Report & Reaction: Southern Vipers v South East Stars, CEC

Read the match report & hear reaction from Southern Vipers' Charlotte Edwards Cup match against South East Stars at The 1st Central County Ground

Maia Bouchier led the way with a career-best 93 as Southern Vipers warmed up for the defence of their title with a crushing 113 runs victory over South East Stars in the Charlotte Edwards Cup.

The 25-year-old opener needed just 55 balls to make the second-highest score in this season’s competition as Vipers posted 179 for five in a game between two sides who were already through to Finals Day in Derby on Saturday.

Stars finished second after suffering only their second defeat in the group stage but they will need to regroup having been bowled out for just 66, the second-lowest completed total in this season’s competition. Charlie Dean led the way with 3 for 5, Linsey Smith took 3 for 12 and Charli Knott 2 for 11 as nine of the wickets fell to spin.

A crowd of 3,000 including children from 70 local schools generated a lively atmosphere and Bouchier treated them to a special innings with shots all around the wicket.

A curious powerplay saw Vipers reach 50 for one with Bouchier hitting 32 off those runs from just seven balls. She hit the first five deliveries of the fourth over from Emily Jones to the boundary before twice lofting Tash Farrant over the ropes in the sixth.

In between there was a maiden from 16-year-old left-arm spinner Tilly Corteen-Coleman, who again impressed with her control and picked up a deserve wicket when Knott was beaten in the flight.

Bouchier reached her fifty off 27 balls during a productive stand of 76 in nine overs with skipper Georgia Adams.

Adams made the most of being put down by Alexa Stonehouse on 13 – a difficult chance as she ran in from deep backward square – to contribute 39 before an attempted ramp was held at backward point.

It gave Farrant a second wicket after she’d picked up Danni Wyatt in the second over with a slower ball that Wyatt chipped to mid-on.

Bouchier seemed to be making serene progress to a hundred, but in the 16th over she made her only mistake, missing a reverse sweep to give Stars’ skipper Bryony Smith a wicket with her second ball. Bouchier hit 11 fours and three sixes.

Freya Kemp swelled the total with 30 off 14 balls at the end and Stars’ miserable chase never recovered after they lost three wickets in the powerplay.

Smith looked like she meant business, taking four boundaries off Freya Davies in the opening over of the reply. But after she was stumped for 22 trying to hit slow left-armer Linsey Smith over the top in the second over the innings nosedived. The next highest contribution was Stonehouse’s nine.

Paige Schofield missed a sweep, Smith picked up Tarrant and Kalea Moore in the final over of the powerplay before Dean added to Stars’ pain by bowling Alice Davidson-Richards and Jones with successive balls in the ninth over.

There was no way back for Stars from 44 for 6 and off-spinner Knott finished things off in the 14th over.

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