Southern Vipers racked up a bonus-point win in the second round of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, beating South East Stars by 133 runs at Hove to see them top of the points table.
Batting first, Vipers put on 306 for nine thanks to a List A-best run-a-ball 115 from Georgia Elwiss and a frenetic 79-ball 90 from Emily Windsor, who returned with a bang from a seven-day rolling loan to Lightning to amass her highest score in regional cricket.
Vipers had been in trouble at 35 for three in the opening 11 overs, thanks to a tidy opening spell from Freya Davies, who eventually bagged three for 37. But a partnership of 160 for the fifth wicket between Elwiss and Windsor raised them well above par, before 17-year-old Freya Kemp blitzed 40 from 23 balls to rub salt into the Stars’ wounds.
In reply, Stars made good progress in the powerplay, reaching 60-0 thanks to Bryony Smith (39) and Alice Davidson-Richards (42). But after both were seen off, the pressure of chasing a high total led to a clatter of wickets, with Paige Scholfield (three for 29) finally wrapping things up in successive balls in the 39th over.
Earlier, after Stars chose to bowl first, Davies had opened her account with a maiden from the Cromwell Road End, building pressure on Georgia Adams who promptly pulled Alexa Stonehouse straight to deep square leg. Davies then had Maia Bouchier trapped lbw without scoring, while Alice Capsey’s sharp throw from point to run out Ella McCaughan saw Stars three down with 35 on the board.
Elwiss, though, played the anchor role to perfection, with Stars letting through far too many singles. Joined in the 20th over by Windsor, the pair ran hard before unleashing a flurry of boundaries after drinks. Windsor had been nine not out from 25 balls but then began throwing the bat around with abandon, progressing to a 59-ball half-century and taking just 20 balls to go from 50 to 90, while at the other end Elwiss calmly progressed to three figures with a single stroked down the ground in the 44th.
Davidson-Richards eventually accounted for the pair, castling Windsor before having Elwiss caught in the deep. But her scalps cost Stars 87 runs, as both Elwiss and Kemp smashed her for sixes over the leg side, Kemp taking 13 from the penultimate over as Vipers posted their second highest score in the competition.
In baking heat at Hove, Vipers were initially sloppy in the field, dropping Smith twice before she finally nicked one behind the stumps in the 11th. Davidson-Richards appeared to have a point to prove after being released from the England ODI squad to play in Saturday’s match, despite her hundred in last week’s Taunton Test. She thumped Charlotte Taylor for two sixes down the ground in her opening spell, but Taylor eventually had her caught and bowled eight runs short of a half-century.
From 110 for two Stars then added just 63 further runs for the loss of their final eight wickets, as a team effort from Vipers saw each of their seven bowlers chip in with at least one scalp.