Southern Vipers sink Surrey Stars despite Sophia Dunkley’s defiance

first_imgCricket Batting first, Stars had looked in danger of capitulation, reeling at 18 for four in the first four overs when they were undone by a combination of Tash Farrant’s pace and the spin duo of Amelia Kerr and Fi Morris. Farrant, whose first over was a wicket-maiden, quickly got rid of Lizelle Lee and Taylor, bowled by straight, full balls, while Bryony Smith and Nat Sciver spooned straightforward catches into the off-side.It was Dunkley, batting at six, who took her side to a respectable total. Although arriving at the crease so early on had obviously never been in the plan, she looked completely unfazed by the pressure and waited a mere three balls before hitting her first boundary. Eventually she brought up her half-century with an audacious drive for four over extra cover. When she holed out to deep midwicket in the 18th over she had given the raucous home crowd plenty to cheer about.“I just tried to be positive and ignore the situation,” Dunkley said. “I had a bit of first‑game nerves but as soon as I got going I felt pretty comfortable. The worst thing I could have done in that situation was go into my shell and bat defensively – I tried to stick to my strengths. I hope it has got me a bit of recognition.”Meanwhile in the two other tournament openers both Western Storm and Loughborough Lightning also eased to comfortable wins, against Yorkshire Diamonds and Lancashire Thunder respectively. Of the two, Lightning’s six-wicket win was the more comprehensive, coming after they had bowled Thunder out for an embarrassing 72, none of Thunder’s three overseas players able to muster double figures. While Lightning were at one point 19 for three in reply, the Sussex pair of Georgia Elwiss and Georgia Adams eventually did the necessary, Adams hitting the winning boundary as they romped home with 4.5 overs to spare.At Taunton it was Heather Knight who starred with the bat in Western Storm’s seven-wicket win, the England skipper falling three runs short of a maiden KSL century, caught in the deep as she attempted to finish things off in style.Yorkshire Diamonds had performed well with the bat after the Australian Delissa Kimmince top-scored with 55 in their 162 for five, and they even looked on the verge of causing an upset against the reigning champions – Storm faltering at nought for one after Rachel Priest went first ball to the young Durham leg-spinner Helen Fenby – but it was not to be. Topics match reports Share on WhatsApp Share on Pinterest Share on Facebook Support The Guardian Sophia Dunkley: ready to use Women’s Super League to claim England spot A magnificent half-century from the 20-year-old Sophia Dunkley was not enough for Surrey Stars to overcome Southern Vipers in the opening match of the Kia Super League at Guildford as Vipers chased down their 142-run target with 18 balls to spare.For Vipers it was Tammy Beaumont and Mignon du Preez who formed the mainstay of the innings, sharing a 99-run partnership with Beaumont finishing unbeaten on 62.The partnership came after Marizanne Kapp struck twice in three balls to leave Vipers in some trouble at 21 for two but that was the last time they wobbled. By the time Du Preez departed in the 15th over, stumped by Stars’ new acquisition Sarah Taylor two runs short of her half-century, the game was as good as won. Sara McGlashan eventually hit the winning runs 13 balls later.“I wanted to do well against my old team – I had a point to prove,” said Beaumont, who spent the first two seasons of KSL playing for Stars. “Mark Robinson’s challenged us England players to be the standout players this year and we’ve got a T20 World Cup right around the corner. It’s nice to be not out at the end.” Read more Women’s cricket Share on LinkedIn … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share via Email Share on Twitter Since you’re here… Share on Messenger Reuse this contentlast_img read more