Match Preview: Loughborough Lightning v Southern Vipers
Date: 8 August 2019
Venue: Haslegrave Ground, Loughborough
There were contrasting fortunes for both Loughborough Lightning and Southern Vipers on the opening day of the 2019 Women’s Cricket Super League. Vipers beat Lancashire Thunder by 34 runs. Lightning, however, ran into Western Storm. Loughborough fell to a seven-wicket defeat with three overs to spare.
Danni Wyatt (54) and Tammy Beaumont (53) both scored fifties while Stafanie Taylor hit a 25-ball 40 on her Vipers debut. Where the Vipers top order fired only Amy Jones with 65 contributed runs of any note for Lightning.
Where both teams got it right was with their young bowlers which Women’s CricZone predicted to make an impact on the tournament. Lauren Bell finished with 2 for 19 for the Vipers, while Sarah Glenn for Lightning took the big wickets of Smriti Mandhana and Heather Knight.
Tash Farrant who lost her England contract over the winter started off the season with figures of 3 for 18. She will be keen to prove a point to the selectors and a string of good performances will do that. More realistically, she will be hoping to secure a contract in one of the teams in the new Hundred competition.
In the previous four games between the two sides, both have won two games each with Loughborough Lightning winning the two most recent games. The last of those games was a high scoring win for Lightning – they chased down 172 to beat the Vipers at Loughborough by 3 wickets.
Suzie Bates has scored the only century between the two sides with 119 from just 72 balls when the sides met at Derby in 2017.
There is a sizable list of players that have played for both sides. Paige Scholfield and Thea Brookes started at Loughborough before making the move down to the south coast.
Moving in the opposite direction over the course of the last few seasons are Georgia Adams, Linsey Smith, Mignon du Preez, and Hayley Matthews. It will mean that both sides will be trying that extra bit harder to get one over their old teammates and friends.
Jones has started this year’s competition in fine form. After a difficult Ashes series, it is good to see the wicket-keeper batter back in full flow. Always a good player to watch, if she can continue to score runs then the crowds are going to go away feeling they have had a good day.
With a battery of bowlers who like to vary their pace Jones will need to be switched on behind the stumps. She is rated as one of the best keepers in the world and she will no doubt prove so again.
Taylor likes playing against Loughborough Lightning. She has scored 102 runs and taken 9 wickets in five games against the Midlands-based side.
Taylor has made the move to Southern Vipers having played for Western Storm in the previous three years. She has already settled in to her new side having scored 40 and taken 1 for 25 in her first game of the season against Lancashire Thunder.
The track to be used is the one that was used on Tuesday (August 6). The outfield has always been quick and batting looked to get more comfortable as the game wore on. With Loughborough Lightning fielding a good selection of spinners it might come down to which team controls the middle overs better.
It means that a score of in excess of 150 might be needed to stand any chance of successfully defending a total. These two sides both scored over 170 on the same ground last season. It does mean that we should be in for an entertaining game between two balanced sides.
Loughborough Lightning: Georgia Elwiss (c), Jenny Gunn, Amy Jones, Kirstie Gordon, Mignon du Preez, Hayley Matthews, Chamari Atapattu, Abbey Freeborn, Lucy Higham, Tara Norris, Alice Monaghan, Kathryn Bryce, Sarah Glenn, Georgia Adams, Jo Gardner.
Southern Vipers: Tammy Beaumont (c), Danni Wyatt, Suzie Bates, Stafanie Taylor, Thea Brookes, Maia Bouchier, Paige Scholfield, Amanda-Jade Wellington, Tash Farrant, Carla Rudd, Lauren Bell, Issy Wong, Marie Kelly, Fi Morris, Charlie Dean.