There is a scenario which could require a University degree in mathematics to work out who qualifies for Finals Day in the Charlotte Edwards Cup. But for the Northern Diamonds, their task is clear. If they beat the Thunder at Blackpool on Wednesday (11.30am), they are through.
There are three places on offer for Finals Day at New Road in Worcester on Saturday. The Blaze have already qualified directly for the evening final as group winners.
The remaining two places on offer are being chased by four teams, including the two cross-Pennine rivals.
Southern Vipers are second on 17 points, level with the Diamonds in third but ahead courtesy of a better net run-rate. Thunder are fourth on 13 points and Western Storm fifth on 12.
With five points on offer, it could be that all four teams finish on 17 points, with net run-rate the separator.
Unlikely, but the Diamonds could even lose and still qualify due to a marginally superior net run-rate. A tie or a No Result (two points) would also qualify them.
Vipers host Sunrisers (7pm) and Storm host Blaze (2.30pm).
The Diamonds have already missed two chances to qualify for a second Finals Day in three seasons. Having won their first four group games, they have lost their last two against Blaze on Friday and Vipers yesterday.
“We’ve not got over the line in the last two fixtures, so we’re going to have to have a think and hit the ground running at Blackpool,” said captain Hollie Armitage, whose side lost to Vipers by 16 runs chasing 145 at Headingley.
“It just needed one person to take ownership with the bat, and nobody did that. But those are things you learn from.
“We have to treat it like a semi-final, and we’re a good team who have won some good fixtures.”
Some of those fixtures Armitage is referring to have come this season, others have come in the past, most notably last season’s Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy final against the Vipers at Lord’s.
That should stand them in good stead for an occasion such as this one on the Fylde Coast.
“We do have big game experience, but we also know that it’s T20 cricket and anything can happen on the day,” continued Armitage.
The fact that Diamonds and Thunder are going head to head for a place at Finals Day will make this a particularly mouthwatering Roses affair.
“The Roses rivalry is a big one, and there’s a lot on this one specifically,” said Armitage. “But it was the same on Sunday against the Vipers. We’ve both created a big rivalry over the years, and we really wanted to beat them.
“All games are equally important, and we’re desperate to win it.”
Thunder, with England stars Emma Lamb, Kate Cross and potentially Sophie Ecclestone available, head into this fixture having won three of their last four games.
They beat South East Stars at Blackpool yesterday.
Meanwhile, Armitage is the leading run-scorer in the competition with 216, while she also has at her disposal two of the three leading wicket-takers.
Behind Blaze’s Nadine de Klerk with 13 wickets sits leg-spinner Katie Levick with 11 and fledgling fast bowler Grace Hall with 10.
Hall, 20, has impressed with her slingy seamers and variations aplenty, providing something different in her first six senior regional appearances.
“It’s special for us and her that Gracey is a point of difference in the regional game, and we’re really happy to have her on our side,” added Armitage.
“She’s been someone I’ve been able to rely on with the ball. She’s got brilliant change-ups through the middle and is able to bowl powerplay overs.
“She’s been a major asset to us, and long may that continue.”
This fixture is the first part of a double header with Lancashire’s men, who face Worcestershire in the Vitality Blast at 5pm.