The all-round excellence of table-topping Southern Vipers proved too much for Lightning as they won by 46 runs in Group A of the Charlotte Edwards Cup at Arundel.
Lightning, chasing 135, were up against it once they lost their captain Kathryn Bryce, who was caught down the leg-side off the bowling of Tara Norris for a belligerent and threatening 13 from 18 deliveries, with two fours, in the sixth over.
Lightning had already lost Kathryn’s younger sister, wicketkeeper and opening batter Sarah Bryce, who was caught at backward-point off Charlotte Taylor for three in the third over.
Once Lightning had fallen behind the rate they couldn’t find a batter to bring them back into the contest, though Sonia Odedra and, later, Michaela Kirk struck some defiant blows with 16 apiece. The most successful Vipers bowler was Norris, with four wickets for 14 runs as the team made it two wins out of two.
Southern Vipers captain Georgia Adams (37 from 38 balls) and Charlotte Dean (28 off 24) had the led the way in a total of 134 for seven when play started 36 minutes late because of damp conditions, with Lightning choosing to field.
Adams should have been easily run out in the first over, but the fielder threw to the wrong end.
Lightning did break through with the third ball of the third over, when Danni Wyatt flicked Kathryn Bryce to Michaela Kirk at deep midwicket, but Adams took advantage of her reprieve to top score with some powerful drives. She twice drove Sonia Odedra for four in the fifth over to properly launch the Vipers innings.
The Vipers lost the very promising and England-tipped Maia Bouchier, who chipped a simple return catch after making 13 from 20 deliveries, and at the halfway point they were 51 for two.
Adams clearly thought some acceleration was needed, and she hit Nancy Harman for three fours as 16 came from the 11th over, but she was lbw to Odedra in the following over.
The 100 came up in the 17th over before some heavy blows from Dean, supported by Paige Schofield, led them to a target which proved more than enough.
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