Vipers Secure Finals Day Spot

Southern Vipers defeated Yorkshire Diamonds by 54 runs in the Kia Super League at the Ageas Bowl

Linsey Smith claimed four Yorkshire Diamond wickets to boast the Kia Super League’s best bowling figures so far and take the Southern Vipers through to finals day with a 54-run victory at the Ageas Bowl.

Berkshire left armer Smith ended with four for 10 to back up a match-winning 99-run stand between New Zealander Suzie Bates (45*) and Arran Brindle (45*) in front of 1,000 fans at the Ageas Bowl.

Vipers set a target of 119 to win, before bowling the Diamonds out for 64 with four overs to spare and knocking the visiting side out of the competition.

The home side had been pegged back to 19-4, starting with the wicket of skipper Charlotte Edwards, who edged behind four balls into the match.

When Lydia Greenway was taken by Levick, reverse-sweeping to Ismail at square leg, the Vipers were firmly on the back foot, but a stellar Bates-Brindle partnership helped them post a competitive score.

Both batsmen scored confidently, epitomised by a huge maximum from Bates – hitting 45 off 45 balls - to take the partnership to 99 runs with the last ball of the Vipers innings.

Brindle had begun steadily, picking her shots carefully after a challenging start, but she opened up as the innings progressed, hitting three boundaries off 49 balls.

With Yorkshire chasing 119 runs, the Vipers’ star batsmen combined in the field to remove visiting captain Winfield (8) at the start of the third over, Brindle catching superbly off Bates’ bowling.

Charlotte Edwards finally got out in the middle after winning the toss, having been unable to bat in the opening game after colliding with teammate Fi Morris, but her innings was cut short as she edged former England teammate Katherine Brunt’s away swinger behind.

Lauren Winfield got the chase off to a good start by rocking onto the back foot and hammering a pair of boundaries off Morna Nielsen.

But the England opener drilled straight to Brindle at mid-wicket without scoring another run, and Edwards ran out Armitage to leave the Diamonds struggling on 19 for two.

Wickets continued to fall as Smith deceived Alice Davidson-Richards with the flight to have her stumped - the first of four wickets in a fine spell with the ball. Her removal of Alex Blackwell shown superb all-round ability, catching and bowling the Diamonds batsman to reduce the visitors to 44-4 in the 12th over.

Smith, on her second appearance, ended with figures of four for 10 when she had Brunt caught at backward point and, when Brindle caught Katie Levick's misguided shot, Yorkshire were bowled out for 64.

Securing a bonus point and a 54-run victory at the Ageas Bowl, the Vipers are through to finals day after winning all three of their opening Kia Super League matches.