Century for Rachel in big Western Storm win

Centurion Rachel Priest and captain Heather Knight led Western Storm to a record-breaking Kia Super League win over Yorkshire Diamonds at York as they chased down 161 to win by 10 wickets with three overs to spare.

New Zealander Priest led the way with some fearsome hitting and finished with 106 not out off 65 balls whilst Knight was unbeaten on 48 off 38.

The pair shared the highest stand in two seasons of the KSL.

A second win from three matches puts Storm level on eights points with the Diamonds in third place with a game in hand in the race to reach Finals Day.

Home captain Lauren Winfield, batting in her home city, had earlier posted 58 off 44 balls as England’s World Cup winning hero Anya Shrubsole returned to action following a side injury with one for 30 from four overs.

Despite the early loss of Sri Lankan Chamari Atapattu, run out by a direct hit at the non-striker’s end from Stefanie Taylor from mid-on, the Diamonds got off to a healthy start as another Kiwi Sophie Devine cut loose with 41.

Devine hit off-spinner Claire Nicholas for two big sixes over long-on and mid-wicket as the score reached 55 for one after five overs.

Devine played on trying to hoist Shrubsole to leg with 75 on the board in the eighth over before Winfield, happy to take a few risks, reached 50 off 38 balls in the 16th over as the score reached 132 for three.

The Diamonds then lost four wickets for 19 runs in the last three overs, the first of which was Winfield bowled by a Davies slower ball, to slip from 141 for three to 160 for seven.

The Storm reply got off to a good start with Priest clubbing a 39-ball fifty which included two sixes over long-on, the second off compatriot Devine’s first ball in the tenth over as Storm reached the halfway point in their innings at 81 without loss.

Fours and sixes continued to come at ease as Yorkshire’s heads dropped.

Priest reached her century off 64 balls, the second in KSL history, with 13 fours and three sixes.

Storm’s next fixture is against Surrey at the Oval on Wednesday, while Yorkshire’s final game comes against Southern Vipers at Arundel on Saturday.

After the match centurion Priest said: “It was one of those days that you wish you had all the time. It was nice to contribute. “Not losing a wicket is pretty special, and it was nice for both me and Heather to lead from the front.

“We talked about this being a really big game for us. We needed to have a good win here and look towards the finals, although we have a couple of really important games coming up in the next week so we’ll just try and keep winning.

“The pitch was very very good, as they showed in their innings. But they bowled some slower balls which made it difficult for me to get going. I had the luck, and a few just seemed to land in the middle of fielders.”