KSL: Vipers v Stars @ Ageas

The first weekend of the inaugural Womens Cricket Super League in the UK brought not so many tight games, but some good cricket and pretty decent crowds, given that for most domestic cricket matches I have been to, I am often one of less than a dozen non-family watchers.

A strong Luffbra side, with three good international all-rounders defeated the Yorkshire Diamonds on saturday, whilst the Western Storm won over the Lancashire Thunder at was for many years the home of Womens cricket – Taunton.

We had about 2000 apparently for a rather reasonable £3 for adults at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, who saw a eight current or past England stars, plus a number of academy players of recent years, plus four kiws,  and one aussie and one saffer.

Some tight fielding by the Vipers side – including 2 of the best fielders in the game – led to a tight start and some frustration within the Stars ranks leading to a slower scoring rate than they would have liked leading to wickets – England opener Beaumont fell to a jubilant Edwards catch from the bowling of Farrant at mid-on after a number of frankly gorgeous cover drives were snaffled by kiwi Mcglashan. This lead to the wickets of less experienced Griffith (Farrant) and Smith to kiwi skipper and all-rounder Bates respectively. Ex-England player Morgan, no stranger to crucial T20 games, fell to another Edwards catch this time from the bowling of kiwi spinner Neilson. The power play was only just over and the Stars were already 4 wickets down for just 26 runs. Saffer Kapp came and went, but Englands’ baster against the Pakistanis this summer and Stars skipper Sciver played the less common anchor role, staying to the end of the innings. Although she never seemed settled on what was a previously used wicket, where occasional balls seemed to come off the surface slower than expected, she scored a number of crisp boundaries. Stars ended with a below par 85-6 from their 20.

Local lass and left arm seamer must have been playing the most high profile game of her match, introduced after a Farrant maiden, with their opponents 26/4 after eight, she perhaps had a softish introduction and she didn’t seem adversely fazed by it, going for 2 from her first, then a maiden, the third over induced a leading edge that fell safely between two Vipers players who unfortunately collided and led to the withdrawal from the field of ex-England skipper Edwards. She returned to bowl her last of her allocation as over 18 and finished with 4-1-13-0.

With Edwards not opening, the Vipers opened with experienced Sussex opener Adams, who made the most of her opportunity and the guidance of calm experienced kiwi captain Bates who put on 66 for the first wicket. England spinner Hartley took two wickets in two balls, including kiwi McGlashan, but the back of the chase was broken and ex-England left-handed Greenway led them to victory on the same ground as probably her favourite memory the retaining of the Ashes on this ground in 2013.

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