Katie Levick believes her new spin partnership with Erin Burns could be crucial to Northern Diamonds chances of success this season.

Levick took a brilliant 4-38, with Burns impressing with 1-18 from her 10 overs, to help dismiss Thunder for just 165 at Chester-le-Street as Diamonds eased to a nine wicket victory to kick off their Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Trophy campaign in style.

Australian all-rounder Burns has signed an overseas deal with the Diamonds through to late July, and the six times international showed what an asset she will be to the Diamonds bowling attack this season with her canny off-spinners.

Leg-spinner Levick said: “You want to go out there and win that powerplay, and we talk about taking wickets up top and not necessarily worrying about the scoreboard because the wickets are so important.

Katie Levick

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. Katie Levick celebrates (with captain Hollie Armitage) dismissing Thunder’s Ellie Threlkeld in today’s big win.

“It made it a nice job for me and Erin to come on in the middle innings, and we really quietened them down and stagnated the innings.

“That is what really builds pressure – when those dots build – and that is something we really wanted to correct from last year because I don’t think we were as tight as we could’ve been.

“We struggled in the spin department for someone to be able to assist me, and I think we’re going to get that now from Erin.”

Burns will play in both regional competitions through to the start of the Hundred. She has played for both Birmingham Phoenix and Manchester Originals over the last few years.

Picture by YCCC. Debutant Erin Burns, second left, is flanked by Lauren Winfield-Hill, Sophia Turner and Jess Woolston. Turner also received her Diamonds cap today having made her first appearance as a full-time Diamond. She played twice on loan last year.

“It was really nice bowling with her, and I hope it continues for the rest of the season,” said Levick. 

“Everyone today has put in a really good performance, and every bowling change Hollie (Armitage) made came off and everyone chipped in.

“I don’t want to rest on what happened last season, so to get some early wickets was a nice bonus to ease me in and keep my confidence high.”

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