Thunder v Northern Diamonds

Charlotte Edwards Cup

Sunday, May 19, 2024, 1pm

Emirates Old Trafford

Toss: The Diamonds won it and elected to bat.

Thunder: Emma Lamb, Seren Smale, Georgia Voll, Fi Morris, Ellie Threlkeld w&c, Daisy Mullan, Ailsa Lister, Kate Cross, Mahika Gaur, Phoebe Graham, Hannah Jones.

Diamonds: Lauren Winfield-Hill w, Hollie Armitage c, Emma Marloe, Katherine Fraser, Sterre Kalis, Leah Dobson, Phoebe Turner, Sophia Turner, Grace Hall, Rachel Slater.

Match summary: Northern Diamonds began their Charlotte Edwards Cup campaign with an eight-wicket defeat at the hands of Lancashire Thunder at a sun-soaked Emirates Old Trafford.

A polished bowling display from Thunder, led by miserly trio Mahika Gaur, Fi Morris and Kate Cross, who all struck once apiece, limited Diamonds to 109-5, with Emma Marlow making an unbeaten 47. 

Thunder then eased to their target inside 15 overs, as England opener Emma Lamb top-scored with 44 not out, securing a bonus-point victory (five points in all).

Picture by Allan McKenzie/ Emma Marlow top-scored with 47, her highest score for the Diamonds.

Report: Diamonds were under immediate pressure as Leah Dobson skied England quick Gaur to mid-wicket, where Morris took an excellent catch – 8-1 in the second over. 

And things got tougher, with Lauren Winfield-Hill departing just five balls later when she hit another England seamer Cross to Ailsa Lister at mid-on for two – 10-2 in the third. 

Unfortunately, when captain Hollie Armitage was trapped lbw pulling at ex-Diamond Phoebe Graham, leaving the score at 19-3 in the fifth, two big guns had departed and Thunder were delighted. Armitage certainly was not.

That brought Marlow to the crease, and she batted nicely for her best score in regional cricket and one which gave the Diamonds at least something to bowl at. 

Sterre Kalis, who hit the first boundaries of the day, shared 32 for the fourth wicket with Marlow before she was caught at long-on by Cross off Morris’s off-spin for 16 – 51-4 in the 12th. 

Phoebe Turner followed run out after a mix-up before Marlow and Katherine Fraser saw the innings out and advanced from 67-5 in the 15th. 

They put on 42 unbeaten runs, of which Fraser contributed a bright unbeaten 23 in her first match of the season following a successful T20 World Cup qualification campaign with Scotland earlier this month. 

Unfortunately, though, the target of 110 always looked achievable for the hosts, especially with an in-form Lamb at the top of the order, and Thunder duly got off to a flyer, despite Morris falling lbw for six to Katie Levick.

The six-over powerplay finished with Thunder 56-1 and already more than half-way to the win, with Lamb and Australian Georgia Voll in aggressive mood. 

Voll’s run out for 19 following a bad call stopped the momentum momentarily, but the in-coming Seren Smale’s ensured the pace didn’t let up as Thunder closed in on the target before reaching it with 31 balls to spare. 

Smale finished with a run-a-ball 30, while Lamb accrued her 44 off 43 balls.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/  Katherine Fraser contributed with the bat in her first appearance of the summer.

Magic moment: Marlow was the only Diamonds batter to take the game to Thunder and hit six boundaries in her unbeaten innings.

Turning point: Diamonds never recovered from the loss of both opening batters, Dobson and Winfield-Hill, inside the first three overs.

Stat of the match: Three Diamonds, Fraser, Grace Hall and Rachel Slater, were all making their first appearances of the summer. 

What they said – Assistant coach Kyle Coetzer: “We were three down inside the powerplay, and that’s a damning stat – it’s a challenging rebuild from there. 

“You don’t mean to lose wickets in the powerplay, and you have to play a style of cricket that’s going to give you the best chance of performing. But we didn’t quite execute it, and you can’t get off to starts like that.

“Emma Marlow came in and built a really good partnership with Stere Kalis, and that was good to see. It was great to see Emma take it all the way through to the back end of the innings.

“The rebuild was there, and there was character shown.

“Thunder got away with the bat and played some good strokes, and when you have a batter in form, it’s hard to defend.

“I think they knew that breaking the back of our score was a priority, and they went out very hard in the powerplay. Once that happens, it’s very hard to restrict things.”

Kyle Coetzer

Picture by Allan McKenzie/ Assistant coach Kyle Coetzer was on media duties at Emirates Old Trafford today.

What’s next: Diamonds face Blaze at Trent Bridge on Thursday evening under lights, starting at 6.30pm. Erin Burns is due back having missed this fixture due to a friend’s wedding in Australia.

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