KSL: Storm v Lightning – Storm Take Advantage Of Storm

The rain that fell in Taunton overnight and this morning may have negatively affected Sky’s coverage – those of us watching at home suffered no commentary for the first 3 overs and very poor image quality throughout – but it did set up an ideal game situation for Western Storm. Of all the teams in the competition, they have the batting firepower to flourish in a 6-over situation, and so it proved. Lightning fans can probably rightly feel slightly aggrieved that they haven’t had the chance to prove themselves properly against the defending champions.

For Storm, Smriti Mandhana is proving to have been a genius overseas “buy”, with 137 runs off 60 balls in the first 3 matches at a breathtaking strike rate of 228. A couple of stats from Hypocaust support the point:

By contrast the conservative batting of Rachael Haynes (who finished with 18 off 15 balls) ultimately cost Lightning the game. Going at a run a ball was never going to be enough in this situation. One almost felt that Lightning had lost the match before they even started their innings – Haynes isn’t known for her power-hitting and to see her walking out and even facing the first ball ahead of partner Sophie Devine smacked of uber-conservative decision-making. Devine did her damnedest, but even she couldn’t make the runs alone.

For Storm, credit should go to fast bowler Freya Davies, who captain Heather Knight entrusted with bowling 2 of their 6 overs. That trust was repaid handsomely – Davies kept it tight, and by conceding only 9 runs from her first over, turned the game hugely in Storm’s favour: one over like that and Lightning’s chances of chasing down the runs were already greatly reduced.

Finally, if you haven’t already, do have a watch of our review of week 1 of the KSL, recorded just before this match took place.

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6 thoughts on “KSL: Storm v Lightning – Storm Take Advantage Of Storm

  1. Mandhana is very quickly becoming a star of the game and given where she is from and that country’s mania for the game, she could go on to be THE pivotal figure in the game over the next decade. Too much pressure too soon? We shall see, she certainly plays with an easy freedom when the mood takes her, and circumstances today gave her absolute licence.

    Sending Haynes in to open was undoubtedly a mistake, but hopefully it’s one all teams can learn from. Given that Lightning fell only 19 runs short of victory despite her blocking up an end, they will feel they could have won had they approached it differently. It’s hard to get bowled out in 36 balls, so I cannot see how the thinking can in any way be conservative in that situation. You get your sloggiest batters up top and go from there. A pity, because Lightning have been impressive so far.

    Big credit to Thunder elsewhere today. Obviously not seen any of it, but that’s a hell of a win from a position where they were second favourites with 5 overs to go.

    It’s shaping up to be a great campaign. Three teams with two wins, Vipers must surely get into their stride at some stage, Stars perhaps neither one thing nor the other just yet, only Diamonds you might be tempted to write off, albeit still with time to recover.

    The 10 game format already a confirmed success, I feel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agree with you about Mandhana. In terms of new fans, and competitions, she looks set to be the most influential current player in men’s or women’s cricket over the next decade.

      No pressure!

      Like

  2. Storm v Lightning
    Well it was a well-named fixture for such a heavily rain affected contest, that made it so that one great performance could win the match. And that great performance came from one Smriti Mandhana who was absolutely imperious. Despite Sky’s SD coverage we saw clearly that it was a fantastic exhibition of calm and measured hard hitting that completely took the game away from Lightning. Not sure I’ve seen anything quite like that, and it looked so easy for her!

    Linsey Smith’s dismissal of Knight might have been noted by her in terms of potential future selection, who knows? But Lightning’s strange decision to open with Haynes to partner the obvious best choice in such a chase (Devine) was puzzling. Surely Villani, Jones or Elwiss would have been a better bet. Another slight point of controversy for me – the revised playing conditions with regard to how many bowlers could bowl 2 overs. When Shrubsole came on to bowl the last over I thought, “No, she can’t”, as Davies had already bowled 2 overs. As far as I know bowling restrictions mean that a minimum of 5 bowlers are required. But if it was instead that no bowler could bowl over 2 overs, then only 3 would have been required. My question if this was indeed the case is, did Lightning know this? Because in the Storm innings, lo and behold only 1 bowler bowled 2 overs. Very strange.

    This was also a bonus point win for Storm, which is pretty remarkable in a 6-over game but I calculated that Lightning just needed another run or two and that extra point would have been denied to Storm. Storm now top the league, but I think Lightning might feel hard done by, or at least that this doesn’t count as a “proper” defeat. They’ll be frustrated but still on course for a good year.

    Stars v Diamonds
    This game was abandoned due to rain which will be a fillet for Diamonds who finally get on the board. After you predicted last year that they’d finish bottom and they didn’t, I thought this year might be similar, but I must admit they are looking more like the ones to prop it up. Their sorry collapse against Thunder on Friday was worrying. If a side was ever spun out, this was it. Perhaps the worst part of it all was before this though – the way their senior overseas players gave up their wickets with such sloppy cricket – Mooney and Kimmince the worst culprits. Then the last 7 wickets were all run out or stumped. Sorry to dwell on it, but it was embarrassing at times.

    Thunder v Vipers
    I’m really pleased for Thunder. After being disappointing for 2 years they have finally started to perform. It just goes to show that if they could get a solid total on the board, they have a great chance of defending it with their strong spin attack. It worked against Diamonds on Friday and it worked again today against what was on paper a better Vipers team.

    Some of the main highlights:

    *Eve Jones top-scores with 69 at just over a run-a-ball
    *Vipers give away plenty of extras, mainly wides (third top scorer)
    *Tash Farrant takes Hat-Trick to finish with 3-24 (wickets were E.Jones, Ecclestone and Lamb)
    *Tammy Beaumont keeps wicket for Vipers but must have got injured because she didn’t come out to bat, which did not help the Vipers’ chase
    *Thunder finish on solid 137/6

    *Vipers start brightly with Wyatt 39(29) and Bates finding some form with 40(36) before she is removed by Eccelestone
    *Vipers middle order collapses, after Du Preez (18) only Farrant (11) reaches double figures. They finish on a frustratingly close 133-9. Ecclestone 3-25
    *Emma Lamb is the star with the ball though taking 4-17. Despite getting a golden duck she is player of the match! She appears to be a very useful bowler

    Vipers have plenty of thinking to do. Plan A is not really working so far. I feel like they will turn it round but may need to make changes to do so.

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