Northern Diamonds skipper Hollie Armitage was pleased with her side’s character in a losing effort today – a four-wicket defeat to The Blaze in their Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy clash at Seat Unique Riverside.

The Diamonds were bowled out for just 62 inside 19 overs in tough batting conditions at Chester-le-Street as Nadine de Klerk capitalised on a good bowling wicket and overhead cloud to claim figures of 7-33. 

However, Armitage and her team battled back to make life difficult for their opponents. After a fast start, the Blaze limped over the line as Chloe Tryon took 4-16, while Katie Levick also notched two wickets. 

The cluster of wickets put the pressure on the visitors, but they eventually found their way to victory. 

But Armitage has revealed she was extremely pleased with the way her side continued to fight in adversity.

She said: “It was a special performance from Nadine de Klerk. She’s an international bowler, and is very good with her skills. 

“The overhead conditions worked in her favour, and it was a very good spell. 

“It’s difficult when a bowler of that talent is in rhythm and bowling well, but at the same time we’ve got some quality batters in our line-up that didn’t come off on the day. It can go either way. Cricket is a momentum game, and when De Klerk was bowling well it was difficult. 

“At the half-way stage, I had to reassure the team about our skills and what we can do to get back into the game. There’s 10 wickets to get, and you get those in 10 balls. You’ve got to have a presence out in the field and character. 

“We fought brilliantly out there today. Although the game ended in a loss, we were able to not make it easy for them. We had two outstanding spinners on there creating pressure. Anything could have happened, but it didn’t quite go in our favour.”

Tryon’s performance put a positive turn on a difficult day for the team with the bat. The South Africa all-rounder had taken just one wicket in her previous three games with the ball, but displayed her potential alongside Levick as a troublesome spin tandem. 

Tryon and Levick almost pulled off the impossible for the Diamonds, but Armitage was thrilled with her breakout display, and is eagerly anticipating more excellent performances from the 29-year-old as she settles into her role in the team.

Armitage added: “My gut was saying left-arm spin, and I brought on Chloe and she got a wicket in her first over. 

“Chloe and Katie Levick were both on fire out there today to get us six wickets on the board. We knew the calibre of player we had in Chloe when we signed her for this season. That was a little piece in our armoury that we were missing after Linsey Smith left. 

“We knew that Chloe was going to be a very important all-rounder for us this year with her left-arm and spin, and her ability to strike the ball as far as any batter can. 

“So far, she’s been an extremely good signing for us. She’s been great around the group and great with the girls. I’m looking forward to seeing what else she can bring to us this season. 

“Chloe is a player who has been all around the world in different franchise competitions, but is also a genuinely lovely person, so it has been great to have her on board.”

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