Super League: Stafanie Taylor in control as Western Storm beat Surrey Stars

Natalie Sciver
Natalie Sciver is yet to be dismissed in the Super League, having made 155 from three innings
Kia Super League, The Brightside Ground
Surrey Stars 161-6 (20 overs): Sciver 90*
Western Storm 165-5 (19.4 overs): Taylor 74*, Lee 53
Western Storm won by five wickets

England all-rounder Natalie Sciver made her highest Twenty20 score but Surrey Stars still fell to a five-wicket loss against Western Storm in Bristol.

The Stars captain finished unbeaten on 90 from 45 balls, after being reprieved twice, to help her side post 161-6.

The 23-year-old then struck with the ball, trapping England captain Heather Knight lbw as Storm collapsed to 17-3.

But overseas duo Lizelle Lee (53) and Stafanie Taylor (74 not out) helped the hosts win with two balls to spare.

Sciver came to the crease early after the Stars slipped to 47-2, earning her first reprieve when she was put down on two at deep square leg by West Indies skipper Taylor off Freya Davies (2-38).

She was then "caught" off the same combination on 35 but Davies was called for a no-ball, before Sciver added further salt to the wound by sending the resulting free hit delivery to the boundary for four.

Having brought up her half-century off 29 balls, Sciver launched Taylor's third over for four boundaries and ensured she is yet to be dismissed in this tournament.

Rachel Priest's run-out by fellow New Zealander Lea Tahuhu got the Storm off to a disastrous start, before the 76-run fourth-wicket partnership between Taylor and Lee dragged them back into the match.

Sciver dived brilliantly to her right at cover to catch South Africa's Lee off Tahuhu as the match looked to swing back in the Stars' favour.

But, with Storm needing 56 off the final four overs, Taylor smashed four sixes and three fours - twice clearing the ropes with successive deliveries in the 18th and 20th overs - to see them home.

'Catches win matches'

Surrey Stars captain Natalie Sciver: "We did things so well for a long time and then just at the end, when we needed a bit of composure, we dropped three or four catches. Dropping Taylor when she was on not very many proved very costly.

"That is as fluent as I have felt. They bowled quite a few balls short at me, which I don't think was the plan, because I know Heather knows I like it short. I just found they kept bowling in the area that I wanted."

Surrey Stars batter Tammy Beaumont: "At 94-5, we were on top of the world. It was certainly a good position to be in. But we knew also that Stafanie Taylor and Lizelle Lee are two of the most dangerous women players in the world and they batted really well.

"They still needed 40 off three overs, but they got it and credit to them. The old saying is that 'catches win matches'. It is something we need to work on."

Western Storm captain Heather Knight: "We always knew that we had the batting power. Even at 94-5, we knew we could win it. It was a really good pitch, so we felt we could catch up later in the innings, even if we lost wickets.

"Stafanie is a really chilled character and we knew she had that kind of innings in her. It was good to watch.

Western Storm batter Stafanie Taylor: "At the start it was a bit intimidating, because you keep losing wickets and you're at the other end thinking 'what the hell?'

"It was good to play myself in and just to be there at the end. As one of the main batters who was actually in, I had to try and see the game through."

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