Southern Vipers’ onslaught against the South East Stars is led by Danni Wyatt

Danni Wyatt tees off

Southern Vipers, champions of the Charlotte Edwards Cup, defeated South East Stars by six wickets thanks in large part to Danni Wyatt‘s 40 off 20 balls as they started their defense.

Wyatt, the opening batter, pounced on five fours and two sixes to get Vipers rolling in their pursuit of 170, the biggest successful chase in Charlotte Edwards Cup history.

In front of watching England head coach Jon Lewis, who is due to start Women’s Ashes preparations, Bryony Smith and Sophia Dunkley recorded thrilling half-centuries while Maia Bouchier shone with a quick-fire 30 and Lauren Bell claimed 2 for 25 for Vipers. However, Vipers crossed the finish line with seven balls remaining thanks to Georgia Elwiss and Charlie Dean.

Following a Vipers stick-in, it was Dunkley who started the first-wicket blitz with a drilled boundaries off her first delivery, but Smith soon grabbed control. At the scenic and welcoming Falkland Cricket Club, the Stars captain struck the ball with brutality on a stout hard track with a speedy outfield.

The boundary was lined with roughly 400 onlookers, including 160 pupils from nearby schools, many of whom used the net facilities and honed their cricketing talents. As Smith sped to her half-century in 26 balls with her 11th four, everyone applauded her accomplishment.

Vipers presented several opportunities. Dunkley was dropped on balls 35 and 36, and Linsey Smith couldn’t hold off a Smith skier before smashing back-to-back sixes as 200 appeared likely.

The only way to separate the openers was by their own misadventure, which occurred when Smith was run out for 83 by Alice Monaghan, who speared in a toss from deep square leg. It brought an end to a 134-run stand and precipitated a slump in which only 35 runs were made and six wickets were lost in the final six overs.

Dunkley took 42 balls to reach her first half-century in the Charlotte Edwards Cup and her 11th in T20s, but she was quickly caught behind, giving herself a chance to cut.

In the penultimate over, Bell bowled Alice Davidson-Richards, Tash Farrant, and Kira Chathli to claim three wickets, leaving the visitors on 169 after Paige Scholfield had spooned to deep square leg.

The Vipers’ opening players, Bouchier and Wyatt, played the power play similarly to the Stars. Before the third over ended, both players had reached their maximums, as their fifty-run stand came in just 24 balls.

Wyatt went into overdrive with an easy hoick for a second six as the Vipers sprinted to 79 for one off the powerplay. Bouchier, like Smith, was run out in full flow for an 18-ball 30, but Wyatt kicked into overdrive.

Before Wyatt skewed to backward point for 40 as Stars dragged things back in the middle overs, Australian Nicole Faltum was beautifully taken at cover by Dunkley.

Georgia’s Adams and Elwiss gave the Vipers a 48-run run-streak that put them back in charge, but the former was the fourth batter to be run out with 29 runs still required.

The rate was roughly a run-a-ball until the final few balls due to the earlier heavy scoring, and Elwiss and Dean skillfully guided their team to victory while handing Stars their second loss in as many games.