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Loughborough Lightning v Southern Vipers | Match Preview

Southern Vipers
Southern Vipers
©Southern Vipers

Head coach Rob Taylor has backed his Loughborough Lightning players to maintain their positive mindset when their Kia Super League women’s Twenty20 campaign continues against Southern Vipers on Thursday, despite their opening day clash with Western Storm ending in defeat.

Three of Lightning’s top four batters failed to score a run and, despite a fine 65 for the home side from England’s Amy Jones, visitors Storm were able to complete a comfortable seven-wicket win with three overs to spare.

Overseas stars Hayley Matthews and Chamari Atapattu registered ducks on their Lightning debuts but Taylor will not ask them to change their approach.

“It wasn’t the start that we wanted and the way we began with the bat put us on the back foot a little bit, but the way we are looking to play this tournament is to allow our openers and top-order batters to go out and express themselves,” he said.

“Sometimes that will come off and sometimes it won’t. It wasn’t like Hayley or Chamari played shocking shots, it was just one of those things that can happen when you ask your batters to try to make the most of the Powerplay overs.

“We have bought into playing that way as a group and it would be naive to try to change how we want to do things after one negative result.

“The real positive for me was the way that Amy batted through the innings and the way she was supported by Mignon du Preez. That was a partnership that built some pretty good momentum for us.

“To get a score of 120 on the board from the position we had been in, with the girls who came in at the back end of the innings hitting boundaries, at least meant at the halfway stage we were still in the game, even if we were a little bit short.

“We are certainly not going to rewrite what we are trying to do after one loss in the first game of the season. We have nine more games to play, starting with another one on Thursday, 

“Hopefully we will have got any first-game nerves out of the way and we can go into Thursday knowing what we have to do to get a score on the board to win the game.”

Southern Vipers finished bottom of the KSL table in 2018 but started their 2019 season with an impressive 34-run away win over Lancashire Thunder, England’s Danni Wyatt and Tammy Beaumont posting half-centuries in a total of 166 for seven from 20 overs before Thunder were bowled out for 132, with left-arm seamer Tash Farrant taking three for 18 and Wyatt chipping in with two wickets with her off spin.

The match between Lightning and Vipers is at the Haslegrave Ground within the Loughborough University complex, starting at 4pm.

© Cricket World 2019