With all teams facing each other on the opening day of the tournament, South East Stars began their campaign against Western Storm at Beckenham. As per preparations for the forthcoming series against West Indies, a few players from the national side got an opportunity to get into the groove from these games. South East Stars were served by players like Sophia Dunkley, Bryony Smith, Alice Davidson-Richards and Freya Davies while Heather Knight and Anya Shrubsole joined the Western Storm side.
Western Storm opted to field first and duly put pressure on the South East Stars with Georgia Hennessey picking up 3 wickets early to push back the South East Stars side to 55 for the loss of 5 wickets by the 19th over. Susie Rowe and Hannah Jones steadied the ship with a substantial partnership as they reached 102 before Hannah Jones was bowled by Fi Morris for 16. Susie Rowe (38) and Rhianna Southby followed soon after as they lost 8 wickets for 113 runs. Tash Farrant, the South East Stars captain, saw through this mini-collapse to put on 49 with Freya Davies before Davies departed for 12. Tash Farrant was eventually run-out for 37 as South East Stars were dismissed for 166. Susie Rowe ended as the top-scorer for her side with 38 with the captain scoring 37 runs. For Western Storm, Georgia Hennessey was the pick of the bowlers taking 4 wickets closely followed by Clare Nicholas and Anya Shrubsole.
In reply, Western Storm got off to a perfect start with Heather Knight leading the way and Fi Morris just happy playing second fiddle. Fi Morris was run out by Freya Davies for 27 with the score on 78/1 in the 20th over. Heather Knight continued from where she left and reached her half-century in the company of Sophie Luff. However, Bryony Smith dismissed Luff soon after for 8 to have Western Storm at 104/2 in the 26th over. Progressing slowly, they lost more wickets, that of Georgia Hennessey and Natasha Wraith to reach 129/4 in the 35th over. After a few blows by Katie George and Heather Knight, they were able to break free and win the game for Western Storm completing their chase of 167 in the 40th over. Heather Knight was the stand-out batter in the match, scoring an unbeaten 91 from 99 balls as Western Storm picked up the 5 points allotted for the match.
South East Stars will now face Sunrisers in Beckenham whereas Western Storm’s next assignment is against Southern Vipers at Bristol. Both matches will be played on 31st August. Follow us on Twitter for all the updates.
South East Stars – 166 all out in 48.1 overs (S Rowe – 38, T Farrant – 37, G Hennessey – 4/31)
Western Storm – 167/4 in 39.5 overs (H Knight – 91)
Western Storm Won By 6 Wickets