KSL: Vipers v Stars – Danni Wyatt’s Effortless Ton Puts Vipers In Firm Contention

12 months ago, at Arundel, Southern Vipers suffered a 9-wicket defeat to Western Storm, having been bowled out for 91. Afterwards, Vipers looked in disarray: an exhausted group of players with no real sense of togetherness. It was without doubt the lowest ebb for a side who had gone unbeaten in the first year of the competition, and only just missed out on retaining their crown second time around.

Today, at that same ground – Arundel – it was Vipers handing out the thrashing: beating Surrey Stars by almost 100 runs. After the win they immediately, as one, withdrew to the pavilion to sing their team song – “WE ARE SOUTH-ERN VIPERS” to the tune of Queen’s We Will Rock You. The contrast with last year could hardly have been greater.

The shake-up in the Vipers squad – with 5 of last year’s first XI no longer featuring – appears to have done the trick. “Everyone’s enjoying themselves, great vibe, everyone’s really close which is nice,” Danni Wyatt said afterwards. “Everyone’s playing with a smile on their face.”

Wyatt was clearly the star of the show today, hitting a 56-ball century – the first ever by an English player in the Super League. It was an innings made all the more impressive by the fact that it was hit on a difficult, spongy pitch (following rain earlier in the day). In fact, Wyatt and fellow opener Bates hit just 29 runs in the powerplay.

“It was a tricky wicket,” Wyatt said. “Me and Suzie [Bates] struggled a bit in the first few overs. It was one of those wickets where you have to just back yourself and slog it really. I came off the pitch thinking ‘wow, how did I manage that?!’”

Stars, though, had gambled everything on bowling out Marizanne Kapp with 4 successive overs up top; but although she gave away just 11 runs, as soon as she went off Wyatt seemed to actively decide to go up a gear – dispatching the first ball of Laura Marsh’s over midwicket for the first six of the innings, and going onwards and upwards from there.

“Once I was in, I wasn’t thinking and just wanted to hit boundaries. Anything up there and full I tried to get my hands through,” she said. The amazing thing was that she made it look so effortless – the six that brought up her half-century, which sailed over the deep midwicket boundary, barely made a noise, despite being struck with the full face of the bat.

Vipers then backed up her effort with a convincing display in the field – Tash Farrant and Fi Morris demolishing the Stars top order between them, and Paige Scholfield claiming two good catches in the deep, before Stafanie Taylor chipped in with 3 wickets to wrap things up. That included a comedy stumping from Tammy Beaumont – taking the gloves after Carla Rudd was omitted from today’s XI – in which Beaumont fell over twice but still managed to remove the bails to see off Sarah Taylor, who presumably will have been making a mental note not to emulate her England teammate in that particular department.

For Wyatt, as she herself acknowledged, today was important in showing that – after a difficult summer – she is still England’s best T20 batsman: “I’ve not hit a 100 for about 15 months so it’s nice to get another one!”

For Vipers meanwhile, previously neck and neck with Stars but now out clear in second place by 5 points, it sent out a clear statement that they have every intention – after missing out last year – of being present at the last ever KSL Finals Day in a fortnight’s time.

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6 thoughts on “KSL: Vipers v Stars – Danni Wyatt’s Effortless Ton Puts Vipers In Firm Contention

  1. Wish I could have been there to see Wyatt’s innings, it must have been very special!

    SV are having another good year and I can’t see them not being at finals day this time around. There is some cause for concern for Stars, although even last year when they won it, there were a few iffy away performances and they’re capable of bouncing back quickly. Having said that, Lightning are a determined side and it could be close between them and Stars, who manages to grab that third spot. All that is, of course, unless Diamonds or Thunder start to pick up points more quickly. Not been too much sign of that so far though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d suggest 2nd, 3rd and 4th are wide open. SS have to play WS twice and LL once and SV has to play WS once and LL once (and that’s not to exclude LT and YD, either or both of which could still get into the top 3).

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  2. If you are a Western Storm fan and wondering if you can qualify for Finals Day on Tuesday the answer is ‘Yes’ – but you’ll need 5 pts to be certain (as in don’t have to rely on other results at all).

    If, however, on Tuesday either (a) SS were to fail to beat YD or (b) LL were to fail to beat LT then a 4 point win would see you into Finals Day.

    Even if SS and LL walk off with their wins on Tuesday and WS only manage a 4 point it would still require a string of results to go a particular way AND the SV/LL match in the final round to end in a tie or a wash out for WS not to be certain of qualifying.

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  3. If you are a Western Storm fan and wondering if you can qualify for Finals Day on Tuesday the answer is ‘Yes’ – but you’ll need 5 pts to be certain (as in don’t have to rely on other results at all).

    If, however, on Tuesday either (a) SS were to fail to beat YD or (b) LL were to fail to beat LT then a 4 point win would see you into Finals Day.

    Even if SS and LL walk off with their wins on Tuesday and WS only manage a 4 point it would still require a string of results to go a particular way AND the SV/LL match in the final round to end in a tie or a wash out for WS not to be certain of qualifying.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Danni Wyatt is one of the sweetest hitters of the ball in the world today. I am so glad she got this, even though it means “my team” lost.

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  5. Danni Wyatt’s very much a boom or bust player isn’t she? Worth mentioning that Dane Van Niekerk got a hat-trick, although not one with a hell of a lot of meaning, still they all count!

    I was worried a week ago it was going to be a bit of a procession with the Storm, Vipers and Stars cruising into finals day but Lightning are in among it now and crucially don’t have to play the Storm again. Having said that, the Stars are a bit of a bogey team for the Storm so those two matchups should be interesting.

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