Sunrisers vs Northern Diamonds
Charlotte Edwards Cup, Group Two Friday July 2nd 2021, 6.30pm The Cloud fm County Ground, Chelmsford
Toss: Diamonds won it and elected to bowl
Teams: Diamonds - Armitage (c), Dobson, Campbell, Taylor (w), Gunn, Kalis, Hopkins, Macdonald, Smith, Graham, Levick.
Sunrisers - Dattani, Macleod, Villiers, Scrivens, Carr (w), Gardner, Castle (c), Speed, Rogers, Gole, Patel.
Match summary: The Diamonds clinched a convincing eight-wicket victory over the Sunrisers with 22 balls to spare at Chelmsford to get their Charlotte Edwards Trophy campaign up and running.
A great start with the ball by the Diamonds reduced the Sunrisers to 26-4 and later 48-6 in the 12th over and despite a late rally between Jo Gardner and Katherine Speed in a seventh-wicket partnership of 64 in 7 overs, the hosts’ 116-7 looked to be substandard on a good wicket.
Despite the loss of two early wickets in the Diamonds reply a classy 43 from Sarah Taylor and a brilliant 44 by Leah Dobson in an excellent unbroken partnership of 87 in 13 overs saw the Diamonds to their victory target with some ease.
Report: The Diamonds made a sensational start after Hollie Armitage won the toss and opted to bowl as the Sunrisers lost three wickets with the score on 15.
A double wicket maiden by Jenny Gunn started a spectacular Sunrisers collapse after she drifted one in to bowl Naomi Dattani for 1 and the Diamonds all-rounder followed that two balls later by trapping Grace Scrivens lbw for 0.
There was time for Lissy Macleod to be dropped at cover in the next over but Phoebe Graham wasn’t to be denied, taking a great diving catch at the second attempt off her own bowling two balls later to dismiss Macleod for 13.
In her next over Graham repeated the trick when Mady Villiers chipped the ball back off a leading edge to depart for 10.
And the wickets continued to fall as Katie Levick struck with two wickets.
Amara Carr was lbw sweeping for 10 at Levick’s second delivery and the leg spinner then had Kelly Castle well caught by wicketkeeper Taylor from a faint nick to leave the Sunrisers on 48-6 midway through the 12th over.
Gardner and Speed led a fightback, the former driving a couple of boundaries in the 13th over, the Sunrisers first for five overs.
And Gardner finished with a flourish, hitting sixes off the last ball of Levick’s otherwise excellent four over spell of 2-32 and repeated the feat off Linsey Smith in the following over before departing for 42 off 30 balls in the final over to give Gunn (3-25) her third wicket.
In an explosive start to the Diamonds reply, Armitage drove two fours and hit a six over extra cover off Villiers opening over before being stumped by Carr off the fifth ball.
Ami Campbell pulled Sonali Patel for four but attempted to repeat the shot off Scrivens in the following over only to find Dattani at midwicket and depart for 5 with the Diamonds 30-2 at the start of the 4th over.
But that proved to be last success for the Sunrisers.
Having stumbled against Thunder in last week’s run chase, the Diamonds looked determined to make no mistake this time out.
Taylor, who was unable to bat in the previous match against Thunder after suffering concussion injury, was quickly into her stride with two boundaries off her first four balls faced and she continued to take the attack to the Sunrisers bowlers.
Leah Dobson, who hit three fours and two sixes, provided great support to Taylor and the pair picked their shots and cleverly rotated the strike to reach the ten over mark on 72-2 and needing just 45.
The Sunrisers found it impossible to contain the pair who progressed untroubled to reach their target in the 17th over, Dobson pulling Dattani into the pavilion for six and driving the winning runs off Castle to finish unbeaten on 44 with Taylor making a classy 43 not out that included five fours.
Stat: A sensational start by the Diamonds’ bowlers reduced the Sunrisers to 26-4 by the end of the powerplay and that was where the game was largely won. The home side were fire fighting for the rest of the evening and the Diamonds backed up this early success to ensure there was no way back for their hosts.
What they said:
Sunrisers batter Jo Gardner, who scored 42: “From the position we were in from the back end of the Powerplay to 10 overs onwards, the partnership me and Speedy had was really good in getting us up to the score we got.
“We played low risk and with the boundaries the size they were you just had to hold your shape and play through the line of the ball and you got your rewards.
“I thought they bowled well up top but I’m sure our batters would have liked to have batted for longer.
“The only way to win the game was to take wickets so to take two early was encouraging but after then they batted very sensibly with low risk cricket and accumulated well. They made it look easy out there.
“Last week’s win was really good and we were buzzing with that performance. We are disappointed not to get over the line tonight but we’ll try to got two out of three before the Hundred break.”
Diamonds wicketkeeper-batter Sarah Taylor, who scored 43 not out: “Leading into the Hundred I want to get as much batting as I can so I got the go-ahead to play last night [after the concussion].
“Don’t get me wrong I am rusty. That was one of the first proper running sessions I’ve done in a very long time but it is just nice to come back.
“It was a nice game to settle into. If it was a massive score it would have been hard to nestle in but it was nice to be there at the end.
“Leah is one of the most talented batters you will ever see. She is still learning her craft so I am very pleased for her. A youngster coming into the tournament is very daunting and I know she was nervous about all of this; it is about settling down.
“All the England girls love this ground and the wicket was perfect for Jenny [Gunn]. It did a little bit early doors. She is so experienced and knowledgeable and just so good.
“The score wasn’t too dissimilar to what we couldn’t chase down against Thunder. We have bounced back quite nicely.
“You get it in cricket where you have that one game you need as a rocket. We did so well in the 50-over stuff that you needed that one game to give us a step down.”
What’s next: The Diamonds are back in action on Saturday 10 July, their third fixture of this competition, against Western Storm at Taunton (2.30pm).
The Storm lost their opening game against the Sunrisers last week and play their second game in the competition on Sunday against Thunder at Chester.