|Women’s Kia Super League 2019|
|Dates: 6 August – 1 September|
Kia Super League holders Surrey Stars and Southern Vipers triumphed for the second time in three days to maintain their winning starts to the campaign.
Surrey made short work of Lancashire Thunder, who suffered a second straight loss, securing an eight-wicket win with 34 balls to spare.
But the Vipers were made to work a lot harder for their latest win.
They had just three deliveries to spare as they beat Loughborough Lightning by two two wickets.
Home captain Georgia ElWISs top scored with 37 as Loughborough posted 135-5 from their 20 overs.
After a 49-run opening partnership ended with the loss of Suzie Bates for 22, followed by visiting skipper Tammy Beaumont second ball, Vipers still looked in control at 80-2.
But they lost Danni Wyatt for 40 to a brilliant catch by Sarah Glenn at deep square leg, then Stefanie Taylor for 38, in collapsing to 129-8.
They still needed seven from the last over, but Amanda Wellington and wicketkeeper Carla Rudd kept their heads to get them over the line.
“Danni Wyatt and Stefanie Taylor were exceptional,” said skipper Beaumont. “But in the end we made it a bit closer than it should have been.
“Danni Wyatt was out to an exceptional catch when, had she had batted for another three or four overs, it probably would have been done with.
“But that’s two wins from two away from home to take some momentum into our home games and the season is already looking better than the last one.”
In the other game at Guildford, India international Harmanpreet Kaur hit an unbeaten 58 off 47 balls, sharing an unbroken eighth-wicket stand of 45 with Evelyn Jones, as Lancashire totalled 120-7.
But Australia’s Lizelle Lee (66) and Sarah Taylor, unbeaten at the end on 36, put together a 100-run second-wicket stand to get most of the job done on 124-2.
“The bowlers set it up very nicely for us,” said Lee. “As a batting unit, we could just go out there and express ourselves.
“Sometimes I have more balls than I think I have, especially with T20, so it was nice having Sarah Taylor at the other end saying ‘stay calm’. I stuck to the basics and just tried not to get out.”
“I don’t think we had enough runs on the board,” said Thunder skipper Kate Cross. “120 was always going to be hard to defend.
“I didn’t think we were going to get even close to 120 at one point – but Harmanpreet batted superbly and gave us an opportunity. When she flipped that switch and decided to go, she proved what you can do on a pitch like that.”
This year’s Kia Super League is the fourth and final instalment of England’s domestic 20-over competition before it is replaced in 2020 with The Hundred, the new 100-ball city-based competition.
BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame this summer to showcase female athletes in a way they never have been before.
Through more live women’s sport available to watch across the BBC this summer, complemented by our journalism, we are aiming to turn up the volume on women’s sport and alter perceptions.