Women's Super League: Southern Vipers beat Loughborough to reach final
|Kia Women's Super League semi-final, 1st Central County Ground, Hove|
|Loughborough Lightning 143 (20 overs): Adams 28, Elwiss 28; Bates 3-22|
|Southern Vipers 145-5 (19 overs): Bates 37, Wyatt 31|
Southern Vipers reached their third Super League final with a five-wicket win over Loughborough Lightning.
Loughborough collapsed from 118-4 to 143 all out at Hove, with Suzie Bates taking three wickets in five balls in the final over of their innings.
Bates then made 37 off 25 balls as she and England's Danni Wyatt (31 off 17) began the run chase with a stand of 76.
Tammy Beaumont was bowled by Jenny Gunn for 24, but the Vipers held their nerve to reach 145-5 with an over to spare.
The final against Western Storm will be a repeat of 2016 and 2017, with the two teams winning one each.
Loughborough, last year's beaten finalists, went into the game on a six-match winning streak, and opted to bat after winning the toss.
But, after losing openers Amy Jones and Chamari Atapattu to pacy youngster Lauren Bell (2-23), it was left to the two Georgias - skipper Elwiss and Adams - to rebuild their innings.
Both made 28, but Elwiss was run out attempting a second run by Wyatt, who also took three catches, and Adams holed out off spinner Amanda Wellington.
South Africa's Mignon du Preez hit two sixes in her 21 but her dismissal sparked a Loughborough collapse, which ended with Bates (3-22) removing Sarah Glenn, Lucy Higham and Kirstie Gordon in the final over.
Vipers were cruising while Bates and Wyatt were together, but Loughborough did well to haul themselves back into the game and give themselves half a chance.
Wellington, though, held her nerve with an unbeaten 18 and Paige Scholfield hit the winning boundary.
Southern Vipers captain Tammy Beaumont:
"That was probably our best bowling and fielding performance of the tournament, and that set us up really.
"Danni and Suzie were exceptional in the powerplay. Danni is seeing it beautifully at the moment and Suzie is so experienced and then the middle order managed to see us home.
But we did so well with the ball. At one stage I thought we were going to be chasing 160 on what was a good wicket, so to keep them to 143 was an outstanding effort."
Lightning skipper Georgia Elwiss:
"It's disappointing, but the girls should be proud of what they have done during the whole tournament.
"If one of our top order had gone on to bat through we would probably have got 160-170.
"We dragged it back pretty well because at one stage when Danni and Suzie were going I thought it would be over in the 15th over. We took it deep but unfortunately we just didn't have enough runs at the end."