Rachel Slater leads the rout as Diamonds crush Thunder

Northern Diamonds 62 for 5 (Duckworth 21*) beat Thunder 61 (Slater 3-12) by five wickets

Northern Diamonds bowled Lancashire Thunder out for just 61 – the lowest total in the four-year history of the Charlotte Edwards Cup – on the way to a five-wicket victory with 6.2 overs to spare against their arch-rivals at Durham’s Seat Unique Riverside.

Scotland left-arm seamer Rachel Slater returned a superb three for 12 from four overs bowled straight through with the new ball, while opener partner Lizzie Scott also struck twice added to two wickets for the off-spin of Erin Burns in a final group clash which started with neither side able to qualify for Saturday’s Finals Day.

Having almost perfectly made use of helpful bowling conditions, the Diamonds slipped to 37 for four in this helter-skelter contest. But Thunder had left themselves with too much to do, and their former batter Rebecca Duckworth steered the hosts over the line with an unbeaten 21.

Both sides finished this competition with three wins from their 10 matches. Diamonds have won their last two and Thunder have lost their last two.

Given the Diamonds are hosted by Yorkshire as a region, this was the first of two Roses T20s in as many nights, with the men’s teams facing off at Headingley in the Vitality Blast tomorrow. And the first blow was struck by the White Rose county in emphatic fashion.

Diamonds got off to a near-perfect start, beginning with the correct call at the toss.

Captain Hollie Armitage elected to bowl on a green pitch which offered obvious seam movement and also prodigious swing for Slater and Scott, the latter playing her first game of this season’s T20 competition.

Thunder slipped to 19 for four inside the opening five overs, losing key trio Emma Lamb, Australian Katie Mack and in-form Seren Smale, whose 88 not out in their defeat at Central Sparks on Friday represented – at the time – the highest score by any batter in this competition.

Scott had Fi Morris and Mack caught, the latter brilliantly by a diving Katherine Fraser at backward point, and left-armer Slater bowled Lamb and Smale.

Unfortunately for Thunder, things got worse quickly, and 13 from Tara Norris batting at number nine proved to be their highest score. Only three batters reached double figures as a procession of batters came and went on a sunny North East day.

Captain Ellie Threlkeld was run out from cover at the striker’s end before debutant all-rounder Grace Johnson chipped Slater to mid-off – 24 for six in the seventh.

Kate Cross was bowled by Australian Burns before, considering the circumstances, the riches of back-to-back boundaries through the covers for Norris off former Thunder seamer Sophia Turner took the score to 50 for seven in the 11th.

But it was only a brief respite. Norris was bowled on the pull at Scotland off-spinner Katherine Fraser before Liberty Heap was stumped off Katie Levick’s leg-spin.

And when Sophie Morris chipped Burns to cover, Thunder were all out inside 15 overs for a record low total.

Left-arm spinner Morris and new ball seamer Cross then both struck twice apiece to give Diamonds something to think about at 37 for four after eight overs, 25 runs still needed.

England’s Cross trapped Emma Marlow lbw and had Bess Heath caught behind to finish with figures of two for 14 from four overs.

Duckworth’s unbeaten 21 represented the highest score of the match.