Assistant coach Kyle Coetzer reflected on a frustrating day at the office as the Northern Diamonds lost to Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy pacesetters the Blaze at Chesterfield today.
The Diamonds, defending a target of 186, were beaten by nine wickets as the hosts knocked the runs off just inside 25 overs.
England Test opener Tammy Beaumont top-scored with 83 not out after Lauren Winfield-Hill’s 56 was the best for the Diamonds in 185 all out having elected to bat.
It was the champions’ third defeat in seven matches, and despite defeat they remain handily placed inside the top three at the halfway stage in the group.
“There were a couple of starts, but maybe we didn’t quite seize moments and play accordingly,” said Coetzer. “We were close to a couple of girls going on and getting decent scores, but we just didn’t keep the game in our favour for long enough.
“The pitch potentially had one in it that could get you out, but none of our dismissals were due to that.
Maybe Loz (Winfield-Hill, bowled by Lucy Higham) was unlucky with one that kept a bit low. But there were plenty of runs out there, and the outfield was rapid. You could just block and it would go for four if you hit the gap.
“We just needed to bat better for longer.”
Winfield-Hill scored her 10th RHF Trophy fifty in her last 14 innings since last May, a run including two centuries.
“The understanding of how to score runs and what her best method to do that, she’s right on top of it at the minute,” continued the former Scotland men’s captain. “She assesses the conditions really well. She’s in outstanding form, long may it continue.”
The Diamonds fell from 55-0 to 147-9 before Grace Hall and Jess Woolston shared 38 for the 10th wicket to give the visitors a boost and some momentum heading into their defence.
Katie Levick struck early with her leg-spin, but it couldn’t be backed up as Beaumont and Sarah Bryce (53 not out) shared 156 for the second wicket to kill the game.
It was the second highest partnership for any side in this season’s competition.
“We didn’t really do ourselves any justice (with the ball),” added Coetzer. “There were a couple that got away early, and we didn’t quite nail our areas.
“We weren’t able to get a grasp on the game. The girls will probably sum that up the same.
“If you get a couple of early wickets, you can build a bit of pressure and two or three more could fall in a hurry. But we just didn’t string them together enough.”
Winfield-Hill added: “You’re always going to struggle to defend that number of runs in 50-over cricket. They bowled pretty well on that surface, keeping the stumps in play, and we probably just didn’t manage to do the same.
“We weren’t able to create enough pressure with the new ball, and that meant they were always ahead of the rate. You can’t take wickets unless you create pressure.
“It was disappointing, but we don’t turn into a bad team overnight.
“We’ve got to do better than we did today, but we’re still in a good position and we’ve played largely good cricket.
“The Blaze are a good side, they’re top of the league for a reason, but we aren’t that far behind.”