Rachel looks back at her Storming performance
It’s been a roller-coaster few weeks for Western Storm match winner Rachel Priest.
After scoring just three runs in the opening two matches of this season’s Kia Super League the New Zealand International returned to form with a superb century against the Yorkshire Diamonds and then really stole the headlines with a stunning innings in the final to give the Storm revenge over Southern Vipers.
Now that the dust has settled on Friday’s celebrations the 32 year old has been looking back on what was a remarkable day.
“We produced a great bowling display in the semi-final against Surrey Stars,” she said. “We targeted their top four because we knew just how important they are for them. To bowl them out for 100 was a really great effort from us and Anya Shrubsole was excellent. It was tough for us not to have her playing early in the competition but it was important for her to be fully fit at the back end of the competition. Once again she really stepped up for us and showed that she’s one of the smartest cricketers around.
“Unfortunately there were a few wobbles when it came to batting and we seem to do better chasing bigger scores than that. Scores of around 100 to 120 can sometimes be really difficult to chase in T20 cricket because you don’t know whether to go at it really hard to get it done early or whether to take your time. Thankfully we just about managed to scrape across the line.”
Having lost to the Vipers in last years final, Western Storm began their campaign with a big defeat against the same opponents so how sweet was it to get revenge when it really mattered? “To lose out in last years final was really disappointing for us and to start out this year like we did against the old enemy wasn’t great,” she said. “I think we just got better and better as the tournament went on and teams were a little complacent against us. I don’t think many people thought that we would do much on Finals Day so to beat Surrey Stars and then beat the Vipers quite convincingly was really special.”
“We’ve got a great bunch of people here who all worked really hard together on the day and it really paid off. It wasn’t just down to the international players, it was a real team effort. We’ve got some great non-international players in the squad and everyone played their part.
“145 was a big total to chase so to win it with 12 balls to spare as absolutely amazing. I had a really slow start to the tournament coming off the back of what wasn’t a great World Cup but we’ve got some great support staff like our Performance Coach Jon Pitts and Head Coach Trevor Griffin who backed me all the way. They kept supporting me through that little dry patch so to get some runs in the final was great. That’s what the international players are there for. We have to step up at the big moments and get our teams across the line.
“I don’t know why but it just seemed to happen for me in the final. It was a nice pitch and it all just came together on the day. I haven’t had too many days more special than Friday night in my career. The whole day was amazing and to be able to achieve what we did with such a great bunch of people was really special. It will definitely go down as one of the best wins I’ve ever been involved with. I feel really lucky to have been a part of the Western Storm crew that lifted the trophy.”
Rachel also had a message for the Storm Troopers who have cheered the team on all across the country: “Thanks to all the fans who supported us. We’ve got the best fans in the country. They get behind us so well and hopefully they’ll do the same again next year when we go again.”
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