Northern Diamonds v Central Sparks

Charlotte Edwards Cup 

Monday, May 27, 2024, 2.30pm


Toss: Sparks won and chose to bowl

Diamonds: Lauren Winfield-Hill w, Leah Dobson, Hollie Armitage c, Erin Burns, Bess Heath, Sterre Kalis, Emma Marlow, Katherine Fraser, Grace Hall, Katie Levick, Rachel Slater

Sparks: Chloe Brewer, Abbey Freeborn w, Davina Perrin, Eve Jones c, Courtney Webb, Katie George, Charis Pavely, Emily Arlott, Georgia Davis, Grace Potts, Hannah Baker

Match Summary: Central Sparks made it three wins from three as winless Northern Diamonds suffered their second final-ball defeat in a row.

In a rain-shortened match at Headingley, reduced to 11 overs-a-side, Diamonds were asked to bat first and lost wickets with regularity to post 80-9. Erin Burns shone again with 30 as Georgia Davis claimed 3-23 for Sparks.

Diamonds began well with the ball and took wickets at key times to keep Sparks behind the rate. Rachel Slater took two wickets in an over and Leah Dobson claimed a brilliant boundary catch to leave Sparks on 44-5, needing another 37 from four overs.

But Eve Jones steered her side towards the line with an unbeaten 26 and, despite a superb effort from Katie Levick to defend five from the final over, Davis hit the required two from the final ball to give Sparks the win.

Erin Burns

Picture by Alex Whitehead/ Erin Burns was excellent with bat and ball.

Report: Having had several false starts and abandoned warm-ups, and losing the toss in a reduced match, it was always going to be tricky for Diamonds’ top-order – and so it proved.

Wickets fell with regularity – four in the first four overs. Leah Dobson went for a duck in the first and Lauren Winfield-Hill for five in the second, both caught attempting to start quickly.

Hollie Armitage also went for a duck to give Emily Arlott a second wicket and Bess Heath departed in the fourth over for three – bowled by Katie George – to leave Diamonds struggling on 23-4.

Erin Burns showed great poise and confidence in striking three early boundaries and shifted momentum back towards Diamonds, assisted by Sterre Kalis, who raced to 17.

But Kalis and Emma Marlow were the first of three wickets for Georgia Davis to leave Burns playing somewhat of a lone hand.

She marched on, in style, to 30 having hit five boundaries but was undone by Grace Potts and a fine catch running in from deep by Arlott.


Picture by Alex Whitehead/ The Diamonds and Sparks shake hands after a thriller.

Grace Hall and Katie Levick came and went – Levick to a brilliant diving catch by Davina Perrin – to leave Diamonds 69-9 in the final over.

But Katherine Fraser ensured Diamonds ended with momentum, hitting Davis for four and six from the final two deliveries to post 80-9 from 11 overs.

Sparks started their chase strongly, easing to 16 without loss after two overs.

Levick’s introduction brought the breakthrough as Chloe Brewer was trapped lbw for 14.

Rachel Slater then piled the pressure on Sparks with two wickets in the fourth over, bowling Davina Perrin for five and having Abbey Freeborn stumped for six to leave Sparks 26-3.

Courtney Webb departed and Dobson’s brilliant boundary catch off Grace Hall to remove George for nine left Sparks 44-5, needing another 37 from the final four overs.

Leah Dobson

Picture by Alex Whitehead/ Leah Dobson (l) and Emma Marlow celebrate a brilliant boundary catch by the former.

Sparks captain Eve Jones led from the front and 13 runs came from the ninth over, leaving 15 required from the final two.

Burns starred again, taking 2-22 after bowling Charis Pavely for five which meant Sparks needed five from the final over, bowled by Levick.

The spinner claimed her second wicket when Arlott fell and then bowled two dots to leave Davis needing two from the final ball, which she achieved with a chip down the ground to make it three wins from three for Sparks.

Magic Moment: Leah Dobson’s boundary catch to help Grace Hall remove Katie George – who was looking dangerous – was a brilliant bit of fielding and came at a key time for Diamonds as Sparks attempted to get back up with the rate (44-5 after seven overs). But it just wasn’t to be.

Turning point: Unfortunately for Diamonds, just as they appeared to have the edge on Sparks, Eve Jones showed her class and experience to take 13 from the ninth over, assisted by Charis Pavely, to cut the runs needed down to an achievable 15 from the final two overs.

Shot of the match: Katherine Fraser launched a superb six straight down the ground with the final ball of Diamonds’ innings – impressively taking on Georgia Davis, who had claimed three wickets for Sparks.

Katie Levick

Picture by Alex Whitehead/ Katie Levick at the end of the Northern Diamonds innings.

What they said – Katie Levick: “It is not always going to go your way, one of those days where it is so heavily rain-affected it can go either way. 

“We were not quite on it with the bat today but put up a really good effort with the ball – that grit we showed just to get it down to the last ball. We know we can win these games where it comes down to such small margins, we have got such good character and we have got the experience of having done it before a lot over the years.

“One day it will swing our way, and we will get a bit of momentum going in the competition. We are still in it.

“I realised with about four or five overs to go it was probably going to be me for the last, and I want that ball to be honest. That is where I feel most confident. I have done that role quite a lot in the past. I take the pressure off myself. If I defend that, it is an amazing effort and if not then that’s cricket. 

“I am really confident in my abilities. If I had managed to pull that off then that would have been one for the books. There’s a lot of confidence I can take from that last over. To take it to the last ball is something that the team needed, and I am happy with that.”

What’s next: Diamonds have another home match at Seat Unique Riverside on Friday (May 31, 2.30pm) when they take on South East Stars, who have won two of of their three group matches so far.

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