Australia vice-captain Rachael Haynes has made a major impact in her maiden England women’s Super League tournament, finishing the competition’s third highest run scorer at the end of the regular season.
Haynes’ 307 runs at 51.16 has helped Loughborough Lightning claim a spot in Sunday’s final, where they’ll meet the winner of the semi-final between Western Storm and Surrey Stars.
In nine innings for the Lightning, the 31-year-old posted three half-centuries including an unbeaten 66 from 40 against Western Storm last week.
She finished the best of the Loughborough batters, while New Zealand star Sophie Devine wasn’t far behind with 264 runs at 33 – capping a brilliant tournament for the Adelaide Strikers allrounder who also topped the wickets table with 16 scalps at 11.37.
Haynes' Australian teammate Elyse Villani scored one half-century in six innings for the Lightning, finishing the regular season with 173 runs at 34.60.
Overall, India star Smriti Mandhana topped the runs table after a stunning campaign that saw her score 421 runs at 60.14 – with a strike rate of 174.68 - for the Western Storm, including one century and two fifties, while England skipper Heather Knight was second with 334 at 47.71.
Two Australian teammates joined Haynes in the competition’s top 10 batters, with Nicole Bolton’s maiden campaign with Lancashire Thunder reaping 274 runs at 27.40, while Beth Mooney’s 267 runs at 33.37 wasn’t enough to see Yorkshire Diamonds into the play-offs.
Knight and Natalie Sciver were the only two local players to feature in the top 10 batters, while the remaining spots filled out by three Australians (Haynes, Bolton and Mooney), three New Zealanders (Devine, Amy Satterthwaite and Suzie Bates), India’s Mandhana and one South African in Lizelle Lee.
Scotland’s Kirstie Gordon topped the wickets table alongside her Lightning teammate Devine, while Sophie Ecclestone and Jenny Gunn were the best of the locals with 15 and 13 wickets respectively.
The other Australian to feature in the 2018 edition of the Super League, Queenslander Delissa Kimmince, started the competition in red-hot form with an unbeaten 55 from 41 deliveries, but she was unable to match those efforts through the remainder of the tournament, finishing with 107 runs and two wickets.
AUSTRALIANS IN THE SUPER LEAGUE
Rachael Haynes (Loughborough)
P 10 | Runs 307 | SR 131.75 | Av 51.16 | HS 66*
Nicole Bolton (Lancashire)
P 10 | Runs 274 | SR 119.65 | Av 27.40 | HS 87
Beth Mooney (Yorkshire)
P 9 | Runs 267 | SR 138.34 | Av 33.37 | HS 76
Elyse Villani (Loughborough)
P 10 | Runs 173 | SR 132.06 | Av 34.60 | HS 61*
Delissa Kimmince (Yorkshire)
P 9 | Runs 107| SR 117.58 | Av 17.83 | HS 55* | Wkts 2 | Econ 9.27 | SR 66
Commonwealth Bank T20I series v NZ
September 29: First T20I, North Sydney Oval, Sydney
October 1: Second T20I, Allan Border Field, Brisbane
October 5: Third T20I, Manuka Oval, Canberra
Commonwealth Bank ODI series v NZ
February 22: First ODI, WACA Ground, Perth
February 24: Second ODI, Karen Rolton Oval, Adelaide
March 3: Third ODI, Junction Oval, Melbourne