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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One thought on “Short Thoughts: KSL Vipers v Stars

  1. Short thoughts, but a long comment I’m afraid! It was an amazing day, which I had been looking forward to for some time, and it turned to be great entertainment despite the low scores. Surrey have been unlucky in their build up to the league, losing a few players to injury, and their luck didn’t improve in this match either. But there is still hope for them. In their last 8 overs they scored at 6.5 rpo and only lost 1 wicket. And in the last 8 overs of their bowling, they only conceded at 4.1 rpo and took 4 wickets. If they could extend these dominant periods for longer, and preferably have a better start to each innings, they would be much more competitive.

    Katie George is a very good young player, who appears to be completely fearless. Robinson was certainly singing her praises. Perhaps she’s so young that she has yet to experience much of the anxiety that goes with pressure and expectation, or perhaps she just has an excellent temperament. Either way, although there is pressure with bowling, if you get a ball wrong you do get another chance – it is not quite the same as pressure in batting, where the tiniest single mistake can send you back off the field to all the criticism. If George gets to bat in a pressure situation, and I understand she is quite talented in that department too – I hope she can deal with it in the same fearless way.

    The problem was that a few of the young Stars players especially looked completely overawed by the situation. It’s a shame that they looked so nervous at times. This is a steep learning curve for the county and academy players. It was brave from the Stars to put Smith, Griffith and Dattani so high up their order. They might have to think about playing Farrell and Marsh higher up instead though, as both are capable batsmen who are a lot more experienced. It didn’t help that Kapp and Morgan, both good experienced players, failed this time. I know that this league is supposed to also be a showcase for the younger talent but Stars may find that the reality of the situation forces them into a quick re-think.

    What pitfalls does the KSL have to really watch out for? The two-tier theory, of course. There appears to be a real danger of a two-tier league developing, despite efforts to concentrate talent into just six sides. After the first round of matches we have seen 3 results and 3 bonus point wins. In order for Vipers, Storm and Lightning not to qualify now they may have to lose at least 2 if not 3 of their remaining 4 games. Apart from (arguably) being the best sides on paper, these 3 sides, currently in the top 3 spots, are the same ones with 3 home matches and only 2 away games. This makes an upset of the Lightning-Storm-Vipers vs. Diamonds-Stars-Thunder tiers even less likely. Confidence will play a role as well.

    The lack of runs going around in the league is a worry I had from the outset, and had hoped would not materialise. Despite Lightning’s opening effort of 128/9 seeming disappointing at the time, it was a very reasonable effort and remains the highest total to date by some margin (although we don’t know what Storm and Vipers would have made in their chases). We need to give the new league time, I know, but I’ll offer the following by way of comparison. In WBBL01 I counted only 9 innings of less than 90, and that was among a relatively vast fixture list of 59 matches. That’s a sub-90 total at a rate of 15%. Even if KSL01 has no more sub-90 scores, it will have 5 innings from 17 matches – at a rate of almost 30%, double that of WBBL01. Nonetheless it’s nothing if not tense and exciting, and the next 2 weeks are bound to throw up some fantastic performances!

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