Yorkshire Diamonds kept alive their slim hopes of qualifying for Kia Super League Finals Day with a four-wicket win over Roses rivals Lancashire Thunder at Scarborough.
Alyssa Healy’s blistering 77 set the tone for the Diamonds and broke the back of their chase of 165, after Ellie Threlkeld’s 52 and Harmanpreet Kaur’s 38 had guided Lancashire to a competitive total.
Yorkshire’s hopes of a Finals Day appearance depends on results elsewhere. The Thunder, who were already eliminated, remain winless.
Healy’s innings was a joy to watch for all gathered at Scarborough. She batted with power, timing and intelligence to get the Diamonds off to a flyer.
Her half-century came from just 28 balls in the seventh over – brought up with a six – and she went on to post a century opening stand with captain Lauren Winfield.
The right-hander made her way to 77 from just 38 balls, including 12 fours and three sixes, with the Diamonds 103 without loss but Sophie Ecclestone returned to change the game.
The England spinner had Healy caught in the deep and struck next ball to bowl Winfield. Hollie Armitage was then run out by Kate Cross as three wickets fell in the over.
Cordelia Griffiths was stumped by Threlkeld off a wide by Natalie Brown before another run out for Cross as Bess Heath departed for two. Yorkshire had slipped from 103 for none to 115 for five, still needing 50 to win from 46 balls.
If panic had set in, Jemimah Rodrigues and Alice Davidson-Richards did not show it, putting on a 34-run stand to give Yorkshire control again.
Davidson-Richards fell for 13 and the Diamonds needed 13 from the final two overs. But Rodrigues finished it a hurry, striking three successive boundaries to clinch victory with seven balls to spare.
Lancashire started their innings brightly as Tahlia McGrath offered some early acceleration. The Australia international struck five boundaries on her way to 29 and but she was the third wicket to fall as Yorkshire pegged back the Thunder momentum.
Sune Luus was caught in the deep by Rodrigues for 15, Sophia Dunkley departed for eight before McGrath was trapped by Davidson-Richards in the ninth over to leave Thunder 58 for three.
But a superb partnership between Kaur and Threlkeld proved crucial to the innings. Threlkeld was positive from the start, sweeping and striking aggressively to the leg-side to offer momentum as Kaur took time to get set.
Once she was set, the India star batted beautifully. She struck a huge six over mid-wicket off Leigh Kasparek before launching Katie Levick into the stands to take Lancashire to 116 for three after 16 overs.
Kaur was brilliantly caught by India team-mate Rodrigues – diving forward in the deep – for 38, but Threlkeld continued her assault.
She struck a six and a four in the final over to reach 52 from 36 balls, before being bowled by the next delivery. Ecclestone hit the final ball – her first – for six to carry the Thunder to 164 for five.
What they said…
Danielle Hazell – Yorkshire Diamonds Coach
“I think it just about keeps us alive but for us now it’s just about trying to make sure we win each game as it comes.
“Alyssa (Healy) batted beautifully and Jemimah (Rodrigues) batted really well. They are the key ones who have probably got us over the line today. We’ve had two games this year where we should have got over the line but this time we’ve done it where we have not had that nervous final over.
“Alyssa is a world class player. She would say herself that she probably hasn’t got the runs that she would have wanted but we knew that she was an unbelievable player and that those runs were about to come. It was a ticking time bomb. Great performance from the girls in general today, so it was a really good day.
“We wanted to make sure we have learned from those two games where we should have got over the line and we’ve done that today so really pleased.”
Ellie Threlkeld, Lancashire Thunder – scored 52 and took two stumpings
“I’m made up with my performance. Good to get a bit of time in the middle and a bit of time up the order but unfortunately we did bat well but it wasn’t enough. It was another disappointing result really.
“I had a good hit yesterday inside and the fact that I was given a chance up the order made me think that they do believe in me and that I can so a job there. It was good to get that chance and thankfully I took it which was good.
“I think we have played some good cricket this competition. It’s not like we’ve been battered at all. We’ve been close in a few games and we are competing which is great. Obviously it’s tough to be losing all the time and it is a tough place to be in the dressing room. There’s no doubt that every game we play we believe we can win and hopefully we can get that win in the next couple of games.”