Charlotte Edwards Cup Match Report: Northern Diamonds v The Blaze

Charlotte Edwards Cup Match Report: Northern Diamonds v The Blaze

The Blaze kept their unbeaten record in the Charlotte Edwards Cup group stages, although Northern Diamonds gave them a scare at Headingley. Bess Heath, with a quick-fire fifty, batted the Diamonds back into a game that had looked lost at the halfway stage, but her valiant efforts were not enough as the Blaze won by 13 runs 

For much of the early part of the season The Blaze struggled for runs, leading to some head-scratching from those who don’t have a keen eye on the goings on at Trent Bridge and it was also perplexing to those in charge of putting it right. One of the missing components was Kathryn Bryce, who was captaining Scotland to World Cup qualification. She is a consistent performer who sometimes goes under the radar, accumulating runs and picking up wickets at crucial times. 

She went on to claim her third fifty of the tournament today, with a 39 ball 54, before being dismissed by Katie Levick, the leg-spinner, who ended up with two for 19.  It was a well-judged innings and with Tammy Beaumont, who scored 45 from 33 balls, the pair started to command the game. The Diamonds’ fielding was sometimes sloppy on an outfield that had been sprinkled by showers all morning. The pair added 78 runs from 53 balls. 

The Blaze would have felt a total of nearly 180 was possible at the halfway stage, but with Beaumont caught by Levick from the bowling of Sophia Turner, the boundaries started to dry up. Only Heather Graham, in her second game for The Blaze, with 14  from 10 and Marie Kelly with 14 from 11 gave the end of the innings the momentum they needed to carry into the second innings. Kelly, who has struggled for runs lately, looked more comfortable; it feels like only a matter of time before she is regularly back in the runs. 

The Diamonds’ top order would need to bat well again for a second day in a row after they had put themselves in a winning position against Central Sparks at Edgbaston the day before. When Lauren Winfield-Hill was dismissed by Grace Ballinger for eight, and Sarah Glenn bowled Armitage, the burden suddenly fell on Sterre Kalis and Bess Heath. 

England have told Heath that she needs to push Amy Jones for selection as England wicketkeeper and while the glove work still has some way to go, she at least could bat positively when the pressure is on. 76 runs came rapidly, and The Blaze wondered what had hit them. The fielding side knew they had to keep patient and the wicket would come. Kalis would be sent back first for 41 as she feathered a catch to Sarah Bryce, giving the returning Sarah Glenn the wicket. 

Diamonds, who were well ahead at this stage, then lost three wickets for three runs. Erin Burns was bowled for three by Kirstie Gordon and Heath was well caught by Lucy Higham for a magnificent 59 runs from 32 balls. When Emma Marlow was run out, it felt like the Diamonds were starting to panic and the habit of losing five of their last six games was creeping in. 

With 24 runs needed from the final two overs, the Diamonds had too much to do, and The Blaze closed the game without any fuss, bowling the Diamonds out for 146. The win was enough to secure The Blaze’s place at Finals Day at Derby, but who they will face is far from certain, with many games still to come. 


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