The second edition of Kia Super League (KSL) finally kicked-off on Sunday (July 22). Playing for the defending champions Western Storm against Yorkshire Diamonds, England women’s captain Heather Knight forged an 80-run stand for the second wicket with India opener Smriti Mandhana to script a thumping seven-wicket for her team.
Chasing 163 to win, Storm lost the wicket of Rachel Priest (0) in the very first delivery. However, the duo of Knight and Mandhana didn’t bog down under pressure and instead entertained the spectators with their delightful strokeplay. While Knight scored a blistering 97 off 62 balls with 13 fours and 5 sixes, Mandhana played a dazzling knock of 48 runs in just 20 balls (3 fours and 5 sixes).
On Monday (July 23), Heather Knight shared the experience of her stellar partnership with Smriti. Taking to Twitter, the England captain wrote: “A lot of fun batting with @mandhana_smriti yesterday. She taught me how to call in Hindi mid partnership!!”
Owing to Knight and Mandhana’s batting exhibition, Western Storm chased down the target with 27 balls to spare. Heather Knight was deservedly adjudged Man of the Match for her herculean knock.
There were two other matches played in the Kia Super League on the opening day. Southern Vipers beat Surrey Stars by seven wickets while Loughborough Lightning defeated Lancashire Thunder by six wickets.