Surrey Stars have opened their 2019 Kia Super League account with two victories.
Stars produced a nail-biting nine-run victory over Yorkshire Diamonds followed by a silencing of Lancashire Thunder, whose target of 121 was reeled in by the Stars with 34 balls to spare.
Next up for the defending champions is Thursday’s showdown with Loughborough Lightning, who they beat in last year’s final to claim the KSL crown.
Lizelle Lee was in a class of her own on that occasion – hitting a breathtaking 104 in 58 deliveries – as she was against Lancashire Thunder at Guildford last week. The 27-year-old South African made an impressive 66 off 45 balls.
Lee, who put on 100 in 11 overs for the second wicket with Sarah Taylor (36 not out), said: “The team have been working very hard and we’re so happy to start the campaign the way have.
“The bowlers set it up very nicely for us so we could just go out there and express ourselves as a batting unit.”
Two days earlier the Yorkshire Diamonds were restricted to 121 by the Stars’ England duo Laura Marsh and Nat Sciver.
Chasing a target of just 131, the Diamonds looked odd-on favourites at 89-3 with seven overs to go. But then Sciver had Cordelia Griffith caught at extra cover before claiming the key scalp of Lauren Winfield for 31, bowled around her legs.
Marsh, who finished with figures of 3-17 at Leeds, said: “It’s nice to get over the line in a close one.
“We were slightly below par with the bat but all the bowlers turned up and bowled brilliantly.nWe have a fantastic group of players who offer a lot of different skills and it’s great to have Nat, who is someone you can call upon at any time.”
Stars face Loughborough Lightning on Thursday at Guildford.