Experience will help as Vipers chase title repeat

Charlotte Edwards believes the Vipers can repeat their success
Charlotte Edwards believes the Vipers can repeat their success
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Charlotte Edwards is backing the Southern Vipers to defend their Kia Super League title – whoever they end up playing.

And the captain says anyone who thinks it’s preferable to have two games at Finals Day is mad!

The 37-year-old former England skipper will lead Vipers against the winner of the semi-final between Western Storm and Surrey Stars at Hove tomorrow.

Vipers finished top and qualified automatically for the final after overtaking Surrey on the last day of group action when they beat Yorkshire Diamonds whilst the Stars were suffering a shock defeat to Loughborough Lightning.

And while Edwards admits she was surprised that Stars slipped up, she is delighted that it means Vipers have just one game to focus on.

‘Any team who would rather play a semi-final first are mad,’ she laughed.

‘We have one game to play and can properly prepare for that. We don’t really mind who it’s against, although we know it will be tough whether it’s Surrey or the Storm.

‘We’ve got experience of Finals Day from last year which will also help us.

‘It’s normally a good wicket at Hove and we’re looking forward to defending our title.

‘We were probably thinking we might have to play in the semi-final before last Saturday.

‘Surrey losing was a surprise but it shows the quality of the tournament.

‘But we are ready and the bonus is that the girls have all had time in the middle now as well.’

While Vipers have relied on their overseas trio of Suzie Bates, Hayley Matthews and Mignon du Preez in the tournament to date, Edwards has been pleased with the improvement of the English players.

‘I think the girls have been outstanding,’ she said.

‘They learn from the likes of Suzie and you can see them putting things into practice in their own game and the way they prepare.

‘At the start of the tournament not many of the girls got time in the middle because Suzie, in particular, was doing so well.

‘That can happen in T20 but they have had game time now and a lot of us then played for our counties on Sunday and Monday as well.’