Northern Diamonds v Southern Vipers at Chester-le-Street (The Riverside) on May 21 at 14h30
*Vipers elected to bat, back to full-strength: with Tara Norris and Danni Wyatt playing their first Charlotte Edwards Cup match of the season. Diamonds were also beefed-up with three Internationals: Sterre Kalis (NL) rotated for Lauren Winfield-Hill; England’s Katherine Brunt for Beth Langston.
Critically, reaching at 115/6 by the 100 ball benchmark (16.4 overs) Vipers’ strike rate remained constant, at around one-run-per-ball. By comparison, Diamonds lost fewer wickets but only made 115. Hence Vipers won the game by only allowing singles to be scored by Diamonds with relentless stump-to-stump bowling during the closing stages of Diamonds’ innings. After the match, Vipers skipper Georgia Adams told reporters that she was ‘confident (about her) bowling line-up;’ and ‘never felt out of the game.’
*Vipers openers Danni Wyatt (48 runs from 43 balls) and skipper Georgia Adams’ 24(15) first-wicket partnership banked forty runs.
*Skipper Adams was caught at mid-wicket by Nat Sciver, handing Katie Levick her first of five wickets (5/15)
*After the power play Vipers were 51/1, reaching 74/3 by half way (10 overs.)
*Spirited resistance came from teenager Freya Kemp 16(16) who lasted 23 minutes, also scoring at the same rate.
*Kemp was eventually caught during the 17th over by skipper Hollie Armitage from Emma Marlow. Tara Norris fell for a second ball duck, chalking-up Katie Levick’s five-wicket haul: ‘5-fer.’
*Closing on 126 All Out, remarkably, Vipers’ last six wickets fell during their last five overs for just 24 runs.
*Off to an equally impressive start, Diamonds’ keeper Bess Heath was unfazed by England hopeful Lauren Bell’s pace, her first four balls slogged for four consecutive ‘fours.’
*Newbie Freya Kemp did well to pin down Bess Heath with four dot balls.
*Former England player Anya Shrubsole equally applied the brakes when one run was scored from her first power play over.
*Fellow opener Sterre Kalis 18(19) hit Freya Kemp’s final power play over for two ‘fours,’ at which point Diamonds’ power play score was 48 without loss (v 51/1.)
*Kalis was ‘run out’ straight after the power play with both sides neck-and-neck.
*Bowling the tenth over, Anya Shrubsole skittled Nat Sciver’s (4) stumps. At mid-way, there was little to choose between either side (69/2 v 74/3.)
*During the next four overs, Bess Heath and Holly Armitage scampered sixteen singles from four different bowlers (Nancy Harman, Georgia Elwiss, Georgia Adams and Anya Shrubsole.)
*Deadlock was broken when Anya Shrubsole took a gifted catch from Bess Heath 51(44) from the first ball of newbie Nancy Harman’s third over.
*By the 100 ball benchmark (16.4 overs) Diamonds reached 95/3, still scampering singles from both Georgias who then reaped their reward.
*Firstly, bowling the eighteenth over, Georgia Elwiss dismissed Abigail Glen (8) who was caught by Paige Scholfield.
*Secondly, bowling the penultimate over, skipper Georgia Adams clean-bowled her opposite number Hollie Armitage (16) and trapped New Zealander Leigh Kasperek ‘leg before’ for a golden duck.
Summary: Very little to choose between either team, until the match began to unfold during the eighteenth over as Diamonds reached 100/4. Diamonds lacked fire-power during the closing stages, as Vipers snatched three wickets with just a handful of balls remaining.
Result: (Group A) Southern Vipers Women 126/10 (19.3 overs) beat Northern Diamonds Women 115/7 (20 overs) by 11 runs
Southern Vipers 126 (19.3/20 overs overs, 6.46 runs-per-over): Dani Wyatt 48(43), Georgia Adams 24(15), Freya Kemp 16(16); Diamonds bowling: Katie Levick 5/15, Emma Marlow 2/19, Abigail Glen 1/12, Rachel Stater 1/22; Fow 1-40, 2-70, 3-73, 4-77, 5-104, 6-110, 7-115, 8-115, 9-116 10-126;
Northern Diamonds 115/7 (20 overs, 5.75 runs-per-over): Bess Heath 51(44), Sterre Kalis 18(19), Hollie Armitage 16(25), Katherine Brunt 10*(6); Vipers bowling Georgia Adams 2/9, Nancy Harman 1/13, Anya Shrubsole 1/15, Georgia Elwiss 1/21, Freya Kemp 1/30; Fow 1-49, 2-67, 3-85, 4-98, 5-102, 6-102, 7-115.