Lightning tasted defeat in their opening home fixture of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy season, falling to a six-run defeat against Northern Diamonds at Kibworth.

Past and present England stars were the match-winners for Diamonds, longtime Nottinghamshire all-rounder Jenny Gunn top scoring with 40 as Diamonds recovered from 50 for six to post 151.

Trent Rockets pace bowler Katherine Brunt went on to take four for 23 as Lightning fell just short, bowled out for 145 in the 49th over.

Kathryn Bryce took four for 16 for Lightning but Gunn’s 81-run seventh-wicket partnership with batting all-rounder Alex MacDonald, who made 39, was ultimately the decisive passage of play, 35-year-old former Lightning player Gunn hitting six boundaries.

Put in after Lightning won the toss, Diamonds began badly. Kathryn Bryce’s second ball removed Lauren Winfield-Hill, who made 110 against Sparks, via a catch at cover and the medium-pacer soon had Diamonds captain Hollie Armitage caught at midwicket.

Bryce’s new-ball partner Sophie Munro soon struck another big blow when England star Nat Sciver drove her straight to mid-off.

Brunt’s leading edge gave Bryce an easy return catch, and when Teresa Graves bowled Sterre Kallis and had Ami Campbell was caught at mid-on in the same over, Diamonds were 50 for six.

Left-arm spinner Kirstie Gordon, who took four wickets against champions Southern Vipers on Saturday, went wicketless this time and it took the returning Bryce to account for Gunn via a top-edged pull to midwicket.

With the partnership broken, Diamonds lost their last four wickets for 20. Yvonne Graves had Beth Langston caught at mid-off, fellow off-spinner Lucy Higham bowled MacDonald for 39 and followed up by having Katie Levick caught behind.

Lightning were rocked by a brilliant opening burst by Brunt, who knocked back opener Sarah Bryce’s off-stump for a second ball duck - the second in as many matches for Lightning’s top scorer in 2020 - and had Kathryn edging behind.

Abbey Freeborn helped England opener Tammy Beaumont add 44 for the third wicket but then Lightning lost three wickets for six runs in 11 balls to be 57 for five.

Freeborn was caught behind off bat and pad, Higham chipped Katie Kevick’s leg spin straight to extra cover before Beaumont was given out leg before to Sciver.

Lightning took the result closer than expected from that point but the Diamonds attack kept chipping away.

Shachi Pai was lbw to the leg spin of Katie Levick and Brunt returned to have South African Michaela Kirk leg before.  

Late runs from Gordon and both Graves sisters kept Lightning in the chase but after Yvonne Gordon holed out to mid-off off Brunt, Beth Langston had Gordon caught behind to clinch victory.

View the full scorecard here.