The Northern Diamonds rounded off their pre-season tour to Desert Springs in fine style with a thumping 40-over victory against South East Stars today – and captain Hollie Armitage led the way with an impressive all-round display.

The Diamonds won by 106 runs, with Armitage hitting a top-score of 36 in 209 before claiming 3-23 from six overs of leg-spin in a dominant defence.

The Stars were skittled for 103, with eight wickets falling to spin – three more for Katie Levick and two for Emma Marlow. Seamers Jess Woolston and Grace Hall also struck.

A clash between the 2022 Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy champions and the winners of the previous season’s Charlotte Edwards Cup saw the Diamonds recover from two previous tour defeats.

Armitage won the game of rock, paper, scissors – the choice of deciding the toss on this tour – and then top-scored with four boundaries in her 36 from number three.

Her’s was one of five useful top order contributions; Lauren Winfield-Hill 22, Sterre Kalis 31, Phoebe Turner 25 and Rebecca Duckworth 24.

Alexa Stonehouse and Bethan Miles both claimed four wickets for the Stars, but their displays weren’t enough to stop the Diamonds.

The Stars were put under early pressure in pursuit by two Marlow wickets and one from Woolston. They were 42-3 after 10 overs and failed to recover, losing wickets all too regularly.

Two of Armitage’s wickets, including that of Northern Superchargers team-mate Alice Davidson-Richards, were caught by Kalis and the other stumped by Winfield-Hill.

Fellow leggie Levick then added a trio of late wickets and finished with 3-13 from five overs, with off-spinner Marlow equally miserly for her 2-16 from six.

Opener Ryana MacDonald-Gay top-scored for the Stars with 13.

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