Charlotte Edwards Cup Match Report: The Blaze v Northern Diamonds

Charlotte Edwards Cup Match Report: The Blaze v Northern Diamonds

The Thursday night lights of Trent Bridge produced another close finish with an ever-increasing faithful following on the edge of their seats, as The Blaze won by four runs.  

With England’s Women in action against Pakistan at the other end of the Brian Clough Way, at the affectionately named Derbados, with the weather far from the ideals of the summer game, plenty could have been persuaded to stay away. 

The Blaze, while not at their best this season, have at least been entertaining and again they brought the nail-biting cricket. At Scarborough, at the start of the month, Northern Diamonds and The Blaze played out a game that was settled in the last over by two wickets to gift the win to the visitors, The Blaze. 

With six overs to go of the Diamonds’ chase, they still needed 48 runs and eight wickets in hand. Lauren Winfield-Hill was still at the crease on 37 and looking in full flow; with Erin Burns at the other end, they were in an excellent position to take home the points. Although the run rate was rising steadily, the experience and nouse should have been enough. The Blaze, however, have some very canny bowlers, and one of those, Kathryn Bryce, the Scotland captain, bowled Winfield-Hill for 28. 

Bess Heath was the next batter, and it would be an opportunity to show the England selectors what she could do under pressure. Running out Burns for 22 probably wasn’t in that plan. Burns had earlier posted career-best figures of five for 25, taking a wicket in each of her first three overs and then two in the final over of the innings, bowling out The Blaze for 136 in the process. 

It was one of the better Blaze batting performances, with Kathryn Bryce top-scoring with 31 and Josie Groves unbeaten on 24, having struck the first six of the game with a massive hit over mid-wicket to the longest boundary on the field. 

Diamonds were able to peg back The Blaze who, at 78 for three, would have been looking for a score close to 150. Burns was helped out in the wicket-taking department by Katie Levick, who took three wickets of her own, including a caught and bowled to dismiss Ella Claridge for one and leave The Blaze 83 for five. 

With the ball, where The Blaze takes you unaware is in the middle overs. With the experience of Gordon, Higham, and Kathryn Bryce, they are difficult to get away and rattle through their overs quickly. Before you know it, you need more than ten an over; that is when the panic sets in. 

Heath, now the best hope for Northern Diamonds, was caught well by Marie Kelly in the deep for 15. The wickets kept tumbling regularly and 19 runs were needed from the final over. A ball later, Katherine Fraser hit her international teammate Bryce for six. The Diamonds could not find the boundary again and the East Midlands side secured their second win in the competition, which was much needed after a difficult start to the season. 


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