Generated with Avocode. Generated with Avocode.
26th September 2022 Women

Northern Diamonds win Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy final

The Northern Diamonds are the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy champions for 2022 after beating Southern Vipers by two runs at Lord’s.

The Diamonds defended a target of 216, including 13 off Katie Levick in the last over, which went for 10 and yielded two wickets as the Vipers – back-to-back champions – finished on 213-9.

Linsey Smith was outstanding with 2-24 from 10 overs of left-arm spin and 27 with the bat. She opened the batting and bowling and was just pipped to the player of the match award by Lauren Winfield-Hill.

Winfield-Hill’s 65 off 87 balls was the feature of the Diamonds’ 215-9, which also included 44 from Bess Heath and 34 from Leah Dobson.

Winfield-Hill also claimed three dismissals behind the stumps and won her third career Lord’s final and second of the month after Hundred success with the Oval Invincibles.

For the Vipers, captain Georgia Adams impressed with three wickets and 70. But, after losing the first two finals against the Vipers, the Diamonds made it third time lucky. Having been inserted, they had to recover from a loss of four wickets for five runs in 15 balls, slipping to 119-5 in the 31st over.

The Diamonds got off to a solid start on a pitch used for yesterday’s England v India one-day international, which saw England fail to chase 170.

Winfield-Hill took the lead role in an 83-stand inside 20 overs with Smith, who provided valuable support with 27, including two boundaries.

Winfield-Hill’s sixth score above 50 in seven matches saw her drive well again, and she finished as the competition’s leading run-scorer, her haul of 470 runs followed next by Hollie Armitage’s 343.

While she hit eight fours, this innings was about laying a platform for hopeful fireworks later on.

Unfortunately, a spanner or two was thrown into the works through the middle of the innings as the Diamonds lost those aforementioned four quick wickets to slip from strength at 114-1 in the 29th.

Smith had been the first wicket to fall on a bright North London morning when she chipped a return catch to spinner Charlotte Taylor.

Captain Armitage was then the first wicket of the mid-innings collapse which undermined the Diamonds’ hopes of posting a daunting 250 plus score.

She played on against the medium pace of Paige Scholfield, who next ball bowled Sterre Kalis with one which jagged back and kept low (114-3 in the 29th over).

In the next Phoebe Turner was trapped lbw by Taylor before Winfield-Hill, having reached her fifty off 74 balls, was run out at the striker’s end after Heath had tried to sneak a single to cover.

At that stage, the innings was in danger of subsiding at 119-5 in the 31st.

As you would expect, that brought about a period of consolidation as Heath and Dobson united. The Vipers bowled well at the pair, and runs were few and far between for the next 10 overs.

Diamonds reached the 40-over mark at 148-5 before the acceleration.

Heath was particularly strong to leg as she took the lead role, while Dobson provided able support – just as Smith had done earlier with Winfield-Hill.

They shared 85 inside 17 overs for the sixth wicket, pushing their side beyond 200, which felt significant in conditions which were far from easy to score.

Dobson hit two of her three boundaries down to long-on and watched four wickets fall inside the last three overs of the innings, including three in Adams’ last.

Heath was trapped lbw by Adams reverse sweeping in the 48th – 204-6 – before Leigh Kasperek and Scott fell to the same bowler at the start of the 50th and Emma Marlow was run out.

Thankfully, though, the recovery had been achieved.

Having contributed at the start with the bat, Smith then did so with the ball as the Diamonds got themselves ahead of the game, with the defending champions 18-2 after 10 overs.

Smith had Ella McCaughan caught behind pushing forwards before Scott bowled Georgia Elwiss with a beauty of an in-swinger.

Maia Bouchier and Adams then steadied for the Vipers, the former playing particularly confidently as the pair took the score to 76-2 after 20.

Bouchier was strong down the ground and through the leg-side, but back-to-back maidens in the 25th and 26th overs from Armitage and Smith built pressure when runs had been coming freely.

And it paid dividends for the Diamonds as, early in the 27th, an Armitage full toss to Bouchier, on 48, was swept to Smith at mid-wicket – 98-3.

Armitage, who finished with an excellent 2-46 from 10 overs after her first ball bounced twice, struck again in the 31st when Emily Windsor – last year’s match-winner at Northampton, edged behind for 12, 114-4.

Within a flash, the required rate was up to a run-a-ball. After 35 overs, Vipers were 124-4.

Earlier, in Charlie Dean’s first over with the ball, the England off-spinner playfully tried to Mankad Diamonds’ opener Smith after she herself had been controversially dismissed by India’s Deepti Sharma in disappointing scenes at the end of yesterday’s ODI.

This time, there were laughs and smiles all around.

But, all of a sudden, Dean had a big job to do with the bat. She did it well, too, taking the lion’s share of 13 off Armitage in the 37th over – 143-4.

In posting 32, she showed as much intent as any batter had all day and helped the Vipers reach the 40-over mark at 157-4, needing 59 more.

Adams reached her fifty off 77 balls almost immediately afterwards.

The Diamonds were back to the stage of needing a wicket. Enter Kasperek, the New Zealand offie, who had Dean caught at short mid-wicket pulling to leave the score at 163-5 in the 42nd.

That soon became 178-5 after 45, 38 more needed. By this stage, the tide was turning.

Adams only hit one boundary in her fifty, but she found a couple more not long afterwards as the target became 23 from three.

But Levick (2-44) had her stumped in the 48th before super Smith bowled Scholfield in the next, meaning the Vipers needed 16 off 10 balls at 200-7, which became 13 off the last from Levick.

Chloe Hill holed out high to mid-wicket – Marlow with the catch – before Bell was run out coming back for two to deep cover, leaving five needed from the last. Taylor could only take two.

That new ball seamer Lizzie Scott didn’t bowl again after a five-over opening spell of 1-10 shows how well the Diamonds bowled.

And it reaped reward in grand style.

Related Articles


Tipton, Robson have North East Warriors on track for victory but end up losing to Yorkshire


Northern Diamonds canter to victory over Thunder in season opener at Seat Unique Riverside


North East Warriors set for season opener against Yorkshire


Women’s professional cricket coming to Durham