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All-round Bates sends Vipers into final

Souther Vipers 156 for 4 (Bates 38, McGlashan 34*) beat Loughborough Lightning 97 (Perry 35, Smith 3-16, Brindle 3-24) by 59 runs
Scorecard

Suzie Bates hammered 38 and bagged two wickets as the Southern Vipers stormed to the Kia Super League final with a comprehensive 59-run win over Loughborough Lightning.

Bates gave the Vipers the perfect start with her quick scoring, before Lydia Greenway and Sara McGlashan push the total to 156. With 1200 watching at the Ageas Bowl, Bates then finished off the Lightning innings, after three wickets each for Linsey Smith and Arran Brindle, to give the Vipers four wins from five in the tournament.

The result means Lightning will have to overcome Western Storm on Finals Day to decide who faces the Vipers in the final.

After smashing 73 together for the first wicket against the Western Storm on Friday, Bates and Charlotte Edwards wasted little time reacquainting themselves after skipper Edwards had won the toss and batted.

Bates, in particular, looked in fine form as she biffed cuts and drives to the boundary, before unleashing a massive straight six straight down the ground. Sophie Devine managed to break the partnership on 49 as she had the subdued Edwards lbw with her first ball but Georgia Adams immediately struck back-to-back boundaries to keep the hosts in control.

Bates top-edged a sweep to Thea Brookes at short fine leg for a swift 38 - leaving her one run behind Nat Sciver in the competition's leading run-scorer list - and Adams was caught by a good over-the-head catch by Georgia Elwiss but Greenway and McGlashan led the Vipers to their highest score of the tournament with a 62-run stand.

The pair added quick runs, with the reverse sweep a favourite shot for both, before Greenway was bowled in the last over.

For the Lightning, Evelyn Jones, who had spent the rest of the campaign batting in the lower middle order, was sent up to open and she started well, carving early strokes over the off side.

While Evelyn Jones prospered her partner Dane van Niekerk struggled, however, her torment over when she was bowled coming down the track to Smith. Left-armer Smith, who took four wickets on her first Ageas Bowl appearance earlier in the week, bowled Devine two balls later.

Evelyn Jones was given a life when Katie George spilled a catch on the square leg boundary but an over later she departed leg before to the standout Smith for 33.

Amy Jones and Ellyse Perry attempted to get the Lightning back on track but the run rate slowed to five an over, before Amy Jones was bowled by Brindle. Captain Elwiss was caught by Greenway, Sonia Odedra was run out, and Thea Brookes was stumped to leave the Lightning facing defeat.

Paige Scholfield holed out to deep midwicket off Bates before Beth Langston ramped on to her leg stump to hand the Vipers a third bonus point win from three at home.