The Northern Diamonds are Lording it in the Charlotte Edwards Cup at present, believes opening batter Leah Dobson.

Two wins from two and firmly in the mix for a top three finish and Finals Day at New Road on June 10 with five games remaining, confidence is sky high within the group.

A high-scoring victory over Western Storm at Headingley on Friday, when the Diamonds posted a competition record total of 218-3, was followed by a low-scoring nail-biter against Central Sparks at Edgbaston on Tuesday when the side held their nerve to win by three runs.

That win, which saw them defend 13 off the last over defending a total of 136, reminded the team of their greatest day.

Speaking ahead of Friday’s CE Cup visit to the Kia Oval to take on South East Stars (1.45pm), Dobson said: “We showed again how we always fight to the end, and that’s credit to the girls.

“People have seen us in that situation many times before, like at Lord’s in September when we beat the Vipers to win the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.

“It was very similar to that final given how we held our nerve and pulled through. We did really well.

“We’ve still got five more games to go, so we’ll keep working hard and see what happens. But we’re in a great place at the moment.”

Dobson hit an excellent 41 off 25 balls against the Sparks, the highest score of a match which saw the Diamonds bowled out for 135 on a used pitch before the Sparks responded with 132-7.

She also hit 25 off 18 balls against Storm at Headingley, helping to lay the platform for the first 200 plus total in Charlotte Edwards Cup history.

That has come off the back of only playing one of the first five Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy games this season, left out of the team as captain Hollie Armitage and coach Dani Hazell opted for a different balance to the team.

Leah Dobson is pictured during the T20 Media Day at Headingley Cricket Ground, Leeds.

Leah Dobson pictured during the T20 Media Day at Headingley Cricket Ground, Leeds.

“Just coming back into the team, into the T20s especially, I feel quite free and can play my game,” she said, before reflecting on the early stages of the summer.

“It has been frustrating, but very understandable. We’ve got a group of players who can all play and contribute. But we all trust Hollie and Dani to make the right calls and push this team forwards.

“We’ve got the rest of the season to go. I seem to be creeping closer to that fifty, which I hope will come soon. I’m just going to play my game and not get too complacent. We’ve also got the Hundred coming up, and that’s something I’m hoping to be a part of. We’ll see what happens.”

Ahead of the game against the Stars, a region who have lost both their opening T20 fixtures, Dobson’s approach has been hailed by overseas star Chloe Tryon.

“I love her approach to the game. You always want to take charge of the first six overs, and she’s backed herself and her skill with really clear plans,” said the South African all-rounder. “She makes it look very easy.”

The Diamonds sit top of the embryonic Charlotte Edwards group table on eight points from two games, though could be overtaken by the time they take to the field at the Oval.

“We’re happy, two out of two, and there’s a lot of confidence going into the next game,” continued Tryon.

“It’s great that girls are putting up their hands at different stages. We’ve got some youngsters coming in and taking charge of big pressure moments. That’s always something that’s really exciting to see.”

Tryon bowled the all-important final over at Edgbaston and finished with 3-30, and it’s clear the powerful batter and left-arm spinner is loving life at Headingley and her first taste of regional cricket.

The trip to the Oval will be the third successive Test ground the Diamonds have played on after Headingley and Edgbaston.

“They’re three beautiful grounds to play at, and you couldn’t ask for better. It’s quality,” she said.

“To be playing in a competition like this with the standard, it’s amazing.

“I’ve played enough cricket against England, but it’s my first time out here for domestic cricket. I’m really excited to be here, and it’s truly been an honour to be part of this team. They are an amazing group.”

Tryon, 29, has so far hit a best of 63 but only reached 20 once more in seven innings for the Diamonds this summer. She has added eight wickets with the ball.

“It’s been a little bit up and down,” she added. “I feel like I could have been more consistent.

“But the coaches have been really good, helping me work on a few things.

“I haven’t been bowling a lot of overs back home, so coming here and being a full on all-rounder has been a good challenge for me. I really want to score more runs, but there’s plenty of time for that.”

The trip to the Oval is the first part of a T20 double header, with Surrey’s men then taking on Kent under lights in the Vitality Blast.



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