The season in advent - day twelve - Thunder hammered as Finals Day place secured

What. A. Win.

For many reasons, this Charlotte Edwards Cup victory over Thunder at Chester Boughton Hall could be seen as the highlight of the whole summer.

The Diamonds went into August Bank Holiday Monday knowing they had to win, and realistically with a bonus point, in order to reach Finals Day at Southampton the following Sunday.

The top team in each of the two groups would qualify, as would the best second-placed finisher. Unfortunately, the best second-placed team looked set to come from Group One.

So they had to leapfrog Group Two leaders Western Storm, who were one point clear with a game against Sunrisers to come.

So, realistically, five points were required (achieved by scoring at a rate of 1.25 more than your opponents) to usurp Storm on net run-rate.

And it was achieved in grand style.

Storm, as expected beat Sunrisers, but not with a bonus point.

As for the Diamonds, they hammered a Thunder side who had beaten them at Headingley earlier in the summer, gaining sweet revenge in the process.

After Hollie Armitage elected to bowl, Jenny Gunn was outstanding with 4-15 from her four overs, supplementing the excellent work of new ball duo Rachel Slater and Linsey Smith, who claimed two wickets each.

A depleted Thunder - they were missing star player Emma Lamb - were restricted to just 90-9.

The target needed to be achieved in 16 overs in order to book a trip to the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.

Bess Heath set about the task in hand with no mercy, crashing 10 boundaries in 58 not out off 40 balls, sharing 46 for the first wicket with Leah Dobson, whose near run-a-ball 20 should not be underestimated.

Armitage iced the game with a six off opposition skipper Alex Hartley, setting up a semi-final against hosts Southern Vipers.


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