Yorkshire Diamonds: Priest and Knight put Diamonds in the shade

Yorkshire Diamonds' 'Lauren Winfield, batting in her home city, hit 58 off 44 balls against Western Storm. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Yorkshire Diamonds' 'Lauren Winfield, batting in her home city, hit 58 off 44 balls against Western Storm. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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, albeit taking advantage of a bit of luck along the way as the Diamonds spilt a couple of boundary chances.

She finished with 106 not out off 65 balls and Knight 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 55-1 after five.

Devine played on trying to hoist Shrubsole to leg with 75 on the board in the eighth over before Winfield, happy to few risks, reached 50 off 38 balls in the 16th over as the score reached 132-3.

The Diamonds then lost four wickets for 19 in the last three overs, the first of which was Winfield, bowled by a Davies slower ball, to slip from 141-3.

Hollie Armitage then dropped a couple of catches at long-on, with Priest on 25 being the most costly.

Her 39-ball 50 included two sixes over long-on, the second off compatriot Devine’s first ball in the 10th over as Storm reached halfway at 81 without loss.

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

Yorkshire’s final game comes against Southern Vipers at Arundel on Saturday.

“We were about 15 or 20 runs short,” said Devine afterwards.

“With the pitch being a road and short boundaries as well, we knew 180 was par. That showed when Rachel came out and played like she did. It was hard to defend.

“It’s quite even now. The Vipers and Surrey are up top and then us and Storm battling it out. It will be a big last game for us against the Vipers on Saturday. If we win that, we give ourselves a good chance.

“It’s disappointing to lose today because that would have really cemented that spot in the top three.”