Yorkshire Diamonds beat Surrey Stars by five wickets (Guildford, Surrey 20 August)
Yorkshire Diamonds 124 for 5 (Rodrigues 42*, Healy 38, Armitage 24) beat Surrey Stars 121 for 6 (Kapp 39*, vanNiekerk 32, Lee 28) by five wickets
Put in to bat, Stars had lost two early wickets to Katie Levick’s leg spin. Bryony Smith fell second ball for a duck. Sarah Taylor (3) clipped the finest of edges whilst dancing down the wicket. Fellow wicket keeper Australia’s Alyssa Healy caught her behind.
Stars captain (and England star) Natalie Sciver (5) was also caught behind by Healy off the medium pace of Katie George. Stars South African trio mounted a rescue plan, all three scoring into double figures.
Opener Lizelle Lee, who scored a century in last year’s KSL finals for Stars versus Lightning, was caught (28) by Hollie Armitage off the bowling of Alice Davidson-Richards. Further down the order, South Africa’s captain Dane van Niekerk launched a crowd-pleasing six out of the ground – resulting in a lost ball, ending on 32.
Partner Marizanne Kapp (39*) also provided spirited entertainment. Together they added 59 for Stars’ fifth wicket partnership, Kapp closing the innings undefeated. Stars below-par score (121) left Sciver with no margin for error.
Leading Diamond’s reply, captain Lauren Winfield (7) was caught behind by Sarah Taylor. Once Australia’s Alyssa Healy (38) was caught by England’s Laura Marsh off Amy Gordon, Diamonds had made a solid start. Hollie Armitage (24) was run out by Bryony Smith’s direct hit – flashing back to memories of Headingley, where Diamonds lost their wickets to direct hits and similar misjudgements.
Having dismissed Healy, Amy Gordon dropped a dolly-of-a-catch from India’s star Jemimah Rodrigues off the bowling of Stars captain Natalie Sciver. At 72-2 it was game-over for Stars. Diamonds required one run per ball as they passed the 100 mark and Rodrigues was still standing at the crease.
Sciver bought herself on (bowling from the railway end); paired with Marsh (from the pavilion end.) Their series of dot balls collected Marsh two crucial wickets as the match entered its final over. Once again, the South Africans played a crucial part. Firstly Alice Davidson-Richards (8) was snapped up by Dane van Niekerk. Secondly Katie George was caught out for a golden duck by Marizanne Kapp, also off Marsh.
It was a cliff-hanger ending with just two balls remaining. Faced with a difficult dilemma, top-scoring Jemimah Rodrigues steered Marsh through a gap to penetrate a tight field scoring four runs to snatch victory. Scoring a single would have lost her strike on the final ball. Rodrigues finished undefeated on 42.
You can watch a behind the scenes video of Lauren Winfield from 2016 here.
Result: Diamonds beat Stars by 5 wickets
Match scorecard can be viewed here.
Loughborough Lightning beat Lancashire Thunder by 36 runs* (Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester 20 August)
Loughborough Lightning 157-7 (Adams 50, Elwiss 38, Bryce 32) beat Lancashire Thunder (Luus 30, McGrath 26) 74-6 (13.4 overs, DLS). Broadcast on Sky Sports, viewers were told that Thunder had to win to stay in the Kia Super League tournament.
Lightning’s top order batting came under attack from England pairing seamer Kate Cross (2-23); and spinner Sophie Ecclestone (3-17). Amy Jones went for a duck off the bowling of Cross and West Indies star Hayley Matthews (pictured centre, top of page) was caught by Ria Fackrell off Ecclestone (4). Sri Lanka’s Charmari Athapaththu was caught by Australia’s Tahlia McGrath, also off Cross, for 8.
Both Georgias (Captain Elwiss, and Adams) staged Lightning’s mid-order recovery aided by Mignon du Preez (former captain of South Africa) who scampered18 runs off ten balls – nudging Lightning’s score beyond 60. Captain Georgia Elwiss made 38 while Georgia Adams slammed three fours and three sixes to claim her half-century off 33 balls. By the time Kathryn Bryce (32 off 18 balls) fell to Ecclestone, Lightning’s benchmark target of 150 had been exceeded within their twenty overs.
Apart from openers Tahlia McGrath (26) and South African star Sune Luus (30) Thunder’s reply offered little resistance against Lightning’s bowling. Hayley Matthews was completely unplayable (2-1) taking out England star Sophia Dunkley: caught-and-bowled for a duck.
Once Lightning’s Kirsty Gordon (3-18) prompted two more ducks for Thunder’s Emma Lamb and Sophie Ecclestone, play was stopped mid-over. Umpires had no appetite to continue as heavy rain fell and both sides took an early night.
Result: Lightning beat Thunder by 36 runs* Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method.
Match scorecard can be viewed here.