It was a tough day for the Northern Diamonds at Blackpool on Wednesday as the dream of Charlotte Edwards Cup glory was ended. But, amidst the defeat to Thunder, one major positive stood out as bright as the town’s Tower when it is lit up as part of the famous illuminations. The return to action of popular fast bowler Beth Langston.
The World Cup-winning quick has been out injured since last August with an Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury suffered whilst playing in the Hundred.
But she has battled back to fitness following surgery on her right knee in September.
Langston claimed 1-22 from three overs in the bid to defend 97 at Stanley Park, claiming the wicket of Naomi Dattani caught at short third.
Emotions were raw within the squad at the end of the game, but the mood of her team-mates and coaches was certainly lifted by the Essex-born star’s return.
“The highs and lows of cricket,” she smiled, somewhat ruefully.
“It was obviously a very disappointing result. We couldn’t get the job done in all departments. But it was great being back on the field.
“It’s been a tough few months watching, but seeing the girls do well and win that (Rachael Heyhoe Flint) trophy at the end of the season was fantastic.
“I was thinking I may not even be able to get back in because they were playing so brilliantly.”
Langston bowled nicely in a tough situation on the Fylde Coast.
“There were quite a few nerves, and it almost felt like a debut it’s been that long,” she reflected.
“Even though it was a wide, it was nice to get that first ball out of the way.
“You’re up and running and in the heat of the battle from there, trying to think about what you need to do to bowl well and win the game.
“It’s nice that after the hard work of the last few months, it’s paid off by being able to get back on the park doing what I love.”
The Diamonds now have a short break from action before resuming their Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy defence at the start of July.
They have won three of five games so far and are very much in the hunt for a fourth successive final and back-to-back titles with nine group games remaining.
Their first match back is against South East Stars at Beckenham on July 2.
“We have to put this to bed and focus on the 50-over stuff,” added Langston.
“We’re in a good position in that, and I’m sure we can get back to winning some games and get back to Northampton for another final.
“We’ll have a bit of a break from cricket now. I think that will be good for mind and body. We’ll then get back into it with some practice games and go from there. I can’t wait. I’m fresh and good to go.”