Northern Diamonds v Sunrisers
Charlotte Edwards Cup, Group Two
Wednesday August 25 2021, 2.30pm
South Northumberland Cricket Club, Gosforth
Toss: Sunrisers won the toss and elected to bowl.
Teams: Diamonds - Armitage c, Dobson, Heath w, Hopkins, Kalis, MacDonald, Gunn, Langston, Smith, Graham, Levick.
Sunrisers - Dattani, Griffith, Scrivens, Gardner, Miller, Castle c, Speed, Rogers w, Gole, Wolfe, Woodhouse.
Match summary: Beth Langston starred with 46 not out and two wickets to fire the Diamonds to the top of the Charlotte Edwards Cup Group Two table with a third win in four games.
Langston led a recovery from 32-5 to 120-6 before taking two wickets at the start of a Sunrisers chase which stumbled to 101-7.
The Diamonds 19-run success puts them three points clear of the chasing pack with two games remaining (a maximum of five points for a win). The top team in each group guarantees qualification for Finals Day on September 5.
Report: Some things are sure in life - death, taxes and a Diamonds comeback!
After a six-week break for the Hundred, it was great to be back in regional action and celebrating another victory.
Make no mistake, the Diamonds aren’t playing their best cricket by any means. But they have a serious amount of character.
The lowly Sunrisers, the region struggling the most, did some excellent work with the ball and in the field as they put the skids under the hosts, who fell to 32-5 in the 10th over.
Seamers Kate Coppack, who bowled four overs straight with the new ball - 2-10, and Naomi Dattani were excellent on a slow pitch. Left-armer Dattani also claimed two wickets.
But Beth Langston and Linsey Smith turned the game with a sixth-wicket stand of 78.
Langston was the aggressor without being reckless. She hit six boundaries to Smith’s two as a target of 120-6 was posted.
Langston then struck twice in two balls at the end of the second over, getting openers Dattani and Cordelia Griffith to leave the score at 10-2.
She later left the field after her second over with an injury concern, and hopefully it was nothing more than a precautionary measure.
Some crisp striking from Jo Gardner, a Hundred winner with the Oval Invincibles at the weekend, with 31 off 29 balls kept Sunrisers just about afloat.
But when she was caught behind off Alex MacDonald, it sparked a collapse from 63-3 in the 12th.
They lost three wickets for one run and four for 16 to slip to 79-7 in the 17th, with MacDonald and captain Hollie Armitage claiming two wickets apiece.
This was a game the Diamonds, minus Lauren Winfield-Hill due to rest, would have expected to win. But they were made to work very hard in an entertaining fixture.
Turning point: The 78-run stand in 9.1 overs for the sixth wicket between Beth Langston and Linsey Smith put the Diamonds back in control, with a target north of 120 always going to be a difficult ask for the Sunrisers, who have only won once in two seasons as a region.
Magic moment: The telling contribution may have come with the bat. But Beth Langston’s two wickets in two balls at the end of the second over of the Sunrisers chase really rubber-stamped the revival.
She had Naomi Dattani caught off a miscue at cover and then trapped the other opener, Cordelia Griffith, lbw next ball as the score fell to 10-2.
Stat: The 30 scored by Linsey Smith was her career best score in all career T20 appearances.
What they said: Beth Langston - “That’s a good win for us. It was great to be back together as a group - we really enjoy playing together.
“It was a good all-round performance.
“It was quite a tricky wicket to get in on. It was a bit slow, and a lot of their bowlers are pace off and were quite hard to get away.
“Myself and Linsey just tried to keep it simple, knock it around and go from there. We got a few big overs and ended up with a few more runs than we thought.
“We knew that getting over 100 would be a good score with the depth of our bowling attack. And they all bowled well.
“We’ll try and not look too far ahead now. If we play to the best of our ability, we believe we can beat anyone.”
What’s next: The Diamonds are in back in action again on Saturday, hosting Western Storm at Durham’s Emirates Riverside ground (2.30pm).
It is the penultimate group game, and a win could secure a place at Finals Day at Southampton on September 5.
Diamonds beat Storm by one wicket at Taunton in early July.