Sneaking under the cricketing radar has been the start of the 2019 Women's Super League T20 competition in England, where Aotearoa always has a steady presence. The form of the White Ferns does impact playing numbers, which is a undercover outcome of the Ferns slide with the various playing opportunities drying up for some but there are still a couple of wahine locked in and already underway.
Suzie Bates (Southern Vipers)
Having been in England for the bulk of the kiwi winter, Bates has dabbled in a bunch of 50-over games for Hampshire Women and then two T20 games for the Vipers against an ICC Women's Global Development Squad. Bates hit scores of 62 and 69 in those fixtures, with a wicket in each game before getting her Super League campaign underway with 1 off 5 balls vs Lancashire Thunder.
Southern did however get strong contributions from their top-order with the three other top-four batswomen scoring 40+ to take the Vipers to a total of 166/7. Bates bowled, with no wickets and 14.50rpo off her 2 overs but again, Bates' comrades did a fine job to dismissed Lancashire for 132.
It was a better outing in Bates' second game, bowling 3 overs @ 5.66rpo as Loughborough Lightning were restricted to 135/5 via another solid bowling performance. Bates then hit 22 off 24 (91.66sr) as Southern's openers put up 49 runs for the first wicket and despite the good start, the Vipers clawed their way to a 2-run victory with 3 balls remaining.
Rachel Priest (Western Storm)
Unwanted White Ferns opener Rachel Priest is again in action for Western Storm. After Bates and her Vipers grabbed two wins, Priest also enjoyed a win against Loughborough Lightning after the bowlers restricted the Lightning to 125/6. Priest then hit 12 @ 133.33sr as the Storm cruised to victory, reaching 126/3 in 17 overs.
Priest was also in action for Wales Women prior to the Super League starting, playing seven one-day games. In 7inns, Priest had three 50+ scores and Priest scored 20+ in 5 of those 7inns.
Leigh Kasperek (Yorkshire Diamonds)
With 3w @ 6.25rpo, Leigh Kasperek got her campaign off to a hot start although Yorkshire Diamonds suffered defeat against Surrey Stars in their opening game. Kasperek snared two caught-and-bowled's as Surrey worked their way to 130/9 and then Yorkshire were dismissed for 121 in reply.
Kasperek batted #7, scoring 1 off 7. While the runs weren't there and Kasperek had a chance to contribute to a win with the bat, it's a great sign that Kasperek is batting in the middle order and has a key all-rounder spot. As you would expect, Kasperek was in action for Yorkshire Women in five one-day games, taking 1+ wickets in all but one of those games and scoring 19, 44, 32 and 58 in the innings she batted in.
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