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In Focus: Lee Powers Stars To KSL Glory

Published: 29th August, 2018

Lizelle Lee’s incredible century during Surrey Stars’ crushing victory over Loughborough Lightning at Hove on Monday was the Kia Super League’s fastest ever and the first in a final of the flagship domestic competition.

Typically for the powerful South African opener, 88 of her 104 runs in her 58 ball innings came from boundaries as she led the Stars to 183/6 from their 20 overs.

Stars defended this comfortably in front of a bumper crowd at Hove and the watching public on Sky Sports but it was Lee who took most of the attention from the media as the celebrations began throughout the team.

With 248 runs from her previous 10 innings in the competition, Lee headed into the final as the Stars’ second highest run scorer behind captain Nat Sciver, who led the way in the semi-final with an unbeaten 72.

Alongside her usual opening partner Bryony Smith, she was all set for a spell in the middle that she would later describe after the match as her “best ever innings in this format.”

Taking strike as she usually does, Lee allowed herself to settle before hitting the fifth ball of the innings straight over mid off for six.

That didn’t quite open the floodgates but four consecutive fours in the fourth over provided that function. One cut, one flick off her legs and two flashes down to fine leg made it look a very promising powerplay for the Stars despite the loss of Smith.

Five sixes and two fours followed in the next seven overs to take the big hitting opener beyond the half-century mark.

The power and timing of her batting would be best demonstrated by the wagon wheel of this innings with five out of six maximums going down the ground.

Partnered now with captain and fellow in-form batsman Nat Sciver, the pair put on a stand of 111 together for the third wicket partnership.

Although she didn’t manage four boundaries in an over again, three fours came in both the 13th and 16th overs as she brought up the 100 off just 55 balls.

There wasn’t much left of her innings at that point as she departed for 104 with the Stars on 155/3 in the 17th over but, as many suspected at the time, the innings proved to be the major difference between the sides come the crunch.

Lee ends the tournament having hit 73 boundaries, the second most in the competition, and 352 runs, the fourth highest total overall.

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