Northern Diamonds 124 (Jones 3-23) beat Thunder 99 (Levick 3-25) by 25 runs
Northern Diamonds overcame significant injury and unavailability issues to beat cross-Pennine rivals Thunder by 25 runs at Headingley and keep their Charlotte Edwards Cup Finals Day hopes alive.
The Diamonds moved into second place in Group B with a second win in four games, this including a bonus point. They are behind leaders Southern Vipers with two still to play. The top teams in each of the two groups qualify plus the best second-placed finisher. Thunder have now lost three from four, only beating the Diamonds at Sale. They are not mathematically out of the equation but could be by tonight.
The Diamonds, having won the toss, made a steady start on a true pitch. Kalis led the way, but she hoisted Hartley to long-on, leaving the score at 61 for 2 in the 11th. Lamb had earlier got Bess Heath caught at backward point, and when she struck again in the 12th over to bowl a sweeping home captain Hollie Armitage for 17, the Diamonds were under pressure at 63 for 3.
And Hartley also had a hand in the run out of Abi Glen with an accurate throw from long-off in the next over, capping a loss of three wickets for nine runs in 10 balls.
Linsey Smith gave the hosts some respite with three boundaries in as many balls off Turner at the start of the 17th over to take the score to 104 for six. But it was only brief as she was bowled by Hartley for 25 shortly afterwards. Jones then bowled Phoebe Turner, Emma Marlow and Levick in the 20th over.
However, the pendulum was about to swing. Thunder openers Boyce and Lamb had both scored fifties in each of the last two games, including in a home win over Diamonds.
So, when they fell for 16 and 15, leaving the score at 41 for 2 in the seventh over, it was understandable that the hosts felt they were back in business. Boyce was caught at cover off Smith’s left-arm spin and Lamb run out coming back for a second into midwicket.
And Thunder subsided quickly. The openers were the first two of five wickets to fall for 17 as the score slipped to 48 for 5 in the 10th over.
Levick bowled Ellie Threlkeld and trapped Shachi Pai lbw in the space of three balls in the ninth before accurate New Zealand offie Kasperek bowled Laura Jackson. From there, it felt like job done for the hosts, and so it proved as two more run-outs contributed to their downfall plus further wickets for Kasperek and Levick.
“We got told that the pitch would be a bit of a road, so we were thinking anything around 170 would be a good total,” Kasperek said. “We have such a good spin attack, with Katie Levick leading the way. Linsey Smith bowled out of her skin and young Emma Marlow as well.”