It’s Deadline Day™ in the Kia Super League! With all six teams playing their final matches this evening, here’s how they stand.
Tonight’s fixtures are: Diamonds v Lightning; Stars v Storm; and Vipers v Thunder
Loughborough Lightning and Western Storm have already qualified for Finals Day at Hove, but they still have everything to play for, with the winner of the group stages going straight through to the final.
The Lightning are best placed to achieve this – they travel to the Diamonds, who have said they will give games to all their squad members who have yet to play in the competition, and possibly rest Katherine Brunt – arguably making the Lightning’s task very-much easier.
If the Lightning lose, the Storm can go directly into the final by beating the Stars at The Oval. This will be a considerably less straightforward endeavour however, because the Stars have their own battle to fight in the race for the 3rd and final spot at Hove. If the Stars can beat the Storm (and remember they are one of only two sides to have beaten them so far this season, with a 7 wicket win at Cheltenham) then they will seal third-place and a trip to Finals Day.
But if the Stars lose to the Storm, then the Thunder can sneak past them with a win versus the Vipers at The Ageas – they’ve already beaten the Vipers this season, but it was a close result – the Vipers falling just 4 runs short chasing 137 up in Lancashire; so the Thunder will need a strong performance, as well as a favour from the Storm, to go through.