Kelly: “We took the game away from the opposition”

Birmingham Bears Women’s victorious Captain Marie Kelly tributes her side as they rose to the challenge and “took the game away” from Lancashire to win their first ever title.

Speaking after her team’s win over Lancashire and clinching the Vitality T20 County Cup altogether, it was skipper Kelly who led the way with 76 from 57 balls in the decisive victory over Lancashire.

Starting the final’s day on a high, Kelly was presented with a special commemorative cap, for a hundred appearances across both formats for the Bears by club legend Ian Bell.

“I have been a part of Warwickshire since I was nine years old and having come through the system, I am very grateful to every coach who has helped me along the way,” said Kelly. “It has been a goal of mine to win the league and achieve 100 caps, so to achieve both in one day, on the last game of the season for the Bears was pretty special”.

The tables turned however as the Bears lost to Sussex Sharks in the first of their two games in the final round.

“Losing badly to Sussex hurt us massively, but we demonstrated our ability to be resilient to fight to the end as we were all determined to finish our season off in style and get that all important win,” said Marie.

“The games on Sunday were very reflective of how our season has been this year; there have been many ups and downs, but having worked incredibly hard and having played some fantastic cricket.

“The final game to beat Lancashire was where we played our best cricket. A true team performance, we all rose to the challenge by individually taking responsibility to win the game for the team.

“We played smart, clever cricket and took the game away from the opposition; something that we have struggled to do consistently over both the 50 over and T20 seasons but I was so pleased that we could finish on a high by playing our best and finishing as T20 Champions!

“There were a lot of close defeats this season which, when looking back, we know we should have won comfortably. We’ve spoken about it a lot as a group about individuals taking more responsibility to win the game for the team.

“Like any team, we had an extremely talented group, but I think it may have taken too long to find our most effective roles within the team to get the outcome we desired.

“Just knowing that we played the way we did, finally performing to our potential, and how hard we worked, not just this season but over the countless number of years an all the hard work everyone has put in, and then having Tom (Brown) and Dom (Ostler) as our coached this year it has all just culminated into such a fantastic win.

“So happy to finally get our hands on some silverware and finish the season on a bang”.

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