The all-round excellence of the table-topping Southern Vipers proved too much for Lightning as they won by 46 runs in Group A of the Charlotte Edwards Cup at Arundel.
Lightning, chasing 135, were up against it once they lost their captain and most important player Kathryn Bryce, who was caught down the leg-side off the bowling of Tara Norris for a belligerent and threatening 13 from 18 deliveries, in the sixth over.
Lightning had already lost Kathryn’s younger sister, wicketkeeper and opening batter Sarah Bryce, who was caught at backward-point off Charlotte Taylor for three in the third over.
Once Lightning had fallen behind the rate they couldn’t find a batter to bring them back into the contest, though Sonia Odedra and, later, Michaela Kirk struck same defiant blows with 16 apiece. The most successful Vipers bowler was Norris, with four wickets for 14 runs as the team made it two wins out of two.
Southern Vipers captain Georgia Adams (37 from 38 balls) and Charlotte Dean (28 off 24) had the led the way in a total of 134 for seven when play started 36 minutes late because of damp conditions, with Lightning choosing to field.
🙌 VIPERS WIN! 🙌 @Tara_norris98 claims the final @Lightningcric wicket to fall, picking up her fourth of the innings and sealing a comfortable 48-run victory 😁🐍 pic.twitter.com/rQhDxBEZ7k
Adams should have been easily run out in the first over, but the fielder threw to the wrong end. Lightning did break through with the third ball of the third over, when Danni Wyatt flicked Kathryn Bryce to Michaela Kirk at deep midwicket, but Adams took advantage of her reprieve to top score with some powerful drives. She twice drive Sonia Odedra for four in the fifth over to properly launch the Vipers innings.
The Vipers lost the very promising and England-tipped Maia Bouchier, who chipped a simple return catch after making 13 from 20 deliveries. At the halfway point they were 51 for two. Adams clearly thought some acceleration was needed, and she hit Nancy Harman for three fours as 16 came from the 11th over. But she was lbw to Odedra in the following over.
The 100 came up in the 17th over before some heavy blows from Dean, supported by Paige Schofield, led them to their challenging score, which proved more than enough.
Gibbs hits 33 as Stars win by five wickets
Grace Gibbs made sure South East Stars maintained their 100 per cent Charlotte Edwards Cup record as her 33 finished off a five-wicket victory over Central Sparks.
Sparks, having been put in, had been restricted to 117, despite Eve Jones’ 49, thanks to Alice Capsey’s impeccable three for 13 and Bryony Smith’s frugal two for nine. However, Gibbs’ smart running mixed with the odd power-strike made sure the Stars romped home to victory with 22 balls to spare.
[email protected]'s Grace Gibbs hits the winning runs as we win by 5 wickets making it 2 from 2!#StarSpirit 🌟 pic.twitter.com/XhF5m7CJPr
Smith appeared to want the game finished in a hurry with three powerfully struck boundaries off three of the first four balls of the chase, but the Stars captain departed in the following over trying to clear Emily Arlott at mid-off, before Alice Davidson-Richards was bowled and Alice Capsey trapped lbw in the same Georgia Davis over.
After a cagey period, Phoebe Franklin and Gibbs broke the back of the chase with a 44-run partnership. The former swept back-to-back fours off Davis, before her Kent team-mate whacked Baker over long-on for six.
Franklin fell for an 18-ball 26 flicked to deep square leg but Gibbs was undeterred as she clubbed another maximum into the legside. Susie Rowe fell leg before to Davis – who claimed three for 21 – but Gibbs swept to the boundary to make it back-to-back wins.
Earlier, Jones, who scored a century and fifty in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy earlier in the summer, led the innings but wickets fell around her at regular intervals – typified with no partnerships reaching 30.
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