Vipers bt. Lightning by 46 runs
If anyone was still wondering where we got the crazy idea that New Zealand were going to win the World Cup, we present Exhibit A: Suzie Bates in imperious form once again, taking her second consecutive Player of the Match award of the tournament. Her 119 is the highest score ever made in a “pro” domestic T20, beating the previous record 103 held jointly by Sophie Devine (in WBBL02) and Grace Harris (in WBBL01). She then went on to take 3 wickets for 15 as the Lightning were bowled out off the final ball, with the (admittedly massive) target still a distant speck on the horizon.
The 18-year-old was perhaps a surprise selection, given that Marie Kelly had acquitted herself pretty well on her debut v the Storm. Glenn has made a few runs for Derbyshire over the past couple of seasons in Div 2/3, but nothing to write home about; so it was fantastic to see her jump feet-first into the KSL with 25 off 21 balls.
“That” Run Out
Elyse Villani was given run out at the non-strikers end off Tash Farrant’s fingertip on the follow-through, but… did she or didn’t she? The ball certainly appeared to deviate on the replay from the umpire-cam; but the view from the other end looked a lot less conclusive. Obviously Farrant felt she had got a hand on it, but you’ll “feel” a ball travelling at that speed even if you don’t quite touch it. My impression is that she probably did make contact, though others will disagree; but the really interesting question is whether she meant to? If you are the Vipers, it was smart work… if you are the Lightning, Villani was unlucky – you pays your money and you takes your choice I guess!
That “Other” Run Out
There was no doubt about the other run out Farrant effected though – that of Ellyse Perry. Georgia Adams will get the credit on the scorecard, but the ball was missing until Farrant (standing in front of the stumps, as the England players are coached to do) gathered it and diverted it on in a single, brilliant movement. That is where all those hours of fielding drills make the difference for the pros – first judging that it was indeed going to miss, and then executing the move to change the course of the ball without losing anything but a fraction of its speed. Suzie Bates or no Suzie Bates, it was the Play of the Day for me!