Western Storm celebrating their victory at the KSL finals 2017
Storming to the Kia Super League (KSL) 2017
Western Storm, stormed to the KSL 2017 title at the Sussex County ground.
The Women’s Cricket Super league (WCSL) franchise and partnership between Somerset County Cricket Club, Gloucestershire County Cricket Club and University of Exeter stormed to the KSL 2017 title at the Sussex County ground.
Finishing 3rd in the group stages and stealing the last spot for the finals, following a 5 wicket victory against Lancashire Thunder in their last league game, Western Storm faced the prospect of a semi-final against Surrey Stars in a battle for the final against a waiting Southern Vipers side. Restricting the Stars to just 100, with Anya Shrubsole taking 3-22 was a strong start for Western Storm who headed out to chase with the bat. An unbelievable spell from Surrey Stars South African international Marizanne Kapp left Storm at 17-4 but showing their resilience and depth in the squad Storm rallied, with Stafanie Taylor (37 not out) giving them a 3 wicket win and place in the final.
Opting to bowl 1st in the final Storm set out on the attack. Despite Vipers finding the boundary a number of times in the opening stages, with Hayley Matthews and Mignon du Preez both making 31, Stafanie Taylor took 3 wickets in 7 balls and Vipers ended with 145-5. With Rachel Priest opening the batting for Western Storm she did not disappoint, with an innings of 72 which included 10 fours and 3 sixes Storm were well on target. Despite having to opt for a runner Stafanie Taylor saw the game out in style with a six to hand Western Storm their 1st KSL title and revenge on the Southern Vipers in a repeat of last year’s final.
Reflecting on the KSL 2017 season, Western Storm Head Coach Trevor Griffin commented “It’s been a rollercoaster of a tournament and the players have all been absolutely top class. Everyone has played their part at some point during the competition and it’s been a real team effort. I'm incredibly proud of all of them”.
Having been based at University of Exeter for majority of their training and with 3 former University of Exeter students and Sports Scholars in the squad, Freya Davies, Amara Carr and Lissy Macleod, along with a number of Devon based athletes, Western Storm were definitely flying the flag for Women’s Cricket in the South West. Cricket is one of the 9 focus sports at the University with the University of Exeter Women’s Cricket 1st team having taken 4 consecutive British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Silvers and 2 consecutive indoor BUCS Golds in recent years. The University's cricket programme is generously supported by a number of alumni and friends of the University including Prof. Jenny & Mr Stephen Harrow (Politics, 1968; History, 1967) and Sir Christopher Ondaatje CBE (Hon DLitt, 2003).
University of Exeter Director of Sport Alison Davidson commented “It’s been a pleasure for us as a University to host Western Storm for their KSL 2017 campaign and brilliant to see 3 former University of Exeter students in the squad. Congratulations to the squad and support staff on their fantastic performance on finals day”.
Western Storm will look to continue with their development programme over the winter months and come back to defend their title in the 2017-2018 KSL season.
Date: 6 September 2017