Northern Diamonds v Thunder
Charlotte Edwards Cup, Group B
Sunday May 27, 2022, 11am
Toss: Northern Diamonds won it and bat
Teams: Diamonds - Armitage c, Heath w, Kalis, Dobson, Glen, Marlow, Smith, Kasperek, Levick, Hill, Turner.
Thunder - Lamb, Boyce, Collins, Threlkeld c&w, Pai, Marshall, Jackson, Graham, Turner, Hartley, Jones.
Match summary: The Northern Diamonds are still alive in the Charlotte Edwards Cup after beating cross-Pennine rivals Thunder by 25 runs in a spin dominated fixture at Headingley.
Diamonds won their second game - with a bonus point - in four in Group B to move to 10 points in second with two fixtures still to play. The top team in each of the two groups qualifies plus the best second-placed finisher.
Diamonds were bowled out for 124, including a top-score of 28 from opener Sterre Kalis. Left-arm spinner Hannah Jones claimed three wickets.
In reply, Thunder subsided badly from 31-0 to 99 all out in 19 overs.
Leigh Kasperek (2-16) and Katie Levick (3-25) were superb as the Diamonds claimed a bonus point by the skin of their teeth, as were Linsey Smith and Emma Marlow, who struck once apiece.
Had Thunder reached 100, the Diamonds would have had to settle for four points. You never know how vital that point could be in the race for Finals Day on June 11.
Report: This was an outstanding fightback from the Diamonds, who only had 12 fit senior players to choose from.
England stars Lauren Winfield-Hill, Katherine Brunt and Nat Sciver were amongst those unavailable, the latter two who were getting married yesterday.
Sterre Kalis led a steady start for the hosts, but when she found long-on off Alex Hartley’s left-arm spin, the Diamonds were 61-2 in the 11th over and lost wickets regularly from there.
Linsey Smith hit three successive boundaries at one point in an important 25, though success for the batters was few and far between as Hartley and off-spinner Lamb each struck twice.
When Jones claimed three wickets in the last over of the innings, bowling Phoebe Turner, Emma Marlow and Levick, she had finished with 3-23 and the Diamonds were all out for 124.
The Thunder spin trio had shared 7-58 from 12 overs.
In reply, Thunder looked well on their way at 31-0 in the fifth over thanks to openers Lamb and Georgie Boyce. But both fell. Boyce was caught at cover of Smith’s left-arm spin before Lamb was run out by Leah Dobson coming back for two to mid-wicket (61-2).
They were the first of five to fall for 17 as the visiting innings crumbled to 48-5 in the 10th over. Levick bowled Ellie Threlkeld and trapped Shachi Pai lbw in the space of three balls in the ninth before New Zealand offie Kasperek bowled Laura Jackson.
Later, Thunder had two more run outs and lost their last two wickets on 99, including Levick bowling former team-mate Phoebe Graham.
The 28 for Kalis proved to be the highest score of the match, almost matched by 26 for Danielle Collins for Thunder.
Hong Kong international Mariko Hill debuted for the Diamonds with one not out late in the innings and two overs of seam for 16.
Magic moment: The run out of England all-rounder Emma Lamb (15) as the Thunder’s chase slipped to 40-2 in the seventh over. The opener clipped Linsey Smith into the mid-wicket region, but Leah Dobson swooped to throw the ball to wicketkeeper Bess Heath, who did the rest to prevent a second.
Turning point: See above. The dismissal of Lamb, who had posted two fifties in the last two games, was a huge one. By their own admission, the Thunder are reliant on runs from openers Lamb and Georgie Boyce, and it was the moment where you felt the game was heading the Diamonds way.
Stat of the match: Fourteen of the 20 wickets in the match fell to spin and on-song Katie Levick remains the leading wicket-taker in the competition having boosted her tally to 12 in four games.
What they said: Leigh Kasperek - “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. But we’re delighted.
“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.
“We thought the bonus point was 93, so we were trying to squeeze them to that. So to hear we’ve got a bonus point is so good.
“We knew coming into this game that every one was do or die. We just have to keep showing that Northern grit over the next two and do our best.”
What’s next: Diamonds are part of another double header on Wednesday, this time up at the Seat Unique Riverside ground in Durham. They face Lightning in the afternoon, starting at 2.15pm, before Durham’s men host Worcestershire in the evening (6.30pm) in the Vitality Blast.