It may not have been the dream ending for Loughborough Lightning yesterday at Hove – beaten in the final by a rampant Lizelle Lee – but having finished top of the group stages, with 7 wins from 10, in reflection they really ought to look back on this campaign as a success.
A part of this was the contributions of their international superstars – Rachel Haynes finished the tournament as the 5th highest run-scorer; with Sophie Devine 2nd in the list of wicket-takers. Devine also hit 269 runs in the campaign; and there were solid performances from England’s Amy Jones, with 202 runs, and Jenny Gunn, with 14 wickets.
And then there was Kirstie Gordon.
Hang on… Kirstie Whodon…???
Unless you’ve been paying attention to county cricket, you’ve probably not heard of Kirstie Gordon, but the former Scotland international, who is now pursuing her career in England, finished the season not only as Loughborough Lightning’s leading wicket-taker, but the top stump-botherer in the whole KSL.
The signs were all there of course – she was the leading wicket-taker in county cricket in 2018, taking 35 wickets across both formats for Notts; but the KSL is a significant step-up from the County Championship, and to finish with even a handful of wickets would have been an achievement. To finish, as Gordon did, with 17 wickets at an Economy Rate of just a shade over 6, was outstanding.
As Lightning captain Georgia Elwiss told CRICKETher after the final:
“She is a real find – she has been absolutely brilliant. She stands up in the big pressure moments, and for someone that’s playing in her first season of KSL, that says a lot about her as a person.”
“She is a great character to have around the squad – she is always up and about, always lively, and brings loads of energy.”
“She works really hard [and] she deserves everything she is getting – there will definitely be more to come from her.”
Whether “more” includes one day pulling on an England shirt, only time will tell; but if it does, this season for Loughborough Lightning will be where it really started.
Still not a fan of the finals day format, the second and third place shoot out gives the winners momentum against the champion going in cold.
Long live the KSL oops, enjoy next year and here’s to finding more home grown talent to take part in the 100!
Charlotte Edwards has said she thinks the team getting straight through to the final has the main advantage. Statistically she’s right. It’s only an advantage to have played in the semi if you actually win it, of course. I still think having to field twice in a row would make it harder as well, but we’ve not seen that happen yet I don’t think. There is a case to have some sort of other prize or recognition for simply winning the group stage as well. Unlikely to happen now though.
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She was very effective overall, I agree. Why not have Gordon train with and hang around the England squad for a bit and see how she does? I see no reason not to if she’s up for it!
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She also has a real contender for ball of the tournament. The one that got Heather Knight at Edgbaston was an absolute jaffa.
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