Super Fours, 2006 May 30, 2006

Diamonds dazzle, Sapphires sapped

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Charlotte Edwards got her summer off to the perfect start, leading her team to success in the Twenty20 competition of this year's Super Fours. The Diamonds - who, rather confusingly, were known as the Knight Riders last year - romped to a convincing 21-run victory against the Sapphires in the final at Loughborough University.

The jewels in a particularly sparkly Diamonds crown were Nicky Shaw, who hit a gleaming 62 not out, and Isa Guha who dazzled with 3 for 23 from four overs of her medium-pacers. The Diamonds crushed the Rubies, led by Gill Richards, with a rock-solid eight-wicket win to tee up their place in the final, with Edwards striking 67. Alexia Walker made 61 for the Rubies, but it was the Diamonds who were forever bound for the final.

The Sapphires, skippered by Laura Newton, took on the Emeralds and defeated them by 22 runs. The Emeralds were left to rue dropping the England allrounder Rosalie Birch off her first ball - she went on to make 59. She and fellow England bowler Katherine Brunt both took two wickets to set up the Sapphires' passage.

The Emeralds added some polish to their day in winning the third-place play-off by nine wickets, with Laura Harper making 40 not out and Kelly Evenson taking 3 for 9 from four overs. But it was the Diamonds who proved the girls' best blend.

Jenny Thompson is assistant editor of Cricinfo