The Northern Diamonds have waved a fond farewell to Sarah Taylor after the England legend’s short spell in navy blue came to end at Taunton yesterday.
Taylor played four times for the Diamonds across 50-over and Twenty20 cricket having been signed as a short-term replacement to help cover the loss of injured wicketkeeper batter Bess Heath.
Taylor has come out of retirement to play in the forthcoming Hundred, and her spell with the Diamonds was a win-win for both parties as it gave her valuable game time prior to that competition.
The 32-year-old contributed to three wins in her four games and also provided so much value off the field to less experienced colleagues.
Her best performance with the bat was the unbeaten 43 in last Friday’s Charlotte Edwards T20 Cup win over Sunrisers at Chelmsford.
And she rolled back the years against Western Storm at Taunton yesterday with two catches and a stumping.
The first catch was a one-handed blinder to help Phoebe Graham get rid of Storm captain Sophie Luff as they were restricted to 106-9.
Diamonds coach Dani Hazell said: “The plan is that Sarah will now go off with the Welsh Fire and has done her stint with us.
“At the minute, she won’t be coming back later in the summer.
“She’s enjoyed her time with us, and we’ve thanked her for her contributions.
“It was out of blue when poor Bess got injured, but now that she’s fitter it opens the door back up for her.
“We’re hopeful that Bess is ready for the Hundred (with the Northern Superchargers), which is a competition she could light up.
“It’s going to be exciting to watch her after the frustrations she’s had.”
Taylor’s catch off Luff was the outstanding moment of a thrilling Storm game littered with plenty of excellent fielding, both catching and on the ground.
Graham took a one-handed catch over her head at mid-off, Ami Campbell took a smart low catch running in from deep mid-wicket and Taylor was later run out coming back for two following some brilliant work on the deep mid-wicket boundary by Storm’s Alex Griffiths as the visitors chased down 107 to win by one wicket off the last ball.
“Credit both teams,” added Hazell. “I thought the fielding was as good as we’ve seen, with Sarah’s catch and Phoebe Graham’s one-handed catch as well.
“That’s what people are training for, and we’ll see much more of that as time goes on.
“It was a great spectacle for women’s cricket in that regard.”