Smith Spins Vipers to Finals Day

The bowler takes 3-16 as the Vipers dismiss Lancashire Thunder for 87 on their way to a six-wicket win in the Kia Super League

Linsey Smith claimed three wickets as Southern Vipers qualified for Finals Day of the Kia Super League with a comprehensive six-wicket victory over Lancashire Thunder on Wednesday afternoon.

Smith (3-16) starred with the ball, and was backed up by an all-round team performance from the bowlers as Lancashire Thunder was dismissed for just 87 off their 20 overs.

In reply, Danni Wyatt (46*) shone with the bat as wickets fell around her to lead the Vipers to Finals Day at the 1st Central County Ground, Hove on 1 September.

The visitors got off to a superb start, with Smith claiming the wicket of Emma Lamb (1) in her first over.

Hayley Matthews (1-7) then claimed the prized scalp of England international Sarah Taylor (1) to reduce Lancashire Thunder to 8-2 after the opening three overs.

Spinner Smith then weaved her magic, taking two wickets in a memorable fourth over, dismissing both Amy Satterthwaite (0) and Eve Jones (7) as the hosts collapsed to 10-4 and in a heap of trouble.

Jess Jonassen and Ellie Threlkeld looked to rebuild the innings, but the powerplay finished with Lancashire Thunder on 18-4 after six overs, the lowest powerplay total in Kia Super League history.

Debutant Charlie Dean (1-20) then picked up the scalp of Australia international Jonassen (11) for her maiden Southern Vipers wicket, leaving the hosts on 24-5 after nine overs.

Threlkeld and Danielle Hazell dug deep as they looked to form a partnership, but the pair found scoring runs difficult as their side edged to 31-5 after 11 overs.

Threlkeld (6) then looked for a quick single, but was superbly ran out by Suzie Bates as the onslaught continued, with the hosts languishing on 32-6 with just eight overs remaining.

Hazell then crunched boundaries in consecutive overs, but lacked support from her team-mates, with Natalie Brown (0) the latest Lancashire Thunder batsman to fall with her side on 42-7.

The Lancashire Thunder captain continued to play positively, hitting the first maximum of the game to move her side beyond 50 with just five overs remaining.

Suzie Bates (1-12) then took just one ball to end the partnership leaving the hosts on 57-8 after Sophie Ecclestone (0) holed out to Arran Brindle in the deep.

Hazell hit her fifth boundary as the captain continued to play with intent, hitting 20 runs off the 18th and 19th overs as Lancashire Thunder launched a counter-attack.

The dangerous Hazell (37) was then dismissed, with Tash Farrant (1-18) claiming the scalp before Kate Cross (19) was ran out off the final ball of the innings as the hosts were dismissed for just 87.

The Vipers got off to a difficult start in response, losing both Matthews (1) and Georgia Adams (0) in Ecclestone’s (2-19) first over as the visitors fell to 7-2.

Suzie Bates (11) and Wyatt rebuilt the innings, but Bates chipped to Satterthwaite, being dismissed for the first time in the tournament as the Vipers slipped to 26-3.

Wyatt remained at the crease, and was joined by South African Mignon du Preez, and the pair smashes 13 runs off the sixth over as the Vipers ended the powerplay in a good position on 40-3.

Du Preez (9) became the fourth Vipers wicket to fall, with the spin starting to take effect, with the visitors still needing a further 47 runs for victory.

Wyatt was holding the innings together for her side, and rebuilt the innings alongside the experienced Brindle, progressing their side to 54-4 at the halfway stage.

The pair then recorded the highest partnership of the game, remaining watchful at the crease but still punishing the bad balls.

Wyatt then smashed back-to-back boundaries in a productive 13th over for the visitors, with 11 runs coming off as they moved to less than 20 runs of victory.

The England international bashed the first six of the innings in style, as the Vipers raced to a bonus points victory, sealing the win in the 15th over to book Southern Vipers' place at a second consecutive Finals Day.

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