Loughborough Lightning become the second team after Western Storm to qualify for the Finals day. In front of one of their best crowds of the year, they beat Lancashire Thunder by 9 wickets. While it was their bowlers that won them the game in the first encounter, it was their batters that ensured victory this time around.
Lancashire Thunder won the toss and chose to bat. They had no fear of a repeat of that first game this season where Loughborough won a low scoring game.
With no Eve Jones in the side, Georgie Boyce opened alongside Nicole Bolton. After a tight first over from Sophie Devine the Lancashire Thunder openers started to settle in. Boyce would have savoured going up against her Nottinghamshire teammate Lucy Higham and it was the batter that won that battle scoring two consecutive fours.
Boyce looked at home for the first time this season. She made 38 from 32 balls which included 5 fours and a six. It looked as if the red rose county were going to set Loughborough Lightning a tough target.
It was another Nottinghamshire teammate that finally saw an end to Boyce. Kirstie Gordon had her caught in the deep by Jenny Gunn. Harmanpreet Kaur visit to the middle was again brief as she drilled a return catch to Georgia Elwiss for just 4 from 7 balls.
Much would rest on Amy Satterthwaite to take Lancashire Thunder to a defendable target, but she was out to the first ball of the nineteenth over. The theme of the day was dismissed by a teammate, this time her New Zealand teammate Sophie Devine.
It was the first of two wickets in the over that allowed Devine to finish with figures of 2 for 22. Gordon also finished with 2 for 29 to peg back Lancashire Thunder to 136 for 7. Loughborough Lightning have won most of their games when either Rachael Haynes of Sophie Devine have got off to lightning quick starts.
Devine looked in the type of mood that any boundary is too small for her. In a brief cameo, Devine scored 22 from 12 balls, before she was run out. Amy Jones who is having a fine season so far she looked classy as ever and started to make light work of the target.
Jones hit her second ball for six and never looked back as she scored her 50 from 30 balls. She was not done there as finished on 66 not out. Haynes at the other end was not scoring slowly and on another day ner 40 not out from 36 balls would have been up there with the best.
These two sides now have two games left. Up next for Loughborough is Western Storm at Edgbaston. Both the sides have already qualified for the finals day.
Lancashire Thunder will need to win their final games and hope results go their way. One thing for sure is that both teams have plenty to play for in the coming week.