SOUTHERN Vipers’ Georgia Elwiss could hardly contain her excitement after reaching the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy final, admitting: “Getting straight through to the final has been a big ambition of ours.”

Her side beat Northern Diamonds by five wickets with seven balls to spare at the Ageas Bowl in order to book a final date and a chance to defend their title.

Elwiss steered her team home in a difficult chase for the second consecutive match, following up last week’s century with a superb unbeaten 84 off 77 balls.

Speaking after the occasion, she said: “It’s been a long season and getting straight through to the final has been a big ambition of ours. Thankfully we did that.

“I’ve had some great conversations with Lottie (Charlotte Edwards) as well and she’s really helped me, about making sure that I’m the one that sees the team over the line.

“I now see myself as a senior player - I’ve got to that age where I feel responsible for getting us over the line, so it’s nice to be able to do that, and the team are very happy.

“Lauren Bell was magnificent. We actually challenged her to have the quickest over, and so she tightened up on her wides, got through, and she won the award.

“She was magnificent. She’s been bowling well all season and she’s really put that whole performance together in her 10 overs today.

“We bowled really well for half of our overs and then we let them get away. At the halfway stage we knew it was going to be a difficult chase, but they’re missing a couple of their important bowlers so we knew if we stuck in long enough we’d be able to pick off bad balls off their lesser bowlers.

“I’ve had a lean run of form over the summer so I felt like I needed to repay the Vipers a little bit. It’s nice to spend some time in the middle and it’s amazing what happens when you give yourself a chance.”

Georgia Adams hit 80 as Vipers won the tournament at Edgbaston in 2020 to make her comfortably the highest run scorer of the competition, and Elwiss wants to repeat the winning feat again this time around.

She added: “We’re very, very keen to defend the title. We’ll have training on Wednesday and we know it’s one last big push.

“We’ll keep a close eye on what happens on Wednesday, with our feet up a little bit, and then rest and recover for Saturday.”