WESTERN Storm's Kia Super League defence came to an end on Monday, as they fell nine runs short against Surrey Stars in the semi-final, with Surrey going on to beat Loughborough Lightning in the final.

Surrey captain Nat Sciver made an unbeaten 72 and then took 2-21, as her side recovered 72-5 to post 162-5, which proved just beyond Storm's reach in Hove.

Storm looked to have their opponents where they wanted them at 62-4 after 10 overs, with Anya Shrubsole (1-42), Freya Davies (1-21) and Stafanie Taylor (1-28) making an impact.

Skipper Heather Knight (1-16) then bowled Sophia Dunkley, but Sciver and Marizanne Kapp put together a stand of 90 in 9.5 overs, to record a competitive total.

In the absence of India’s Smitri Mandhana, the leading run scorer in the tournament with 421 runs, Storm needed a big contribution from Knight and after the early loss of pinch-hitter Anya Shrubsole (1) and Rachel Priest (24), the England captain put on 33 with Taylor (16) before forging what looked like being a match-winning stand with Fran Wilson.

They added 54 in 7.1 overs, and when Knight (34 off 24 balls) was bowled in the 15th over, Storm needed 45 off 31 deliveries.

But no-one was able to give Wilson (58no) the support – or enough of the strike – to get Storm over the line.

Dane van Niekerk (2-27) had Somerset Women's captain Sophie Luff (3) superbly caught by Kapp, and when Sciver bowled Naomi Dattani (4) off the first ball of the final over, which began with Storm needing 14 to win, the game was up.

Storm skipper Knight said: “We thought it was a total we could chase on what was a decent wicket.

"When Fran [Wilson] and I were out there we just wanted to keep it down to under nine or 10 an over and we were doing that when I got out.

"Fran played really well but we just struggled to pick up the momentum again at the end.

"It’s a shame but I’m really proud of how we’ve done in the tournament; the girls have played exceptionally well and it’s a shame we have just come up short.”

Come the final, Lizelle Lee smashed the fastest hundred in the history of the Super League to power Surrey to their first title in a one-sided final against Loughborough Lightning.

Lee made 104, including a century off just 55 balls, as Surrey piled up 183-6, before bowling out Loughborough for 117 in 18.3 overs at Hove.