Jones, Villani settle nerves and seal Lightning's second win

Elyse Villani sweeps Getty Images

Loughborough Lightning 109 for 4 (Jones 35, Villani 35) beat Southern Vipers 105 (Beaumont 37) by six wickets

Amy Jones and Elyse Villani carefully claimed a crucial 71-run stand helped Loughborough Lightning begin their Kia Super League title mount with back-to-back wins.

The third-wicket stand saw both Jones and Villani score 35 as the Lightning beat last year's runners-up Southern Vipers by six wickets.

Sophie Devine skippered in place of Georgia Elwiss, who wasn't available for selection for personal reasons, and won the toss - and decided to bowl on a sun-drenched dry wicket.

Devine justified her own selection straight away as she won the battle of the New Zealand openers when she had Suzie Bates lbw, attempting to play through the leg side.

Bates' opening partner Danni Wyatt departed three overs later when she creamed a drive straight to former Vipers teammate Georgia Adams at cover.

Despite the wickets, Tammy Beaumont was looking assure as she continued her form - having begun the campaign with an unbeaten 62.

The England star got off the mark with a streaky inside-edge for four but started to ooze quality with a 36-ball 37 and wagon-wheel full of boundaries.

Meanwhile, the slow nature of the pitch forced frustrated shots out of Mignon du Preez, caught splicing to point, Beaumont snaffled at cover and Sara McGlashan lbw.

That left the Vipers 73 for five after 14 overs, with hopes of a recovery slim due to accurate bowling - especially from Sarah Glenn, who boasted impeccable figures of one for 14.

Arran Brindle attempted to steady the ship with a calming 19, but Amelia Kerr was well caught at cover, before Brindle was run out and Paige Scholfield was snared on the long-on boundary.

The collapse concluded with Carla Rudd bowled attempting a scoop to hand Devine a analysis of three for 21, and then Fi Morris was stumped as the Lightning bowled the Vipers out with four balls to spare.

Chasing 105, Devine crashed the game's first six with a massive flick over the square-leg ropes.

Rachael Haynes also got off to a flier with a pair of boundaries, but she and Devine both fell in back-to-back balls.

Haynes was caught by Wyatt at cover as she skewed leg-spinner Kerr, before Devine was leg before to Natasha Farrant.

Scoring then resumed to its slow rate, mainly due to Kerr's miserly bowling which only saw six runs come off her four overs, as Jones and Villani re-built.

The pair methodically went about completing the chase, with Jones getting dropped on 20 by Brindle the only blemish in a 71-run stand.

But with 11 runs required Villani was stumped off Morris, and Jones was run out in the space of three deliveries.

But Jenny Gunn and Adams overcame the stumble and saw their side home with seven balls to spare to keep up their 100 per cent record.

Lightning 2nd innings Partnerships

24SFM DevineRL Haynes
0SFM DevineAE Jones
71EJ VillaniAE Jones
1GL AdamsAE Jones
13JL GunnGL Adams