Northern Diamonds 194 (Armitage 47, Scrivens 4-10, Villiers 4-36) beat Sunrisers188 (Dattani 41, Smith 3-34, Marlow 3-40) by six runs
Northern Diamonds made it two wins from two in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy with a thrilling come-from-behind six-run success over a struggling Sunrisers side who for large parts looked set for a shock victory.
Off-spinning all-rounders Grace Scrivens and Mady Villiers both claimed career-best four-wicket hauls as the Diamonds were bowled out for 194 in 49.5 overs at Headingley.
Sunrisers were then 44 without loss in reply, only to succumb to 188 all out inside 46 overs under the pressure of chasing a first 50-over victory as a region at the 15th attempt across three seasons.
Amazingly, all 20 wickets fell to spin. After 18-year-old England A prospect Scrivens had impressed with 4 for 20, Diamonds’ own international twirler Linsey Smith starred with 3 for 34.
After electing to bat on a glorious summer’s day, only three home batters, led by captain Hollie Armitage with a well constructed 47 off 59 balls, made it into the twenties.
The others, Leigh Kasperek with 31 from No. 8 and Katie Levick’s 28 from No. 10.
The Diamonds were 120 for 8 in the 33rd over before Kasperek, Levick and Rachel Slater crucially added 74 runs for the last two wickets. The former two shared 41 for the ninth wicket.
The match started with the Diamonds losing England’s Lauren Winfield-Hill for 2 after nine balls, caught behind half-heartedly cutting at Villiers, whose 4 for 36 from 9.5 overs also had the other opener Smith stumped for 1 as the score slipped to 17 for 2 in the fourth over.
Then it was Scrivens’ turn to get in on the act, taking the next four wickets, including two in the 27th over. She had Sterre Kalis caught behind, Armitage lbw within sight of a half-century, Yvonne Graves caught behind and Bess Heath caught at deep backward square-leg by debutant Jess Olorenshaw. The latter two came within five balls in the 27th over.
By this time, the Diamonds were in significant strife. And it got worse. Leg-spinner Abtaha Maqsood and off-spinner Jo Gardner removed Phoebe Turner and Emma Marlow before the lower order brought respectability to the score.
Villiers, however, dashed the Diamonds’ hopes of posting 200 by getting Levick and Kasperek well caught as the innings drew to a close.
Scrivens and Cordelia Griffiths (29) shared an opening stand of 44 to further strengthen their side’s position, though it felt as though the Diamonds could stage a comeback as long as they did not let the rate get out of hand. And that is exactly how it unfolded.
New Zealand spinner Kasperek had Griffith caught at wide mid-off before Scrivens was trapped lbw by Marlow, who also bowled Villiers to make it 84 for three in the 21st over.
When Amara Carr top-edged a sweep at Armitage’s leg-spin and was smartly caught behind by Winfield-Hill, the Sunrisers were 110 for 4 in the 26th and still 85 short.
Naomi Dattani played nicely on her way to 41 to keep her side ahead. But Gardner was left-armer Smith’s first of three quick wickets – lbw for 17. Smith, who played for England A against South Africa earlier this week, then had Kelly Castle caught at slip by Kalis before bowling Dattani next ball, with the score now 151 for 7 in the 35th over.
Kasperek removed Katherine Speed – another catch for Kalis at slip – before Olorenshaw hit 25 to suggest a visiting revival. However, when she was bowled by Marlow, it was 178 for 9 in the 42nd over.
Seventeen needed became seven needed, only for Armitage to account for Maqsood and deny Sunrisers.