Alice Capsey hit her first half-century of the season, helping her side post 281-8 and beat Sunrisers by 80 runs in the opening round of the RHF Trophy at Beckenham.
The win came despite an outstanding individual effort from 18-year-old Grace Scrivens, who took 4-42 and hit a run-a-ball 74.
The fact that the star performers were two teenagers is an exciting indication that regional cricket is starting to successfully do its job of developing the next generation of England players.
Stars had got off to a flier after they won the toss and chose to bat, with Bryony Smith smashing fours around the ground on her way to a 41-ball half-century. Sharing a 50 partnership with Kira Chathli, who has today earned a call-up to the England A squad on the back of her performances this season, Smith helped her side bring up 67 runs inside the opening powerplay.
Mady Villiers helped slow things up and when Smith (66) tried to come down the wicket and take her on she ended up skying it; Cordelia Griffith ran forward from square leg to take a superb diving catch.
Bizarrely, despite the fact that the opening choice bowlers had leaked runs, Scrivens was not introduced into the attack until the 27th over. When Kelly Castle finally called on her, she struck with only her third ball of the day – Griffith taking another good catch at square leg to see off the dangerous Chathli (61 off 65).
Three more scalps would follow for Scrivens – including a sharp caught and bowled to get rid of in-form Aylish Cranstone – as she proved instrumental in a messy Stars collapse which saw them lose 6 wickets for 75 runs in 16 overs.
Admittedly Capsey – who finished on 64* – should have gone for 0, dropped at cover off Villiers, but the let-off allowed her to finally build the innings that has been lacking this season.
Taking Stars from 203-7 to 281-8 in the final 11 overs of their innings, Capsey gradually grew in confidence until she finally slog swept Castle for six, two balls after bringing up her fifty from 55 balls.
In reply, Scrivens initially found some support from Naomi Dattani as the pair shared a 43-run partnership for the second wicket, Dattani seizing on anything wide to score a quickfire 19 from 24 balls.
But Dattani was run out in the 11th over after Capsey’s direct hit ricocheted off the stumps and Scrivens attempted to run an overthrow.
Scrivens ploughed on, smashing Bryony Smith over her head for six to bring up a 48-ball fifty.
In fact she looked well on course for a hundred until she lost her head in the 28th over, slashing Smith straight to midwicket.
From there, her teammates struggled to keep up with the necessary rate and the game gradually fizzled out, with Smith (3-37) and Capsey (2-26) rattling though the tail to make sure Stars secured a bonus point win.