SOUTHERN Vipers wicketkeeper Rhianna Southby claimed her side "were probably 20 to 30 runs short" in their Charlotte Edwards Cup defeat to South East Stars.

The Vipers scored 142 for six in their 20 overs but their opponents knocked off the runs with 11 balls to spare.

Southby and Alice Monaghan shared an unbeaten seventh-wicket stand of 69 to get their side up to a competitive-looking total.

But it ultimately was not enough as 50s from Sophia Dunkley and Paige Scholfield in the run chase meant the hosts were able to chase down the target.

Southby insisted: "Unfortunately we just didn’t get enough up top today. That happens, but then it’s up to the lower order to pick up the pieces, that’s part of the game.

“Alice and myself tried to put together a competitive total, but we were probably 20 to 30 runs short.

“They are a team that can go hard from the start and that’s exactly what they did – the way they constructed their innings was really professional, so full credit to them for that.

"Our little fightback at the end is good for us but unfortunately a bit too late.

“There’s still belief in the changing room. We are a team that has a never-say-die attitude and we’ll keep fighting until someone tells us we can’t fight anymore.”

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South East Stars spinner Danielle Gregory took three for 23 during the Southern Vipers innings and she was pleased with her side's victory at the Oval.

She said: "We have been playing some great T20 cricket and we’re in a good position at the top of the table, so it’s nice to be able to contribute to a good team win.

"We just want to keep getting those wins under our belts and hopefully the finals shouldn’t be too far out of our reach.

"If I’m honest, I think we potentially gave them 10-15 runs too many but T20 cricket ebbs and flows and we can’t complain."

The defeat leaves Southern Vipers fifth in the table after losing three of their opening five games in the competition.

They will look to move up the table when they visit Old Trafford on Friday to face Lancashire Thunder.