Loughborough Lightning’s women’s cricket team have won the first fixture of the inaugural Kia Super League, defeating Yorkshire Diamonds by 43 runs at Headingley.
Lightning won the toss and elected to bat, with captain Georgia Elwiss scoring four runs with the first ball of the innings.
But in the second over England international Katherine Brunt made a breakthrough for the hosts by claiming the wicket of Dane Van Niekerk, caught at slip by Hollie Armitage.
New Zealander Sophie Devine showed her intent with a four in the third over as Lightning looked to build momentum. But Elwiss was stumped by Mooney off the bowling of Brunt to peg Lightning back to 30-2.
Ellyse Perry joined Devine at the crease and started to build a solid partnership. Two huge sixes from Devine and some fine strokes from Perry saw the pair reach the 50 partnership and Lightning progress to 85-2.
However the innings turned in the 13th over with Ellyse Perry run out for 17 and Amy Jones out first ball, lbw to Hazell. Sonia Odedra was next in and clipped two consecutive fours before being caught and bowled by Gunn for 9.
In the 16th over Sophie Devine went for a big hit and was caught in the deep for 52 by Gunn off the bowling of Levick. In the same over Thea Brookes was run out without facing a ball, to leave Lightning at 98-7.
But in the final overs some important runs from Eve Jones (12) and Paige Scholfield (13) ensured Lightning set the Diamonds a challenging target, finishing on 128 for 9.
Sophie Devine opened the bowling and two fours from Hollie Armitage put Diamonds in control. However Lightning fought back and with her first ball Ellyse Perry trapped Armitage lbw.
Diamonds captain Lauren Winfield, who was dropped in the first over, looked to punish Lightning by hitting three fours off Devine, but a mix-up between the batters saw Winfield run out for 23 in the fourth over.
In the fifth over England international Becky Grundy made a double breakthrough by claiming the wicket of Davidson-Richards, with Ellyse Perry taking a fine catch. Next ball the left arm spinner trapped Beth Mooney lbw to leave the Diamonds on 37-4.
Grundy returned and in her second over claimed the crucial wicket of Australian international Alex Blackwell, with another lbw, for three runs.
At the halfway stage Diamonds were 62-5, but captain Georgia Elwiss entered the attack and in her first over clean bowled Brunt for 16.
Excellent bowling from Van Niekerk was rewarded by claiming the wicket of Jenny Gunn. Some fine glove work from Amy Jones saw her stump Ismail and Levick to leave Diamonds on 76-9
Some big hits from Hazell took the Diamonds to 85-9. But when she was caught for 16 off the bowling of Devine, Lightning wrapped up a comfortable opening day victory, winning by 43 runs.
After the match Loughborough Lightning’s Sophie Devine said:
“It was nice to get some runs on the board, but to be fair I thought we were probably 15-20 runs short.
“But I thought we bowled fantastically well. Yorkshire came out really hard at us which we knew they would. So it was a great team effort to peg them back and I thought Becky Grundy was outstanding.
“It’s a great team win and good to get one on the board.”
The full match scorecard is available on the ESPN Cricinfo website.
Winfield, Armitage, Davidson-Richards, Mooney, Blackwell, Brunt, Gunn, Hazell, Ismail, Thompson, Levick
Elwiss, Van Niekerk, Devine, Perry, A Jones, Odedra, E Jones, Brookes, Scholfield, Langston, Grundy.