Two games to roll through before we hit a full round of action this weekend, with the finals of the Women's T20 Super League locked in for next weekend. Other than Suzie Bates' continual brilliance, there's been nothing much to sink our teeth into from the kiwi lasses, with sporadic innings like Rachel Priest's century sprinkled among, well not much. Bates couldn't maintain her run-scoring streak and without some runs from Bates and an unfortunate resumption of the status-quo for the other kiwis on the Kiwi County Tour, we've got nothing much.
Game 13: Lancashire Thunder vs Southern Vipers
Amy Satterthwaite/Lea Tahuhu vs Suzie Bates
Southern strolled to victory over Lancashire and in an innings of 87, Amy Satterthwaite and Lea Tahuhu combined to contribute 1 run. Satterthwaite was one of three Thunder batters to manage a duck, while Tahuhu's 1*was low key impressive given it came of a single delivery and Tahuhu was also one of three Thunder batters to be dismissed for 1.
Lancashire did use their full 20 overs, with Bates chipping in to take 1/12 from her 2 overs. Bates didn't need to score any runs for Southern to grab the win here, although her 11 off 13 did nudge the Vipers along before she was dismissed in the 5th over. Southern reached their target of 88 in 14.5 overs, giving them their third win in four games and they currently sit in 2nd.
Game 14: Surrey Stars vs Western Storm
Rachel Priest/Holly Huddleston
Surrey Stars sit ahead of Southern, having won all four of their games and they also strolled to victory at the expense of Rachel Priest and Holly Huddleston. Surrey were first to bat and hit 169/6 off their 20 overs, with Huddleston only bowling 2 overs, conceding 13rpo without a wicket. This resembled Huddleston's first game as she bowled 2 wides and only 3 dot-balls.
Western needed Priest to go big again and she did, only for 14 balls though. Priest hit 3 fours before being caught on 17 and although Western did rebuild the innings slightly during the middle stages, Priest's wicket in the 6th over had the 43/4 and that's not the ideal start to a chase that needed over 8rpo.
Huddleston was the last wicket to fall, kinda summing up her day with 2 off 6 balls.
I'm kinda low key surprised by Huddleston's fall from grace as she was my pick to watch out for at the World Cup having demanded selection through impressive performances for the White Ferns. She took a 5-for in the opening World Cup game but since then she battled to hold down her spot, now she's rockin' her way through a fairly mediocre Super League campaign. Keep in mind Huddleston earned her first Super League contract and County cricket in England via those impressive performances, now here she is with 2 wickets from 4 games with 52avg/9.45rpo.
Lea Tahuhu's not much better; 4 games, 2 wickets @ 42avg/8.4rpo.
What makes this all so strange is that Huddleston and Tahuhu were the White Ferns' main seamers and during the World Cup, Bates was under-performing to such an extent that she was the weak link of the White Ferns bowling attack.
Suzie Bates' Super League bowling: ranked 3rd, 4 games, 7 wickets, 8.28avg/4.83rpo.
The change in format has worked wonders for Bates and she's the best-ranked kiwi bowler, the best Southern Vipers bowler, perhaps the best bowler overall - she's only bowled 12 overs while the other two bowlers ahead of her have bowled 16 and 13.5 overs respectively, plus she's got a better rpo - and Bates is the leading run-scorer.
On the brightside of Bates' failure with the bat in this round was that she got out, so Bates now has a Super League average; 227avg along with that rather impressive strike-rate of 144.58.
Next Up (all Sunday morning NZT)
Game 15: Surrey Stars vs Lougborough Lightning.
Game 16: Southern Vipers (Bates) vs Yorkshire Diamonds (Devine).
Game 17: Western Storm (Priest/Huddleston) vs Lancashire Thunder (Satterthwaite/Tahuhu).
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