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Lancashire Thunder 151 for 6 (Winfield 56) beat Yorkshire Diamonds 142 by nine runs
Yorkshire Diamonds captain Lauren Winfield’s excellent 56 followed by a polished bowling and fielding display under pressure secured a thrilling Kia Super League win by nine runs over Lancashire Thunder at Liverpool.
Winfield hit seven fours and a six in a 45-ball knock which underpinned a Diamonds total of 151 for 6 and took her beyond 500 career Super League runs.
The Diamonds then soaked up a Lancashire fightback from 83 for 4 in the 14th, including the loss of India star Harmanpreet Kaur for 37, to bowl their hosts out for 142.
Legspinner Katie Levick had Ellie Threlkeld caught behind with the first ball of the last over, defending 10, to secure a first victory in three.
The Thunder, for whom Emma Lamb impressed with a late 32 off 14 balls, have now lost four from four.
Winfield, having won the toss, and Alyssa Healy shared an excellent opening partnership of 68 inside 10 overs.
Winfield was particularly strong down the ground in her third fifty since the KSL started in 2016.
By the time she reached her latest milestone, off 42 balls, she had lost Healy – bowled by Sophia Dunkley’s legspin having played on trying to reverse sweep.
Lancashire, despite a bright 33 from Hollie Armitage, fought back well, with Ecclestone and Lamb’s offspin both striking, along with two wickets for Kate Cross.
After Ecclestone had uprooted Winfield’s middle stump to make it 106 for 2 in the 15th over, Cross bowled Armitage and had Indian Jemimah Rodrigues superbly caught at deep midwicket by Sune Luus.
Twelve then came off Ecclestone in the last over to secure a competitive, but not insurmountable total.
The start of Lancashire’s chase was eventful as Australian Tahlia McGrath and fellow overseas Luus, the South African both hit boundaries as 10 came off Linsey Smith’s first over.
Then, in the third, Helen Fenby bowled a head-high full toss before McGrath hit the free hit for six. But the legspinner gained revenge towards the end of over by uprooting McGrath’s leg stump.
The Thunder then lost their second wicket in the fourth, leaving them 23 for 2, when Luus miscued the impressive left-arm seamer Katie George to mid-off.
And that was when the Diamonds, chiefly with spin added to George, started to turn the game in their favour.
Smith, New Zealand offspinner Leigh Kasperek and legspinner Levick all bowled tidy overs as the scored moved to 41 for 2 after 7 overs.
Harmanpreet, key to home hopes, launched Kasperek over long-off for six in the eighth over and they reached halfway at 62 for 2, needing 90 more for victory.
But she then lost her partner Dunkley, who was caught at mid-off as medium pacer Alice Davidson-Richards struck, leaving the score at 69 for 3 in the 12th.
Harmanpreet was caught on 35 off a Smith no-ball before, having added two more runs, falling to Davidson-Richards when she sliced a catch to compatriot Rodrigues at deep cover – 83 for four in the 14th.
Lamb’s superb 32 included a six off Davidson-Richards to keep the game alive, taking the target to 28 off 18 balls. But wickets continued to tumble, including herself caught at point off Smith.
Ultimately, wickets falling proved to be the issue for Lancashire, who lost Georgie Boyce and Cross to run outs, as they remain rooted to the foot of the table.