Match Preview: Southern Vipers vs Yorkshire Diamonds
Date: 21 August 2019
Venue: Rose Bowl, Southampton
Every time Southern Vipers have looked like getting the winning momentum on their side, they have had to play a match against Western Storm. That has happened twice in the competition so far. Now, they have three matches left and no more games against the ‘old enemy’ – the only side to not have lost a match in the final season of the Women’s Cricket Super League (WCSL).
Vipers next face Yorkshire Diamonds at the Rose Bowl in Southampton on Wednesday (August 21) .
This is the first time both teams are meeting each other in this season, and they shall, as a result, play back to back games against each.
Out of the four times Vipers and Diamonds have met in WCSL, Vipers have won three. The hosts had won the last encounter, which was in the league stage last year. Tammy Beaumont, the current skipper, had scored a half century then.
In this season, Southern Vipers have won three games while defending a score. Chasing hasn’t really been their cup of tea as witnessed in the tied game against Lancashire Thunder. A misfiring Suzie Bates at the top hasn’t make things any easier.
Yorkshire Diamonds, on the other hand, have struggled to win consistently. While their win against Thunder was due to the latter’s capitulation, the one against Surrey Stars on Tuesday (August 20) should act as a confidence-booster.
After having a quiet start to the tournament, Jemimah Rodrigues is back among the runs. A fifty against Loughborough Lightning notwithstanding, her 33-ball 42 against Stars, that earned her the Player of the Match award, would calm the nerves of the team. They now have someone in the middle order with the temperament to guide them through tough periods – even if she is only 18!
With the race to finish in the top three heating up, and with Storm placed firmly at no.1, there are only two spots up for grabs. Theoretically, Diamonds are still in contention, while Vipers would like to assert themselves with a win.
Taylor has eight wickets, and 205 runs in this year’s WCSL. She is second-best for Vipers in both those facets. However, she hasn’t yet delivered to her entire potential. An unbeaten 44 against Storm at this venue earlier in the series was perhaps one of her best and most free-flowing innings. It helped Vipers get to a decent total, although they didn’t win the game. In the tie against Thunder, Taylor guided Maia Bouchier through an important partnership in the middle to take Vipers to the brink of victory, but a rush of blood when she was on 51, undid all her spectacular work.
Against Storm in Bristol on Tuesday (August 20), a thigh niggle bothered her and she then perished soon after. With Bates going through a rough patch, Taylor’s importance all the more increases for the side.
After having a good Ashes series, much was expected from Healy. In the initial games this season, she did look in good touch before she threw it away. Even against Surrey Stars in Guildford on Tuesday (August 20), it wasn’t an express start as we have come to see from the Australian. She did look set to register her maiden WCSL half-century, but it wasn’t to be.
Diamonds managed to get over the line only due to some push from the middle order (read, Jemimah Rodrigues). If Healy manages to get her act together, the team would be able to breathe easier.
The track at the Rose Bowl is generally known to assist spinners. However, Tash Farrant had a good time the last time Vipers played there. Change of pace deliveries will likely cause a lot of grief to the batters.
The temperature is set to be around the 20-degree mark.
Southern Vipers: Tammy Beaumont (c), Dani Wyatt, Tash Farrant, Suzie Bates, Stafanie Taylor, Amanda Wellington, Charlie Dean, Maia Bouchier, Lauren Bell, Carla Rudd, Paige Scholfield, Thea Brookes, Marie Kelly, Issy Wong, Fi Morris.
Yorkshire Diamonds: Lauren Winfield (c), Katherine Brunt, Alice Davidson-Richards, Katie George, Linsey Smith, Hollie Armitage, Georgia Davis, Helen Fenby, Cordelia Griffith, Bess Heath, Beth Langston, Katie Levick, Alyssa Healy, Jemimah Rodrigues, Leigh Kasperek.