Suzie Bates clattered an unbeaten 47 after taking two cheap wickets as Southern Vipers’ defence of the Kia Super League got off to the perfect start - with a bonus-point win against last year’s runners-up.

Bates, currently ranked the world’s second-best T20 player, blew Storm away as the hosts chased down 70 inside nine overs.

Homegrown seamer Katie George, from Romsey, also impressed in fran Ageas Bowl.

The left-armer had Fran Wilson caught at the wicket during an excellent spell (4-0-15-1) from the Hotel End.

Storm, who lost the 2016 final to the Vipers, struggled after being put in, but it took until the third over before Natasha Farrant found a tiny outside edge behind.

Left-arm spinner Linsey Smith began by bowling England captain Heather Knight.

Georgia Hennessey struck a huge six over long-on – in a 16-run over off Arran Brindle - but was soon lbw to Suzie Bates’ second ball before Stafanie Taylor drilled straight to a juggling Charlotte Edwards at mid-off.

Sophie Luff was run out by an Edwards direct hit, Alice MacLeod was caught and bowled by Bates and Jodie Dibble run out by Brindle.

After Hayley Matthews bowled Claire Nicholas, Freya Davies was caught short by Smith's phenomenal boundary throw.

Bates, who finished with 3-0-8-2, hit six fours and two sixes in her unbeaten 31-ball 47, after narrowly avoiding a stumping on 0.