Six Diamonds players featured in the opening game of the Hundred for the Northern Superchargers at Headingley on July 24, helping to secure victory over Welsh Fire.
A crowd of approximately 5,000 were treated to a stunning innings of 92 not out off 43 balls from Indian star Jemimah Rodrigues as the hosts chased down 131 for the loss of four wickets with a whopping 15 balls remaining.
That those four wickets all fell with only 19 runs on the board made this a particularly memorable affair, and the noise of the crowd when the win was confirmed was a ‘wow’ moment.
Opener Rodrigues and Alice Davidson-Richards, team-mates for the Yorkshire Diamonds in the days of the Kia Super League, united to share an unbroken 112 for the fifth wicket.
Davidson-Richards contributed 23 not out to their 68-ball partnership.
Captain Lauren Winfield-Hill, Hollie Armitage, Bess Heath, Linsey Smith, Phoebe Graham and Katie Levick all featured from the Diamonds, while Sarah Taylor was lining up for the Welsh Fire against some recent regional team-mates.
After being inserted, Fire lost regular wickets, including four for 16 at the end of their innings as they posted 130-8.
Left-arm spinner Smith was superb. She took the new ball and returned 3-14 from her 20 balls.
Davidson-Richards took two wickets with her medium pacers, as did the excellent leg-spinner Levick, who returned 2-16.
In reply, Winfield-Hill drilled the second ball to mid-off as wickets fell to leave the Welsh side on top (19-4 after 18 balls).
But Rodrigues played a gem of an innings. It was the highest score in the opening four days of the Hundred - men’s or women’s games - and she hit 17 fours and a six in all.
She hit seven of her fours in 13 balls between the 51st and 63rd balls of the innings and reached her fifty off 26.
It really was the perfect way to start the new competition!