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.”

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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

INTERVIEW: Morgan More Than Ready For Super League

When the final Kia Super League squads were announced back in April, one intriguing development stood out: the news that six former England internationals had been tempted out of retirement to take part in the tournament.

One of the six is 2009 double-World Cup winner Beth Morgan – who retired from international duty due to a shoulder injury in January 2013, having played in 7 Tests, 72 ODIs and 28 Twenty20s. She is widely recognised as one of England’s best batsmen of recent times, and is remembered, of course, for her vital, match-winning partnership with Claire Taylor of 122 in the 2009 World T20 semi-final against Australia at the Oval.

It’s fitting, then, that Morgan will be back in action at that same ground in the inaugural KSL for Surrey Stars – and when we spoke to her on Sunday she was absolutely relishing the prospect. “I’m very proud to have been selected,” she said. “Surrey is a prestigious club and to be training at the Oval is amazing. I’m just enjoying it and looking forward to the experience, and hopefully we can do well.”

Since her retirement in 2013, Morgan has continued to play for Middlesex, stepping down as captain only at the end of the 2014 season after 8 years at the helm. She remains the backbone of their middle-order, though, as she proved during Sunday’s “Finals Day” match against Warwickshire, sharing a 98-run partnership with Fran Wilson to take her side to an 8-wicket victory.

Morgan, then, will be starting the KSL having once again found her form, and while she is cautious about setting out her stall ahead of the competition – “we’ll see if I get out there…hopefully I can contribute” – it seems pretty obvious that the Stars would be crazy to overlook her talent and experience.

As Morgan herself acknowledges, that is part of the excitement of seeing so many ex-England players back out there on the pitch: “The standard of the young players coming through is amazing to see, but having that experience, you can’t substitute that – that’s really valuable to have Laura Newton, Rosalie Birch, Arran Brindle, those guys. It hopefully will add a lot of value to what should be a really good competition anyway.”

KSL does, of course, present several challenges for the more experienced players like Morgan. She highlighted the need to work harder in training prior to such an intense competition: “I’m trying to do as much as I can really. Maintaining the body, making sure that’s fit and ready to go. It’s really really important that all the county players, but certainly the older players, can compete and keep up and make sure they’re contributing just as much as everybody else. You can’t have a weak link in these things. I have to work a bit harder but I’m happy to do that, I’m really enjoying it.”

While KSL players will be paid match fees, we are a long way off being able to consider most KSL players even semi-professionals; and another complication for players like Morgan is therefore the need to juggle Super League around pre-existing work commitments. For Morgan, she has had to take a mixture of paid and unpaid leave in order to make herself available for KSL – but, she says, “it’s worth it. It’s a great opportunity and I’m going to do everything that I can to make the best of it and be the best that I can be, to help Surrey Stars.”

If Super League can extend the careers of players like Morgan, that can surely only be a good thing. We at CRICKETher are very much looking forward to seeing her – as well as her contemporaries Arran Brindle, Laura Newton, Rosalie Fairbairn, Laura Spragg and Lauren Griffiths – back out there on first-class grounds, playing against the world’s best.

Play All Out Cricket’s KSL Fantasy Game Like a Pro

Want to play All Out Cricket’s KSL Fantasy Game like a pro? Follow James Piechowski’s top tips to pick your ultimate side…

All-Out Cricket have kindly developed a Fantasy Cricket game for the upcoming KSL1 competition. It should be great fun and there’s no reason not to take part! It’s free to join and register a team (all you need is to provide an email address and password) and you can even set up mini-leagues to compete against anyone else you choose.

The rules are fairly simple, but there are a few quirky aspects to the requirements and points scoring system which I aim to help guide you through here. I will outline each role, detail how it scores points, give advice on selection and offer a few possibilities (“Strong Contenders” from different KSL sides) in case anyone is stuck.

Let’s start with the fixed format for your fantasy team. Each 11 must consist of:

Team Format

  1. Batsman
  2. Batsman
  3. Master Blaster
  4. Master Blaster
  5. Finisher
  6. Finisher
  7. All Rounder
  8. All Rounder
  9. Holding Bowler
  10. Holding Bowler
  11. Strike Bowler

General Notes

  • Selections are made from the player listing on the AOC site.
  • Any player can go in any slot, but beware, batsmen get very few points for taking wickets, and bowlers very few points for scoring runs! The full rules can be found here.
  • You can only select a maximum of 2 players from any one KSL side. This seems to be a very restrictive rule, but it does mean that with only 6 teams, your side is bound to feature at least one player from every KSL team.
  • You can make unlimited transfers throughout the season. This just swaps one player for another (team restrictions still apply), but is useful to go with form, or replace injured players

The designers have, predictably, dodged the sizeable task of rating or assigning values to players, and giving you a set fund to pick them from. Instead international slots are not resistricted. This makes selection less complex, but means many fantasy teams will be comprised of 11 internationals. Lots of County players have yet to be selected in anyone’s teams (this is visible as the Popularity stat in the Player List). It will be interesting come the end of the KSL, to see what the top County player side would be in terms of points and how it compares to the top side composed of internationals.

Picking a high-scoring fantasy side

The most important part of team selection to understand is that the role or slot that you place a player in within your team roster, determines what points they can score. If a player scores 20 runs and takes a catch and 1-20, they will score different amounts of points depending on what slot you have placed them in.

Batsman (slots 1 and 2)A solid position for which their will be many possibilities, and many players who will do well. There are more clear options here than for other batting positions. Bowling is not a consideration for your selections, as the tiny 5 point bonus for a wicket is less than they get from scoring 1 run.

Player scores points based on: Number of runs scored. Bonuses for scoring 25 runs (then 50, 75 etc), every boundary, and for strike-rates above 100. Standard bonus for a catch, stumping or run out.

Advice: Select players to score most runs. Boundary hitters will score heavily, but any high strike-rate is rewarded.

Strong Contenders: Edwards (SOT), Beaumont (SUR), Blackwell (YOR)

Master Blaster (slots 3 and 4) – This can be a tough selection as 2 of these slots are required in the team. Consider power hitters who will be given some time at the crease. You probably don’t want a player who will just score the most runs, as they would be best suited in another slot. Bowling is not a consideration as the tiny 5 point bonus for a wicket is the same as they get from scoring 1 run.

Player scores points based on: Very large bonus for every six scored (but NO bonus for fours), Number of runs scored, but strangely much less than the Batsman, Finisher or Allrounder slots. Bonuses for scoring 25 runs (then 50, 75 etc), and for strike-rates above 100. Standard bonus for a catch, stumping or run out.

Advice: There’s little option but to go for Six hitters here. Consider that if an All Rounder is placed here they will get next to nothing from their bowling, however as it will become clear later, this may have to be a sacrifice you make.

Strong Contenders: Dottin (LAN), Lee (WES), Winfield (YOR)

Finisher (slots 5 and 6) – A quirky role, given 2 must be selected. Being “not out” is by far their most important ability, and gives a huge 250 point bonus. They share many of the point scoring options with the Batsman slots but strangely, in another massive quirk of the system, cannot get bonuses from a high strike-rate. Bowling is not a consideration as the tiny 5 point bonus for a wicket is less than they get from scoring 1 run.

Player scores points based on: Being Not Out and Number of runs scored. Bonuses for scoring 25 runs (then 50, 75 etc), and every boundary. NO bonus for strike rate. Standard bonus for a catch, stumping or run out.

Advice: Go for steady run accumulators known for carrying their bat. They need not score too quickly. Pick solid, probably middle order players. You could pick 2 extra batsmen who just fail to make your number 1 and 2 slots here.

Strong Contenders: Greenway (SOT), Wilson (WES), Satterthwaite (LAN)

Allrounder (slots 7 and 8) – The most “fun” role in my view. Allrounder is sure to be a popular position, it’s just a shame there aren’t more than 2 slots for them! These are the only player slots able to pick up a lot of points for batting AND bowling, and their points bonus per catch, stumping or run-out is sizeable, and more than 3 times that for players in any other slot in your team. Note that batting strike rate is not a factor for points scoring, nor is bowling completed overs.

Player scores points based on: Number of runs scored, wickets taken, economy rates of under 8, and large bonus from dismissals (catches etc). Bonuses for scoring 25 runs (then 50, 75 etc), and every boundary. Allrounders score a large bonus for a catch, stumping or run out (a dismissal). Bonus for taking 3 or more dismissals. Bonus for taking 3 or more wickets.

Advice: Allrounders have the greatest number of potential sources for scoring points of any slot. The choices from available International all rounders are vast. You would be best off picking a player likely to always play, who will get some time to bat, and also either bowl, or keep wicket. Maybe a bowler or batter you wanted to include but couldn’t squeeze into one of the other designated slots. A wicketkeeper (or otherwise any good fielder) is also a good option to maximise the catches and stumpings. If you are having trouble fitting all your favoured batting all-rounders into these 2 slots, as I did, consider playing them in a Master Blaster or Finisher slot instead.

Strong Contenders: Knight (WES), Devine (LBO), Bates (SOT), Sciver (SUR), any first-choice wicketkeeper etc.

Holding bowler (AKA Containing bowler) (slots 9 and 10) – A clear contrast to the Strike Bowler role, the 2 Holding Bowler slots, in yet another quirk, score less than other bowlers for taking wickets. However they score points for bowling completed overs, and biggest of all get a large economy bonus. They are likely to be high points scorers in your fantasy team and there are many options to choose from.

The economy rate bonus can be huge, and is possibly a “broken” feature of the points system. It’s certainly an exploit, as in women’s cricket economy rates of around 4 are quite often seen. Note this also applies for Allrounders. Unless the KSL provides regular team scores of over 160, the economy bonus of the best bowlers is likely to outweigh the bonus even most strike bowlers get for taking wickets.

Although the “3 points per 0.01 runs per over of economy rate under 8.00” may not sound like much, there are 400 times 0.01 between 8.00 and 4.00, giving an instant 1200 points if achieved, so it could easily mean that allrounders and holding bowlers are the main points scorers on your side based on their bowling economy alone. Depending on boundaries and strike rate, a batsman may need to score a century to get that many points in an innings, and as you all will know these are very rare in T20 cricket, especially women’s.

Player scores points based on: Economy rates under 8, Wickets taken, and bowling completed overs. Runs scored are hardly a consideration as only score 1 point per run. Standard bonus for a catch, stumping or run out.

Advice – Choose a reliable economical bowler, likely to play. The role is suited to accurate bowling and forcing batsmen’s mistakes rather than blasting batsmen out.

Strong Contenders – Kapp (SUR), Nielsen (SOT), Hazell (YOR)

Strike bowler (Slot 11) – This single slot gets the most points for taking wickets of any of your players. There are a lot of possible choices, and they are likely to score well if they consistently take at least 1 or 2 wickets per match. The more wickets the better! Don’t worry about runs given away, as no bonuses can be gained in this slot from economical bowling. Unfortunately this probably means that the points gained from this slot will be lower than for holding bowlers or allrounders, as wicket taking bowlers also tend to be miserly.

Player scores points based on: Wickets taken and bowling completed overs. Runs scored are hardly a consideration as only score 1 point per run. Standard bonus for a catch, stumping or run out. NO economy-based bonuses.

Advice – Choose a reliable wicket taker. Wickets are the main focus, as is bowling out 4 overs, so a first choice opening bowler, or a strong death bowler is a good bet. Economy rates are not a consideration here.

Strong Contenders – Brunt (YOR), Farrant (SOT), Shrubsole (WES)

If you like the look of the KSL Fantasy game, remember to pick a team and see how many points it scores!

Point scoring examples

To demonstrate the points scoring system, here are some examples of how a given performance provides vastly different points rewards depending on the slot/role the player is picked in.

Player scores 50 off 35 balls with 6 fours and 1 six. SR = 142

Points scored: Batsman – 725

Master Blaster – 575

Finisher – 650 if out; 900 if not out.

Allrounder – 650

All Bowler slots – 50

Player returns figures of 3/25 off 4 overs. ER = 6.25

Points scored: All 6 Batsman slots – 15 pts

Allrounder – 925

Strike Bowlers – 1250

Holding Bowlers -1050

Player returns figures of 1/15 off 4 overs. ER = 3.75

Points scored: All 6 Batsman slots – 5 pts

Allrounder – 1375

Strike Bowlers – 450

Holding Bowlers – 1550

T20 CUP MATCH REPORT: Kent Triumph In Last-Over Thriller

On a sunny day at Beckenham, Kent held their nerve to win the T20 Cup in a contest that went right down to the final over of the third game.

As the day began, only Warwickshire had their destiny in their own hands: a win in either of their games would have handed them the Cup after strong performances earlier in the competition. Both Kent and Middlesex, meanwhile, were reliant both on winning their games and on other results going their way.

The first game of the day was thus crucial to both team’s hopes; and it was Kent who kept their title dream alive – while quashing Middlesex’s – with a comfortable 7-wicket victory. Middlesex, having been put in, started slowly and were soon undone by a bit of Suzie Bates magic, as she seized a wicket off her first ball – Tash Miles, caught by Tash Farrant at backward point – and followed it up with the wicket of Fran Wilson four balls later, lbw attempting a sweep shot. It put Middlesex on the back foot and they found it hard to recover, posting just 111, a total which Kent chased down with 9 balls to spare.

Middlesex could thus hope for nothing more than the consolation prize of victory against Warwickshire, but this nonetheless seemed to be enough to spur them on. Warwickshire had posted a mammoth 137-8 in their 20 overs, thanks to the aggressive intent of openers Amy Jones (29 off 20 balls) and Georgia Hennessy (36 off 37).

It looked an enormous ask, but Middlesex proved themselves equal to the task as England Present came together with England Past in the form of Fran Wilson and Beth Morgan. Coming together on 40-2, the two shared a 98-run partnership and fortune favoured the brave as they rode their luck in the form of dropped catches and missed run-outs by a nervous-looking Warwickshire side. An improvised ramp shot for four over Wilson’s head in the final over helped seal the deal for her team, as they won by 8 wickets.

Fran Wilson Brings Out the Reverse Ramp

Fran Wilson Brings Out the Reverse Ramp © Sam Gibbs

Thus it all came down to the third and final game of the day between Kent and Warwickshire. Put in by Kent, Warwickshire were under enormous pressure after their poor showing against Middlesex, but openers Jones (40) and Hennessy (37) laid a solid foundation, taking their side to 55-0 at the halfway point. Once they were dismissed, in the 13th and 14th overs respectively, it was left to Marie Kelly and Jenny Gunn to frantically push for singles in the last 5 overs as the pair dragged Warwickshire to a competitive 126-4.

It might have proved enough, but the old adage that catches win matches came home to roost and, while Warwickshire’s fielding was much improved from their first game of the day, dropping Bates twice in the course of the first four overs was a costly error. Bates went on to amass 43 before finally being caught by Becky Grundy at backward point in the 12th over.

A glimmer of hope shone upon Warwickshire as Charlotte Edwards and Tammy Beaumont both followed Bates back to the dug-out, with Kent still requiring 39 off the last 5 overs, a figure that became 30 off the last 3 and 7 off the very last over of the day – still more than a run a ball. But a Greenway straight drive for four ensured that Kent brought home the silverware, winning by 7 wickets with two balls to spare.

Alice Davidson-Richards Played A Couple of Crucial Knocks

Alice Davidson-Richards Played A Couple of Crucial Knocks © Sam Gibbs

While Kent’s England players are often shouted about, today the calm composure of Alice Davidson-Richards (30* and 19*) deserves special mention: coming to the crease in difficult circumstances both times, she was ultimately crucial to the two wins that her team needed to secure the Cup. The Bears, meanwhile, were left cruelly ruing what might have been.

Kent Celebrate the T20 Cup

Kent Celebrate the T20 Cup © Sam Gibbs

Afterwards Suzie Bates, who ended the T20 season as Div 1’s highest run scorer, reflected to CRICKETher:

“We didn’t have a great start [to the T20 season] at Wokingham – we lost two close matches and we knew we had to win everything from there, [so] we said at the start of today that everything else was out of our control, and we just had to play good cricket.”

“Warwickshire played 18 overs of pretty outstanding cricket and probably deserved a win, but it just shows in Twenty20 cricket two overs can change the game pretty quickly, and it just shows the experience of Lydia Greenway coming through in that final part of the game.”