27th Match, Leeds, June 09, 2024, Charlotte Edwards Cup
(19.5/20 ov, T:160) 146

The Blaze won by 13 runs


Blaze hot streak continues to secure Finals Day spot

Kathryn Bryce, Tammy Beaumont fire with the bat before Sarah Glenn helps topple Diamonds in chase

Tammy Beaumont held the Blaze innings together with her half-century, Southern Vipers vs Blaze, Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy final, Northampton, September 24, 2023

Tammy Beaumont helped Blaze off to a strong start  •  PA Images via Getty Images

The Blaze 159 for 7 (K Bryce 54, Beaumont 45, Burns 3-19) beat Northern Diamonds 146 (Heath 59, Kalis 41, Glenn 3-33) by 13 runs
Last year's beaten finalists The Blaze have qualified for Finals Day again after winning their seventh successive Charlotte Edwards Cup match of the ongoing campaign, by 13 runs against struggling Northern Diamonds at Headingley.
Blaze, who defended a 160-target, are the runaway leaders at the top of the table but were threatened by a Diamonds side who have lost six of their seven games and now need a miracle to qualify for the showpiece day at Derby on June 22. Even winning their three remaining games may not be sufficient.
International pair Kathryn Bryce and Tammy Beaumont underpinned their side's 159 for 7 with impressive scores of 54 off 39 balls and 45 off 33 respectively. England fringe wicketkeeper-batter Bess Heath then crashed 59 off 32, but the hosts fell from 94 for 2 in the 12th over to 146 all out in the 20th.
England legspinner Sarah Glenn claimed 3 for 32 and Bryce continued her excellent day by removing Heath caught at deep cover as one of two wickets with her seamers.
After the early departure of Teresa Graves, stumped off the impressive offspin of Erin Burns - she returned 3 for 19 - Scotland's Bryce and England opener Beaumont shared a blistering second-wicket 78 inside eight overs to advance Blaze from 11 for 1 in the third over having been inserted.
Both hit sixes down the ground, Beaumont's arrow straight one off the seam of Rachel Slater, in particular, lighting up a grey Headingley day.
The start of play was delayed by 15 minutes because of rain, while a minute's silence in memory of local Rugby League legend Rob Burrow was observed.
This was Beaumont's best T20 score since scoring a century in the Hundred for Welsh Fire last August. After she fell, caught at short fine leg trying to sweep Sophia Turner's seam - 89 for 2 in the 10th over - Diamonds did fight back admirably.
Allrounder Burns helped offspinner Katherine Fraser remove Sarah Bryce with a catch at mid-off before bowling her fellow Australian allrounder Heather Graham.
Wickets continued to fall. Bryce, having reached a dynamic fifty off 34 balls, was one of them. She reverse swept legspinner Katie Levick to short third, the first of two wickets in the 17th over as Ella Claridge was bowled, leaving Blaze 139 for 6. Burns had Glenn well caught at long-on by Lauren Winfield-Hill in the search for late runs.
When new-ball seamer Grace Ballinger had Winfield-Hill caught at cover and Glenn bowled Hollie Armitage, leaving Diamonds at 18 for 2 in the third over, it seemed like a forlorn task for the hosts given they had not posted above 140 in their previous CE Cup matches this season.
But Heath had other ideas, crashing five of her first 11 balls to the boundary. She hit 10 fours in her fifty off 28 balls, with her famed switch hit on show alongside brute power.
However, just when the Diamonds looked like they were going to win, things changed again. Stere Kalis fell caught behind off Glenn, and Heath was caught at deep cover off Kathryn Bryce, as two of four wickets to fall for 26 from 94 for 2 in the 12th over to 120 for 6 in the 15th. That was game over.
Glenn later struck for a third time and Bryce for a second as Blaze wrapped things up.

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