Seamer Grace Hall will have easier tasks as her career progresses than debuting on a batter’s paradise at Headingley, as she did in Friday night’s Charlotte Edwards Cup win over Western Storm. But she still loved every minute of it.
Hall was one of four Diamonds bowlers to take two wickets in a not entirely straightforwards but ultimately comfortable defence of a 219 target, the hosts winning by 32 runs.
It was an exhilarating way to kick off a T20 campaign which continues against the Central Sparks at Edgbaston tomorrow morning (11am).
“It was really cool to get out there,” said the 20-year-old from York. “It was a dream to play at Headingley, and for it to go like that was amazing.
“What a game to come and watch. It was definitely a batter’s game. I’m not sure about being a bowler, though. It’s just about sticking to your plans.”
Hall, who finished with 2-41 from four overs and took a fine diving catch at deep mid-wicket, is the latest Academy graduate to burst through into senior cricket for the Diamonds – a bowler with a slingy action and armed with variations aplenty.
“I’ve been working a lot on my slower balls and yorkers, and they were a go to (against the Storm),” she continued. “That’s what got me my wickets, and that’s what I set my field to.”
With a competition record total of 218-3 posted, and Lauren Winfield-Hill and Hollie Armitage posting career best T20 scores of 98 and 74 respectively, the batters took all the limelight and the bowlers flew under the radar.
“The bowlers, we work really hard as a unit, and I think it showed that our T20 skills are where we want them to be,” continued media student Hall.
“Going out there with that total on the board, Loz batting like she did and Hollie batting like she did, it set us up nicely. I felt comfortable and ready to bowl. On debut, that’s exactly what you want.”
Now onto Edgbaston, with Hall set to play at another Test venue so early in her career.
“I know, what’s that about!” she smiled.
“Debut at Headingley under the lights, I couldn’t believe it.
“I found out pretty late on Thursday, and I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was just a bit shocked. But I loved it.
“It’s great to have Dani (Hazell) backing me and the girls as well. It gave me so much confidence.”
Friday was the Diamonds’ fourth win in six games this season, three of them coming from five games in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.
“Encouraging so far this season for us, and we’re really excited to get going with the T20s and see where we can go after a great start,” added Hall.
“We’ll go again in Birmingham. We’ve got that batting line-up, and we’ll back them to go out and do it again.”
The Sparks, who inflicted one of only two defeats on the Diamonds in the RHF Trophy late last month, also won their Charlotte Edwards opener.
They beat Sunrisers by 23 runs defending only 138. England wicketkeeper-batter Amy Jones top-scored with 51 before seamer Emily Arlott claimed four wickets.