Kia Super League: Suzie Bates hits first century in tournament
New Zealander smashes 63 ball-century as Vipers beat Lightning
Last Updated: 15/08/17 8:39pm
Southern Vipers' Suzie Bates became the first woman to hit a Kia Super League hundred as she put Loughborough Lightning's bowlers to the sword during a 46-run win in Derby.
The New Zealand captain (119no off 72 balls) reached her century from just 63 deliveries and smote 15 fours and four sixes as the defending champions racked up 180-2, the best total in KSL history.
South Africa's Dane van Niekerk hit the highest score in the inaugural KSL, her innings of 91 for Lightning coming against Surrey Stars and lifting her side to the now second-highest tally in the competition of 168-6.
Van Niekerk - who signed up to play for Vipers this term before withdrawing due to injury - proved a big loss for Lightning on Tuesday afternoon as they slumped to 134 all out and a second straight loss to start the campaign, with Bates bagging 3-15.
Lightning, who lost their opener to Western Storm on Saturday by five wickets, had Australia batsmen, Elyse Villani (1) and Ellyse Perry (6), run out by Tash Farrant - Villani falling backing up as the seamer finger-tipped the ball onto the stumps.
Bates followed her devastating assault with the bat by bowling Lightning skipper Georgia Elwiss (32) with her second delivery, before pinning Lucy Higham lbw for a golden duck and having Rebecca Grundy (12) stumped off the last ball of the match.
Bates also caught Beth Langston (3) one-handed after a juggle on the boundary as Vipers, who thrashed Storm by nine wickets in Southampton on Thursday in their first game, cemented top spot in the table with a second bonus-point win.
WHAT THEY SAID
Player of the Match (Suzie Bates - Southern Vipers)
"That's why you play cricket - to be able go out there and free your arms. Our coaches encourage us to play with freedom and when you get a couple away early, you want to keep going."
Charlotte Edwards (Southern Vipers captain)
"Suzie was really good for us last year but that was one of the best knocks I have ever seen in T20 cricket - the power, the placement. T20 cricket suits her but she has evolved as a player and that was on show today. It was great for us to watch her."
Georgia Elwiss (Loughborough Lightning captain)
"Our seamers probably didn't hit the areas we wanted and that is something we will have to go away and look at, but Batesy was phenomenal - everything she touched turned to gold. A couple of half-chances could have gone our way but credit to her as she played brilliantly."
WHAT NEXT FOR BOTH SIDES?
Lightning welcome Yorkshire Diamonds to the Haselgrave Ground (4pm, Friday), while Vipers entertain Stars at The Ageas Bowl (2.30pm, Sunday).
NEXT ON SKY SPORTS...
HOW DOES THE KSL WORK?
The six sides - Storm, Lightning, Vipers, Stars, Diamonds and Thunder - play each other once in the group stage, either home or away.
The top three teams then advance to Final Days at Hove on Friday, September 1, where the second and third-placed teams square off for the right to take on the league leaders in the final.