Kia Super League

Western Storm 123-5 beat Lancashire Lightning 122-5 by five wickets

WESTERN STORM secured their place at Friday's Kia Super League finals day after they defeated Lancashire Lightning and the Yorkshire Vikings lost at Southern Vipers.

Rachel Priest's quickfire 52 and Sophie Luff's unbeaten 24 helped the Storm surpass Lancashire's 122-5 in Bristol, with Yorkshire's defeat ensuring the Storm were able to leapfrog the White Rose outfit and seal the third and final qualification spot.

Having won the toss and opted to field, the hosts picked up their first wicket with the penultimate ball of the third over as Freya Davies (2-24) had Australian international Jess Jonassen caught by Alice Macleod.

Spinners Claire Nicholas and Jodie Dibble then brought about a quick double breakthrough, with Evelyn Jones (21) caught by Fran Wilson off the former and Natasha Miles then hitting her own wicket from the bowling of Dibble as Lancashire slipped to 41-3.

Amy Satterthwaite and Emma Lamb added 69 for the fourth wicket, but Storm kept the run rate in check with economical bowling from Stafanie Taylor (0-22 off four) and Heather Knight, who conceded just four runs from her two overs.

Davies had Satterthwaite stumped by Rachel Priest for 41 to claim her second wicket before Anya Shrubsole (1-28) dismissed Danielle Hazell with the final ball of the innings, which finished with Lancashire on 122-5.

Rachel Priest and Heather Knight got the reply off to a flyer, adding 60 in just 5.2 overs before the England captain departed for 12.

Then came a wobble for the Storm, who lost three wickets for the addition of just one run as the innings stalled after the powerplay.

Fran Wilson (6) was followed back to the pavilion by Priest, who hit seven 4s and three 6s in her brutal 52, and Stafanie Taylor's subsequent departure without scoring left the hosts on 73-4.

Somerset's Sophie Luff teamed up with Georgia Hennessy to add 40 for the fifth wicket and ease the tension, though Hennessy's dismissal for 16 meant there was still work to be done.

It was routine in the end, however, as Alice Macleod (5*) joined Luff - who finished unbeaten on a run-a-ball 24 - to see the Storm over the line with 2.5 overs to spare.

Then came the nervous wait to see how Yorkshire had fared but, once news arrived of their 30-run defeat, the Storm could celebrate reaching finals day for the second consecutive year.

They are likely to face the Southern Vipers in the last four in what would be a re-run of last year's final, though the Vipers will top the group and seal an automatic place in the final if they claim a bonus-point victory over Yorkshire in the last group match.

Surrey Stars, who currently top the group, are the third team to have made it through to Friday's showpiece occasion, which takes place at Hove.