Skipper Adams hits imperious century as Southern Vipers reach Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy final

Georgia Adams smashed the highest score of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy to send her Southern Vipers side to the final with a 32 run victory over Western Storm.

Southern Vipers Georgia Adams
Southern Vipers Georgia Adams

Vipers skipper Adams notched an imperious unbeaten 154, the seventh highest top-tier List A score in English domestic cricket, while struggling with cramp in her calf for the last third of her innings.

Adams, who is the tournament’s leading scorer with 379 runs, was brilliantly partnered by teenager Ella McCaughan (63) and Maia Bouchier (50 not out) in century stands as Vipers crashed 288 for one.

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And after Charlie Dean’s 3-50 and Charlotte Taylor's 4-41, Vipers maintained their 100 per cent record to set up a date at Edgbaston on September 27 with a game to spare.

From the moment Adams won the toss and elected to bat, she only left the playing field for a brief mid-innings break as she dominated the Storm bowling.

She and McCaughan attacked early with 57 coming off the powerplay, and the 100-partnership, the pair’s second together in three stands, needed only 127 balls to set an impressive foundation.

Adams reached her half-century first, in 64 balls, and was quickly followed by her 17-year-old partner in 84 deliveries, as the due put away the bad balls but rotated off good ones.

Adams was dropped at long-on by Georgia Hennessy but that proved the only blip in an outstanding innings, as the opening stand reached 155 – the second highest of the competition.

McCaughan was bowled when attempting a ramp but Bouchier seamlessly arrived and immediately struck at around a run-a-ball, her fifty coming in 47 balls.

But Adams was the main attraction and despite her injury, reached her century in 128 balls with a runner, before helping to add 90 in the last 10 overs to take her past an incredible 150.

The Storm lost top-order batters Lauren Parfitt, Fi Morris and Hennessy in six overs to Charlie Dean and Paige Scholfield to stunt the response to 60 for three.

A brilliant 129 run stand between captain Sophie Luff and wicketkeeper Nat Wraith put the game back in the balance.

But Dean had Wraith stumped before a flurry of wickets saw Storm bowled out for 256 off the final ball.

Southern Vipers batter and captain Adams: “We have worked so hard and have a great environment. I’m chuffed to bits for the girls that we have managed to get there, and so soon!

“We would have taken 288 at the beginning of the day. We knew they would be a hard team to beat and knew the Vipers and the Storm have a lot of history.

“To get a win and a big win like that I am lost for words, I’m just so pleased for the girls.

“I would have liked a new calf at one stage! The deck was so good and you can’t get knocks like that without support from the other girls.

“The partnership with Ella McCloughan was vital. To have that partnership allows someone in the team to go big, and then in the end Maia made it easy for me.

“We kept laughing because I kept saying ‘I’m going to go for it now’ and then I kept finding the middle of the bat. I’ll take that!

“I’ve never normally be the one to cramp up. I am really glad I pulled through and was on the field for all 50 overs fielding.

“The way we are playing at the moment we are really confident and aren’t a one-man show and can take whatever is thrown at us.”

Western Storm batter and captain Sophie Luff: “It was a tough ask to chase 288 but to get within 33 was a good effort from the girls. IT was a decent deck and the outfield was quick so we knew we’d get value for our runs.

“Adams batted particularly well. Once she got to a hundred she got a license to do what she wanted and played with the field.

“She made it difficult for our bowlers and outfielders.

“I wasn’t concerned about the rate going up and I thought if we could keep it below eights then we had a chance.

“Nat batted beautifully. She’s an exciting player and hits the ball nice and hard. Hopefully there is more to come from here.

“I am lucky to be on a good run of form and hoping that continues to the last game. I’m happy I am contributing to this team; it is what I’ve been talking about in terms of leading.

“I don’t see the last game as a dead rubber. We can’t qualify now – which is disappointing because we are used to being successful at Storm – but there is an opportunity for the young girls in the squad to see what they can do and the ones who have been playing for one more chance this season."