Southern Vipers hold nerve for two-wicket win after Danni Wyatt's 40

Danielle Wyatt plays one to the off side Getty Images

Southern Vipers 136 for 8 (Wyatt 40, Taylor 38, Glenn 2-22) beat Loughborough Lightning 135 for 5 (Elwiss 37) by two wickets

Southern Vipers made it two wins from two in the Kia Super League after narrowly prevailing over Loughborough Lightning at the Haslegrave Ground.

Needing just 24 more with six wickets in hand in the 17th over, Vipers contrived to lose four wickets in the space of 16 deliveries as Lightning mounted a determined bid to deny them. But wicketkeeper Carla Rudd got them over the line by hitting offspinner Hayley Matthews for two on the leg side to complete a two-wicket win with just three balls to spare, chasing 136.

England's Danni Wyatt had earlier hit 40 off 33 balls with seven fours and West Indies star Stafanie Taylor 38 from 29 to put the Vipers chase on track.

Lightning, for whom skipper Georgia Elwiss top-scored with 37, gave themselves a chance when England left-arm spinner Kirstie Gordon removed Suzie Bates and Tammy Beaumont in her first three deliveries after coming on in the eighth over with Vipers 48 without loss. But seven boundaries in the next three overs put Vipers back on course with 57 runs needed off the final nine overs.

Earlier, openers Matthews and Amy Jones had given the Lightning innings a solid platform after Elwiss had won the toss and opted to bat first.

With Jones in confident form after launching her KSL campaign with a half-century against Western Storm on Tuesday, and Matthews showing off her powerful hitting on the off side, the two put on 42 in the Powerplay overs before they were parted in the seventh over when Matthews was bowled behind her legs by Australian legspinner Amanda-Jade Wellington for 21.

Thereafter, Lightning lost some momentum, as Jones was bowled off a bottom edge by Paige Scholfield for 24 and five overs passed without a boundary.

Sri Lankan batsman Chamari Atapattu struggled to find gaps in the field and was leg before to Taylor's offspin for 9 and the innings did not pick up again until the final six overs, as Mignon du Preez - dropped twice - helped Elwiss put on 29 in four overs, and some lusty hitting from Jenny Gunn saw the total swell by 27 off the final 13 deliveries, Gunn pulling Taylor for six over wide long-on.

With a required run-rate of 6.8, Vipers knew they had no need to force the pace and at 48 without loss after seven overs, they were firmly in control.

Two wickets in her first three balls by Gordon after drawing a blank in the opening match then dealt the Vipers a setback. She broke the Wyatt-Bates opening partnership via a catch at deep midwicket to remove the New Zealander and then combined brilliantly with wicketkeeper Jones to have England's always-dangerous Beaumont out stumped without scoring.

But Wyatt and Taylor then added 31 in four overs to keep the scoreboard moving.

Atapattu had Wyatt well caught by Sarah Glenn at deep backward square-leg and Glenn herself trapped Taylor leg before with her legspin.

Excellent ground fielding by Lucy Higham and Elwiss saw Thea Brookes and Scholfield run out as Vipers made things difficult for themselves towards the end before two more wickets fell in the penultimate over. But a six by Scholfield over long-on at the start of that over had swung the balance back in Vipers' favour and Wellington began the final over, with seven needed, by sweeping Matthews for four.

Vipers 2nd innings Partnerships

1st49SW BatesDN Wyatt
2nd0DN WyattTT Beaumont
3rd31DN WyattSR Taylor
4th11SR TaylorTF Brookes
5th21SR TaylorME Bouchier
6th4PJ ScholfieldME Bouchier
7th13A WellingtonPJ Scholfield
8th0A WellingtonNE Farrant
9th7A WellingtonCE Rudd

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