Suzie Bates smashed her highest career T20 score whilst hitting the first ever century in the Kia Super League in Southern Vipers’ 46-run win over Loughborough Lightning on Tuesday.
Bates (119*) dominated with a tremendous 72-ball innings, crunching an impressive 19 boundaries as the Vipers posted 180-2, the highest ever score in the Kia Super League.
The all-rounder (2-15) and Arran Brindle (2-27) took two wickets apiece as the Vipers dismissed Loughborough for 134 to seal a bonus point win to stay unbeaten and top of the table.
Bates continued her early season form by smashing four boundaries in the second over of the game to propel her side up to 17-0 after two overs.
They raced to 41-0 after four overs after the New Zealand international then crunched a further three boundaries, including the first six of the innings shortly after.
She then smashed her second six in another productive over, as she brought up her fifty off just 30 balls with her 11th boundary as Southern Vipers raced to 63-0 at the end of the powerplay.
Hayley Matthews (12) then crunched her first boundary as she played the supportive role, but the West Indian fell moments later, chipping it to Elyse Villani at long-on.
However, the foundation was laid and the pair put on a new record first wicket partnership for the Vipers, with the Vipers reaching 89-1 at the halfway stage.
Bates was continuing to find the boundary at a regular rate, racing her side beyond three figures, and into a healthy position at 112-1 after 12 overs.
Georgia Adams (12) carried on the hard-hitting with her first maximum, but was ran out searching for a quick single, but the Vipers were still in a strong position on 130-2 after 14 overs.
Bates then raced to her century off just 63 balls, hitting the maiden century in the Kia Super League, making it the third quickest T20 hundred in the game.
Bates moved to her best T20 score of her career and Danni Wyatt (21*) played a cameo role alongside her as the Vipers posted 180-2 at the interval.
The Vipers got off to a good start in reply, with Tash Farrant running out the dangerous Elyse Villani (1) off her own bowling in the very first over of the run chase.
It was soon 14-2 when Matthews (1-29) bowled Amy Jones (11), before Loughborough were in deep trouble when Farrant’s fielding abilities saw the end of Australian all-rounder Ellyse Perry to reduce the hosts to 25-3.
Georgia Elwiss and Sonia Odedrathen rebuilt the innings, but the latter was superbly stumped by Carla Rudd to give Katie George (1-15) her first wicket.
Loughborough kept losing wickets at regular intervals, and Bates’ superb day continued when she dismissed the dangerous Elwiss (32), with the Vipers firmly on top as Loughborough edged to 77-5.
The visitors then took two wickets in as many balls with Bates and Arran Brindle claiming the scalps as the hosts collapsed to 87-7 in the 14th over.
Sarah Glenn (25) played well to get her side into three figures, but lacked support.
Bates continued her memorable day with a superb catch on the boundary to dismiss Beth Langston before Mignon du Preez carried on the Vipers’ impressive fielding by running out Glenn, with Loughborough reeling on 113-9.
A good partnership of 21 for the final wicket followed, but Bates had the final say, as Grundy (12) was run out by Rudd off her bowling as Loughborough were dismissed for 134 off the final ball of the innings.
Southern Vipers secured a bonus point victory whilst maintaining their 100% start to the Kia Super League, and will face a tough test when they host the Surrey Stars on Sunday at the Ageas Bowl.