Katherine Brunt was delighted to get rid of Saturday’s frustration as the Northern Diamonds got off the mark in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy with a thrilling win over the Lightning at Kibworth today.
The England star claimed 4-23 from 10 overs as the Diamonds defended 152 to win by six runs with 11 balls remaining in the Leicestershire countryside.
The Diamonds won their first game at the second attempt having lost by two wickets to Central Sparks at Emerald Headingley on Saturday, a game they should have won as the visitors recovered from 196-8 to chase 280.
“We are very happy to have scraped one back because it certainly wasn’t a nice feeling at Headingley the other day,” said seamer Brunt.
“We won 80 percent of that, and it was really hard to take. So we knew we had to come back and play our hearts out.”
Here, the Diamonds recovered from 50-6 to post 151 before taking holding their nerve with the ball as the Lightning needed 13 runs to win off three overs with two wickets remaining and eight off two overs with one left.
Brunt continued: “This game just goes to show the grit, the heart the bravery of this side. We still had a slip defending 30 runs!
“There’s not been much cricket played, and we’re still a bit scratchy. With that in mind, it’s really positive to see the girls come out and fight like that.
“It was a difficult wicket, and we just tried to scrape out a score.
“Looking at the wicket first up, it looked a difficult one. But, talking to the groundsman, he said ‘300 par’.
“The Lightning bowled really well to the conditions. There was a lot of playing across the line, top-edges, early drives - not getting the pace of the wicket.
“But Alex MacDonald and Jenny Gunn batted their backsides off to get us to a score we could think about defending. Then, after the first over, we really believed.”
Brunt is preparing for England’s busy summer of internationals, starting with a Test Match against India towards the end of June.
She added: “For me, I started a lot later than everyone else and have only just been bowling outdoors for the last couple of weeks.
“These two games are my first two, and it’s been a massive challenge for me because when I’m playing, I’m used to being on it from ball one having bowled loads in the nets.
“I’ve gone into this weekend a bit blind and had to park my ego a bit knowing that I can’t just do it all myself, which is what I want to do.
“It’s about doing your best and knowing it will get better. And it has.
“It was 10 percent better than Saturday for me, and I’m really happy with how it’s going.”
Brunt, Nat Sciver and Lauren Winfield-Hill will all be available to play against Sunrisers at Cambridge on Saturday, but that is set to be their last fixture for the Diamonds before England commitments begin.