KSL Stars v Lightning: Report – A Tale Of Two El(l)yses

On a melting hot day at The Oval, the two El(l)yses – Villani and Perry – hit 71 and 68 respectively, as the Lightning beat the Stars by 81 runs, to finish their Super League campaign with a second bonus-point victory. But for the Lightning it was the best of times and the worst of times, as despite the result they failed to qualify for Finals Day.

On the same pitch where the men had hit over 400 runs in the T20 Blast the previous night, Lightning skipper Georgia Elwiss won the toss and chose to bat against the Stars, with the Lightning knowing that not only did they need the win, but also for other results to go their way, to have any hope of semi-final qualification; whilst for the Stars a win would seal direct entry to next Friday’s final.

Opening the batting with Amy Jones still injured, Sarah Glenn lasted just 3 balls, caught by Rene Farrell at mid on off Laura Marsh for 0.

Elyse Villani was soon into her stride however, swatting Marsh dismissively for a huge 6 over backward square, as she plundered 17 from the England offie’s 2nd over.

Replacing Marsh, Nat Sciver bowled a maiden to Ellyse Perry, but could do little to halt Villani’s scoring rate in the following over as she continued to find the boundary regularly, helped by some poor fielding from the Stars.

Villani reached her 50 off 28 balls in the 8th over, with another big 6 over cow corner off Alex Hartley, whilst at the other end Perry drifted on at a Strike Rate of well under 50. By the time Villani was out, for a 39-ball 71 – caught by Sophia Dunkley at long off – Perry had made it into double-figures… just… on 10!

Having come in in the 1st over, Perry hit her first boundary (a 6 off Hartley) in the 12th, as she finally started to get motoring.

Incoming batsman Georgia Elwiss meanwhile looked like a lady who hasn’t played much cricket, as she scratched around for a 13-ball 6.

In the meantime Perry pushed on, and by the time she brought up her 50 – smashing the penultimate over, bowled by Nat Sciver, for 22 – she had accelerated sufficiently to push her Strike Rate over 100 – finishing on 68* off 53 balls, as the Lightning posted 171-3, with Thea Brookes playing a useful supporting role to Perry, with 14 off 13 at the end.

With the Stars needing well over 8 an over, Tammy Beaumont got a start, reaching 11 off 11 balls, before Kristen Beams was granted an LBW after what must go down as one of the longest and loudest appeals in history!

Lizelle Lee meanwhile couldn’t pick up where she left off after the other day’s 72, and was caught at deep square by Sonia Odedra for 1 off 8 balls – that gave Perry a wicket-maiden; though it could have been a double if she had not immediately dropped Nat Sciver on 0 – an admittedly difficult caught and bowled chance which was hit back at her very hard.

Perry picked up another wicket in her 3rd over – Marizanne Kapp bowled playing down the wrong line at a straight delivery – leaving the Stars 25-3 at the end of the powerplay.

With the required rate having climbed to well over 10, it was already looking like the Lightning’s day. Bryony Smith holed-out to Villani at long on – a good catch over her right shoulder; but with Nat Sciver getting going at the other end – hitting Georgia Elwiss for three consecutive 4s – there was still hope for the Stars.

That hope disappeared however with a furious Sciver smashing her bat down onto the pitch, having been bowled by Sarah Glenn for 24 in the 12th over.

Sophia Dunkley was bowled by Beth Langston for 8, exposing her stumps as she looked to play a rather too premeditated leg glance; whilst Sonia Odedra took another solid catch at deep square to dismiss Laura Marsh; then a third running around to mid off to bag Rene Farrell.

The inevitable last wickets came two-by-two – Becky Grundy bowling Grace Gibbs for 9 (including a 6), and then Alex Hartley for a golden duck – the Stars finishing on 90 all out, 105 runs short.

The result means that the Stars miss out on direct final qualification, and will contest the semi-final against the Storm next Friday afternoon at Hove for the right to meet the Vipers in the final; whilst the Lightning finish 4th overall, just missing out on Finals Day.

Afterwards, we spoke to a slightly disappointed Georgia Elwiss, who told us:

“Unfortunately we didn’t get into our stride quick enough over the tournament, and that’s what has cost us; but it is nice to finish with a win like this, and for people to show what they can do.”

“We always know that Ellyse Perry will start a little bit slower than others, but Elyse Villani was brilliant – taking all that pressure off her [Perry] so she could play her natural game – both of them were outstanding today and really showed their class. It was a flat pitch, but Surrey have got an all international attack and they bowled quite well those last 10 overs, but we always know that Pez [Perry] can catch up when she gets in.”

KSL Stats: Non-International Batting & Bowling Rankings

It will come as no surprise that the leading batsmen and bowlers in KSL17 are the established stars; but what about the non-internationals – those who have never played international cricket?

There are actually some significant differences in the contributions of the non-internationals at the different teams.

At the Western Storm, they’ve done a fair bit of work in both departments; whilst at the other end of the scale at the Surrey Stars, they’ve had very little to do in either!

At the Thunder they’ve done their share of the batting – much of that is Eve Jones, who has faced 14 of the 30 overs that non-internationals have batted for. Over at the Vipers they’ve bowled a lot more than they’ve batted – mainly thanks to Linsey Smith, who has bowled all four of her overs in every game so far – i.e. 16 of the 26 total.

Non-Internationals Overs Bowled Overs Batted Total
Storm 27 31 58
Diamonds 30 13 43
Lightning 11 24 35
Thunder 1 30 31
Vipers 26 5 31
Stars 0 9 9

Overs Batted = Balls Faced / 6

Non-International Batting Rankings

In the Batting Rankings, the leading player is Sarah Glenn, who comes in at 14 in the overall list. (Although Hennessy and Jones have both scored more runs, Glenn “wins” thanks to her vastly superior Strike Rate.)

Georgia Hennessy and Eve Jones have also both impressed. Although both have very similar numbers, they’ve come in very different ways: Jones, the steady anchor, has run at lot more, with just 47% of her runs coming in boundaries; whereas Hennessy, the bit hitter, has 63% of her runs in boundaries, including three 6s!

Batting Rankings Innings Runs Strike Rate
1. Sarah Glenn (Lightning) [14] 3 58 120.83
2. Georgia Hennessy (Storm) [17] 3 73 85.88
3. Eve Jones (Thunder) [18] 4 68 80.95
4. Thea Brookes (Lightning) [19] 4 34 154.54
5. Sophia Dunkley (Stars) [23] 3 32 128.00
6. Elly Threlkeld (Thunder) [25] 4 42 89.36
7. Alice Davidson-Richards (Diamonds) [27] 4 43 82.69
8. Lissy Macleod (Storm) [29] 3 34 89.47
9. Sophie Luff (Storm) [35] 3 25 75.75
10. Abby Freeborn (Lightning) [36] 1 16 114.28

Batting Ranking = Runs * Strike Rate; [X] = Overall Rank

Non-International Bowling Rankings

In the Bowling Rankings, it’s deja-vu all over again as Linsey Smith has conclusively proved that she is not a “One Hit Wonder” by replicating her standout performances from last season, breaking into the overall top 10 at number 9. Wales’ Claire Nicholas, in her debut KSL season, is just behind her, also making that overall top 10.

Leading batsman, Lightning’s Sarah Glenn also makes the bowling list, having taken 2-8 in her only bowling cameo versus the Thunder – a statistical quirk perhaps, but wickets are wickets! Alice Davidson-Richards also makes both lists – 7th in batting and 3rd in bowling – no statistical quirks involved there!

Bowling Rankings Overs Wickets Economy
1. Linsey Smith (Vipers) [9] 16 4 4.43
2. Claire Nicholas (Storm) [10] 13 5 5.92
3. Alice Davidson-Richards (Diamonds) [16] 11 4 6.90
4. Sarah Glenn (Lightning) [18] 2 2 4.00
5. Katie Levick (Diamonds) [21] 13 3 7.15
6. Katie George (Vipers) [22] 6 2 5.00
7. Lucy Higham (Lightning) [26] 9 2 7.22
8. Freya Davies (Storm) [28] 13 2 7.92
9. Charlie Dean (Vipers) [33] 4 1 5.00
10. Katie Thompson (Diamonds) [40] 6 0 7.83

Bowling Ranking = Wickets / Economy

CLUB OF THE MONTH: Spencer Women’s CC

Here at CRICKETher, we’re passionate about women’s cricket at all levels, including club cricket. It’s our mission to offer coverage of women’s (and girls’) club cricket wherever we can! Our ‘Club of the Month’ feature will focus on one women’s or girls’ club every month, giving you the lowdown on their highs, lows, and everything in between.

If you’d like to see your club featured here, get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!

By Tory Clarkson

Our 1st XI play on Fieldview, the main pitch at Spencer Cricket Club in South West London, and our 2nd XI play on the Openview ground, next door. The club has fantastic facilities, with a cheap bar and lovely terrace looking out over the main pitch. 2017 is the first year that the 1st XI have played all our home fixtures on the main club pitch – a recognition of the growing quality, size and stature of the Women’s section within the club.


Photo credit: Marie-Hélène Briens

Our current captain is Tamara Reeves, who joined the club in 2016. She has 4 ODI caps for South Africa & her quality and top-level experience has shown over the past two seasons. She’s tactically very astute and is a good role model for all members of the club. She has a terrible sense of humour, but we don’t hold that against her.

As well as Tam, quite a few of our team have high-level experience. Deepa Patel (Spencer’s leading runscorer) played professionally in India, for West Zone. Tor Cruickshank, the 2016 captain, played for Sussex and England Development for a time. Angela Bonora joined the club in 2016 and is an Italian international. Gemma Ware is an Italian international, Marie-Hélène Briens is a Hungary international, Natalie Wells used to play for Surrey, and I used to play for Gloucestershire Women before moving to London. Lots and lots of our juniors play age-group county cricket. Maddie Blinkhorn-Jones, an U14 girl playing in our 1st XI, plays for Surrey U17 Women and is one to watch. She scored her first century for the Women’s 1st XI this season.

One thing that really stands out for us is the varied background of our team. Based within easy reach of Central London, we have quite an international squad, as some of those names show. These names are playing alongside young women who grew up just around the corner from the club – it’s great to see. Equally, while quite a few of our team have played representative cricket, some of our 1st XI started playing only a couple of years ago! That sums up the accessibility of women’s cricket as a whole – the ability for newcomers to pick up the game quickly and have the opportunity to play with stars. If we get promoted, we’d get the opportunity to play against Charlotte Edwards, Ellen Burt and a few other international stars. That’s motivated everyone hugely!

We aim to be inclusive, social, and competitive and really take pride in bringing through juniors. We’re developing a pathway to guide our talented juniors (280+ girls) through to the senior sides. It’s important to us that we grow the club sustainably – making sure everyone can get something out of the club, whether they’re looking for good, competitive cricket, or social sport.


Photo credit: Marie-Hélène Briens

Our current oldest member is in her late 30s and our youngest player in the senior section is 13. We welcome members of all ages, however!

Our lead coach is Mark Costin, a L3 coach. He is supported throughout the year by a number of other coaches, including Alain and Kiyo Jason, as well as volunteers from the ladies section. We have our own training sessions on Wednesdays during the spring and summer, but train and play with the men on Thursdays and Saturdays too. There has been a real drive this year, led by Mark and Jon Speller, the Director of Cricket at Spencer, to get women playing more frequently in men’s matches as well as the ladies’ league. This is a reflection of the rising standards in our section, and the rising ambition for the club.

We don’t have a club mascot at the moment, but Tor Cruickshank’s whites, barely washed from season to season, are a sort of emotional crutch for the team.

Our 1st XI play in the Women’s Cricket Southern League Championship, and are chasing Horsham for the title and promotion. Our 2nd XI play in the Surrey Trust League. The girls section play in various Surrey Boys leagues, where they frequently claim a few big scalps, as well as in girls leagues.

In terms of highlights, one of this year’s performances stands out: a 275-run opening partnership by Maddie Blinkhorn-Jones (who’s only 14!) and leading runscorer Deepa Patel, against Guildford CC. Maddie has come through the ranks of Spencer Juniors and has really made her mark on the team. It’s up there with the 2011 unbeaten season as one of our proudest moments as a club.


Photo credit: Marie-Hélène Briens

What we’ve found this year is that as we move up through the divisions, we need more and more volunteers to help the club function on match days. Long gone are the days when our Number 11 could score for us or umpire from square leg! We are really grateful to our supporters, families and friends who help the club run on match days. This year, in particular, our supporters have provided in-play PlayCricket updates and ball-by-ball commentary on whatsapp on match days! That takes some dedication! It is also a reflection of how much people love this club that they will read 300+ whatsapp messages on a Sunday to keep up from afar with the score!

There are many, many people who’ve helped get Spencer Women where we are now – too many to name them all! So instead, we’d like to focus on this year’s helpers – Step Parikian, Mark Costin, Kiyo Jason, Alain Jason, Jon Speller, Marie-Helene Briens, Gregg Birrell, Patrick Wells, Martin Blinkhorn, Lis Jones, Brian Hurn, to name a few.

It has been really noticeable how the club has changed over the past five years or so. The juniors section is now massive – we think we might have the biggest girls’ section in the country – and the women’s section has expanded too. It used to be hard to find 11 to play & we would beg friends and parents to help us out, now we have genuine selection decisions each week between a highly talented squad.

To give an example, about five years ago, we were so short of players that one of our former members, then 6 months pregnant, insisted on playing! She fielded very energetically despite her big bump! Thankfully, mother and son were fine!

As often happens with sports clubs, as years pass & generations pass through the club, the history of how it all started has been lost. Anyone with more information about Spencer Women’s Cricket’s origins are invited to come forward!!

What everyone notices, whether they joined one week ago or 5 years ago (like me!), is that the club has a great spirit and culture. We’re good friends and we enjoy laughing and joking together, particularly in the end-of-match wrap.

The club has been really inclusive, but we still joke about a discussion with the men’s section from a few years ago about what to do for end-of-season event. One gentleman said, ‘We could do a dinner at the Oval, but the women do love a party!’ We’re still not quite sure what he meant!

Anyone wishing to join the club should get in touch with Tor Cruickshank on spencerwomenscricket@googlemail.com

Come find us on social media for more info on what we’re up to:

KSL Storm v Stars: Talking Points

Lizelle Lee

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.

Marizanne Kapp

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.

Storm’s Batting

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.

Fran Wilson

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.

REPORT: Cheshire Women’s League Finals Day

Martin Saxon reports

Chester Boughton Hall hosted the triple-header Finals Day this year, and also took home the trophies in both finals that they were contesting. Many of the Chester players produced fine performances, but the star of the show was surely acting captain Kate Coppack, who reached the retirement score in both matches, and took a combined 5-15 in the eight overs she bowled during the day.

Match 1 – Development Knockout Cup Final

Stockport Georgians 77-9 (20; Liv Bell 22, Zara Matthews 2-6, Ellen Gallimore 2-13, Tasneem Akram 2-17)

Didsbury 2nd XI 80-3 (15.1; Laura Griffiths 27*)

  • Georgians may have won division three this year, but Didsbury’s seconds gained some revenge by triumphing in the knockout competition that is exclusively for teams in that division. Tasneem Akram struck twice early on, and Georgians were struggling on 11-3. Liv Bell led a recovery of sorts, but with Zara Matthews and others bowling well, the final total set the Manchester side less than four per over. Beth Garnett produced an excellent spell in the second innings, but Laura Griffiths led the way as the target was reached with almost five overs to spare.


Match 2 – Senior Knockout Cup Final

Chester Boughton Hall Deemons 101-8 (20; Kate Coppack 25ret, Nadia Wheeler 21, Leesa Mellon 2-7, Millie Frost 2-8)

Didsbury Swordettes 68-9 (20; Hannah Jones 34*, Kate Coppack 4-7, Dawn Prestidge 3-15, Ali Cutler 2-7)

  • Didsbury’s first team could not make it a double celebration for the club as an impressive display comfortably saw the Deemons to their seventh Knockout win in the 11 years the competition has been played. While Kate Coppack was the only one to reach the retirement score, all of their top six scored rapidly, and the scoring rate only dropped in the final overs when Leesa Mellon and Millie Frost got amongst the wickets. Dawn Prestidge took three very early wickets in the reply, and there was the curious sight of Hannah Jones retiring on 25 when her team had managed only 31 runs in total. Coppack then took four wickets for just seven runs, upstaging what were some fine figures by all of her team-mates.


Match 3 – T20 Divisional Competition Final

Chester Boughton Hall Deemons 107-7 (20; Dawn Prestidge 26ret, Kate Coppack 26ret, Ali Cutler 26*, Kate Harvey 3-13, Emma Royle 2-12)

Stockport Trinity Fire 91-9 (20; Jennie Kitzinger 26*, Nadia Wheeler 4-18, Dawn Prestidge 2-19)

  • Chester then went on to record their fifth T20 Divisional title in the last match of the day. Dawn Prestidge and Ali Cutler kept the run rate around six per over in the initial stages of the first innings. When the pair retired, wickets did fall regularly, with Kate Harvey and Emma Royle returning excellent figures. However, Kate Coppack blasted 26 in just 14 balls to keep the board moving. Trinity ensured it was a competitive contest, especially when they scored 38 between the 7th and 11th overs of their reply. However, the Chester attack proved just too strong – while Nadia Wheeler was the main wicket taker on this occasion, Coppack again did a superb job, conceding just eight runs in her four overs.