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Kia Super League 5m

Kia Super League 2018: all you need to know

The Kia Super League returns bigger and better than ever before

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Kia Super League 2018: all you need to know

The Kia Super League starts on Sunday

The Kia Super League is back and it’s bigger than ever before. Now in its third year and with an expanded fixture list there’s plenty of drama coming your way as Western Storm attempt to defend their title.

Find out all the fixtures below, how you can catch the games if you can’t make it in person, and assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of each side.

The only question left: who’s going to win it?

FIXTURE LIST: HERE

LIVE ON SKY SPORTS
Western Storm v Yorkshire Diamonds (Sunday, July 22)
Southern Vipers v Loughborough Lightning (Wednesday, July 25)
Yorkshire Diamonds v Lancashire Thunder (Friday, July 27)
Western Storm v Loughborough Lightning (Sunday, July 29)
Surrey Stars v Lancashire Thunder (Tuesday, July 31)
Lancashire Thunder v Surrey Stars (Tuesday, August 7)
Southern Vipers v Yorkshire Diamonds (Wednesday, August 8)
Southern Vipers v Surrey Stars (Tuesday, August 14)
Loughborough Lightning v Western Storm (Wednesday, August 15)
TBC (Saturday, August 18)
Finals Day (Monday, August 27)

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Highlights - Western Storm win the 2017 Kia Super League

All the action as Western Storm defeated Southern Vipers by seven wickets in a thrilling decider at Hove

Western Storm

Heather Knight (cap), Anya Shrubsole, Fran Wilson, Stafanie Taylor, Rachel Priest, Smriti Mandhana, Freya Davies, Claire Nicholas, Sophie Luff, Danielle Gibson, Lauren Parfitt, Naomi Dattani, Lissy Macleod, Amara Carr, Rebecca Silk

Last Year: Champions

First Game: Yorkshire Diamonds (H, Taunton, 14.30, Sky Sports)

Could Heather Knight’s team be the first in the KSL’s short history to defend their trophy? Very possibly.

Smriti Mandhana is an exciting signing. She’s shown her ability across the last two years and if the other teams don’t get her early she could be a sensible bet for top run-scorer.

She’s far from their only threat, though. Stafanie Taylor has probably been the KSL’s best player across the last two years and the other international names aren’t too shabby either.

That said it was spinner Claire Nicholas who most impressed last time round. Like Linsey Smith at Vipers in year one, she surprised many with her accuracy and wicket-taking threat.

It’s a chance for Fran Wilson to put herself back in the frame for IT20 selection – so watch out for her – and a word as well for Sophie Luff who is as reliable as it gets in the middle order.

Southern Vipers

Suzie Bates (cap), Danni Wyatt, Tammy Beaumont, Tash Farrant, Mignon du Preez, Amelia Kerr, Katie George, Charlie Dean, Lauren Bell, Carla Rudd, Arran Brindle, Fi Morris, Paige Scholfield, Sara McGlashan, Maia Bouchier

Last Year: Runners-up

First Game: Surrey Stars (A, Guildford, 14.30)

Winners in year one and runners-up at Hove last year, you get the sense that Vipers don’t much like coming second.

With no Charlotte Edwards this year – but a fresh batch of overseas stars – there remains a real intimidating presence around this side. Suzie Bates will lead from the front, as ever, while Amelia Kerr is already forging a reputation as one of the world’s most promising young all-rounders. Watch out for her wrong-un.

In truth, Vipers may bat sides out of the games: Wyatt. Beaumont. Bates. That’s a better top three than most international sides and that’s before you get on to their bowling whiles, all stump-to-stump and pace-off.

Don’t forget the Vipers’ domestic players, either. Katie George is making a name for herself at international level but Charlie Dean and Paige Scholfield have both shown flashes of their ability in the KSL – and Fi Morris and Maia Bouchier could also impress.

Surrey Stars

Nat Sciver (cap), Sarah Taylor, Laura Marsh, Lizelle Lee, Marizanne Kapp, Dane van Niekerk, Bryony Smith, Sophia Dunkley, Grace Gibbs, Hannah Jones, Rihanna Southby, Aylish Cranstone, Eva Gray, Mady Villiers, Gayatri Gole

Last Year: 3rd

First Game: Southern Vipers (H, Guildford, 14.30)

The favourites? Very possibly so. Third place last time out and just missing out on Finals Day back in 2016 there’s a sense that the Stars are always the bridesmaids. That could end this year.

The batting line-up is going to be something else. A top seven in some order of Lee, Smith, Taylor, Sciver, van Niekerk, Dunkley and Kapp is going to take some beating – and this for a team that last year bowled no overs of non-internationals.

Sarah Taylor is always a handy addition to the side but much of Surrey’s success may depend on how their domestic players step up. If you imagine Laura Marsh will bat No.8 there’s three more places to fill. It’s exciting to see who will get those spots – and will they be able to help take the Stars all the way?

Loughborough Lightning

Georgia Elwiss (cap), Jenny Gunn, Amy Jones, Elyse Villani, Rachael Haynes, Sophie Devine, Linsey Smith, Sonia Odedra, Abby Freeborn, Sarah Glenn, Lucy Higham, Georgia Adams, Tara Norris, Kirstie Gordon, Jo Gardner

Last Year: 4th

First Game: Lancashire Thunder (A, Southport, 14.30)

There’s a lot of depth in the Loughborough Lightning squad and that could be key across a longer tournament.

They’ve had a change with their England players with Jenny Gunn swapping in for Beth Langston – and she knows a thing or two about T20 cricket – and with an in-form Amy Jones complemented by two big-hitters (Villani and Devine) and the experienced Rachael Haynes there’s a good spine to the Lightning group.

It will be interesting to see which of their domestic players make the final XI. Is there room for Linsey Smith and Kirstie Gordon? Will Georgia Adams get a go? Perhaps competition for places could push Georgia Elwiss’s side on to glory.

Lancashire Thunder

Danielle Hazell (cap), Kate Cross, Alex Hartley, Sophie Ecclestone, Amy Satterthwaite, Harmanpreet Kaur, Nicole Bolton, Emma Lamb, Ellie Threlkeld, Georgie Boyce, Eve Jones, Natalie Brown, Rachel Dickinson, Alice Dyson, Tash Miles

Last Year: 6th

First Game: Loughborough Lightning (H, Southport, 14.30)

Yet to really show their true ability in the Kia Super League, there’s been a change of focus at Lancashire Thunder this year. It’s spin city – with six international tweakers in the squad plus the hugely promising off-spinning all-rounder Emma Lamb.

Captain Dani Hazell will be hoping for some dry and turning tracks to suit her side’s skills (and we’ve certainly had the weather for it) although if overseas star Harmanpreet Kaur can replicate the form of her stunning 171 in last year’s ICC Women’s World Cup it won’t matter what track they play on.

Thunder are unlikely to be favourites for this year’s competition – given their struggles over the last two years – but don’t bet against them putting in a vastly improved performance.

Yorkshire Diamonds

Lauren Winfield (cap), Katherine Brunt, Beth Langston, Beth Mooney, Chamari Athapaththu, Delissa Kimmince, Helen Fenby, Katie Levick, Sophie Munro, Bess Heath, Thea Brookes, Alice Monaghan, Gwen Davies, Katie Thompson

Last Year: 5th

First Game: Western Storm (A, Taunton, 14.30, Sky Sports)

Like their cross-Pennine rivals, Yorkshire Diamonds haven’t yet shone brightly in the KSL. Things may be different this year but they’ll need to turn around their form of the past two seasons.

They are by no means short of quality. They have two of the best T20 players in the world in local hero Katherine Brunt and Australian opener Beth Mooney – remember how Mooney impressed against England in last year’s Ashes – and in Katie Levick they have one of the best non-international bowlers in the competition.

Look out for Helen Fenby, as well. A leggie, like Levick, she’ll look to spear the ball into the pads and tie the opposition batters down. With her, Levick, Brunt, Langston and Kimmince the Diamonds may possess one of the most shrewd bowling attacks in in the tournament.

How to follow

On our website, we'll have live updates of ALL the games taking place in the KSL, with real-time video clips catching the best moments. You can also find see the tables, fixtures and results in our dedicated Kia Super League section.

We'll have all the best videos, images and articles from throughout the tournament on our social channels, and you can make sure you get involved by letting us know your opinions on the action.

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