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    McCaughan's fifty-run contribution enabled the Vipers to secure back-to-back victories
McCaughan's fifty-run contribution enabled the Vipers to secure back-to-back victories
Ella McCaughan swings one away over the leg side. Source: PA Images

McCaughan's fifty-run contribution enabled the Vipers to secure back-to-back victories

Ella McCaughan achieved a significant milestone, reaching 1,000 runs with the Southern Vipers. This accomplishment helped her team secure consecutive victories in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.

Opener McCaughan was assertive in her 97-ball 83, with Charli Knott continuing her promising start to life in the UK with 40 runs, as Vipers totalled 287.

The Diamonds initially faltered, but Lauren Winfield-Hill's 63 and Erin Burn's 45 helped to stabilise the situation. However, the team then encountered another setback, with Charlie Dean claiming 4 for 34.

The rain brought an end to the proceedings, with Diamonds 70 runs short of the DLS target of 232. This result brought an end to Diamonds' winning start to the season.

Diamonds captain Hollie Armitage adopted a strategy of batting first, despite the inclement weather and the benefits of chasing with DLS. However, McCaughan and Maia Bouchier began the innings poorly, as if they were up against some rain.

The pair had accumulated 50 runs inside eight overs, with McCaughan playing a pivotal role in the partnership. She demonstrated her ability to execute a series of impressive shots, including a cut, drive, and cover drive combination in the third over off Lizzie Scott.

The 21-year-old had a strike rate of 55.77 in List A matches prior to this match, but achieved her sixth Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy half-century with a series of powerful shots.

Bouchier was dismissed on 14 at gully, one of four players dropped across the Vipers innings. She fell for an entertaining 26 when she top-edged Phoebe Turner, giving the medium pacer her first wicket.

Knott maintained the fast pace with well-judged dabs to the third boundary, as the Australian followed up her 41 and 58 not out in her opening two Viper appearances with a run-a-ball 40.

​​The conclusion of her 93-run partnership with McCaughan, coupled with the pair's departure in consecutive overs, initiated a comeback for Diamonds that prevented Vipers from reaching 300.

Emily Windsor, Freya Kemp, Charlie Dean and Georgia Adams all made an impact in their respective roles, but were unable to match the performance of the top order.

Australian Burns began to find good turn, which resulted in the dismissal of Windsor and Kemp, for her 2 for 56, while Phoebe Turner completed her back-to-back three-wicket hauls when she had Adams caught behind.

The Vipers' score of 287 for 9 could have been higher, but Linsey Smith's bowling of Emma Marlow in the sixth over gave them early control of the reply.

In response, Marlow, who was opening in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy for the first time with Sterre Kalis on international duty, was dismissed by Smith.

Dean dismissed Armitage and Bess Heath in quick succession, as the chase struggled to gain momentum.

Winfield-Hill and Burns initiated a positive shift in the team's performance with a robust partnership at the fourth wicket.

Former England opener Winfield-Hill demonstrated her batting prowess by easily finding the gaps to achieve her second fifty of the campaign, which came in at 54, despite being dropped on 9.

The partnership with Burns reached 82, and had almost caught up with the DLS target, before a series of dismissals brought an end to the Diamonds' hopes.

Burns was caught at short third, Winfield-Hill was caught at deep midwicket, Phoebe Turner was bowled out, and Leah Dobson missed a straight one to give Dean her fourth wicket.

Following a period of light rainfall, the players were taken off the field just after 4 p.m. due to heavier precipitation, with the DLS target at 232.

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