Coach Nick Denning admits it’s been a tough Kia Super League campaign for Southern Vipers.
But Denning remains positive and isn’t ruling out his side making a late charge for third place and a spot at Finals Day.
Vipers haven’t had their problems to seek during the campaign with injuries ruling out Tammy Beaumont, Arran Brindle, Katie George and Tash Farrant – the latter two for the rest of the tournament – while Danni Wyatt had to take time away from the squad for personal reasons.
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But despite Saturday’s washout in Bristol against Western Storm they are still not totally out of the running, although they will need to win at Hove on Tuesday (2.30) when they take on Surrey Stars and again when they complete their campaign at home to Lancashire Thunder at the Ageas Bowl on Saturday.
Denning said: “It certainly hasn’t been plain sailing but I think we’ve played better than our results possibly suggest.
“We’ve been involved in quite a few close games where small margins make the difference and we’ve not been able to come out on top whereas last season we managed to win the close ones and when you do it gives you even more confidence as a team.
“Obviously things like injuries are something you cannot control. But those that have come in are expected to perform. If you’re part of the squad and want to be part of that environment then it’s an opportunity to show you can handle the pressure.”
England batsman Tammy Beaumont, who is Vipers’ top scorer with 164 runs at an average of 41 despite missing three games, says they won’t give up until it’s mathematically impossible for them to reach Finals Day. And they have good memories of Hove, after beating Stars at Finals Day there last year before losing to Storm in the final.
“Everything has gone against us in terms of injuries so far but we have to get on with it,” she said. “At the beginning of the competition we were looking to Finals Day but now we are just taking each game as it comes but if we play like we did when we beat Diamonds last Wednesday for the remaining games who knows?”
Skipper Suzie Bates added: "All we can do is win our remaining games and hope it's enough."