Sophie Luff heaps praise on Georgia Hennessy

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Sophie Luff to lead Western Storm in the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint trophy

Sophie Luff in action for Western Storm. © Getty Images

Sophie Luff's century headlined Western Storm's comfortable win over South East Stars in their fourth match of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint trophy on Friday (September 11). The Western Storm skipper thus became her team's first centurion in the tournament and only the second overall. Her unbeaten 104 off 133 balls guided Storm to an easy seven wicket victory that keeps them in the hunt for a place in the final.

"It feels amazing, to be honest," Luff said of her match-winning knock. "Obviously my first one (hundred) in a Storm shirt as well; and then to get the win as well - it was just a great performance by the girls. To be out there at the end was obviously very special for me."

Having walked in to bat in the very first over of the chase, after Natasha Farrant had castled Fi Morris with a hooping inswinger, Luff weathered the early storm before asserting herself on the opposition. She first combined with Lauren Parfitt (18) for a useful 49-run second wicket stand to give the team a bit of stability, before her 162-run partnership with Georgia Hennessy put Storm firmly in the driver's seat.

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"It's never ideal losing an early wicket, but i'm pretty comfortable knowing I'm at three. So, you know if i'm in in the first over, then that's the way i'll go about things. It's good to settle in," Luff admitted.

"I thought Lauren Parfitt played particularly well at the top of the order. I think we established a bit of a partnership to get a little bit of momentum back... And then the way Georgia played! We've played a lot of cricket together - we've grown up playing a lot of cricket together. We know each other's games really well. She was the perfect foil for me, to be honest. I could just sort of bat my way - she punishes the bad ball, hits it nice and hard. I guess we ran well together as well."

While Luff's knock included 12 fours and a six - the only one of the match - and came at a strike rate of 78, Hennessy too smashed 12 boundaries to finish with 86 off just 106 deliveries, striking at over 81. Having missed out in the first few games, Luff said the knock would give the allrounder plenty of confidence moving ahead.

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"She strikes the ball beautifully! I want to get ahold of her bat and see if I can use it," Luff laughed. "But yeah, she's come into this game under a bit of pressure I'd say. She missed out in the first three games and she'd be really disappointed in that. So, for her to bat the way that she did today and get that score, I hope that gives her a lot of confidence going into the last few games."

Despite what ended up being an easy win, Luff reiterated that Storm have plenty to work on if they want to make the final. Most worryingly, they conceded as many as 33 extras with the ball and also lacked a bit of energy in the field.

"I don't think we bowled and fielded as well as we could. Giving away far too many extras - you can't do that at this level, so that needs to be addressed," she signed off.