At the Arundel Castle Cricket Club Ground, Lightning’s captain Kathryn Bryce won the toss and invited the Vipers to bat first. Vipers lost Danielle Wyatt early in the batting innings. Captain Georgia Adams (37) then shared a partnership of 34 runs with Maia Bouchier. Charlotte Dean replaced her captain at the crease in the 12th over and guided Vipers to over a 100 with Paige Scholfield.
For Lightning, Kathryn was the pick of the bowlers as she conceded only 15 runs and took two wickets from her four overs. Teresa Graves played a supporting role giving only 19 runs off her four overs and bagging the wicket of Bouchier.
Chasing 135 for victory, Lightning’s chances were rocked early doors when Kathryn and wicket-keeper Sarah Bryce were back in the pavilion before the end of the power play. Their innings never really got going as Lightning continued to lose wickets in the regular intervals. Only Sonia Odedra (16) and Michaela Kirk (16) could score in double digits.
Tara Norris led the Vipers’ bowling attack with a four-fer while conceding only 14 runs from her four overs. Charlotte Taylor and Georgia Elwiss chipped in with two wickets each. Lightning could only score 88 against the table-toppers and were bowled out on the penultimate ball of the innings.
Over in Canterbury, put into bat, Sparks were in trouble early when they lost two wickets before the end of the power play. Captain Evelyn Jones played lovely innings of 49 but she ran out of partners from the other end. Apart from Jones only Milly Home and Stephanie Butler scored in double digits. Sparks were all out for 117 in the 19th over.
ALSO READ: Magnificent Mithali guides India home in a thriller
For Stars, Capsey took three wickets from three overs including two in the power play. Captain Bryony Smith’s three overs proved crucial as she took two wickets and bowled the only maiden of the match.
Smith started the chase by hitting three boundaries in the first over bowled by Emily Arlott. Her innings was immediately cut short by Issy Wong in the very next over. The chase became tricky when Georgia Davis removed Alice Davidson-Richards and Capsey in the same over, reducing Stars to three for 33 in the fifth over.
Grace Gibbs (33 not out) and Phoebe Franklin (26) shared a patient partnership of 44 runs to stabilise the chase. Gibbs was later supported by Susie Rowe and Kira Chathli as she saw Stars home in the 17th over with five wickets still in hand.
The unbeaten sides from Group ‘A’, Vipers and Stars will lock the horns on July 10.
Southern Vipers 134/7 in 20 overs (Georgia Adams 37, Charlotte Dean 28; Kathryn Bryce 2/15) beat Lightning 88 all out in 19.5 overs (Tara Norris 4/14) by 46 runs
Central Sparks 117 all out in 19 overs (Eve Jones 49, Stephanie Butler 15; Alice Capsey 3/13, Bryony Smith 2/9) lost to South East Stars 118/5 in 16.2 overs (Grace Gibbs 33*, Phoebe Franklin 26; Georgia Davis 3/21) by five wickets