11 Sep 2022 | Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy 2022
Southern Vipers
204 for 6
203 all out
Southern Vipers win by 4 wickets

Words by Alex Smith, ECB Reporters Network

Emily Windsor backed up her heroics in the final of The Hundred to guide Southern Vipers to a fifth straight Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy victory at The Ageas Bowl - where players, officials and fans had paid poignant pre-match tributes to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II - and guarantee a spot in the Playoff.

Batter Windsor scored the winning runs at Lord’s last Saturday to give Oval Invincibles back-to-back titles, and at The Ageas Bowl against Thunder she carefully amassed 59 to set up a six-wicket victory.

Thunder had set 203 mainly due to Emma Lamb and Ellie Threlkeld’s half-centuries after Tara Norris had ripped the top order apart with three quick wickets.

Vipers stuttered themselves when they slumped to 29 for three but an 89-run stand for the sixth wicket between Windsor and Chloe Hill took the hosts towards the win with three overs to spare.

Having been asked to bowl, Norris ripped through the Thunder top order in the first seven overs to dump the visitors to 23 for three.

Seren Smale suffered a golden duck when she was bowled between bat and pad, Laura Marshall was lbw trying to work to leg and former West Indies international Deandra Dottin was caught behind on the cut.

Norris’ first five-over spell of three for 15 was all the more important with Vipers missing fast bowlers Freya Kemp and Lauren Bell to England and Anya Shrubsole to injury. Georgia Elwiss damaging her back during her three overs didn’t help matters.

Lamb and Threlkeld, who both took their Trophy tally over 200 runs, recovered the situation with a hard-working 119-run stand for the fourth wicket.

Over half of Lamb’s 63 runs came in singles, although broke the mould by lobbing a six down the ground, as she played the role of glue while Threlkeld was able to pepper the leg-side boundary.

They both brought up their fifties in quick succession – Lamb first in 70 balls for her third half-century of the tournament, and Threlkeld in 55 deliveries.

Their partnership was the only one of note, as the next highest scorer was Daisy Mullen with 13.

Paige Scholfield ended it by finding Lamb tossing to mid-on before trapping Shachi Pai next ball. There was to be no hat trick but Vipers were back in control and would polish off the innings with nine balls to spare.

Lauren Heap was stumped, Threlkeld picked out long-on, Mullan was run out after good work from Alice Monaghan, Laura Jackson was caught and bowled by Charlie Dean and Phoebe Graham skewed to point.

Vipers had found themselves 38 for five in their previous match here, against Sunrisers, before recovering to victory, so 29 for three was an improvement.  

Ella McCaughan drove to point with a lack of footwork her downfall, Elwiss skied an attempted pull shot behind and Dean, promoted to open, was bowled by the accurate Jackson.

Georgia Adams had pointed her side in the right direction with 20, during a 42-run stand with Scholfield, before holing out to deep midwicket before Scholfield was lbw to Pai soon after to leave Vipers 100 for five just over the halfway point.

But Windsor, who also scored the winning runs in last year’s Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy final, kept her calm and reached 60-ball fifty, with an advance to dispatch down the ground her most eye-catching moment.

Hill, who had saved Vipers against Sunrisers, accompanied her well with an unbeaten 43. Despite Windsor falling with 15 runs still to get, Norris’ 12 not out eased any nerves.