West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor’s Western Storm today won the second Kia Super League after an explosive innings from Rachel Priest set up an easy seven-wicket victory over the Southern Vipers.
In front of a 3,500 crowd at Hove, Priest became the tournament’s leading run scorer after hitting 72 off 36 balls as Storm comfortably reached a target of 146 with 12 balls to spare in a repeat of last year’s final.
The New Zealander unleashed some powerful shots around the wicket with ten fours and three sixes, including a brutal assault on Linsey Smith in the final over of the Powerplay. Priest hit four boundaries and a six in an over that cost 25 runs.
Priest overtook Vipers’ Suzie Bates as leading run-scorer when she reached 71 and although she was well caught on the midwicket boundary by Dani Wyatt in the tenth over, Storm only needed 52 and Taylor, Player of the Match in their semifinal win over Surrey Stars, and Sophie Luff had little trouble in knocking off the runs.
Although Taylor had to bat with a runner after suffering a hamstring strain earlier in her innings, they shared an unbroken stand of 57. Taylor cleared the long-on rope to win the game with a six.
Vipers appeared to have set a challenging total on a good pitch when they posted 145 for 5 after they were put in. Openers Bates and Barbados and West Indies teenager Hayley Matthews put on 47 in eight overs although both were dropped, with Bates reprieved on 6 and Matthews off the ball before she was athletically caught-and-bowled by Taylor, having struck six fours in her 31.
Bates came down the pitch to hit Jodie Dibble for a straight six and had moved ominously to 21 when Taylor trapped her leg before working across the line.
Georgia Adams went cheaply but Vipers pushed on through England all-rounder Wyatt and Mignon du Preez, who added 37 in five overs. Wyatt was superbly caught by Georgia Hennessy running in from long-on and Dibble held a good catch at mid-off in the 18th over to end du Preez’ run-a-ball 31, but captain Charlotte Edwards rolled back the years at the end with a cameo of 20 from eight balls including boundaries off last three balls.