Dane van Niekerk’s run in the Kia Super League T20 ended when the Loughborough Lightning were beaten by Western Storm in the playoff.
Western Storm, featuring Lizelle Lee, won by five wickets with just three balls remaining and went on to meet the Southern Vipers in the final.
That ended in disappointment for Lee, who contributed just six runs to the Storm’s total of 140. The Vipers wiped that out with the loss of three wickets and seven balls remaining.
Earlier, the Lightning’s offering of of 124 in the play-off also looked light.
Van Niekerk took two overs to get her sights in and then set off at pace, hammering three fours in taking 14 runs off England’s Freya Davies.
That was as good as it got, for West Indies captain Stefanie Taylor was introduced to the attack and with her third ball bowled Van Niekerk while on the sweep. Two balls later, she trapped Georgia Elwiss lbw (6) and the Lightning were 22-2 in the fifth over.
It’s thanks only to Ellyse Perry (64) and Sophie Devine (21) that the Lightning scraped together 124 at the end of their 20 overs.
Van Niekerk made a supreme effort in trying to hold back the Western Storm, bowling Rachel Priest for 4 in the fourth over, but a partnership of 57 between Taylor (34) and Heather Knight (52) did the damage. Even the loss of Lee, lbw for 0, was of little consequence.
The new Proteas Women captain went on to dismiss Taylor for the impressive figures of 2-21 off her four overs, but it was too little too late.
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