Katie Levick was full of praise for in-form team-mate Lauren Winfield-Hill after the Northern Diamonds opener made a crucial 89 in a vital win against rivals Thunder at Sale.

Winfield-Hill followed up Sunday’s score of 83 against Western Storm with a similarly dominant knock in Manchester with her latest half-century allowing Diamonds to post a score of 196 all out.

It was an innings which helped the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy champions keep their title defence alive. 

Levick was also a key contributor with four wickets, but she diverted praise elsewhere. 

“Lauren has been brilliant for two seasons now,” she said.

“She gets us off to such a good start and then she knows how to anchor an innings. 

“It was nice that the girls could build around someone who was set – it was a masterclass of how to go about it.”

Levick continued: “We felt that we were a bit short with the bat and would have to work very hard in the second half.

“They got off to a flyer, so we really had to dig deep and once we got the wickets it was about being the most disciplined team and we stuck at it well – it was an old-fashioned win!”

While the win looked straight-forward enough in the end, Levick admitted there were plenty of concerns at the interval which only grew after the hosts got off to a good start with the bat.

She said: “They are always good battles as it feels like Yorkshire v Lancashire. 

“There is always a bit more on the line and they’re never easy games especially coming over to this side of the Pennines.

“When they got off to a good start we got together and said, ‘This is make or break’. Potentially it was the end of our season.

“It put a fire in the bellies of the girls and although we have quite an inexperienced bowling attack they did really well.”

Levick claimed excellent figures of 4-28 from her 10 overs and appreciated playing on a spin friendly track at Sale.

She added: “Towards the end of our innings the girls said it was starting to spin and it’s always nice when you get to come to a club ground rather than a nice road at a county ground. I was hoping there’d be something in it for me.”

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