We couldn't ask for a better start to the season, says Kira Chathli on Surrey's London Cup victory

We couldn't ask for a better start to the season, says Kira Chathli on Surrey's London Cup victory

Kira Chathli (L) celebrates Surrey's win. © Getty Images

Surrey's Kira Chathli, who played a match-winning hand of 28 not out in 23 deliveries in Wednesday's (July 22) London Cup encounter, said she thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to play at the Oval. The 20-year old's crucial knock allowed Surrey to chase down a tricky total of 109 off the penultimate delivery to seal their maiden London Cup win.

“We couldn’t ask for a better start to the season,” said Chathli. “Playing here and beating Middlesex was great."

“It was a great feeling to know that we’re pushing women’s cricket. We played at Lord’s last year and to play at The Oval this year is pretty awesome.”

Chathli's knock included two audacious ramp shots that helped Surrey to gain some momentum at the back end of the innings. Although she walked in with half her side back in the pavilion, the right-hander said she was confident of seeing the team home.

“I wasn’t too nervous. The ramps are my shots so I was confident taking them on. After I’d played the first, they didn’t change the field so I thought this is going straight in the same place."

Surrey made heavy weather of what at the halfway stage looked to be a straightforward target. Having restricted Middlesex to a below-par 108, they would have backed themselved to chase it down easily. However, a top-order collapse, meant the lowe-middle order had to come to the party.

Hannah Jones, Surrey skipper, said that despite the wobble in the middle, her side never lost hope.

“I never thought that was it. I thought we’d made it difficult for ourselves. As we said in the debrief, Rhianna and Kira showed the simplicity needed and once that started to unfold it was cruising.”

It was the hosts' young bowling attack - consisting of Amy Gordon, Beth Kerins, Chloe Brewer, Danielle Gregory, Alice Capsey, Claudie Cooper and Jones - that put Surrey in a commanding position at the start of the game. Both pacers and spinners alike showed great control and character, executing plans brilliantly, forcing Middlesex to search for runs.

Gregory, the leg-spinner, was particularly impressive, bowling the delivery of the day to dismiss a well-set Natasha Miles.

“Dani bowled superbly. She’s bowled consistently throughout training so it was really nice for us to see that come off on a cricket pitch," said Jones.

“Claudie again was superb, I couldn’t have asked for much more from both of them. Myself and Alice will pick up the pieces like we did last year. That fills me with a lot of confidence that we can execute what we do in training on to a cricket pitch.”