Monday, 8 August 2016

Storm blow Stars away

Western Storm pulled off a remarkable comeback victory against the Surrey Stars, thanks to a blistering 38 runs from the last 11 balls that West Indian batsman Stafanie Taylor faced. It was a game that the Stars had always looked like winning after posting a daunting 161/6 with Nat Sciver 90* from just 45 balls. But somehow it all unravelled for the Stars in the last four overs as Taylor went berserk.

Little did the crowd of around 500 realise what was in store for them as the Stars won the toss and set off at a good pace on a good track with a lightning outfield and short boundaries. Anything that got through the infield was a four. For the Storm Anya Shrubsole (1/12) was impeccable in the powerplay, conceding just five runs from her three overs, but still the Stars were going nicely at 39/1 at the end of the first six, Bryony Smith (19) having been bowled by Shrubsole. In the seventh over Cordelia Griffith (14) was caught at backward point, which meant Sciver walked to the crease to bat with her England team-mate Tammy Beaumont. She survived two early scares as she was dropped on 2 at deep square by Taylor, and then could have been run out two balls later if the ball had been taken cleanly. She needed no second asking. She was brutal on anything short, and the Storm gave her far too much short. She pulled merrily into the onside, invariable beating the two fielders on the boundary. At the other end Beaumont (13) was run out by a good bit of fielding by Taylor off her own bowling, Marizanne Kapp (2) was bowled by a beautiful yorker from Freya Davies (2/38), who then also had Sciver caught at deep square, only for the ball to be called a no-ball on height. There was no doubt it was Sciver's day. Davies then removed Beth Morgan (5), before Sciver unleashed four 4s off the 17th over from Taylor. Naomi Dattani (6) was run out off the first ball of the last over getting Sciver back on strike, which allowed her the chance for a second 6 and a sixteenth 4 as she finished unbeaten on 90. She is yet to be dismissed in the KSL, although the Storm will think they had their chances.
Stafanie Taylor unleashes another boundary
(C) Don Miles
In response the Storm made a disastrous start plunging to 17/3 in the fourth over having lost Rachel Priest (7) run out after a mix-up with Taylor, and Heather Knight (6) and Fran Wilson (0) both lbw to Sciver and Kapp respectively. South African Lizelle Lee, who had two ducks in her previous two KSL games, came to the crease. The Storm needed runs from their imports, and finally they got some. Taylor continued to push singles, but Lee preferred to find the boundary, which she did eight times on the ground and twice in the air for a maximum. She brought up her 50 in the 13th over off 35 balls, as Laura Marsh was dispatched for 17 runs and the pair brought the runs required down to 69 off 42 balls. If they could continue the onslaught then it looked like the Storm might pull off an unlikely victory. But with another flash of genius, Sciver (who else) changed the game as she dived to her left at short cover to catch another screaming drive from Lee (53) off Lea Tahuhu. It meant the 14th and 15th overs produced just three runs and the equation was back up to 66 from 30 balls.

This widened to 56 from the last four overs as Tahuhu bowled another decent over. In the 17th over new bat Sophie Luff (21) took the initiative crashing Kapp for 11, as Taylor added two more singles to the total to be 36 off 37 balls. Finally in the 18th over Taylor let rip, stepping across her stumps and slog sweeping Alex Hartley for consecutive 6s, having already flayed her through extra cover the ball before. 18 off the over reduced the chase to 25 off 12 balls. Taylor and Luff managed a boundary each off Nat Sciver's 19th over which went for 11.

14 were needed from the last with Luff on strike. There was much discussion in the Stars' camp and eventually they decided to bowl Tahuhu, despite Kapp and Farrell both having an over in the locker. Luff pushed the first ball for one and the stage was set for the ice-cool Taylor. Tahuhu bowled full and Taylor drove her over the fielder at long-off for 6; she then went shorter and was picked up to the midwicket boundary where Kapp dropped the catch and the ball flopped over the boundary. Just one was needed off the the next three balls, but Taylor wasn't going to hang about, driving the next ball off the edge to the third man boundary. The Storm had won by five wickets and Taylor finished on 74* off 48 balls.

Surrey Stars 161/6
Nat Sciver 90*, Freya Davies 2/38, Anya Shrubsole 1/12
Western Storm 165/5
Stafanie Taylor 74*, Lizelle Lee 53, Nat Sciver 2/17

full scorecard here


1 comment:

  1. If you didn't think the matches could get any better after the recent close affairs at Lightning (the latter of which Storm narrowly lost) you would surely have been blown away by this incredible game.

    I actually always thought that Storm could do it but it was certainly touch and go at a few points in the innings. They could easily have capitulated after the loss chasing at Lightning but they have a strong middle order and Stars' fielding let them down a bit. Plus, Taylor is a top-quality international player and this innings really showed it. Do matches like this make the KSL worth it on their own? I'd say, maybe!