Southern Vipers 118 for 4 (Bates 45*, Brindle 45*) beat Yorkshire Diamonds 64 (Smith 4-10) by
Linsey Smith recorded the Kia Super League's best bowling figures so far as Southern Vipers beat Yorkshire Diamonds by 54 runs to qualify for Finals Day. Berkshire left-armer Smith ended with 4 for 10 to back up a match-winning 99-run stand between Suzie Bates and Arran Brindle in front of 1000 fans at the Ageas Bowl.
The Vipers set 119 to win, before bowling the Diamonds out with four overs to spare, making them the first club to be eliminated after three defeats from three.
Charlotte Edwards, who was not able to bat in the opening game after suffering a concussion that subsequently forced her to miss the win against the Thunder, but she finally got out to the middle after winning the toss and batting. Her innings was short lived, though, as she edged former England team-mate Katherine Brunt's awayswinger behind.
The Vipers were two down in the next over when pacy Shabnim Ismail struck with her first delivery, Izzy Collis lbw. The Diamonds had the hosts on the ropes at 9 for 3 when Sara McGlashan pushed Brunt to first slip, and then 19 for 4 as Lydia Greenway, who had been dropped at slip with the score on 10, reverse swept Katie Levick to short third man.
But international veterans Brindle - who retired from England duty in 2014 - and New Zealand captain Bates turned the innings around with a much-needed partnership, on a tricky to bat on slow track.
The ICC's No. 2-ranked T20 batsman, Bates slowly batted herself in and was rewarded by being able to play her shots at the end. She finished up with an unbeaten, run-a-ball 45, having smashed the final delivery for a six over midwicket, while Brindle made an equally handy 45 to take the Vipers to a competitive total of 118 for 4.
Lauren Winfield got the chase off to a good start by rocking on to the back foot and hammering a pair of boundaries off Morna Nielsen. But the England opener drilled Bates straight to Brindle at midwicket without scoring another run, and Edwards ran out Hollie Armitage to leave the Diamonds struggling on 19 for 2.
Wickets continued to fall as Smith deceived Alice Davidson-Richards to have her stumped. Beth Mooney, who kept the score ticking with 17, was dropped at midwicket by McGlashan, who required a visit by the physio, but Alex Blackwell was brilliantly caught and bowled by Smith.
Mooney was bowled backing away to Nielsen before Jenny Gunn was bowled by Smith. Medium-pacer Smith, on her second appearance, picked up her fourth wicket when she had Brunt caught at backward point. Stephanie Butler was caught behind and Levick spooned to Brindle as Yorkshire were bowled out for 64 to hand the Vipers another home bonus point win.