Coach Dani Hazell is relishing the prospect of facing an in-form Central Sparks side on Monday as the Northern Diamonds bid to ignite their Charlotte Edwards Cup campaign.

The Diamonds have lost their opening two T20 games of the summer, yet unable to get out of the blocks in a 10-game group phase.

They lost away games to Lancashire Thunder on Sunday and then the Blaze on Thursday, leaving them with not a great deal more wriggle room if they are to finish in the top four of the eight-team league and reach Finals Day next month.

Next up, at Headingley on Bank Holiday Monday (2.30pm), are a Sparks side who have won their opening two games.

And, for Hazell, she is quite rightly seeing things as a glass half full. 

To sum things up, the former England spinner is very much of the opinion that, ‘Home is where the heart is’, and, ‘Bring it on’.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/ Coach Dani Hazell is confident of an upturn in T20 fortunes.

“There’s no hiding away from it, we need to get a win on the board,” she said. “We go back to Headingley, where we know how to play, and we have to bring our A-game to get back in this competition.

“They’ve started really well, but why not play the team who’s in the best form, and we’ll certainly find out where we are.

“I really do think that winning is a habit. You just have to get on that rollercoaster and you start to build some momentum up. A little bit of luck here and there, and then it all turns around. Then you’re off and away.”

Australian overseas all-rounder Erin Burns will face her former region having played for the Sparks last summer.

Burns was superb with the ball against the Blaze at Trent Bridge on Thursday, claiming career best figures of 5-25 from four overs of off-spin to bowl the hosts out for 136. Unfortunately, her 22 with the bat wasn’t enough to seal victory, the Diamonds finishing on 132-7.

Hazell praised the former international’s contribution to the cause so far this summer.

Hazell and Burns

Picture by Allan McKenzie/ Dani Hazell (l) has praised the impact of overseas Australian Erin Burns.

“Erin’s been really good for us,” she said of a player who has taken 16 wickets in seven matches across both competitions added to 147 runs.

“And not just that, she’s been really good for us off the field. 

“She’s added some real value to us in terms of experience and in terms of somebody around the group who comes in with a smile on her face all the time.

“She’s obviously a highly-skilled cricketer.

“But we do have a lot of young players around, and she’s someone they can lean on for experience and perspective.

“Sometimes, when you’re young, you put everything on the game and it kind of becomes your life. She just brings perspective on things we’ve done really well and things we need to get better at. I’m really happy with how she’s gone so far.”

Picture by Allan McKenzie/ Katie Levick impressed with three wickets against the Blaze last night.

Sparks have beaten Sunrisers and Western Storm in their opening two games. Captained by Eve Jones, they have Australian Courtney Webb as their overseas player this summer.

Diamonds will be hoping for a repeat of their thrilling one-run win at the start of this month against the Sparks at Edgbaston in the 50-over Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.

It was one of four wins in six games in that competition.

Assessing her region’s start to the season, Hazell said: “The 50-over stuff started really well. Four wins and two losses, we’ve put ourselves in a good position in that.

“But I don’t think we’ve played our best cricket in any game. 

“We’ve played bits of good cricket, but we haven’t quite put it all together yet. 

Hollie Armitage

Picture by Evan Barnes/Getty Images. Hollie Armitage was with the England squad for game one of their ODI series against Pakistan.

“I still think there’s a lot to come from this group and a lot to do to make sure we end both competitions well.”

Captain Hollie Armitage played in Thursday’s defeat against Blaze having been with England earlier in the day as illness cover for Dani Wyatt ahead of their opening ODI against Pakistan.

“It was a bit of a whirlwind for her,” ahead Hazell.

“We fully expect Hollie to be available going forwards. But if she gets called up for England again, that’s what we want for our players – to be challenging for England spots. 

“If she does, brilliant. If not, she’ll be with us.”

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