoing discussion on these posts: has anyone looked at whether Cricket Australia had to manage a similar club vs franchise conflict during the WBBL, and if so, how they did it? Did the WBBL make a dent in club cricket, or are playing numbers in Australia so much greater that vacated playing spots were easily filled?

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  2. Hi James, see you’re really confident about Lancs Thunder, which is who I will be supporting. Just worry about where the runs are coming from. Could be a heavy reliance on Taylor, Dottin and Matthews here? Wyatt may be able to contribute, but we’ll wait and see, prolific county run scorer, no track record of international runs, so how will she fare at a level inbetween? Remember Lancs were relegated from Div 1 last year after a serious lack of runs, and so many of that team will be lining up for the SL team.http://www.cheshirewomenscl.co.uk/cwcl-supporting-lancashire-thunder-four-players-wi-30501

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    • How is it possible for a player to be selected for over 100 internationals and, as Martin describes, still have “no track record of international runs” ?

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      • Part of the answer to that question involves another question which is “who’d do better?” Wyatt’s role is more about strike rate than runs, which has been pretty good to be fair. A quick 15 or 20 can give a momentum boost. If England used her bowling (which appears from statistics to be very effective) then she’d definitely merit her place. It’s a perennial question as to why her off breaks aren’t utilised by England, for me. But at least you know what you get from her – fast strike rate and energetic fielding. I’m not a big fan of the “never scored a 50” argument as to be honest, not many players need to, and it’s still possible to adequately contribute without doing so.

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    • I think Lancs Thunder are one of the stronger sides, but I did mention that were a bit fragile. If Taylor doesn’t have a good tournament, they won’t have much of a chance. But she’s normally strong at this level, so is Wyatt – both had good WBBLs, and Lamb is also pretty promising – apart from Wilson, the Academy batsman who scored most runs in their recent tour I think. Threlkeld also got a 50. Only Newton and Miles apart from that. So there aren’t too many other county players in the squad unless they get some injurires, in which case, sure that will hamper their chances. So I don’t give the “Lancs got relegated” argument too much weight.

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      • James. Your thought that ” strike rate than runs” has merit but it has to be ultimately supported by runs. Scoring 5 runs of 4 balls (S.R. 125%) would put most players toward the top of all women’s strike rate leagues but doesn’t win many games. I agree that a quick 15 to 20 runs (as you suggest) would have a momentum boost to the innings but Danni doesn’t achieve this enough times to warrant her place. In her last 32 T20 internationals (going back to 2012) she has passed 15 runs only four times. You are also right to note that in over 100 internationals ( inc ODI’s), she has never scored a fifty.
        Energetic fielding shouldn’t be considered enough to secure international caps (I wish it were, I would be an international in a number of sports).

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  3. The rules announcement for KSL (see here http://womens-cricket.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/kia-super-league-rules-final-details.html)

    ….has changed things a lot, the biggest variation to what was assumed to be the format is that now only 3 teams go into Finals Day. This means I would have to rethink things, to summarise I would still go for Western Storm and Southern Vipers. The other side could still be Thunder/Diamonds but a few of their players may not be having as good a summer as I thought they might (plus Taylor may not be around for Thunder?). This could leave it open for one of the other sides.

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