Atapattu leads Diamonds past Lightning

Chamari Atapattu smashed a vital fifty Getty Images

Yorkshire Diamonds 110 for 5 (Atapattu 66) beat Loughborough Lightning 93 for 5 (Atapattu 2-11) by 17 runs

Yorkshire Diamonds kept alive their hopes of qualifying for Finals Day in the Kia Super League with a 17-run victory over Loughborough Lightning at the Hazlegrave Ground in a match reduced to 13 overs a side after a delayed start.

It spelled the end of the road for Lightning, who have lost all three of their matches in the round-robin phase of the women's twenty20 competition.

For the second time this week, one big innings by an international opponent gave Lightning too much to chase. After New Zealand skipper Suzie Bates put Southern Vipers out of their reach with a brilliant 119 not out in Derby on Tuesday, it was the Sri Lankan Chamari Atapattu who enabled Diamonds to set them a challenge that was just beyond them.

Lightning skipper Georgia Elwiss hit 41 off 28 balls in reply and a partnership of 48 for the fifth wicket with Sonia Odedra kept the home side in with an outside chance. But a target of 111 to win proved too much in the end as Atapattu followed her match-winning innings with 2 for 11 off her three overs, crucially conceded just two singles in the penultimate over of the match, in which she also dismissed Elwiss.

Atapattu's 66 not out off 40 deliveries helped Diamonds to 110 for 5 in their 13 overs after heavy rain and hail had delayed the start by almost an hour and a half.

The left-hander, whose 178 not out against Australia was one of the highlights of the Women's World Cup, gave one chance on 47 when she was put down on the boundary by Beth Langston off Ellyse Perry's bowling but otherwise batted superbly, hitting nine fours and two sixes, the second of them a wonderfully timed flick over the leg side off the medium pace of Elwiss.

The only real blot on the innings was a horrible misjudgement when, needing one to reach 50, she went for a single off a calculated push into the off-side off Kristen Beams but gave partner Katherine Brunt no chance of completing the run.

Brunt, who struck two significant blows with the ball when she dismissed both opener Amy Jones and Australian allrounder Perry in single figures, was going well at the time with 21 off just 10 deliveries.

Lightning 2nd innings Partnerships

1st2EJ VillaniAE Jones
2nd11EJ VillaniEA Perry
3rd11EJ VillaniGA Elwiss
4th7GA ElwissTF Brookes
5th48GA ElwissSB Odedra
6th14SB OdedraS Glenn