Once again Lizelle Lee (with 77 off 44 balls, including six 6s) formed the mainstay of the Stars innings – Surrey can certainly thank their lucky… er… Stars (!!) that her delayed visa did, eventually, come through. You’d have to say, though, that Storm’s bowlers only made it worse for themselves: of the 64 runs Lee hit in boundaries, at least 60% were hit in the region between square leg and long leg. Give her enough room on the leg side and she will punish you.
Lee may have been Player of the Match today, but after close of play she was full of praise for one person: fellow countrywoman Marizanne Kapp. “In the beginning when Kappie batted with me I struggled a little bit… She knows sometimes I can get a little bit frustrated with myself and she helped me stay calm. That helped me a lot.” The pair’s 103-run partnership was the second highest in KSL history.
It might be an exaggeration to claim, as Lee did, that Kapp is “one of the best batters in the world”, but she is quickly proving her worth as a crucial anchor for her side, today coming in at 0-1 and remaining at the crease right until the first ball of the 20th over. Combined with her wicket-taking abilities – she was just a smidgeon away from a hat-trick today – she has certainly been a key factor in the Stars’ solid journey to qualification for Finals Day.
Heather Knight aptly summed up her team’s performances with the bat in this year’s KSL after close of play: “We seem to all have a bad day as a batting unit or all have a good day. We’ve been really inconsistent.” Whether they are being bowled out for 70 or thumping Diamonds by 10 wickets, Storm are very much an all-or-nothing side with the bat. Today, with 4 wickets falling in the powerplay overs, it was a reasonably foregone conclusion that Stars had the match sewn up early on, however much Georgia Hennessy and Lissy Macleod railed valiantly against that conclusion.
Conceding 169 today was far from ideal for the Storm, but it could have been far worse without the efforts of Fran Wilson in the field. She’s the best backward point in the business, and though she couldn’t quite pull off what would have been a spectacular catch at midwicket to dismiss Lee off the bowling of Stafanie Taylor, nobody else would have even got close.