Western Storm win the Kia Super League!

Western Storm win the Kia Super League!

Western Storm were crowned Kia Super League Champions for a second time  as they defeated Southern Vipers in the final at Hove.

The Vipers had beaten Loughborough Lightning earlier in the day in the semi-final but a score of 172-7 in the final was not enough for them. An unbeaten 78 from Heather Knight saw the Storm to victory with an over to spare.

The Vipers made it to the final by virtue of a 5-wicket win over Loughborough Lightning. Batting first after winning the toss, Lightning wobbled in the powerplay losing the key wickets of Amy Jones and Chamari Atapattu to leave them 26-2.

Georgia Adams and Lightning skipper Georgia Elwiss combined well to take the score to 79 in the 12th over but they were both dismissed for 28 in quick succession.

Mignon du Preez struck a couple of sixes but when she fell at 118-5 the Lightning innings was quickly wrapped up as they were bowled out for 143. Suzie Bates picking up three wickets in the final over.

The Vipers run chase was given the perfect start with Bates and Danni Wyatt taking 71 off the first six overs. The highest score in the KSL in a powerplay this season.

Wyatt fell for 31 off 17 while Bates, who was named player of the match, made 37 off 25 balls. Elwiss and Jenny Gunn fought hard to bring Lightning back into the game but an unbeaten 18 from Amanda-Jade Wellington saw the Vipers through with an over unused.

Winning the toss and batting first, Bates and Wyatt once again got the Vipers off to a flyer in the final. They reached 65 before being parted by a superb caught and bowled by Sonia Odedra.

Wyatt would go on to make a fine 73 from 42 balls leading to the Vipers to a strong position which they were ultimately not able to take advantage of. 134-1 after 14 overs became 172-7 at the end of the innings with Anya Shrubsole starring for the Western Storm in the death overs.

Having lost Smriti Mandhana in the first over, the group stage table toppers Storm might have thought it was not going to be their day. Rachel Priest steadied the ship with 27 but it was Heather Knight who would be the star.

She paced her innings superbly and despite a few wickets falling around her she found a partner in Deepti Sharma. Sharma shared an unbroken stand of 71 with Knight, who hit the winning runs. The England captain was unbeaten with 78 in 53 balls while Sharma finished with 39 off 22 balls.

There was certainly no debate that the Storm were the best side in the competition and deserved their triumph. On a sunlit evening in Hove, the KSL had a final that it deserved to sign off from this competition after four fun-filled years.

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