Coach Dani Hazell is backing her Northern Diamonds side to find form in the Charlotte Edwards Cup, but she knows they have to do it quickly in order for it result in prizes and not just pride.

The Diamonds are on a four-game losing streak at the start of the regional T20 competition, hoping to snap that run when they face Sunrisers at Wantage Road in Northampton tomorrow (11.30am).

Hazell and company, T20 finalists in 2021, are in the midst of a mixed season so far.

They won four out of six games to start the summer well in the 50-over Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, and they are well placed for finals cricket in that competition.

But they have lost all of their opening fixtures in the Charlotte Edwards, the latest of them being against South East Stars at Durham yesterday afternoon when 16-year-old left-arm spinner Tilly Corteen-Coleman starred with five wickets for the visitors, including four in four balls. 

The Diamonds have their backs against the wall, no doubt. They are bottom of the table. But, over the years, this region has shown time and time again its ability to bounce back from adversity.


Picture by John Clifton/ The Diamonds are aiming to bounce back in the Midlands tomorrow.

They have done it this season in matches. Look at the 50-over win over Central Sparks at Edgbaston at the start of May, for example, when captain Hollie Armitage defended a target of just four off the last over, taking two of three wickets to fall in that last over.

Hazell is backing them to do it again. 

“You don’t become a bad side overnight,” she said. “We just have to make sure that we get one win on the board. Once you do, it becomes a habit after that.

“It will turn round, but it needs to turn around quickly.

“There’s options to change sides, and changing things up can be good. But, equally, you pick these players and back them. They’re good cricketers, and I believe in what they can do.”

The Diamonds play their second game in three days, this Sunrisers clash marking the halfway point in their group campaign.

Hazell and Burns

Picture by Allan McKenzie/ Erin Burns has been one of the standout performers for coach Dani Hazell this summer.

To qualify for Finals Day on June 23 at Derby, they have to reach the top four places in the group. They are nine points adrift of fourth-placed Lancashire Thunder at present with 30 points still to play for.

“It’s sometimes good that the games come around fast,” added Hazell.

“There’s not too much time to dwell on it. We’ll have a quick practice and crack on with this next game.”

This is a clash between the bottom two sides in the group. Sunrisers are second bottom, four points ahead of Diamonds, who are yet to get on the board.

They have won one and lost three so far. Their win came against defending champions Southern Vipers on Monday just gone. 

Captained by batting all-rounder Grace Scrivens, they have signed Brisbane Heat seamer Nicola Hancock – a winter team-mate of Bess Heath’s – as their overseas player. This fixture is the first part of a T20 double header also involving Yorkshire’s men, who face Northamptonshire in the Vitality Blast at 3.30pm.

Sterre Kalis

Picture by John Clifton/ Sterre Kalis bats against South East Stars at Durham yesterday. 

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