Lightning v Vipers August 4 – Haslegrave, Loughborough
Your colour-coding for this week is purple with blush-pink. Deckchairs are set out around the ground alternately in these colours. You take your pick, look up and there are the home team striding out wearing a purple shirt and blush-pink caps. We are at the delightful Haslegrave ground Loughborough to watch a highly charged game with the Southern Vipers.
From the start you sense this is going to be a high-scoring drama. Although Suzie Bates fails to reach double figures (9), Danielle Wyatt ensures the scoreboard is kept busy with splendid drives all round the wicket (36). Our delight at seeing Tammy Beaumont restored to full working order after suffering concussion is marred when she scoops Sophie Devine straight into long-leg’s hands (1).
No matter. Major contributions from Mignon du Preez (24), Arran Brindle (26) and especially Sara McGlashan (55*) – she scores at nearly 2 runs per ball! – ensure the home side will have to work hard to gain much-needed points at the top of the table.
After Sophie Devine (7) edges a Tash Farrant delivery behind, Rachael Haynes and Amy Jones get the show on the road with a stand of 70 in 6.3 overs. Who’d be a bowler?
Lightning don’t enjoy the consistent batting performances the Vipers displayed, so they are grateful to Elyse Villani for producing a decisive innings of 61* off 38 balls.
Bates the captain once more does the honourable thing and bowls the final over with 10 needed. Villani smacks her fourth delivery into the far yonder to complete an important victory with only those two balls to spare.
Despite the narrowness of the loss, the stats reveal why Vipers now sit bottom of the table after 6 rounds: their bowlers aren’t doing the job. The batters have scored more runs than all their rivals, but the reverse is true when they’re in the field – by a huge margin.
Yorkshire Diamonds v Western Storm – Scarborough
There is a distinct difference between the best and the rest. It’s never better shown than at the start of this seaside battle. Anya Shrubsole goes for 3 runs off her first two overs. Her pals leak 43 off their first four. Lauren Winfield and Beth Mooney put on 110 inside 14 overs, but this splendid start isn’t enough to deny the visitors.
All together thirteen bowlers went for 346 runs and took 4 wickets. The remaining dismissals were run-outs. Cricket-loving philosophers can draw their own conclusions.
Storm had only 4 balls to spare as they overhauled Diamond’s excellent total; so they are denied top place by a slightly inferior run-rate.
KSL Table as of 5 August 2018
Loughborough Lightning 23 1.441
Western Storm 19 1.398
Lancashire Thunder 13 -0.043
Surrey Stars 7 -0.933
Yorkshire Diamonds 6 -1.276
Southern Vipers 4 -0.701
Lightning and Vipers have played 6, the rest 5