KSL Storm v Stars: Talking Points

Lizelle Lee

Once again Lizelle Lee (with 77 off 44 balls, including six 6s) formed the mainstay of the Stars innings – Surrey can certainly thank their lucky… er… Stars (!!) that her delayed visa did, eventually, come through. You’d have to say, though, that Storm’s bowlers only made it worse for themselves: of the 64 runs Lee hit in boundaries, at least 60% were hit in the region between square leg and long leg. Give her enough room on the leg side and she will punish you.

Marizanne Kapp

Lee may have been Player of the Match today, but after close of play she was full of praise for one person: fellow countrywoman Marizanne Kapp. “In the beginning when Kappie batted with me I struggled a little bit… She knows sometimes I can get a little bit frustrated with myself and she helped me stay calm. That helped me a lot.” The pair’s 103-run partnership was the second highest in KSL history.

It might be an exaggeration to claim, as Lee did, that Kapp is “one of the best batters in the world”, but she is quickly proving her worth as a crucial anchor for her side, today coming in at 0-1 and remaining at the crease right until the first ball of the 20th over. Combined with her wicket-taking abilities – she was just a smidgeon away from a hat-trick today – she has certainly been a key factor in the Stars’ solid journey to qualification for Finals Day.

Storm’s Batting

Heather Knight aptly summed up her team’s performances with the bat in this year’s KSL after close of play: “We seem to all have a bad day as a batting unit or all have a good day. We’ve been really inconsistent.” Whether they are being bowled out for 70 or thumping Diamonds by 10 wickets, Storm are very much an all-or-nothing side with the bat. Today, with 4 wickets falling in the powerplay overs, it was a reasonably foregone conclusion that Stars had the match sewn up early on, however much Georgia Hennessy and Lissy Macleod railed valiantly against that conclusion.

Fran Wilson

Conceding 169 today was far from ideal for the Storm, but it could have been far worse without the efforts of Fran Wilson in the field. She’s the best backward point in the business, and though she couldn’t quite pull off what would have been a spectacular catch at midwicket to dismiss Lee off the bowling of Stafanie Taylor, nobody else would have even got close.

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REPORT: Cheshire Women’s League Finals Day

Martin Saxon reports

Chester Boughton Hall hosted the triple-header Finals Day this year, and also took home the trophies in both finals that they were contesting. Many of the Chester players produced fine performances, but the star of the show was surely acting captain Kate Coppack, who reached the retirement score in both matches, and took a combined 5-15 in the eight overs she bowled during the day.

Match 1 – Development Knockout Cup Final

Stockport Georgians 77-9 (20; Liv Bell 22, Zara Matthews 2-6, Ellen Gallimore 2-13, Tasneem Akram 2-17)

Didsbury 2nd XI 80-3 (15.1; Laura Griffiths 27*)

  • Georgians may have won division three this year, but Didsbury’s seconds gained some revenge by triumphing in the knockout competition that is exclusively for teams in that division. Tasneem Akram struck twice early on, and Georgians were struggling on 11-3. Liv Bell led a recovery of sorts, but with Zara Matthews and others bowling well, the final total set the Manchester side less than four per over. Beth Garnett produced an excellent spell in the second innings, but Laura Griffiths led the way as the target was reached with almost five overs to spare.

Scorecard

Match 2 – Senior Knockout Cup Final

Chester Boughton Hall Deemons 101-8 (20; Kate Coppack 25ret, Nadia Wheeler 21, Leesa Mellon 2-7, Millie Frost 2-8)

Didsbury Swordettes 68-9 (20; Hannah Jones 34*, Kate Coppack 4-7, Dawn Prestidge 3-15, Ali Cutler 2-7)

  • Didsbury’s first team could not make it a double celebration for the club as an impressive display comfortably saw the Deemons to their seventh Knockout win in the 11 years the competition has been played. While Kate Coppack was the only one to reach the retirement score, all of their top six scored rapidly, and the scoring rate only dropped in the final overs when Leesa Mellon and Millie Frost got amongst the wickets. Dawn Prestidge took three very early wickets in the reply, and there was the curious sight of Hannah Jones retiring on 25 when her team had managed only 31 runs in total. Coppack then took four wickets for just seven runs, upstaging what were some fine figures by all of her team-mates.

Scorecard

Match 3 – T20 Divisional Competition Final

Chester Boughton Hall Deemons 107-7 (20; Dawn Prestidge 26ret, Kate Coppack 26ret, Ali Cutler 26*, Kate Harvey 3-13, Emma Royle 2-12)

Stockport Trinity Fire 91-9 (20; Jennie Kitzinger 26*, Nadia Wheeler 4-18, Dawn Prestidge 2-19)

  • Chester then went on to record their fifth T20 Divisional title in the last match of the day. Dawn Prestidge and Ali Cutler kept the run rate around six per over in the initial stages of the first innings. When the pair retired, wickets did fall regularly, with Kate Harvey and Emma Royle returning excellent figures. However, Kate Coppack blasted 26 in just 14 balls to keep the board moving. Trinity ensured it was a competitive contest, especially when they scored 38 between the 7th and 11th overs of their reply. However, the Chester attack proved just too strong – while Nadia Wheeler was the main wicket taker on this occasion, Coppack again did a superb job, conceding just eight runs in her four overs.

Scorecard

KSL Vipers v Stars: Talking Points

A Close Game?

With Stars eventually winning by a mere 4 runs (via the D/L Method), on the surface of it this match ended in a close result. In actual fact the only reason Vipers got so close to the required total were the 16 runs Tash Farrant and Suzie Bates hit off the 16th over – largely a result of Stars’ misfielding an incredibly slippy ball, thanks to several previous overs of constant rain. While no one likes the weather intervening, justice therefore probably was done this time around.

Lizelle Lee

You could tell that Lizelle Lee was furious with herself when she hit the ball straight to Bates at cover in the 5th over, but she’s a risk-taking player, and sometimes when you take risks you get out! With 40 off 20 balls, you’d have to say that she did a good job in laying a foundation for her side to launch from – and though the runs dried up once she departed, that was hardly her fault.

Vipers Vanquished

Prior to this game we’ve had plenty of people asking if (when) we were intending to revise our prediction that Vipers wouldn’t retain their KSL crown. But, while Vipers absolutely annihilated their opponents in the first two matches of the tournament, today was always going to be the big one as far as we were concerned, with Stars our favourites to take home this year’s KSL title. And so it proved. Vipers are still a good team – but they aren’t invincible this time around. On that note…

Vipers Batting

In some ways it was a familiar story today, with Suzie Bates once again ploughing her way to 50 not out. Unfortunately for the Vipers, she can’t bat at both ends. Indeed in some ways they were victims of their own success – before today, they had never lost more than 4 wickets in a KSL game, and as such their middle / lower order were always going to find it difficult coming out to bat in the middle of a tricky run chase.

Ultimately it was losing the cluster of wickets in the 13th-15th overs that really made the difference and ensured that the Vipers ended up having to play D/L catch-up. Something to work on, perhaps, as a still-likely spot in Finals Day looms on the horizon.

Opening Gambit

Both Stars and Vipers have shipped in international openers this year, acquiring Lizelle Lee and Hayley Matthews. In turn, that’s meant that last year’s KSL openers Bryony Smith and Georgia Adams have been booted down the order – today coming in at 5 and 6, and scoring 5 and 0, respectively. It’s unfamiliar territory for players who both regularly open for their counties, and it shows in their unease walking out to bat. Might an experienced international player like Lee be better able to cope with coming in further down the order? Or should you always play your “best” openers up top? It’s a dilemma not easily resolved, but a dilemma nonetheless.

Domestic Cricket Matters

The best preparation for KSL is of course high-quality domestic cricket in the lead-up; for non-international players that’s a particular concern. On that note, it’s interesting to look at the contrasting fortunes of two of today’s Vipers’ players: Charlotte Edwards and Arran Brindle.

Exhibit A: Edwards, who now plays her domestic cricket for Bishop’s Stortford CC’s women’s team, and Hampshire (who sit in Div 2 of the Women’s County Championship). Exhibit B: Brindle, who (with two young children) is no longer able to play women’s county cricket, but still regularly plays 1st XI men’s cricket for Louth CC in Lincolnshire. Edwards today was out for a 5-ball duck. Brindle, meanwhile, took 1-19 in her 4 overs, and hit 19 off 17 balls to boot. It seems pretty clear who was the better prepared of the two.

So could it be that there are issues with the quality of domestic women’s cricket in this country, below the elite level? We’ll leave you to ponder that one…

KSL: Vipers v Stars: Report – Lee & Kapp Set Up Stars Win

On a muggy day at The Ageas Bowl in Southampton, in front of a crowd of 1,700, the Stars won the toss and elected to bat against the Vipers, as the only two unbeaten sides in the tournament went head-to-head, with direct qualification for the final potentially at stake.

Lizelle Lee got the Stars off to a racing start, hitting 19 of the 21 runs that came off the first two overs – Tammy Beaumont hardly got a look-in before she was the victim of a fine catch on the deep midwicket boundary by Danni Wyatt, leaping up to save the six and dismiss her England colleague for a duck.

The carnage continued, as Lee hit 13 off a Hayley Matthews over. She was dropped by Georgia Adams at long off on 28 off Linsey Smith, and then raced on to 40 before she was finally caught by Suzie Bates at cover off Tash Farrant – at that point Stars were on 47 in the 5th over, with only a single run having come off a bat other than Lee’s.

Lee’s dismissal finally stemmed the bleeding, with the run rate slowing considerably in the post-powerplay overs. Nat Sciver ran herself out for 14, taking on the arm of Hayley Matthews at mid off and losing out to a direct hit; Bryony Smith holed-out to Bates for 5 off 10 balls; and Sophia Dunkley became another run-out victim after calling for a suicidal single that Marizanne Kapp was having none of.

Kapp herself meanwhile played steadily, picking up the pace after a watchful start, eventually caught behind by Carla Rudd for 42 from 48 balls.

Laura Marsh was cleaned-up by Matthews in the penultimate over for 4 off 8; and with Kirstie White another run-out victim in the final over, the Stars ended up perhaps 10-15 short of where they might have hoped to have been after such a cracking start – 127-8 off the 20.

The Stars opened the bowling with Laura Marsh and Marizanne Kapp, who kept Suzie Bates and Hayley Matthews in check for the opening 4 overs. Nat Sciver then brought herself on and saw her first two balls smacked for consecutive 4s by Bates – the over eventually going for 15, to put the Vipers right back on track.

The Vipers finished the powerplay at 35, where the Stars had been at 56, with the required rate a shade over 6.5, but with no wickets down. That soon changed however when Hayley Matthews made the mistake of trying to get after Alex Hartley, horribly slicing a lofted drive to Bryony Smith at point.

The return of Laura Marsh at the Pavilion End brought 2 further quick wickets – Mignon du Preez, in her first at-bat since the World Cup, made just 2 before she was stumped by Tammy Beaumont, and Danni Wyatt was soon following her back to the dugout, bowled for a duck, as 35-0 became 41-3.

With Bates still at the crease there was always hope for the Vipers, as she was joined by Arran Brindle, who made 19 in a partnership of 37 before being given out LBW to Nat Sciver.

Then came the duck parade – Georgia Adams was run out for nought, guilty of just not running hard enough after being called for a quick single; Charlotte Edwards, playing her first “pro” innings since WBBL, was bowled by Sciver for another quacker; and then Carla Rudd became the third duck in a row – LBW also to Sciver.

With the rain coming down hard, Suzie Bates and Tash Farrant took 16 from an Alex Hartley over, taking Bates to 50; but when the umpires finally called the players off in the 17th over, the Vipers were still 4 behind on Duckworth Lewis at 100-7.

And that was how it stayed – the Stars winning by 4 runs on D/L when play was abandoned, to put themselves at the top of the table on 3 wins out of 3 and well on course for Finals Day.

Speaking afterwards, the Stars’ Marizanne Kapp told CRICKETher:

“We are pleased with the win – it would have been a bit close at the end there, but we held our nerve. Any win, we’ll take it, and hopefully we can keep the momentum going into the next two games and they’ll go our way and we’ll go straight into the final.”

Comparing this season to last, when the Stars failed to qualify for Finals Day, she explained:

“Last year we didn’t know each other – it is difficult, especially if you only have five games and you have to fire from game one. Last year we didn’t start too well; but this year we know the girls, we know the role each player plays and I think that is what ultimately is working for us.”

WWT20 Qualifiers: Netherlands Win but Scotland Claim the Spoils

Jake Perry reports

Netherlands 129-6 (SL Kalis 48, K McGill 2 for 26) beat Scotland 111-7 (KE Bryce 23, HDJ Siegers 3 for 29) by 18 runs

The Netherlands claimed victory over Scotland in the final match of the ICC Women’s World T20 Europe/Americas Qualifier in Stirling thanks to a fine all-round performance from Heather Siegers. The Dutch captain’s 21 ball 32, together with 3 for 29 with the ball, proved to be decisive as her side ended a difficult week on a high. Overall victory was to be Scotland’s, however, as Abbi Aitken’s side topped the table on net run-rate.

Fresh from their earlier victory over USA the Netherlands were put into bat for a second time and opener Sterre Kalis duly got the innings underway with a second ball boundary. The first over was to end with the run out of Babette de Leede (1), however, and with Samantha Haggo making another breakthrough in the seventh, too, as Cher van Slobbe (6) was caught by a back-pedalling Lorna Jack, the Netherlands were reduced to 32-2.

Kalis has showed that she was in fine form during her 88 against the USA and the young all-rounder looked to cut loose again, taking back-to-back boundaries off a Priyanaz Chatterji over which cost twelve. With Heather Siegers finding her range, too, Scotland suddenly found themselves under pressure as the pair took their score to over a run-a-ball.

Two quick wickets were to change the complexion of the innings, however, as Siegers’ slow turn ended in her being run out before Chatterji knocked back the stumps of Kalis (48) two balls later. The bowlers applied the shackles once more with Katie McGill picking up two wickets in the 19th over, Miranda Veringmeier (13) being bowled before Kathryn Bryce took a fine catch at long on to dismiss Helmien Rambaldo (12), and in restricting the Netherlands to 129-6 Scotland’s bowlers had fought back well.

The opening pair of Jack and Bryce began watchfully against an improved display from the Dutch seamers, but on a pitch that had seen both sunshine and showers over the course of the day regular wickets thwarted the attempts of the batting side to build momentum. The fall of Jack (12), Kathryn Bryce (23) and Sarah Bryce (9) reduced Scotland to 60-3, and with Lois Wilkinson (3), Rebecca Glen (10) and Elizabeth Priddle (2) following, too, with Scotland over fifty runs short and less than four overs remaining net run-rate became the most likely way of finding the winners of the tournament.

In an exciting finish the seventh wicket pair of Katie McGill and Priyanaz Chatterji both found the boundary as a late flurry of runs took Scotland beyond 100, and despite McGill (13) falling in the final over Scotland had done enough to confirm their position at the top of the table.

“I’m excited, delighted, but relieved,” said Abbi Aitken. “It’s been a very frustrating week watching the rain fall and wondering if the tournament was going to go ahead. It’s been really difficult for the girls and I’m sure it has been for the other two teams as well.”

“All credit to the Netherlands today. It wasn’t the best performance from us but it’s great to be able to finish the tournament as winners.”

“Conditions were tricky for us all today. It was wet and slippy, very difficult to move around in the field, and the pitch we were on was a bit more sticky than the one we played on earlier in the week.”

“But so much credit has to go to the ground staff for managing to get something prepared so we could get some cricket in. They have done a fantastic job throughout the week.”

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Jake Perry writes on Scottish cricket for Cricket Scotland and CricketEurope and is a regular contributor to HoldingWilley.

Twitter: @jperry_cricket / Facebook: Jake Perry Cricket

WWT20 Qualifiers: Netherlands Qualify With Comfortable Win Over USA

Jake Perry reports

Netherlands 184-4 (SL Kalis 88, S Ramautar 1 for 26) beat USA 148-5 (OT Wallerson 40*, L Klokgieters 2 for 32) by 36 runs

To the accompanying strain of bagpipes as the annual Stirling Highland Games got underway nearby the much-anticipated encounter between USA and the Netherlands at the ICC Women’s World T20 Europe/Americas Qualifier finally played out. It was a game which had taken on added significance as defeat to Scotland then the weather had ensured that the quest for the one remaining place at the Global Qualifier for the 2018 showpiece would become a winner-takes-all affair.

A superb 88 from Netherlands all-rounder Sterre Kalis was to propel her side to a 36-run victory as despite a late flourish from Onika Wallerson the rawness of the USA was to show in an inconsistent display in the field. Kalis chipped in with a wicket, too, as a much-improved performance from Sean Trouw’s team put their loss to the Scots earlier in the week behind them.

After two days without play the second reserve day had offered one last opportunity to complete the four matches required to constitute a tournament, and after the original pitch had been deemed unplayable a decision was taken late on Thursday to switch the remaining games to the second pitch at New Williamfield. Thanks to the Stirling County ground staff play began only half an hour behind schedule but with rain beginning to fall once more conditions on the field remained highly challenging.

Having been put into bat the Netherlands openers Kalis and Babette de Leede made a skittish start against the USA seamers as de Leede was dropped at point before a run-out opportunity was missed as Candacy Atkins slipped on the greasy surface. The two were soon into their stride, however, with Kalis helping herself to back-to-back boundaries off Neha Anand and de Leede finding the rope off Triholder Marshall.

Although Marshall was to have the final word as de Leede’s swing-and-miss saw her bowled for 17 the Netherlands were looking ominous, however, and Kalis hit the first maximum of the tournament by hoisting Wallerson over square. The opener added another as she raced past fifty, and with Cher van Slobbe (14) and then Heather Siegers providing support aggressive running and regular boundaries saw the Netherlands pass 150 at the beginning of the 18th over.

Kalis had played a terrific knock, fully deserving of a hundred, but immediately after striking her fourth six of the innings a mix-up with Siegers ended with her run out. Kalis’s 55 ball 88 had given her side the platform they had so badly lacked against Scotland,though, and with the young Dutch captain (51*) reaching her half century too, the Netherlands total of 184-4 always looked like too many.

It had been a difficult morning for the USA. Dropped catches and misfields had proved costly and with spinner Claudine Beckford overstepping three times in a final over which cost 21, too, Sindhu Sriharsa’s side left the field knowing that they had not helped their own cause.

The Netherlands bowling attack had hardly aided theirs against Scotland, though, and USA opener Shebani Bhaskar immediately signaled her attacking intentions with a six off the second ball. Early American hopes were dashed as the Netherlands quickly struck back with a double breakthrough, however, as first Bhaskar (8) was brilliantly caught by Helmien Rambaldo before a diving Sriharsa (1) was narrowly run out as the Dutch remained firmly in control.

At 18-2 Nadia Gruny and Erica Rendler picked up the chase well, taking their side beyond fifty at the end of the Powerplay – and ahead of their opponents at the same stage – but when they also fell in quick succession, Rendler (40) run out before Gruny (30) skied to the wicketkeeper, any lingering hopes of an American comeback had been dashed.

“I am really proud of the team and that we did it today,” said Player of the Match Sterre Kalis.

“It was the most important game for us and that we won it was perfect.”

“In the beginning the pitch was very soft and a bit wet but the ground staff did really well. After a whole week of rain it was amazing that we could play the game and we’re hoping to end the tournament with another good performance against Scotland later.”

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Jake Perry writes on Scottish cricket for Cricket Scotland and CricketEurope and is a regular contributor to HoldingWilley.

Twitter: @jperry_cricket / Facebook: Jake Perry Cricket

KSL Lightning v Diamonds: Talking Points

Diamonds bt. Lightning by 17 runs (Report)

Chamari Atapattu

In the space of an English summer, the Sri Lankan has gone from Atapat-who to Atapat-woo! After hitting the biggest innings of the World Cup – 178* against Australia – and finishing the tournament with an average of over 50, she is now bringing some really classy batting to the Super League. She is quite a traditional player, and you won’t catch her ramping or reverse sweeping, so she is maybe missing out behind the wicket; but she is making her game work for her so far, and it is hard to argue with the runs she is scoring in KSL (107) or the Strike Rate at which she is scoring them (130).

Katherine Brunt

I’ve been reluctant to call her an “all-rounder” but who has the highest Strike Rate in KSL so far? Suzie Bates? Nat Sciver? Nope – it’s Katherine Brunt, with 77 runs at 197! And it would have been more yesterday, if not for a very dodgy call from Atapattu, who was on 49 at the time and desperate to get to her 50. Brunt then opened the bowling, and took 2-2 in the powerplay. And they were “proper” wickets too – Jones bowled and Perry LBW – not cheap “caught at cow corners”.

The Toss

Lightning won the toss and put the Diamonds in. With weather around, the potential advantage is that you know exactly what you’ve got to do in a Duckworth-Lewis situation in the second innings. But in a game which had already been shortened by a third, it is a risky move too. With less overs to get through, the team batting first can really go for it – wickets hardly matter – and consequently in the reply, the required run-rate always looks bigger than it perhaps actually is.

Not only that, but just a couple of low-scoring  overs early-on can really pile on the psychological pressure as the rate starts to climb, and this is what we saw here: the required rate started at 8.5; but after two overs of Katherine Brunt it was closing-in on 10, even though Davidson-Richards had been hit for 11 in the over in-between. Georgia Elwiss gave it her best shot, hitting 41 off 28 balls; but once Villani was out, there was really no chance – Thea Brookes and Sonia Odedra are good players, but not 10-an-over players, and so it proved with the Lightning ending more than a run-an-over short.

KSL Lightning v Diamonds: Report – Atapattu Up-N-At-Em

In a game reduced to 13 overs per side, after the match was delayed by an hour and a half due to a torrential downpour at Loughborough just before the scheduled start time, Yorkshire Diamonds came out on top thanks to a superb all-round performance by their overseas Chamari Atapattu.

After two losses leading up to this fixture, the Lightning nevertheless opted to go unchanged; whilst Yorkshire were able to bring back Jenny Gunn for Katie Thompson.

Batting first after being put in, the Diamonds got off to a good start as Chamari Atapattu and Lauren Winfield raced to 25, before Winfield was caught on the square boundary by Beth Langston off Sonia Odedra.

This brought Sophie Devine to the crease, who struggled as she looked to drive, but couldn’t get past mid on/ mid off, and was eventually bowled for 2 off 9 balls, missing a straight one from Georgia Elwiss.

Meanwhile Atapattu continued to play classily all around the wicket, including a couple of big sixes down the ground. She got a little nervous in the 40s – she was dropped by Langston on 47 off Perry, and then managed to run out Katherine Brunt when she was on 49, as she bunted Kristen Beams into the on side and called for the run but only ended up running out Brunt, who had been looking good for a rapid 21.

With the overs closing in, Alice Davidson-Richards tried to play a bit too expansively early-doors to Beams and was bowled for 1 off two balls. Jenny Gunn lasted just one ball longer – hanging out her bat to try to run Beth Langston down to third man, she ended up bowled in a rather sheepish fashion by her England colleague.

But Atapattu continued to push calmly on, eventually finishing on to 66 not out off 40 balls, with nine 4s and two 6s, as Yorkshire closed on 110-5.

The Lightning reply began with a stutter, as Katherine Brunt bowled Amy Jones off the last ball of the first over for 2 with the total on 2; but 11 runs off the second over from Davidson Richards got things going for the Lightning.

However, Brunt struck again with her very next ball at the start of the third over – Ellyse Perry unimpressed to be given out LBW, though the analyst cam in the press box suggested it was good decision. Georgia Elwiss saw off the hat trick ball but there was just 1 off the over from there and the ball was back in the Diamond’s court once again.

Atapattu bowled Elyse Villani with her first ball – a slow, languid delivery which Villani found herself on to too quickly; and Sophie Devine soon joined the party, tempting Thea Brookes into a big shot which only found Lauren Winfield at deep mid off, leaving the Lighting in some trouble at 31-4.

Elwiss finally took the fight back to the Diamonds, hitting 16 off the 10th over bowled by Jenny Gunn; but with Lightning needing another big over, Katie Levick held her nerve, going for just 7 despite some big swooshes, and there was no way back for the Lightning from there, especially when they lost Elwiss for 41, well caught by Maddie Walsh off Atapattu – the Sri Lankan finishing with 2-11 as the Diamonds closed well short on 93-5.

Afterwards Sophie Devine was full of praise for Chamari Atapattu:

“She has been fantastic – to think that she only got brought in last minute – to do the job she has done is a credit to her – we all knew how well she played in the World Cup, and she’s just continued that on. Her strength is to play in the ‘V’ and to play straight, and she showed that today – it doesn’t matter who the bowler is or what the field is – if she backs herself she’ll be able to execute.”

The result puts the Diamonds back on course for Finals Day, but leaves the Lightning all-but out of it now, with 3 losses.