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A ruthless display from the bowlers helped South East Stars to an emphatic five-wicket victory over The Blaze at Derby.

Bryony Smith’s 2021 champions shot out the East Midlands team – runners-up last year – for just 84, a first defeat in 16 points-table matches in the competition for Kirstie Gordon’s team since they changed their name from Lightning to The Blaze two years ago.

The two could meet again in next Saturday’s Final on the same ground, both having already qualified for the semi-finals, to be played on the same day.

On a used pitch, left-arm seamer Alexa Stonehouse took three for 13, with Ryana MacDonald-Gay and spinners Dani Gregory and Tilly Corteen-Coleman claiming two wickets each, England’s Sarah Glenn top-scoring for The Blaze with 21 from 24 balls.

Leg-spinner Glenn took three for 14 with the ball but with Emma Jones striking an unbeaten 30 from just 25 balls, the Stars were home and dry with 29 balls to spare.

After skipper Gordon had opted to bat first, The Blaze innings could hardly have started less auspiciously, with three wickets lost in the first two overs and a fourth in the fifth after skipper Kirstie Gordon had opted to bat first.

Corteen-Coleman, the Stars’ 16-year-old left-arm spinner, had England opener Tammy Beaumont leg before with her fourth ball, before Stonehouse hit Marie Kelly in front and had Sarah Bryce caught behind in a double-wicket maiden.

Three for three became 12 for four in the fifth over as Australian international Heather Graham was bowled off an inside edge.

Kathryn Bryce missed a straight one from Jones and Ella Claridge hit a Gregory full toss straight to deep midwicket, leaving The Blaze 40 for six just past the halfway stage, after which a mini-recovery ended with leg-spinner Gregory catching a skied leading edge to dismiss Josie Groves off her own bowling to make it 66 for seven.

Glenn, playing on her home ground, stuck around long enough to drag the total into the 80s before she was bowled by Corteen-Coleman, having lost two more partners in Gordon and Lucy Higham, who both holed out to mid-on.

The Blaze have a good record defending small totals, but even with leading run-getters Paige Scholfield and Sophia Dunkley missing, it never seemed likely that the Stars would miss out.

They lost Smith caught at mid-on as left-armer Grace Ballinger opened with a wicket-maiden and were two down in the powerplay after Phoebe Franklin cut Glenn straight to backward point, with Aylish Cranstone caught at mid-off in the 10th.

Yet they were always comfortably up with the required rate and after Jones hit Kathryn Bryce for three boundaries in the 14th over, just nine were needed in 36 balls.

Glenn picked up her second wicket with a fine return catch to deny Georgia Redmayne (23) the chance to be there at the finish and a third when Alice Davidson-Richards drove to mid-off  for a two-ball duck, but Jones hammered the ball back over bowler Gordon’s head to win the match with a six in the next over.