Sarah Taylor played a match-winning hand as Surrey Stars got the better of Western Storm in the Women’s Cricket Super League.
But, as Taylor, who scored 50* in 34 balls to help the Stars chase down Storm’s 132/9, said afterwards, Sophia Dunkley-Brown played a huge role with her leg-spinners, sending back three big Storm batters.
All-rounder Dunkley-Brown, just 20, has never played for England, but has been moving up the ranks rapidly. If her 43-ball 66 shored up the Stars innings in their loss to Southern Vipers in the league opener, her 3/18 on Thursday, 26 July, restricted Storm to 132/9.
Her wickets: Heather Knight, Smriti Mandhana and Fran Wilson.
After a match winning 50, @Sarah_Taylor30 gives us her review. #SurreyStars🌟 pic.twitter.com/1D4lcHdj2S— Surrey Cricket (@surreycricket) July 26, 2018
“This was a fantastic win for us, set up by some excellent bowling, particularly from our spinners,” said Taylor afterwards.
“Sophia Dunkley getting out Smriti Mandhana was a turning point. She’s a world-class player, and we were able to restrict the scoring once she had gone.”
We won!!!! @Sarah_Taylor30 50* and 3 wicket haul for Brown helps up win our 1st match of the season!— Surrey Stars (@StarsKSL) July 26, 2018
Well Played Girls 👏👏. Hard Luck @WesternStormKSL #KSL
Indeed, Indian opener Mandhana, who had slammed a quick 48 in Storm’s first game, looked good to score big against the Stars before Dunkley-Brown ended her innings after a 21-ball 37.
Dunkley-Brown played for the Stars last season too, but didn’t make too much of an impact. But consistent performances for Middlesex meant she was given a chance to be with the senior team during their series against New Zealand at home earlier this year.
When she got a chance against the White Ferns, Dunkley-Brown shone with the bat, scoring 63* and 91 for the English academy team.
Before starting the 2018 edition of the Women’s Super League, her goal was straightforward: “It’s about making a name for myself and getting a bit more noticed. If I’m able to put in a few good performances, it would help massively.
“I’ve been training with England, running drinks during the matches, seeing what it’s like to be in that environment. I’ve loved being a part of it.”
She has started piling on the performances, and she is getting recognised for them. If Dunkley-Brown can keep them coming, her wishes might come true soon. Getting the better of Knight, Mandhana and Wilson, all internationals of repute, can only help.