Surrey Stars beat Yorkshire Diamonds by 9 runs at Emerald Headingley
Surrey Stars kicked off their Kia Super League title defence with a nine-run victory over Yorkshire Diamonds at Emerald Headingley.
Yorkshire Diamonds 121 all out
Surrey Stars 130 - 9
Result - Surrey Stars won by 9 runs
Australia star Alyssa Healy’s blistering 31 looked to have put Yorkshire on top in their pursuit of 131, after Helen Fenby helped restrict Surrey by claiming four wickets.
But the Diamonds, who have yet to reach Finals Day in the KSL, failed to capitalise on their strong start as Laura Marsh took three wickets to lead the Stars to opening day success.
Healy, who scored 266 runs in the women’s Ashes, launched a superb attack in the powerplay, striking three boundaries in each of the third and fourth overs.
But she was removed for 31 from 17 balls by spinner Mady Villiers - who also dismissed the 29-year-old on her England debut last week - to leave Yorkshire 43 for one in the fifth over.
Experienced England spinner Marsh helped keep the Diamonds in check with two key wickets, as Hollie Armitage and India star Jemimah Rodrigues fell for 12 and four respectively.
Yorkshire reached 75 for three at the halfway mark as captain Lauren Winfield set about anchoring the innings.
Stars skipper Natalie Sciver dismissed Cordelia Griffith for five and then claimed the key scalp of Winfield for 31.
At 97 for five, Yorkshire required 34 to win from the last five overs. But Leigh Kasparek fell in the 16th as Marsh claimed three for 17 from her four overs.
All-rounder Alice Davidson-Richards offered hope for the Diamonds with a brisk 17, taking them to 19 needed from 12 balls, but her run out in the 19th over ended their chances.
Yorkshire lost three wickets in the final over to be bowled out for 121.
Surrey’s innings had followed a similar pattern. South African Lizelle Lee, who hit 104 from 58 balls in last year’s final win over Loughborough, hammered two fours in the opening over.
But Lee was the first of four wickets for 20-year-old leg-spinner Fenby, trapped lbw for nine attempting to sweep, before opening partner Bryony Smith was caught by Armitage for a breezy 20.
England pair Sarah Taylor and Sciver guided Surrey to 71 for two at the halfway mark.
Sciver struck the only six of the match as she crashed Kasparek down the ground, but the Edinburgh-born New Zealand spinner responded by forcing Sciver to miscue one straight back to her.
Taylor, who missed the T20 part of the recent women’s Ashes due to mental health problems, played well on her return to make 43.
But her departure in the 15th over, also caught and bowled by Kasparek, sparked a collapse.
The leg-spinner picked up her third when South African Dane Van Niekerk was brilliantly caught in the deep by Rodrigues, before Marizanne Kapp was the third to be caught and bowled - this time by Linsey Smith.
Fenby returned to dismiss Marsh and Gwen Davies to finish with figures of four for 20, but Surrey’s total of 130 for nine proved beyond Yorkshire.
Yorkshire Diamonds - Lauren Winfield(c), Hollie Armitage, Helen Fenby, Cordelia Griffith, Alyssa Healy(wk), Leigh Kasperek, Beth Langston, Katie Levick, Alice Davidson-Richards, Jemimah Rodrigues, Linsey Smith
Surrey Stars - Lizelle Lee, Bryony Smith, Sarah Taylor(wk), Natalie Sciver(c), Dane van Niekerk, Marizanne Kapp, Aylish Cranstone, Laura Marsh, Gwenan Davies, Mady Villiers, Grace Gibbs
Start Time: 19:00
Toss: Surrey Stars won the toss and decided to bat
Venue: Emerald Headingley, Leeds
Officials: Jeffrey Evans, Nicholas Cook, Russell Warren
©Cricket World 2019