Southern Vipers v Loughborough Lightning at Southampton (Ageas Bowl) on May 18 (18h30)
Returning career-best bowling figures, Lauren Bell skittled Lightning’s top-order batters, only three of whom made double-figures. By comparison, Vipers lost fewer wickets and five players made double figures. Vipers bowling attack precipitated Lightning’s batting collapse, so that only one player made a decent score and two other players made double figures with par strike rates. By contrast, although no one made ‘fifty’ for Vipers, their best three batters made a tally of 91 runs (compared to 82) with better-than-par strike rates.
*Vipers openers got off to a slow start, scoring just two ‘fours’ apiece from Sophie Munro and Grace Ballinger’s first two overs. Skipper Georgia Adams (9) was caught by Tammy Beaumont facing her fourth ball from Sophie Munro, bringing Maia Bouchier (41 runs from 34 balls) to the wicket, later becoming top-scorer. *England’s Danni Wyatt 29(19) was also caught by Beaumont during the ninth over.
*Vipers reached 55/1 at the power play and 78/2 by half way (10 overs.)
*After Maia Bouchier and Georgia Elwiss plundered 18runs from Lucy Higham’s single over, Australian Piepa Cleary (1/26) and Kirstie Gordon (1/15) took both their wickets during consecutive overs. Georgia Elwiss 17(14) top-edged to keeper Sarah Bryce and Maia Bouchier was eventually clean-bowled by spinner Kirstie Gordon (1/15). By the 100 ball benchmark (16.4 overs) Vipers were 117/5.
*Teenage bowler-turned-batter Freya Kemp 21* (13) added 45 runs partnered with Charlie Dean 20(22), to be certain of a defendable score. *Freya Kemp’s closing cameo, included three ‘fours.’
*Lightning had a nightmare power play (35/2 v 55/1), losing three wickets during Lauren Bell’s (3/12) hostile first, second and fourth overs.
*Firstly, Marie Kelly went for a vertical ’skier,’ caught by keeper Carla Rudd, for a sixth ball duck. Sarah Bryce was bowled by an in-swinger deflection, second ball for 1.
*Thirdly, immediately after the power play, skipper Tammy Beaumont 17(17) was also clean-bowled by Bell’s 11th delivery – a Yorker.
*Living dangerously, Teresa Graves 7 (16) was twice dropped – once by the keeper and also by newbie Nancy Harman.
*Only skipper Kathryn Bryce 54(51) offered any spirited resistance,
*Lightning reached 59/3 (v 78/2) by mid-way (10 overs) and 101/5 by the 100 ball benchmark (16.4 overs.) Kathryn Bryce was one of two departures during England spinner Charlie Dean’s final over; the second was Lucy Higham (1) who was stumped second ball, by keeper Carla Rudd.
*Needing 42 runs to win from six balls, Adams as Vipers’ skipper afforded Lightning tail-enders ten runs from teenager Freya Kemp’s final over. All ten runs, including two ‘fours’ were scored by bowler-turned-batter Kirstie Gordon.
*Reviewing Lightning’s scorecard, seven batters failed to reach double-figures.
*In summary, a key difference between Vipers beating Thunder and Lightning was that previously, five out of seven of Vipers’ bowlers took wickets.
*This time one pair of bowlers took three wickets each: both seam (Lauren Bell) and spin (Charlie Dean.)
*Lauren Bell’s 3/12 are her career-best T20 bowling figures.
*Finally, aware that Lightning’s required run rate was rocketing, Vipers became quite confident of their second consecutive win.
Result: (Group A) Southern Vipers Women 155/5 (20 overs) beat Loughborough Lightning Women 124/8 (20 overs) by 31 runs
Southern Vipers: 155/5 (20 overs, 7.75 runs-per-over): Maia Bouchier 41 runs from 34 balls, Dani Wyatt 29 (19), Freya Kemp 21*(13), Charlie Dean 20*(22); Lightning bowling: Marie Kelly 2/17, Kirstie Gordon 1/15, Sophie Munro 1/16, Piepa Cleary 1/26; Fow 1-28, 2-71, 3-103, 4-103, 5-110;
Loughborough Lightning: 124/8 (20 overs, 6.2 runs-per-over): Kathryn Bryce 54(51), Tammy Beaumont 17(17) Kirstie Gordon 11*(8) ; Vipers bowling: Lauren Bell 3/12, Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Dean 3/23, Georgia Elwiss 2/18; Fow 1-3, 2-12, 3-41, 4-68, 5-90, 6-101, 7-103, 8-109.