Katya Witney at Headingley
The Northern Diamonds fought back to pull off an important victory against the Thunder at Headingley on Sunday and keep their finals day hopes alive.
Both sides went into the match on level points, well behind the Southern Vipers in group one and looking to bounce back after suffering defeats in the previous round of fixtures.
After electing to bat, Beth Heath and Sterre Kalis made a steady start for the Diamonds before Heath was dismissed for 13 by Emma Lamb in the fourth over.
Kalis looked and kept advancing down the pitch to advance the scoring rate but was unable to get the big shot away. At the halfway stage the Diamonds were 58-1.
Alex Hartley found the breakthrough in the 11th over, dismissing Kalis for 28 and Holly Armitage was clean bowled by Lamb after missing a sweep shot in the following over.
Phoebe Turner took centre stage in the 15th over to dismiss Leah Dobson and Leigh Kasperek in consecutive deliveries. The hattrick ball went straight through Abi Glen, missing the stumps and the keeper to run away to the boundary leaving the Diamonds 85-5 going into the final five.
Hannah Jones executed a smart throw from the boundary to run out Glen in the next over and after hitting three consecutive fours Lindsay Smith was dismissed by Hartley in the 17th.
The last over completed the collapse for the Diamonds, Jones taking the wickets of Turner, Marlow and Levick – all bowled – off the final four balls of the innings. From 78-3 in the 15th over, the Diamonds had collapsed to 124 all out, the Thunder spinners taking seven wickets between them and Lamb as ever bowling with control and picking up a couple of wickets.
Lamb and Boyce began the chase for the Thunder, and both looked in good touch as ever. By the fourth over they had reached 31-0 before, completely against the run of play, Boyce chipped a ball to Smith at cover and had to depart for 16.
Disaster struck for the Thunder in the seventh over as Lamb was run out for 15 thanks to a great throw from Dobson at deep midwicket and after looking untroubled in their respective innings both of the Thunder’s openers were back in the hutch.
Threlkeld was bowled by Katie Levick in the ninth over and was quickly followed by Shachi Pai, also dismissed by Levick for a two-ball duck prompting jubilant celebrations from the Diamond fielders. The home-side looked boosted by the breakthroughs and determined to capitalise.
Kasperek gave her team more reason to believe in the following over, dismissing Laura Jackson for a duck and reducing the Thunder to 52-5 still needing 73 to win at the halfway stage of the innings.
Collins and Marshall looked to rebuild during the middle overs, steadily consolidating a partnership of 25 by the end of the 14th over to give Thunder some hope.
Kasperek dismissed Collins in a bizarre manner in the following over. An edge popped straight up gently off the bat and keeper Heath dove forwards to catch the ball right at Collins’ feat, leaving her standing at the crease questioning whether the ball had been caught while her opponents celebrated around her.
Marshall was run out shortly after for 11 and Graham was bowled by Marlow in the following over. The wheels were well and truly off for the Thunder at 82-8.
Graham was bowled for 20 by Levick in the 19th over and Jones was run out the following ball to round-up proceedings and with the Thunder 99 all-out.
Speaking after the match Lee Kasperek said:
“Whatever runs you get you have to think that it’s good enough. Dani gave us a good pep talk at the interval, as well as Holly and just kind of, you know, tried to fire us up a little bit.”
“Usually coming in bowling in England’s not necessarily that much fun, so today was an absolute treat on a slightly slower pitch.”
“It’s awesome to have experience in the camp and we love playing at Headingley, there are pretty amazing facilities and stuff so it’s been awesome, and we got to train here yesterday.”
“We’ve got the day off tomorrow and then we’ll head up to Durham for the Lightning match and it’s a do or die situation, we’ve got to bring our best performance. I think we’ve just got to take it one game at a time and just look to Durham. We don’t want to look too far ahead and yeah, just give it our all.”
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