It has been three days of contrasting emotions for new England wicketkeeper-batter Bess Heath.

First the Diamonds star made her senior ODI debut against Sri Lanka at Derby on Thursday, scoring 21 off 14 balls down the order in a big victory.

Her encouraging start to her international career came in helping England seal a 2-0 series victory, and happened in the county where she was born. 

The 22-year-old then returned to Diamonds’ colours today, hitting a fine 37 off 21 balls in a rain-affected Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy defeat against Sunrisers in Durham.

Unfortunately it couldn’t help the region qualify for the knockout stages of the competition they won last year.

While they ultimately didn’t gain the win they needed, their fate was sealed long before as results elsewhere which needed to go their way didn’t.

“It was a good game of cricket, but unfortunately we came out on the wrong side of it,” said Heath.

“It was the most random day I’ve ever experienced with the rain and coming on and off and basically playing a T20.

“We tried to focus as much as we could on our game. The exterior was going to happen with results elsewhere. 

“It’s disappointing we couldn’t qualify, but that’s how it goes sometimes.”

Heath was still smiling, though owing much to her being able to discuss one of the proudest moments of her cricketing career. Surely only last September’s RHFT success could match her England debut! 

“It was good to get a run out,” she said. “Nat Sciver-Brunt and Maia Bouchier put on a good partnership, which allowed me to go in and play my game. 

“I had freedom. As it goes, it was the ideal start for me.

“It all happened really fast, but it was really exciting to be around the group. I learnt a lot. 

“To be able to go into that environment and learn from a great player like Amy Jones with the bat and gloves was amazing. It was just about being a sponge for me. I just wanted to pick brains as much as I could.

“I didn’t expect the call-up at all. At that point, I was excited to get going and just be around the squad. Anything extra would have been amazing.”

On Thursday in particular, she said: “My heart rate’s never been so high in my life! 

“I just wanted to be ready in case anything did come up. 

“It was very cool to be back at Derby, where I’ve played before. I saw a few old faces. I had some friends and family around, and it was a really nice night.”

And, no doubt, that will be just the start for brilliant Bess.

“Hopefully, yeah,” she added. “I’ll just keep working hard and see what happens in the future.”

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