Phoebe Turner is loving life in the thick of the action with the Northern Diamonds at present.

The emerging all-rounder from Northallerton was one of the stars of Wednesday’s victory over Western Storm at Headingley, hitting 32 in the middle order and taking three wickets with her seamers.

It helped the Diamonds go two wins from two at the start of this summer’s Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy and sets them up perfectly for Saturday’s clash with old foes and defending champions Southern Vipers at Southampton’s Utilita Bowl (10.30am).

“That’s going to be an absolute clash, isn’t it,” smiled Turner, knowing full well the history between these two regions.

They played out each of the first three RHFT finals, Vipers winning two and the Diamonds one. The latter went the way of the Diamonds at Lord’s in 2022. 

Turner, now aged 20, made her competitive debut for the Diamonds and played in that final having graduated through the Academy system.

Phoebe Turner

Picture by John Heald. Phoebe Turner bats against Storm on Wednesday, posting a regional best 32.

She has now made 21 appearances for the Diamonds, the lion’s share of which have come in 50-over cricket. She has claimed two three-wicket hauls with Wednesday’s 32 her career best with the bat. 

Turner helped captain Hollie Armitage turn the tide from 89-5 against the Storm, sharing 79 for the sixth wicket as the hosts went on to post an unassailable 275-9.

“It was amazing,” she said. “That definitely boosted my confidence. I felt really calm and relaxed out there. 

“To have a senior player in Hollie out there with me, almost showing me the ropes. She definitely had a great impact on my success out there. Hopefully I did with her as well.

“I’ve really focused on my bowling this year – bowling that hard, heavy length. I did that pretty well. 

“Getting the two openers out (Alex Griffiths and Sophia Smale), plus someone who was set (Natasha Wraith) and starting to rebuild their innings, that made me really happy. 

Phoebe Turner

Picture by John Heald. Phoebe Turner claimed three wickets against the Storm.

“Posting over 270 was amazing, and the bowlers did their job too.

“The start, we’d have wanted a few more wickets in the powerplay. But we stuck at it and kept targeting the stumps. That was the main aim. At the end, we got the rewards.”

On Wednesday, the Diamonds showed that fighting trait they have been famed for across the regional era. It was another all-rounder, Jenny Gunn, who regularly dragged them over the line from sticky positions.

“That’s what we really pride ourselves on – our character. We can rebuild from any position,” said Turner. 

“Over the winter, we’ve really worked on our batting, especially in the phase when spin is on. Hollie’s done that really well. Abi Glen as well. She batted superbly for her fifty.”

Talking of all-rounders, Turner is definitely part of a group of all-rounders young and experienced who can be a middle order engine room for the side this year.

Abi Glen

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. Abi Glen celebrates dismissing Storm’s overseas Australian Amanda-Jade Wellington.

As she mentioned, Abi Glen impressed on Wednesday, hitting her maiden regional fifty and taking three wickets with her seamers. Like Turner, she is still learning her game at the age of 24. 

Added into the mix has been veteran Australian Erin Burns, who is on an overseas deal until the start of the Hundred.

To have a player such as Burns amongst the squad, one who has been there, done it and bought the t-shirt across the world in women’s cricket, is gold dust for players such as Turner and Glen.

“Yes, it’s really good to have Erin with the experience she’s got,” added Turner. 

“She was at mid-on when I was bowling (against Storm), and it was nice to have her to lean on. She would calm things down, especially with me being a young seamer and new to the role. 

“She’s bowled amazing in the first two games, getting the key wickets that we needed. 

Erin Burns

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. Erin Burns has already made a big impact in her fortnight with the Diamonds.

“She’s so easy to talk to, she’ll do anything for you and has settled in perfectly. 

“But we’ve got such a good team overall, and we all fit in really well – no matter who you are and where you’re from.”

Turner may just be starting to produce more consistent results, but the former Yorkshire Cricket College student has long since caught the eye. 

Captain Armitage certainly has a high opinion of the youngster.

“Phoebe’s wintered really well on both her bowling and batting,” she said. 

“Because I’ve not been here for a lot of the winter, I’ve heard some really promising things about her.

Hollie Armitage

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. Hollie Armitage has praised Phoebe Turner.

“She stepped up on Wednesday, and that’s why our team is so special because different people will step up at different times. 

“She’s a confident player – someone who believes in her skills and backs them. You find in the women’s game that not many people do that. Credit to her, she does that. She works really hard behind the scenes to give herself that belief in her own game.”

The Vipers, three-times winners of this competition, have lost one and won one so far. They lost away to South East Stars at Beckenham on Saturday before beating Central Sparks at home at Wormsley on Wednesday.

Captained by Georgia Adams, they have former Diamonds spinner Linsey Smith in their ranks as well as Australian overseas batter Charli Knott. 

Diamonds opener Sterre Kalis is now unavailable for the next three matches because of international duty with the Netherlands.

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