Northern Diamonds v Sunrisers

Charlotte Edwards Cup

Sunday May 28, 2023, 3.30pm

Headingley 

Toss: The Diamonds won it and elected to bat. 

Teams – Diamonds: Lauren Winfield-Hill, Leah Dobson, Hollie Armitage c, Sterre Kalis, Bess Heath w, Chloe Tryon, Katherine Fraser, Lizzie Scott, Abi Glen, Katie Levick, Grace Hall. 

Sunrisers: Mady Villiers, Dane van Niekerk, Cordelia Griffith, Grace Scrivens, Amara Carr w, Flo Miller, Jo Gardner, Eva Gray, Kelly Castle c, Lissy Macleod, Abtaha Maqsood.

Match summary: The Northern Diamonds took a stranglehold on a place at the Charlotte Edwards Cup Finals Day next month with a fourth successive win, this time over Sunrisers by 35 runs. Leah Dobson’s 47 set things up in 172-7 before Katie Levick’s brilliant 5-19 finished things off as the visitors were bowled out for 137 inside 19 overs. Bess Heath also hit 31 and took three stumpings and a catch. 

Report: The Diamonds aren’t mathematically assured of a place of a top-three finish in the table and a place at Finals Day, but it’s difficult to see how they won’t be there having moved to the top of the table after a fourth straight win.

This one was achieved in commanding fashion with a bonus point on the back of opener Dobson’s 47 off 40 balls, backed by valuable contributions of 29 off 28 from Sterre Kalis and a brutal 31 off 14 balls from Bess Heath.

In reply, the Diamonds struck at regular intervals, though England Under 19s captain Grace Scrivens was excellent in playing a lone hand with 50 off 35 balls. 

Levick was outstanding with her third career T20 five-for, her second for the Diamonds. She took three wickets in an over late on as Sunrisers were bowled out inside 19 overs. She will hope for just as good a day tomorrow when she goes to Wembley to watch her beloved Sheffield Wednesday in the League One play-off final against Barnsley. 

Dobson hit four successive boundaries off Eva Gray’s seam in the sixth over to take the score to 48-1 after six and was strong on both sides of the wicket. 

From 48-2 in the seventh, she shared 63 for the third wicket with Dutch international Kalis, who expertly supported with a busy knock. Both fell to the off-spin of Scrivens and Mady Villiers, leaving the score at 130-4 after 16.

Dobson fell agonisingly short of a maiden regional fifty. 

But Heath kicked the innings on with two fours and three sixes. She reverse hit one boundary off Villiers and her three sixes came twice over mid-wicket and once straight. 

Two came off successive balls against Kelly Castle’s seam in the 18th over, though she fell stumped next hall (152-5).

Ex-South Africa captain Dane van Niekerk gave the Sunrisers a brisk start to their chase of 173 with two fours and a six in the first over against Katherine Fraser.

But she edged Lizzie Scott behind in the second, falling for 14 and leaving the score at 20-1.

Lizzie Scott

Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com. Lizzie Scott celebrates with Hollie Armitage after taking the wicket of Sunrisers’ Dane van Niekerk.

Chloe Tryon’s left-arm spin trapped Villiers lbw in the next, and when Katie Levick became the third Diamond to strike in her first over – Lissy Macleod bowled – Sunrisers were tottering at 41-3 after five.

Scott was superb with 1-18 from her four overs, all bowled in the first half of the innings. Sunrisers reached halfway at 70-3, with Scrivens and Cordelia Griffith attempting to rescue the winless visitors.

But wickets continued to fall to strengthen the home side’s grip. 

Leg-spinner Levick and seamer Grace Hall had Griffith (18) and Joe Gardner caught at long-on as the score fell to 103-5 in the 15th over.

Scrivens ploughed a lone furrow, while Levick added three wickets in the 17th over, including Gray and Flo Miller stumped. Amara Carr was also caught at cover to hand Levick her first T20 five-for in regional cricket, leaving Sunrisers at 127-8. 

Tryon struck again, as did Hall to finish things off. Both claimed two wickets.   

Magic moment: Scott getting the huge wicket of South African legend van Niekerk caught behind for 14 four balls into her first over, leaving the Sunrisers at 20-1 inside two overs of their chase. It was a wicket the young seamer will long remember. 

Turning point: Dobson hitting four fours in as many balls off Gray’s seam in the sixth over, taking the Diamonds to 48-1. The first three were threaded through the off-side off front and back foot and the last pulled through mid-wicket. It gave the innings a real impetus. 

Stat of the match: In each of her last three games – against Sparks, Stars and Sunrisers – new ball seamer Scott has conceded 11 runs off her first three overs. She has played a major part in the Diamonds’ maintaining a 100 percent winning record in this competition. 

What they said – Katie Levick: “I definitely think that’s one of my better days in a Diamonds shirt. It all seemed to go to plan today, which is lovely.

“We always talk about Headingley being a nice batting track, so you don’t necessarily always look forward to it as a bowler. But we did really well to restrict them.

“The batters put a good total on the board, and then we were really disciplined with the ball.

“Someone different has done something in every game. It just shows that girls who have performed in the 50-over stuff aren’t getting into this T20 eleven. 

“We said this year that we thought we could be geared up towards this being our format this year, and so far to go four from four is backing that up. Hopefully we get ourselves into Finals Day and go one step further.” 

What’s next: The Diamonds will look to extend their winning streak when they face Blaze at the Seat Unique Riverside on Friday afternoon (2.30pm), the first part of a T20 double header with Durham’s men.

Bess Heath

Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com. Bess Heath on the sweep.

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