KSL: Stars v Lightning – Stars Win Ugly At Guildford

In a rain-reduced 13-over match at Guildford, Surrey Stars got their 2018 KSL campaign back on track, winning in convincing if not particularly graceful fashion.

With Lightning 35-1 after the (shortened) 4 over powerplay, and Nat Sciver’s first over of the day having been punished for 19 runs, the away side initially looked on course for a good total.

Things then went from bad to worse for the Stars as Grace Gibbs, having seized the wicket of Amy Jones, went down hard attempting to field off her own bowling and had to be stretchered off to Guilford Hospital with a serious-looking knee injury.

Before play resumed, captain Nat Sciver took the opportunity to bring her side back into a huddle and try to set them back on course. “It was horrible to watch [Gibbs’ injury],” said Sciver after the match, “but we had to rally as a group.”

Rally they did, as wickets fell at regular intervals – Sophie Devine and Elyse Villani both caught in the deep; with the Stars also enacting two tidy run outs in the final over – and Lightning were eventually restricted to a total of 100-7.

Stars had won the toss and deliberately chosen to chase, with Sciver putting full faith in her batsmen: “We’ve had quite a bit of success chasing in the competition so far and we’ve got a long batting line-up,” Sciver said.

Yet the 62-run partnership for the first wicket between Lizelle Lee and Bryony Smith was built more on good fortune than good cricket. Smith was dropped off successive Devine deliveries when on 5*, top-edging to Jones behind the stumps and then put down by Rachael Haynes at extra cover; she was subsequently dropped AGAIN by Villani at long on, when on 21*. When the speaker system blasted out Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer after she was finally dismissed by Jenny Gunn for 31 in the 8th over, it seemed rather apt.

Lee was the woman of the hour, fresh from her 37-ball 70 in Stars’ previous match v Thunder on Tuesday, and one of the players in the competition most capable of taking full advantage of the 13-over situation. Certainly Syd and I, sitting on the long off boundary, were very conscious that we might well be in her “firing line”!

But she, too, enjoyed her fair share of good fortune, also put down when still in single figures; and while she did eventually produce some of the huge boundaries she is renowned for, including one six over deep midwicket that nearly ended up in Woodbridge Road, today’s 28-ball 48 was probably overall still more slog than skill.

Nonetheless a win is a win and, crucially, today’s result (along with Thunder’s loss to Storm over in Taunton) takes Stars back up into third position, and well in the running to claim their spot at Finals Day.

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5 thoughts on “KSL: Stars v Lightning – Stars Win Ugly At Guildford

  1. A few random statistical bits and pieces in relation to this game.

    Loughborough Lightning have played in all three reduced overs KSL matches:

    13 overs a side vs Diamonds in 2017
    6 overs a side vs Storm in 2018
    13 overs a side vs Stars in 2018

    and lost all three.

    Lee’s 2nd six was the 100th of the tournament.

    Somewhat surprisingly, today was Sciver’s most economical performance vs the Lightning, who have been her bogey team:

    2016
    4-0-47-1 (11.75 rpo)

    2017
    4-1-47-0 (11.75)

    2018
    3-0-34-0 (11.33)
    3-0-32-1 (10.66)

    Sciver’s ER of 11.43 rpo vs the Lightning is the worst by any bowler who has bowled 8 or more overs vs any one KSL opponent.

    Sciver’s best ER against any KSL opponent is against the table topping runaway train that is Western Storm (4.97 rpo). Among bowlers who have played more than one innings vs the Storm, only Kapp (4.71) has a better ER.

    Kapp, incidentally, has the unique distinction of a sub-6.00 rpo economy rate against all opposition teams faced.

    Her 3-0-4-1 today was the 2nd most economical spell of 3+ overs.

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    • I think this is also the first time Stars have beaten Lightning in the KSL. Not only Sciver’s bogey team but also the Stars’.

      And amazing figures from Kapp. Virtually every ball must have been bang on target!

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  2. From the past (statistics) above to the future (probability) below, the weekend scenarios:-

    WS will qualify if (a) WS don’t lose or (b) WS lose but LT don’t win

    If LL win, they qualify. All other results mean they could still fail to qualify

    SV cannot make top 3 if
    (1) SV lose and SS win
    OR (2) SV tie or get washed out and SS get 5pt win
    All other results mean SV can still qualify.

    YD cannot make top 3 if YD don’t win. If they win, tie or get washed out they will definitely still be in with a chance of qualifying
    No results this weekend can guarantee a team 1st place

    It will be a bit boring if WS & LL qualify, SV & YD lose their last hope this weekend, leaving SS and LT to scrap for the last qualification place over the last 2 rounds of matches. Much more interesting if YD and SV could win this w/e.

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    • Although LL qualifying actually makes the rest of the table more exciting because if they don’t, YD and SV will have an even less realistic points margin to reach to claim (equal) third spot (17 or 18 pts if LT win instead of the current 16 if LL win, assuming YD beat SS which will require a turnaround in fortunes in itself).

      The most predictable thing in the league at the moment actually appears to be Smriti Mandhana getting Storm off to a flyer!

      Some matches over the w/e might be rain affected. This adds another unpredictable element to proceedings! I still think there might be a surprise or two left in the qualification run-in yet.

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      • Just to be clear
        “It will be a bit boring if WS & LL qualify, SV & YD lose their last hope this weekend ….”
        is using a comma as an ‘and’. I agree that whilst YD and SV still have hope then LL winning makes the 3rd place permutations more interesting – especially given both YD and SV have to to play both of SS and LT.

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