Source: Julian Thompson

Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy – match 32 – Diamonds vs Sparks

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Northern Diamonds vs Central Sparks at Leeds, Headingley Stadium on 15 July 2023 (12h40)

Commentators lauded Sparks’ Katie George (pictured) who made a ‘tremendous knock’ with her match-winning ‘fifty, scoring 56 from just 35 balls. As stand-out performer, Katie George also took two wickets (2/46) out of Diamonds’ four, during a rain-affected match. Commentators were Jonathan Doidge (for BBC radio Leeds) with Graham Hardcastle (Sports journalist) with guest Dr Jane Powell (President, Yorks CCC.) Video highlights from ECB online (via NV Play) with full match video courtesy of Yorks CCC for Northern Diamonds & commentary from BBC Sounds. As mentioned below, the match started late and was rescheduled a number of times following each interruption for rain.

Diamonds ’ Innings *Skipper Hollie Armitage.*[Abbey Freeborn keeping wicket for Sparks] *Unchanged team. *International players Chloe Tryon (Republic of South Africa) & Sterre Kalis (NL.) *After a rain-delayed start, announced that play was reduced to 43 overs per side; due to start around noon (12h40.) *Between showers, Lauren Winfield-Hill and Sterre Kalis made a 60-run first-wicket stand. *Having travelled long-distance Sterre Kalis was reportedly playing with her treasured bat and borrowed kit. *Lauren Winfield-Hill 28(35) lost her leg-side bail to Georgia Davis. *Sterre Kalis 36(44) snicked a ball passing off-stump to Abbey Freeborn, from Katie George. *Emma Marlow ‘impressed’ commentators, when ‘nearly run out’ on 8 (after ‘good running.’) *Commentators’ curse struck again when Emma Marlow 22(38) steepled a short ‘bouncer’ delivery. *Ballooned to ‘deep-extra-cover,’ caught by Bethan Ellis, from Katie George (2/46.) *Hollie Armitage 66(56) played a skipper’s ‘fifty,’ until steepled to ’short-third’ and caught by Erin Burns, from Georgia Davis (2/40.) *Diamonds innings 223/4 (34 overs) ended prematurely, when another 3 overs was docked from either side’s quota when once again, rain interrupted play. *Bess Heath 49*not out(31) ‘who struck the ball so well,’ closed one run short of her ‘fifty.’ *Best Diamonds batters both hit 2 ’sixes:’ Hollie Armitage 66(56) & Bess Heath 49*not out(31) *Commentators gaffed with Bess Heath hitting one ‘six’ more than she actually did. *Two Sparks bowlers took 2 wickets: Georgia Davis 2/40 & Katie George 2/46. *Diamonds were gifted 14 ‘wides.’

Sparks’ Innings Skipper Eve Jones. *[Lauren Winfield-Hill keeping wicket for Diamonds] *International player Erin Burns (Australia Women’s Big-Bash League) *Erin Burns ballooned a catch to Emma Marlow at ‘deep-mid-wicket,’ from Jess Woolston (1/24.) *Abbey Freeborn 10(10), missed a ‘square-cut’ and was bowled by Katie Levick (noted as misreported elsewhere as caught behind the bowler, ‘wide at long-on.’) *Skipper Eve Jones 26(38), reverse-scooped to her off-side and was caught at ‘short-fine’ by Jess Woolston, from Grace Hall *Katie George 56(35) bowled by Katie Levick, with her off-stump clipped and bails sent flying leg-side. *Two balls later, Ami Campbell 27(23) was bowled by Katie Levick, playing across-the-line. *Issy Wong & Charis Pavely scored the winning runs under pressure, with two balls remaining. *Best Sparks batter was Katie George 56(35) *Best Diamonds bowler was Katie Levick 3/31. *Sparks were gifted 16 ‘wides.’

Match summary Commentators said that ‘Diamonds worked hard’ with the bat and were ‘in a fantastic position.’ By comparison, Sparks ‘played well’ and consistently ‘came out (after each interruption for rain) and went for it’ (intending to win.) Commentators became dissonant when fielders were mis-directed and ‘not entirely certain where they needed to be.’ To clarify for reporting purposes, two Sparks batters were ‘caught,’ three were ‘bowled,’ leaving two batters ’not out.’ Drama struck late in the match, when Diamonds’ Katie Levick took 2 Sparks’ wickets with three balls. Stand-out performer was Sparks’ Katie George who took two wickets (2/46) and top-scoreds with a match-winning ‘fifty.’  After playing 9th round matches, Sparks (25 points) are second only to Blaze, who have a match-in-hand. Defending champions Diamonds (19 points) stay joint-third with Stars (Stars with a match-in-hand.)

Match result: Central Sparks Women 164/5 from 18.4 overs (DLS target 164 from 19 overs) beat Northern Diamonds Women 223/4 from 34 overs; by 5 wickets (Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method): with 2 balls remaining

*Diamonds’ batting: 223/4: (@ 6.5 runs-per-over from 34/34 overs); Hollie Armitage 66(56), Bess Heath 49*not out(31), Sterre Kalis 36(44), Lauren Winfield-Hill 28(35), Emma Marlow 22(38); Sparks’ bowling: Georgia Davis 2/40, Katie George 2/46; Fow 1-60, 2-83, 3-131, 4-197.

*Sparks’  batting: 169/5: (@ 8.7 r-p-o from 18.4/19 overs); Katie George 56(35), Ami Campbell 27(23), Eve Jones 26(28), Abbey Freeborn 10(10), Erin Burns 10(14); Diamonds’ bowling: Katie Levick 3/31, Grace Hall 1/17, Jess Woolston 1/24; Fow 1-41, 2-60, 3-89, 4-161, 5-162.

*Scorecard & match highlights, courtesy of ECB via NV-Play on YouTube at URL: & BBC Sound (for Sport-Cricket) @URL:

*Match free-to-air (starting from 02h12m36s/07h51m26s) courtesy of Yorks CCC (for Northern Diamonds) on YouTube at URL: