We catch up with the Sussex players taking part in this year's Kia Super League...
Western Storm are setting the early pace in this year’s Kia Super League with wins in their first three matches. Freya Davies has impressed with the new ball. She took 2 for 24 in the team’s opening match against Loughborough Lightning, including removing West Indian international Hayley Matthews for a second-ball duck. Her three overs against Lancashire Thunder were a little more expensive, but she still chipped in with the wicket of her England team mate, Sophie Ecclestone with the Storm going on to win by six wickets. Freya was back to her economical best against Southern Vipers on Sunday, giving away just 27 runs from her four overs as the Storm edged a tight encounter by three wickets and with one ball to spare.
Carla Rudd, Paige Scholfield and Danni Wyatt were part of the Vipers team in that match. Danni was dismissed for a duck as the Vipers made 142 for 5 and bowled a solitary over for seven runs during the Storm’s chase. Paige also bowled an over, giving away six runs from it. Carla kept well, giving away no byes. Danni made much more of an impact in the Vipers opening two matches, helping them to win both. In their opener against Lancashire Thunder, Danni smashed 53 from 39 balls and took 2 for 14 from 3 overs, including the wicket of Indian superstar Harmanpreet Kaur. After making one with the bat, Paige wasn’t required to bowl this time, while Carla contributed with a catch and a stumping.
Below them in fourth is Loughborough Lightning with five points from their three games. Captain Georgia Elwiss made a duck batting at four and took 1 for 17 opening the bowling in their first match defeat to the Storm. She top-scored against the Vipers with 37 from 31 balls before her run out, before bowling two overs for 18 runs as the Lightning succumbed to a narrow defeat. The team opened their account on Sunday with a 9-wicket thumping of Yorkshire Diamonds. Tara Norris bowled one over for eight runs as first change on her KSL debut, with Georgia taking the wicket of Cordelia Griffith in her only over. That cost seven runs as the Diamonds made it to 121 for 6. Neither Sussex player was required to bat as Loughborough coasted to victory with 6.4 overs to spare.
Linsey Smith was about the only Diamonds bowler to not take a hammering in that match. Her two overs cost just eight runs and she took the wicket of Amy Jones. Linsey was also very tidy in her first match of the tournament against Surrey Stars. Her four overs went for 21 runs and she took a catch off her own bowling to dismiss South African international Marizanne Kapp as the Stars made 130 for 9. That was just beyond the Diamonds who were bowled out for 121. Linsey was run out for six batting at number eight. The Diamonds currently sit at the bottom of the table after two matches.
Sarah Taylor is Sussex’s only representative at the Surrey Stars. She has made an excellent start to this year’s competition, scoring 43 and executing two stumpings during the win against the Diamonds and making an unbeaten 36 not out in a comfortable eight-wicket victory against Lancashire Thunder. Those wins – alongside the points from Monday’s abandonment against the Vipers – leaves the Stars well-placed in second.
That leaves the Lancashire Thunder, the only franchise without a Sussex contingent. They have lost their opening three matches and are second from bottom, separated from Yorkshire Diamonds by net run rate alone.