A couple of standout performances today from two overseas stars – Sophie Devine (52) with the bat, and Dane van Niekerk (4 overs for 13) with the ball – will get the plaudits, but it was a team effort which won the Lightning this match.
The batting contributions of two county players – Eve Jones (12 off 12) and Paige Scholfield (13 off 9) added 25 critical runs at the end of their innings, which not only created a much more “pressure” score for the Diamonds to chase, but also ultimately grabbed the bonus point too.
Then the Lightning were excellent in the field – Georgia Elwiss in particular saving run after run between extra cover and mid off.
The Diamonds meanwhile let the pressure get to them after a good start – they were going at 10 an over initially, but this rapidly evaporated. Lauren Winfield can have no real complaints about her run out… though she did, very publically; and it is difficult to believe that her frustration didn’t actually add to the pressure on the batsmen that followed her in.. and out again!
Wickets begat wickets and eventually, by about the start of the 16th over, Diamonds tails were really drooping – they had given up and it was only a matter of whether they would get enough to deny the Lightning the bonus point; which they definitively failed to do – falling 17 runs short of even that target.
Afterwards Sophie Devine had this to say:
“I was fairly nervous – coming off a winter in New Zealand you are always a little bit scratchy, with not playing much outdoors. We’ve had a couple of warm up games, but in the first real hit-out it is nice to get some runs on the board, although we were probably 15 or 20 runs short. It probably didn’t help when I ran out Ellyse Perry, and I’m sure I’ll cop that, but we bowled fantastically well. Yorkshire came out really hard at us, so it was a great team effort to peg it back in the middle overs and I thought [Becky] Grundy was outstanding – she obviously fires-up which is motivating, being in the field with someone who is so passionate.”