Northern Diamonds v Thunder
Charlotte Edwards Cup, Group Two
Saturday June 26 2021, 2.30pm
Toss: Thunder won it and elected to bat
Teams: Diamonds - Armitage c, Dobson, Campbell, Taylor w, Gunn, Kalis, Langston, Smith, Graham, Fenby, Levick.
Thunder - Lamb, Boyce, Threlkeld w, Duckworth, Brown, Marshall, Jackson, Collins, Turner, Hartley c, Jones.
Match summary: The Diamonds suffered an opening day T20 Roses defeat as they failed to chase down 119. Hollie Armitage’s side were undone by an outstanding all-round display from Thunder star Emma Lamb, who opened the batting and hit 58, took 4-13 with her off-spinners, claimed a catch at cover and had a hand in two run outs.
Report: The Diamonds were outshone by brilliant Thunder all-rounder Emma Lamb, who returned a match-winning display with bat, ball and in the field.
Lamb, fresh from 134 in a warm-up game earlier this week, underpinned the Lancashire-based side’s 118-6 from the top of the order, hitting seven fours in 43 balls.
In truth, they should have posted more having been 100-3 after 15 overs with Lamb still there.
But some excellent late bowling from the Diamonds stymied their acceleration.
Beth Langston claimed two wickets, while Phoebe Graham and Katie Levick were excellent with 1-18 from four overs apiece. The left-arm spin of Linsey Smith also returned an impressive 1-23 from four.
In reply, following a concussion injury for Sarah Taylor late in the Thunder innings, the Diamonds raced out of the blocks at 31-0 after four overs.
But Lamb trapped Hollie Armitage and Ami Campbell lbw in the fifth over - 31-2 - and from there things unravelled.
Sterre Kalis top-scored with 32 off 37 balls, but when she fell the Diamonds were 91-5 in the 18th over still needing 28 to win.
Lamb then removed Rachel Hopkins, the concussion substitute for Taylor, and Beth Langston in the 19th over before the two run outs meant four wickets fell in that over (94-9).
That left 25 to win off the last - an insurmountable task.
Turning point: The Diamonds were off to a flyer at 31-0 after four overs in their chase. But Emma Lamb claimed two wickets in her first five balls - Hollie Armitage and Ami Campbell lbw - to leave the score at 31-2 and change the direction of the fixture.
Magic moment: The wicket of in-form Thunder opener Emma Lamb was significant.
An England hopeful and sister of Lancashire men’s all-rounder Danny, Emma had made her way to 58 and was looking to do some late damage with the Thunder well set.
But the powerful right-hander, fresh from a warm-up century in midweek, was caught at short third-man reverse sweeping at Katie Levick, ultimately causing the Thunder to stutter badly in the latter stages of the innings. When she fell, it left the visitors 107-4 in the 17th over.
Had Lamb stayed in, she would have surely taken the game away from the Diamonds. Instead, they were given a chance they ultimately couldn’t take.
Stat: This was the Thunder’s first win against the Diamonds in the new regional structure. The Diamonds had claimed the double over the Thunder in last season’s Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy. This was the first meeting between the two rivals in 2021.
Injury: Sarah Taylor was subbed out of the game in the mid-innings break with concussion having been struck on the side of the neck, whilst behind the stumps, by a rising delivery from Beth Langston. It was the final ball of the Thunder innings, with Rachel Hopkins her concussion replacement.
What they said: Katie Levick said - “We were happy with how everything went in the first half, but second half we just got stuck. The top order have held their hands up.
“It’s a game we should have won, so hopefully there’s a bit of fire in the belly for the next game.
“Emma (Lamb) is a class player, and we know how confident she is at the moment after her 130 in the warm-up game against the Lightning this week.
“We were quite happy to keep her to just 50 today, but when she came on and took two wickets straightaway, that just changed the momentum and put us on the back foot.
“We’ve parked it now. We’ve done a lot of this game right and just a little bit of it not so well. We’ve said, ‘It’s done, move onto the next’.”
What’s next: The Diamonds are back in action on Friday, their second fixture of this competition, against Sunrisers at Chelmsford (6.30pm).
A repeat of the nine-wicket Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy win at the start of the month at Cambridge would be ideal. On that occasion, the Sunrisers were bowled out for just 53 as Katherine Brunt and Jenny Gunn claimed three wickets apiece.