Beth Langston believes today's victory leaves the Diamonds in a strong position

Superstar Beth Langston believes this was a victory which will do wonders for the Northern Diamonds hopes of Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy silverware.

Langston’s 59 not out was central to a successful pursuit of 251, with them recovering from 70-5.

The seam bowling all-rounder hit the winning runs with only three wickets in hand and four balls to spare, catapulting her side to the top of the eight-team table.

Last season’s finalists have now won three from four games ahead of the break for the start of the Regional T20 competition later this month and then the Hundred.

They are level on 13 points with the Sparks, but Langston and co have a better net run-rate.

Langston came to the crease at 160-6 after 36 overs, still needing 91.

She said: “We’ve had a few close games like that, and it’s always good to come out on the right side of them.

“It’s always good to know we bat down to 11, and we just needed to take it as deep as possible. I tried to stick to my strengths. I didn’t feel like I had to change anything.

“This win should stand us in good stead to make the finals and also give us good momentum ahead of the T20s.

“Looking at some of the other results around the grounds, we’re in a great position going into the last three games.”

This game was England legend Sarah Taylor’s comeback to professional cricket after two years away, stepping in behind the stumps for Test bound Lauren Winfield-Hill and injured Bess Heath.

Taylor could not hold onto what would have been a stunning one-handed catch in the second over off Phoebe Graham following an Alice Davidson-Richards edge.

But, otherwise, she kept extremely tidily before making two off five balls with the bat.

She said: “I felt rusty, but it was nice to dust the cobwebs off, the legs, the back and the hands.

“For a first proper game of cricket, keeping wise, after a two-year break, I’m pretty happy with that. It was good fun.

“I had the catch! I had it in my webbing and it came out only when I hit the deck. It flew, but I did the hard work. It was just that my elbow hit the ground, and I was gutted.

“I only got two with the bat, but - believe it or not - I really enjoyed being out there.”


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