Suzie Bates scored an unbeaten 119 off 72 deliveries including 15 fours and four sixes. © Getty Images

Suzie Bates scored an unbeaten 119 off 72 deliveries including 15 fours and four sixes. © Getty Images

Suzie Bates, the Southern Vipers opener, slammed an unbeaten 119 in just 72 deliveries against Loughborough Lightning in Derby on Tuesday (August 15) to become the first centurion at the Women’s Super League in the tournament’s two-season history.

Bates, the New Zealand captain, hit 15 fours and four sixes during the course of her innings, going past the previous tournament highest – Dane van Niekerk’s 91 for Lightning in the first edition – to race to her century in 63 deliveries. Her knock helped Vipers reach a towering 180 for 2 in their 20 overs, also the highest team total to date in the tournament.

Key stats
* Bates’s 119 not out is the highest individual score in the history of the WSL
* Suzie Bates scored 66.11% of her team’s total
* Southern Vipers’ 180/2 is the highest team total in WSL history
* Southern Vipers scored 63 in the batting Power Play, the best in WSL history
* Hayley Matthews’s contribution in the opening partnership of 83 with Bates was just 12

The magnitude of her knock can be judged from the fact that the next highest score in the Vipers innings was Danielle Wyatt’s 21.

If that wasn’t enough in terms of contribution, Bates picked up three wickets with her medium pace afterwards, including the important scalp of Georgia Elwiss, the Lightning captain, and took a one-handed catch at the boundary as Lightning were dismissed for 134 for a 46-run win.

The result made it two in two for Vipers, the defending champions, while Lightning have now lost both their games this season.

“I’ve never scored a hundred in T20 and I don’t think I’ve hit the ball cleaner and had things go my way like that in any innings,” said Bates soon after her stirring performance. “The way this team is set up allows me to play with freedom and when you’ve got that licence it shows what you can do on a good wicket.”

Bates is the leading run-scorer of the tournament at the moment with 166 runs in two games without being dismissed even once, and is also the joint-highest wicket-taker along with Stafanie Taylor with five wickets.