As far as Kiwi County Tour weekends go, last weekend's round of Super Leagues delivered the goods. There was some kiwi-on-kiwi crime, more Suzie Bates dominance, Rachel Priest going absolutely bonkers and breakout efforts from Sophie Devine and Lea Tahuhu that could signal more impressive work to come.
Game 7: Loughborough Lightning vs Yorkshire Diamonds
As if you tell us 'yo, cool ya jets we've got some crazy shit on its way', the weekend got started last Friday with a mellow game from Sophie Devine. She contributed 2 off 9 balls as Yorkshire reached 110/5 in their rain-affected 13 overs and then managed to take a wicket despite going for 8rpo in her 2 overs.
Yorkshire did manage to restrict Loughborough to 93/5 off their 13 overs though, it just didn't feature a whole lot of Devine intervention.
Game 8: Lancashire Thunder vs Loughborough Lightning
Amy Sattertwhaite/Lea Tahuhu
Australia's superstar Elyse Perry didn't fire for Loughborough in the game above, she did however fire against Lancashire as she hit 78* off 57 balls with 10 fours and a six. This knock from Perry didn't come at the expense of Lea Tahuhu though and the kiwi seamer put in a strong shift, taking 1/23 off 4 overs, conceding just 5.75rpo.
Tahuhu was given the ball as the fifth bowling option and she played a key role in restricting Loughborough's scoring through the middle overs. With Perry leading the way, Loughborough reached 140/5 from their 20 overs and Tahuhu finished as one of two Lancashire bowlers to concede less than 6pro.
In chasing 141 to win, Lancashire crumbled to be all out for 90 in 17.2 overs and Amy Satterthwaite top-scored with 21 from 23 balls. Sattertwhaite is yet to play a dominant hand, although she's still ticking things along and has scored 15+ in her three innings so far, stretch that out even further and Satterthwaite has seven innings with 20+ runs in her last eight innings going back to the start of the World Cup.
21 off 23 wasn't enough though and Tahuhu could only chip in with 4 off 6 at No.11, giving Lougborough the win.
Game 9: Southern Vipers vs Surrey Stars
There's still a Stat-Check segment below, but Suzie Bates deserves plenty of statistical loving as she continues to dominate the Super League. Bates hit 50* off 41 balls for Southern as they tried to chase a run-affected target of 105 in 16.2 overs (down from 128), falling just short in scoring 100 from 16.2 overs.
Bates had earlier taken 1/23 @ 5.75rpo, taking the key wicket of Surrey's top-scorer Marizanne Kapp (42). It's just as important to highlight Bates' bowling as she currently sits 2nd in wickets on 6 - three other bowlers have 6 wickets but Bates' 7.66avg/4.60rpo is far superior and Bates is only a smidge behind Surrey's Nat Sciver (7wkts, 9.28avg/6.29rpo).
This was Bates' third consecutive not-out innings, meaning her batting stats are still sans average. In three innings, Bates has scored 216 runs and her strike-rate of 150 is still the highest of any batters who have scored over 100 runs, chuck in the most sixes of any batter (6) and that Bates is the only batter to have hit over 20 fours (28); Bates is on fire.
Yorkshire Diamonds vs Western Storm
Sophie Devine vs Rachel Priest/Holly Huddleston
Another dominant display from Bates was enough to fill my boots, however we got a whole lot more KCT goodness in the last game of the weekend. Sophie Devine was first up and she found some runs, hitting 41 from just 21 balls (195.23sr!) to help propel Yorkshire up to 160/7 from their 20 overs. Prior to this knock, Devine had scores of 11, 1 and 2 so about time Devine showed the Super League what she's capable of.
Luckily, Devine's hurricane of hitting didn't result in Holly Huddleston being blown out of the park. Huddleston finished with 1/19 @ 4.75rpo and bowled the most dot-balls of any Western bowler and of the other Western bowlers (who bowled more than a single over), Huddleston was the only bowler to concede less than 7rpo.
Western needed something special to chase down Yorkshire's target of 161 (8rpo), so Rachel Priest took it upon herself to snatch a victory. Let me paint a picture here; since the start of the World Cup, Priest had scores of 2, 8, 90, 8, 12, 5, 3 and 0. That means that Priest wasn't in the best form leading into the Super League and her Super League campaign started with knocks of 3 and 0, Priest then hit 106* off 65 balls to give Western a 10-wicket win.
Priest hit 14 fours and 3 sixes, firing Priest up to 5th in run-scoring. Keep in mind that Priest has 109 runs thus far and 106 of them came in this one innings. Unfortunately, this fantastic innings from Priest did involve some ruthless kiwi-on-kiwi crime as Sophie Devine's only over of bowling saw 19 runs hit off it.
Two batters have hit centuries so far in the Super League and both of them are kiwis. Priest and Bates are also the only batters with strike-rates over 130 of batters who have scored over 100 runs ... they have also combined to hit 42 fours and 9 sixes so far.
Four batters in the top-15 run-scorers have strike-rates over 130. Bates and Priest are obviously at the top of the pile, then we have Katherine Brunt (24.75avg/170.68sr) and none other than Devine, so three of the four best strikers in the Super League are kiwis. Devine's only averaging 13.75, however she has a strike-rate of 134.14.
Game 11: Lancashire Thunder (Satterthwaite/Tahuhu) vs Southern Vipers (Bates). Thurs NZT).
Game 12: Surrey Stars vs Western Storm (Priest/Huddleston). Thurs NZT.
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