Source: Somerset CCC

Sophie Luff Hits 78 – Top Score For Storm’s Second Win

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Western Storm v Sunrisers at the Cooper Associates Ground, Taunton on May 29 (11h00)

Played in cooler weather conditions than would normally be expected for late May, host commentators said that both sides knew they needed to score at least 130 runs from the first 100 balls and Storm ‘desperately need to win’ to stay in contention for the Charlotte Edwards Cup. Previously, Storm were handed a dramatic last-ball ‘away’ win, at Chelmsford, following which Storm skipper Sophie Luff mentioned that she was ‘surprised (with the win) as anyone else’ when their previous match went down to the wire. On the day, Sophie Luff hit 78 (from 54 balls) bagging Storm’s second win.

Separately, Luff’s top score is believed to be the second fastest to Amy Jones’ exceptional 80 against the same team. Commentators later added that Georgia Hennessy was batting down the order.

*Storm began as before, making a cautious start after Fi Morris (2) went second ball, going down the wicket to Mady Villiers.

*At the power play, Storm were 35/1; stopping for drinks at halfway 71/1.

*Next ball, (10.1)  Heather Knight (34 runs from 28 balls) missed a ‘reverse sweep’ and went ‘leg before’ to Jo Gardner.

*That ended a fruitful second-wicket partnership (69) between Knight and skipper Sophie Luff, bringing Fran Wilson to the crease, unusually, Wilson wearing a protective helmet.

*Wilson (6) twice missed the ‘reverse sweep,’ the second time- tempted forward by Kelly Castle and promptly stumped by keeper Scarlett Hughes.

*Skipper Sophie Luff top scored 78(54) staging a recovery with Dani Gibson 26(19): that banked another seventy runs for the fourth wicket.

*During the seventeenth over, Sophie Luff hit Grace Scrivens for ’six,’ remarkably the only ’six’ of the match.

*At the 100 ball benchmark, Storm had lost fewer wickets and had caught-up when compared to their previous match, at 135/3 (16.4 overs.)

*Sophie Luff also missed a ‘sweep,’ going ‘leg before’ to Kelly Castle.

*Dani Gibson missed another ‘sweep’ and was stumped by Scarlett Hughes when Mady Villiers (2/25) came around the wicket to the right-hander.

*Katie George 11(6) was lucky not to be caught first ball by Mady Villiers’ outstretched arm. George made no mistake scoring two ’fours’ from Villiers: both ‘down the ground’, and a ‘cover drive’.

*Commentators mentioned that Katie George had only bowled one over during the previous match (vs SE Stars.) Previously she’d suffered back injury from bowling, and was batting well.

*Katie George and Georgia Hennessy scored ‘ones’ and ‘twos’ from Naomi Dattani’s final ‘death’ over, Storm closing much as predicted, on 169.

*Replying for Sunrisers, opener Mady Villiers was bowled by Clare Nicholas’ spin for a second ball duck, missing a full length ball. Commentators mentioned Nicholas’ ‘immaculate line-and-length’ as her first over went for a wicket maiden. Dani Gibson’s eventful first over went for two ‘fours’, before Grace Scrivens (4) was struck on the toe, judged ‘leg before’ from Gibson’s fifth ball. Commentators talked of a ‘huge breakthrough’ for Storm, as previously, Scrivens was one of the most consistent scorers. After their power play Sunrisers were 25/2 (vs 35/1); Joanne Gardner had trouble judging pace, surviving a ‘leg before’ appeal by Katie George. Gardner (3) was ‘clean bowled’ next over by a full-length delivery from Dani Gibson.

*Sunrisers’ main partnership between Naomi Dattani 53(51) and Kelly Castle 40(36) was the highlight of their team’s reply, adding 52 runs for the fourth wicket.

*Dattani’s ‘fifty’ was struck down-the-ground from Katie George. Commentators gave credit that Naomi Dattani hadn’t passed ‘twenty’ for some time but had now ‘passed fifty in back-to-back innings. *Next ball, Heather Knight fingered a difficult chance missed at ‘extra cover.’

*Switching back from bowling round-the-wicket to the left-hander, Katie George had Dattani brilliantly caught at backward point (not as commentators had thought.)

*At that point with five overs remaining, Sunrisers were 85/4, trailing by 84 runs. Thereafter, the required-run-rate escalated beyond twenty runs-per-over as Kelly Castle and Scarlett Hughes added a modest 22 for the sixth wicket, Sunrisers closing 41 runs short, on 128.

Summary: Having made a slow start, Storm’s top batters threw their wickets away going for lavish shots. As top-scorer, skipper Sophie Luff (78) staged two vital partnerships, with Heather Knight and Dani Gibson. Between innings, commentators explained that ‘scoreboard pressure’ would force Sunrisers into another high power play score, but that failed to materialise. Whilst Sunrisers’ skipper Naomi Dattani (53) scored a second back-to-back ‘fifty,’ Grace Scrivens (who’d scored her maiden half-century against Storm) was a little unlucky. When faced by an unlikely twenty runs required from each of the last five overs, a second partnership between Kelly Castle and Scarlett Hughes came ’too little – too late,’ handing Storm victory by a wider margin than before.

Result (group ‘B’): Western Storm Women 169/5 (20 overs) beat Sunrisers Women 128/6 (20 overs) by 41 runs

Storm 169/5 (20 overs, 8.45 runs-per-over): Sophie Luff 78(54), Heather Knight 34(28) Danielle Gibson 26(19) Katie George 11*(6); Sunrisers’ bowling: Kelly Castle 2/16, Mady Villiers 2/33, Joanne Gardner 1/26; Fow 1-2, 2-71, 3-81, 4-151, 5-153;

Sunrisers 128/6 (20 overs, 6.4 runs-per-over): Naomi Dattani 53(51), Kelly Castle 40(36), Scarlett Hughes 10(9); Storm bowling:  Danielle Gibson 2/13, Claire Nicholas 2/22, Katie George 1/21, Georgia Hennessy 1/22. Fow 1-0, 2-11, 3-29, 4-85, 5-104, 6-107.

Scorecard at URL:

Courtesy of Glamorgan TV, (from 10:20) the entire match can be viewed via youtube at URL