Lightning narrowly fall short in chase having earlier reduced visitors to 50 for 6
Northern Diamonds 151 (Gunn 40, K Bryce 4-16) beat Lightning 145 (Brunt 4-23) by six runs
The Northern Diamonds bounced back from defeat in their opening match by beating Lightning by six runs in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy at Kibworth in Leicestershire.
Put in after Lightning won the toss, the Diamonds began badly. Kathryn Bryce’s second ball removed Lauren Winfield-Hill, who made 110 in the Diamonds’ opener against the Central Sparks, via a catch at cover and the medium-pacer soon had captain Hollie Armitage caught at midwicket, with new-ball partner Sophie Munro striking another big blow when England star Nat Sciver drove her straight to mid-off.
Brunt’s leading edge gave Bryce an easy return catch and when Teresa Graves bowled Sterre Kallis and Ami Campbell was caught at mid-on in the same over, Diamonds were six down and struggling.
Left-arm spinner Kirstie Gordon, who took four wickets against champions the Southern Vipers on Saturday, went wicketless this time and it took the returning Bryce to account for Gunn via a top-edged pull to midwicket.
With the partnership broken, Diamonds lost their last four wickets for 20. Yvonne Graves had Beth Langston caught at mid-off, fellow offspinner Lucy Higham bowled MacDonald for 39 and followed up by having Katie Levick caught behind.
Lightning were rocked by a brilliant opening burst by Brunt, who knocked back opener Sarah Bryce’s off-stump for a second ball duck – the second in as many matches for Lightning’s top scorer in 2020 – and had Kathryn edging behind.
Abbey Freeborn helped England opener Tammy Beaumont add 44 for the third wicket but then Lightning lost three wickets for six runs in 11 balls to be 57 for 5. Freeborn was caught behind off bat and pad, Higham chipped Levick’s legspin straight to extra cover before Beaumont was given out leg before to Sciver.
Lightning took the result closer than expected from that point but the Diamonds attack kept chipping away. Shachi Pai was lbw to Levick and Brunt returned to have South African Michaela Kirk leg before.
Late runs from Gordon and both Graves sisters kept Lightning in the chase but after Yvonne Gordon holed out to mid-off off Brunt, Langston had Gordon caught behind to clinch victory in the 49th over.