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The three sides left in the 2018 Kia Super League vie for the title as the tournament reaches its conclusion with one semi-final and a final. The tournament, in its third year, saw a record six teams play each other twice in the league phase
Which side will be lifting up the trophy come Monday evening?
The three sides left in the 2018 Kia Super League vie for the title as the tournament reaches its conclusion with one semi-final and a final.
The tournament, in its third year, saw a record six teams play each other twice in the league phase.
Loughborough Lightning, led by Georgia Elwiss, automatically qualified for the final after finishing top in the league phase while Western Storm, last year’s winners captained by Heather Knight, will face Natalie Sciver-led Surrey Stars for the right to meet Lightning in the final.
Finals Day will be held at The 1st Central County Ground in Hove on Monday with the opening match on the day, the lone semi-final, beginning at 12pm BST while the final gets underway four hours later at 4pm BST.
Rachael Haynes has been in great form for Loughborough Lightning this campaign and will look to take this into Finals Day
Shake ups galore at Lougborough Lightning took place in pre-season, with Salliann Briggs replaced as coach by Rob Taylor while Ellyse Perry opted to miss the tournament, but performances on the pitch proved far less turbulent.
With seven wins out of a possible ten, and 33 points to their name, Lightning were quick out of the blocks, winning five of their first six matches to steal a match on their opposing numbers in the league phase and eventually come out top of the table.
Despite losing their final game to Yorkshire Diamonds, Loughborough go into the final high on confidence after a brilliant league campaign where they boast two of the top seven run scorers in the competition, in Rachael Haynes and Sophie Devine along with the two leading wicket-takers.
Reigning champions Western Storm made a third consecutive Finals Day with six wins and three defeats equating to 30 points and second place in the league phase.
Six wins from the first seven games effectively confirmed their place in the final three with games to spare however form has been harder to come by of late with defeats to Surrey and Loughborough rounding out their league campaign. In Smriti Mandhana and Heather Knight, Storm have the two leading run scorers in the competition who are high on confidence.
Surrey Stars, possessing a strong South African contingent, consisting of Lizelle Lee, Marizanne Kapp and Dane van Niekerk, snuck their way into Finals Day with a last-gasp win over Western Storm on the final gameday of the league phase.
48 from Lizelle Lee and the contribution of 39 from Bryony Smith helped the Stars narrowly scrape through, with Lancashire Thunder through had the Stars been defeated. The Stars won four out of their last five games so they come into the big day in decent form and with a point to prove.
For finalists Loughborough, their player of the tournament so far has been Sophie Devine, the allrounder scoring 264 runs at an average of 33 alongside her 16 wickets at 13 being one of the standout remarkable efforts of the entire competition. The New Zealander has been a constant threat and will be central to Lightning’s hopes in the final.
Western Storm are littered with run scorers none more so than England captain, and second highest scorer in the competition, Heather Knight whose contributions with the bat and her leadership in the field are sought after and make her Storm’s key asset come Finals Day.
Surrey Stars captain Natalie Sciver is key to their success when the final three battle it out on Monday. Her allround ability can swing games as her 250 runs at an average of 35 and eight wickets in the tournament attests to.
Which key player will take Finals Day by storm? Sophie Devine (left), Heather Knight or Natalie Sciver (right)?
Western Storm have been dealt a big blow as they will be without their leading run scorer, Smriti Mandhana, as she is away on India duty at a training camp.
Western Storm v Surrey Stars - coverage starts at 11.30am BST on Sky Sports Cricket (Sky 404, Virgin 504, Talk Talk 405), Sky Sports Main Event (Sky 401, Virgin 501, BT 402, Talk Talk 402) and Sky Sports Mix (Sky 407, Virgin 510). BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra (DAB: 12B Freeview: 706 Freesat: 706 Sky (UK only): 0144 Virgin Media: 908 Virgin Media Ireland: 928) will have full radio coverage.
Loughborough Lightning v Semi Final Winner - coverage starts at 3.30pm BST on Sky Sports Cricket (Sky 404, Virgin 504, Talk Talk 405), Sky Sports Main Event (Sky 401, Virgin 501, BT 402, Talk Talk 402) and Sky Sports Mix (Sky 407, Virgin 510). BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra (DAB: 12B Freeview: 706 Freesat: 706 Sky (UK only): 0144 Virgin Media: 908 Virgin Media Ireland: 928) will have full radio coverage.
The Cricketer will have full coverage of Finals Day on our website.
Surrey’s Sarah Taylor told Surrey’s official website: “The three teams are very tightly matched. We’ve beaten each other at various points and while we finished third in the table we ended with a bit of momentum behind us so that may help us out.
“It’s obviously tough to play two games in a day but Storm managed to win the tournament last year via that method and there’s no reason we can’t do it.
“We’ll take a bit of confidence from the fact we beat Southern Vipers at Hove in the group stages. The crowd were in great numbers that day and hopefully we’ll see a repeat on Monday.”
Loughborough Lightning’s Rachael Haynes stated on Loughborough’s website: “I had heard some great things about the KSL from other Australian squad members who had played in the tournament.”
“I’m really glad I made the decision to come over here to Loughborough. The club has been a great place to be and be part of.
Western Storm captain Heather Knight told their official website: “In T20 cricket it’s all about who performs on the day really. One or two players can win you the game, so we just need to make sure that it’s our players who stand up and nullify the threat of their players. There will obviously be the added motivation to beat Surrey after the results that we’ve had against them so far this year.”
Tickets are still available and can be found here: Click here – Adults £5, Juniors £1, Family £2.50
Loughborough Lightning, as the only confirmed finalists, are favourites for the trophy at 11/10 while Surrey Stars and Western Storm can both be found at 9/4 to win the Kia Super League.