Short Thoughts: KSL Vipers v Stars

If the purpose of the Super League is to give some of the younger county prospects a chance to show what they can do, then today was a day when two of them did just that for the Vipers.

Seventeen year old Katie George had played just 27 times for Hampshire prior to today. Several of those games were in Div 3 of the County Championship, and none were higher than Div 2, so really this was her first ever match at this level, and she excelled – bowling 17 dots in her 4 overs. She might be disappointed she didn’t take a wicket, but if you can bowl 70% dots, you don’t need to take wickets in T20!

Then we had a fantastic contribution from Georgia Adams, eclipsing even Wisden’s Leading Women Cricketer in the World, Suzie Bates out in the middle. Adams has a lot more experience than George admittedly, playing for Sussex in Div 1, but for a long time she seemed to be a specialist in playing a couple of pretty shots and then getting out cheaply. Not today – in the biggest game of her life, she hung in there, and had a bit of luck being dropped by Marizanne Kapp, but you have to make the luck count, and “Gads” did today – top-scoring with 41 off 43 balls.

Afterwards, Georgia Adams spoke to our editor, Raf Nicholson:

“It’s another level. Looking out and playing at such a huge ground and a Test ground is brilliant, and looking round and seeing so many people, it’s completely new to me. I’ve never played anything quite like this.”

“Suzie guided me through that innings… the whole way through – her knowledge of the game and of the bowlers that we were facing – as batter it helps so much to have an extra bit of info – it kept me calm and kept me level out there.”

2 MINUTES WITH… Sophie Devine

Throughout the Kia Super League, we’ll be featuring short interviews with players, coaches & other interesting people we find around and about at the grounds. Yesterday’s top-scorer and Loughborough Lightning all-rounder Sophie Devine, who made 52 against Diamonds and became the first six-hitter in the competition, is the first up to answer our quick-fire questions…

If not Loughborough, who would you like to win?

I don’t even know! I’d probably say the Vipers because they’re pretty much half of New Zealand anyway…

Justin Bieber or One Direction?

Neither! No comment! Are we going to talk about serious music? Someone that can actually sing?!

Who would you like to see playing in KSL that isn’t?

We were talking about Karen Rolton [former Aussie superstar batsman who’s just been elected to the ICC Hall of Fame] the other day…she could whack a ball on these boundaries!

Which sportswoman/women do you admire outside cricket?

New Zealand are pretty lucky, we’ve got so many strong sporting females. It’s incredible. Valerie Adams [Olympic shot putter], Sarah Walker [BMX racer], Lisa Carrington [flatwater canoer]. They’re absolute machines, and back home they’re more well-known than some of the blokes that are going to the Olympics. They’re awesome to watch from afar and see what they’re doing conquering the world. You’ve got to remember that New Zealand’s a little wee small country, so to see them smashing everyone else, especially England, is always nice.

Favourite cricket ground?

Definitely in England it’s got to be Lords. Probably back home the Basin Reserve’s right up there.

Favourite thing on the menu in Nandos?

I haven’t been to Nandos in 10 years! I’m an athlete, I don’t eat at Nandos, only salads!

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I’ll probably try and still be playing. People will be trying to give me the elbow to get lost, but hopefully I’ll be involved in cricket in some shape or form, whether it’s coaching or managing. I just love this game too much to do anything outside it!

Where do you see women’s cricket in 10 years?

Seeing some of the New Zealand girls playing overseas and making a career of it is really exciting. We speak a lot about wanting to be a household name within New Zealand, and it’s probably the same anywhere. if you know that you’re doing well and you’re succeeding then people are going to want to watch, and people are going to want to follow you, so that’s something that I know we’re really big on – making sure that we become one of those household names in sport.

Short Thoughts: KSL Diamonds v Lightning

A couple of standout performances today from two overseas stars – Sophie Devine (52) with the bat, and Dane van Niekerk (4 overs for 13) with the ball – will get the plaudits, but it was a team effort which won the Lightning this match.

The batting contributions of two county players – Eve Jones (12 off 12) and Paige Scholfield (13 off 9) added 25 critical runs at the end of their innings, which not only created a much more “pressure” score for the Diamonds to chase, but also ultimately grabbed the bonus point too.

Then the Lightning were excellent in the field – Georgia Elwiss in particular saving run after run between extra cover and mid off.

The Diamonds meanwhile let the pressure get to them after a good start – they were going at 10 an over initially, but this rapidly evaporated. Lauren Winfield can have no real complaints about her run out… though she did, very publically; and it is difficult to believe that her frustration didn’t actually add to the pressure on the batsmen that followed her in.. and out again!

Wickets begat wickets and eventually, by about the start of the 16th over, Diamonds tails were really drooping – they had given up and it was only a matter of whether they would get enough to deny the Lightning the bonus point; which they definitively failed to do – falling 17 runs short of even that target.

Afterwards Sophie Devine had this to say:

“I was fairly nervous – coming off a winter in New Zealand you are always a little bit scratchy, with not playing much outdoors. We’ve had a couple of warm up games, but in the first real hit-out it is nice to get some runs on the board, although we were probably 15 or 20 runs short. It probably didn’t help when I ran out Ellyse Perry, and I’m sure I’ll cop that, but we bowled fantastically well. Yorkshire came out really hard at us, so it was a great team effort to peg it back in the middle overs and I thought [Becky] Grundy was outstanding – she obviously fires-up which is motivating, being in the field with someone who is so passionate.”

OPINION: Kia Super League – Credit Where It’s Due

Lizzy Ammon has a piece in today’s Times headlined: “New era for women’s game begins but stars are paid only £20 a day”. [Link (£)]

The piece raises a number of questions about the Kia Super League, arguing that “the competition is facing the challenge of poorly paid players, low attendances and no TV deal.”

These are certainly legitimate issues to  raise, but they also ignore the other side of the story.

Take the issue of money: it is quite true that there isn’t much of it – no one is going to be dashing off to their Ferrari dealer with their KSL pay cheque, that’s for sure! But £150 is £150 more than anyone gets for playing in the Women’s County Championship; and for players like Katie Levick and Daisy Gardner, this is the first time they have ever been paid at all, for something that they basically consider a hobby!

As for low attendances, we will have to wait and see exactly what transpires, but I’d be happy to bet that even the lowest KSL crowd will dwarf the numbers we usually see for the County Champs, where beyond friends and family, you can usually count the crowd on the fingers of one hand.

And the TV… well yes, that is disappointing; especially if it really was the case that Sky were “concerned about the quality of the cricket”, because that is the one thing which they really don’t need to be worried about – KSL has the stars to ensure the cricket is going to be amazing. But again, the County Championship has never been broadcast, so we haven’t lost anything by the lack of a TV deal, we are just exactly where we have always been!

Do we wish it was on TV, drawing big crowds, and paying the players a bit more? Absolutely! So do the players. (So do the ECB, believe it or not.)

And we do understand that the KSL all looks pretty small potatoes when seen through the prism of even the men’s county game, let alone something like the IPL.

But would we rather be here with “something”, or back where we were a year ago with “nothing”? Looked at from that perspective, the real story of the KSL is one of remarkable progress in a very short space of time; and for that, the ECB deserve credit where it’s due.

KSL CAREER BOWLING STATS

Rank Player Team Age Matches Wickets Wickets/
Match
1 Ismail, Shabnim Diamonds 27 219 315 1.4
2 Grundy, Rebecca Lightning 26 125 155 1.2
3 Niekerk, Dane van Lightning 23 182 221 1.2
4 Ecclestone, Sophie Thunder 17 42 51 1.2
5 Levick, Katie Diamonds 25 99 120 1.2
6 Farrant, Natasha Vipers 20 59 70 1.2
7 Perry, Ellyse Lightning 25 288 341 1.2
8 Cross, Kate Thunder 24 115 132 1.1
9 Westbury, Izzy Storm 26 76 87 1.1
10 Hartley, Alex Stars 22 99 113 1.1
11 Shrubsole, Anya Storm 24 197 222 1.1
12 Morris, Fi Vipers 22 81 91 1.1
13 Odedra, Sonia Lightning 28 116 129 1.1
14 Hazell, Danielle Diamonds 28 245 267 1.1
15 Kapp, Marizanne Stars 26 197 214 1.1
16 Farrell, Rene Stars 29 214 232 1.1
17 Butler, Steph Diamonds 22 68 73 1.1
18 Marsh, Laura Stars 29 311 332 1.1
19 Taylor, Stafanie Storm 25 208 215 1.0
20 Brunt, Katherine Diamonds 31 284 292 1.0
21 Langston, Beth Lightning 23 74 76 1.0
22 Patel, Nalisha Thunder 18 51 50 1.0
23 Elwiss, Georgia Lightning 25 197 188 1.0
24 Thompson, Katie Diamonds 19 29 27 0.9
25 Tahuhu, Lea Stars 25 163 150 0.9
26 Nielsen, Morna Vipers 26 205 188 0.9
27 Gunn, Jenny Diamonds 30 415 377 0.9
28 Spragg, Laura Diamonds 34 139 126 0.9
29 Fairbairn, Rosalie Storm 32 145 130 0.9
30 Dibble, Jodie Storm 21 75 64 0.9
31 Wyatt, Danielle Thunder 25 270 230 0.9
32 George, Katie Vipers 17 27 23 0.9
33 Gardner, Daisy Vipers 26 111 94 0.8
34 Devine, Sophie Lightning 26 342 285 0.8
35 Sciver, Natalie Stars 23 150 124 0.8
36 Burt, Ellen Vipers 18 34 28 0.8
37 Bates, Suzie Vipers 28 368 292 0.8
38 Hennessy, Georgia Storm 19 67 53 0.8
39 Gauvrit, Amy Lightning 21 73 57 0.8
40 Lakhtaria, Raveena Stars 23 62 48 0.8
41 O’Keefe, Cait Storm 19 66 51 0.8
42 Dunkley, Sophia Stars 18 42 32 0.8
43 Brookes, Thea Lightning 23 90 68 0.8
44 Macleod, Alice Vipers 22 105 78 0.7
45 Davidson Richards, Alice Diamonds 22 92 68 0.7
46 Brindle, Arran Vipers 34 253 185 0.7
47 Lee, Lizelle Storm 24 136 98 0.7
48 Davies, Freya Storm 20 53 38 0.7
49 Matthews, Hayley Thunder 18 62 44 0.7
50 Newton, Laura Thunder 38 177 122 0.7
51 Dattani, Naomi Stars 22 67 46 0.7
52 Mackenzie, Sophie Storm 17 19 13 0.7
53 MacDonald, Alex Lightning 24 79 53 0.7
54 Knight, Heather Storm 25 235 155 0.7
55 Brown, Natalie Thunder 25 110 69 0.6
56 Miles, Natasha Thunder 27 142 89 0.6
57 Holmes, Georgia Thunder 19 49 29 0.6
58 Satterthwaite, Amy Thunder 29 354 206 0.6
59 Gibbs, Grace Stars 21 33 19 0.6
60 Morgan, Beth Stars 34 325 172 0.5
61 Smith, Bryony Stars 18 38 19 0.5
62 Armitage, Hollie Diamonds 19 29 13 0.4
63 Jones, Evelyn Lightning 23 74 32 0.4
64 Dottin, Deandra Thunder 25 197 85 0.4
65 Edwards, Charlotte Vipers 36 555 237 0.4
66 Cranstone, Aylish Stars 21 71 25 0.4
67 Lamb, Emma Thunder 18 61 18 0.3
68 Scholfield, Paige Lightning 20 51 15 0.3
69 Griffith, Cordelia Stars 20 49 9 0.2
70 Adams, Georgia Vipers 22 67 12 0.2
71 Graves, Teresa Diamonds 17 9 1 0.1
72 Boyce, Georgie Lightning 17 37 3 0.1
73 Collis, Isabelle Vipers 19 46 3 0.1
74 Luff, Sophie Storm 22 100 6 0.1
75 Griffiths, Lauren Lightning 29 125 6 0.0
76 Greenway, Lydia Vipers 30 404 17 0.0
77 Nicholls, Anna Diamonds 18 245 10 0.0
78 Wilson, Fran Storm 24 124 4 0.0
79 Blackwell, Alex Diamonds 32 447 8 0.0
80 McGlashan, Sara Vipers 34 434 0 0.0
81 Beaumont, Tammy Stars 25 208 0 0.0
82 Winfield, Lauren Diamonds 25 150 0 0.0
83 Mooney, Beth Diamonds 22 144 0 0.0
84 Priest, Rachel Storm 31 374 0 0.0
85 Carr, Amara Storm 22 91 0 0.0
86 Jones, Amy Lightning 23 135 0 0.0
87 Rudd, Carla Vipers 22 83 0 0.0
88 Threlkeld, Ellie Thunder 17 37 0 0.0
89 Marshall, Laura Thunder 22 50 0 0.0

Senior T20 + One Day matches, including internationals

NEWS: Surrey Stars Sign Tahuhu and Dattani

Three days before the start of the Kia Super League, there is news of a shake-up for Surrey Stars, who have signed New Zealander Lea Tahuhu and Middlesex’s Naomi Dattani.

Tahuhu replaces Meg Lanning, who ruled herself out of the competition last week due to a shoulder injury.

All-rounder Dattani, meanwhile – fresh from taking 3-35 in Middlesex’s successful match against Warwickshire on Sunday – has been brought into the squad in place of wicketkeeper Kirstie White, who suffered an ankle injury in Surrey’s warm-up game against Loughborough Lightning last week. It means that England’s Tammy Beaumont will be back behind the stumps for the Stars.

The Stars’ choice of Tahuhu, a right-arm seamer with 49 international wickets to her name, in place of Lanning, suggests that they see strengthening their bowling line-up ahead of the tournament as crucial, after conceding over 200 runs against Loughborough in their warm-up last week.

KSL CAREER BATTING STATS

Rank Player Team Age Matches Runs Runs/
Match
1 Edwards, Charlotte Vipers 36 555 21,014 38
2 Taylor, Stafanie Storm 25 208 7,003 34
3 Knight, Heather Storm 25 235 7,586 32
4 Bates, Suzie Vipers 28 368 11,721 32
5 Lee, Lizelle Storm 24 136 4,138 30
6 Wilson, Fran Storm 24 124 3,457 28
7 Fairbairn, Rosalie Storm 32 145 3,892 27
8 Brookes, Thea Lightning 23 90 2,345 26
9 Blackwell, Alex Diamonds 32 447 11,421 26
10 MacDonald, Alex Lightning 24 79 1,976 25
11 Satterthwaite, Amy Thunder 29 354 8,799 25
12 Lamb, Emma Thunder 18 61 1,511 25
13 McGlashan, Sara Vipers 34 434 10,275 24
14 Brindle, Arran Vipers 34 253 5,895 23
15 Jones, Evelyn Lightning 23 74 1,689 23
16 Sciver, Natalie Stars 23 150 3,380 23
17 Cranstone, Aylish Stars 21 71 1,598 23
18 Newton, Laura Thunder 38 177 3,960 22
19 Beaumont, Tammy Stars 25 208 4,621 22
20 Hennessy, Georgia Storm 19 67 1,487 22
21 Adams, Georgia Vipers 22 67 1,463 22
22 Winfield, Lauren Diamonds 25 150 3,239 22
23 Mooney, Beth Diamonds 22 144 3,082 21
24 Dottin, Deandra Thunder 25 197 4,176 21
25 Macleod, Alice Vipers 22 105 2,212 21
26 Mackenzie, Sophie Storm 17 19 395 21
27 Luff, Sophie Storm 22 100 2,064 21
28 Niekerk, Dane van Lightning 23 182 3,748 21
29 Matthews, Hayley Thunder 18 62 1,255 20
30 Greenway, Lydia Vipers 30 404 8,170 20
31 Devine, Sophie Lightning 26 342 6,795 20
32 Wyatt, Danielle Thunder 25 270 5,216 19
33 Kapp, Marizanne Stars 26 197 3,793 19
34 Priest, Rachel Storm 31 374 6,877 18
35 Brown, Natalie Thunder 25 110 1,906 17
36 Gunn, Jenny Diamonds 30 415 7,132 17
37 Morgan, Beth Stars 34 325 5,475 17
38 Dibble, Jodie Storm 21 75 1,236 16
39 Miles, Natasha Thunder 27 142 2,243 16
40 Carr, Amara Storm 22 91 1,416 16
41 Perry, Ellyse Lightning 25 288 4,337 15
42 Morris, Fi Vipers 22 81 1,185 15
43 Boyce, Georgie Lightning 17 37 523 14
44 Jones, Amy Lightning 23 135 1,882 14
45 Griffith, Cordelia Stars 20 49 658 13
46 Collis, Isabelle Vipers 19 46 607 13
47 George, Katie Vipers 17 27 353 13
48 Odedra, Sonia Lightning 28 116 1,500 13
49 Armitage, Hollie Diamonds 19 29 350 12
50 Cross, Kate Thunder 24 115 1,362 12
51 Elwiss, Georgia Lightning 25 197 2,224 11
52 O’Keefe, Cait Storm 19 66 742 11
53 Smith, Bryony Stars 18 38 424 11
54 Shrubsole, Anya Storm 24 197 2,193 11
55 Hazell, Danielle Diamonds 28 245 2,715 11
56 Marsh, Laura Stars 29 311 3,392 11
57 Scholfield, Paige Lightning 20 51 540 11
58 Brunt, Katherine Diamonds 31 284 2,726 10
59 Spragg, Laura Diamonds 34 139 1,306 9
60 Dunkley, Sophia Stars 18 42 370 9
61 Farrell, Rene Stars 29 214 1,852 9
62 Westbury, Izzy Storm 26 76 653 9
63 Rudd, Carla Vipers 22 83 671 8
64 Butler, Steph Diamonds 22 68 543 8
65 Gauvrit, Amy Lightning 21 73 579 8
66 Griffiths, Lauren Lightning 29 125 863 7
67 Davidson Richards, Alice Diamonds 22 92 627 7
68 Threlkeld, Ellie Thunder 17 37 242 7
69 Lakhtaria, Raveena Stars 23 62 397 6
70 Dattani, Naomi Stars 22 67 416 6
71 Nielsen, Morna Vipers 26 205 1,157 6
72 Langston, Beth Lightning 23 74 415 6
73 Holmes, Georgia Thunder 19 49 265 5
74 Ismail, Shabnim Diamonds 27 219 1,153 5
75 Ecclestone, Sophie Thunder 17 42 174 4
76 Graves, Teresa Diamonds 17 9 35 4
77 Gardner, Daisy Vipers 26 111 420 4
78 Grundy, Rebecca Lightning 26 125 446 4
79 Tahuhu, Lea Stars 25 163 581 4
80 Gibbs, Grace Stars 21 33 116 4
81 Burt, Ellen Vipers 18 34 113 3
82 Patel, Nalisha Thunder 18 51 151 3
83 Thompson, Katie Diamonds 19 29 65 2
84 Marshall, Laura Thunder 22 50 103 2
85 Nicholls, Anna Diamonds 18 245 315 1
86 Farrant, Natasha Vipers 20 59 72 1
87 Hartley, Alex Stars 22 99 104 1
88 Davies, Freya Storm 20 53 52 1
89 Levick, Katie Diamonds 25 99 96 1

Senior T20 + One Day matches, including internationals