Preview: Western Storm vs Northern Diamonds

Jenny Gunn says the Northern Diamonds are still searching for top gear.

The former England all-rounder has helped the Diamonds into contention in both the 50-over Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy and the Charlotte Edwards T20 Cup.

They are second in the RHF Trophy with three wins from four and second in Group B of the CE Cup with one win from two.

The latter is a particularly tight competition given all four teams in the Diamonds group have won one and lost one so far.

It makes Saturday’s clash with leaders Western Storm at Taunton (2.30pm) crucial given only the two group winners are guaranteed a place at Finals Day.

“Even though we’ve had success this year, not everyone has hit the ground running yet,” said Gunn. “If that happens, I think we’ll be too much to handle for most teams.

“We played very well when we bowled Sunrisers out for 53 in the 50-over stuff.

“Friday night against them was also pretty close to an all-round performance. But we didn’t field quite as well.

“Aside from those, it has generally been one or the other for us.

“Look at the Thunder game at Headingley the other week. That was pretty frustrating.

“It was all in our control. We had a really good bowling performance to restrict them to 118 and then slipped up with the bat.

“It’s difficult on a slow pitch, but it was less than a run a ball. It just wasn’t us, and we’ve only got ourselves to blame.

“If you win all your games, it’s in your hands. But now we have to win on Saturday.”

With them in striking distance for two trophies, it has been a largely positive campaign for the Diamonds, with Gunn at the forefront.

In six appearances across the formats, she has scored 113 runs with a crucial 50 in the RHF Trophy win over South East Stars at Emerald Headingley and taken 10 wickets with two three-fors.

Her latest three-wicket return came in Friday’s win over Sunrisers under lights at Chelmsford when they restricted the hosts to 116-7 and chased them down to win by eight wickets thanks to Leah Dobson’s 44 not out in only her second game.

It was a night, and day, Gunn much enjoyed.

“You forget a lot of our team haven’t played under lights before,” she said.

“I just take it for granted, but others were saying, ‘What do you do until we meet at 3.30-4pm?’

“I was loving life and chilling, but some of the youngsters turned up knackered because they’d been trying to find things to do.

“These things may seem little, but they are massive in the context of what we’re trying to achieve. It was nice to seem some of the youngsters go out there and perform because of that.

“We stayed overnight on Thursday. You can do some gym stuff in the morning, but we didn’t meet until 3.30pm.

“You try to find ways to entertain yourself, but with Covid around that’s harder.

“Some did struggle, bless them. As an oldie, it was fine for me because I was just able to watch Homes Under the Hammer. Daytime TV’s great, isn’t it?”

On her form, 35-year-old Gunn said: “I’m just trying to enjoy my cricket. We’ve had a long winter, and it’s great to be playing games.

“I’m still learning, that’s what I want to do.

“I didn’t contribute much with the ball last year, but I’ve found some rhythm and things are coming off.

“I’m trying to get quicker running.

“I’ve also managed to bowl 61mph, which I haven’t done for ages. It was a challenge in the winter because I was only at 56mph or something like that.”

Storm beat Thunder in a rain-affected game at Chester on Sunday.


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