A large crowd assembled at Clifton Park, York yesterday for Yorkshire Diamonds' fourth game in this year's Kia Women's Super League. Their opponents on what began as a sunny afternoon were Taunton based Western Storm. The Diamonds began the game with two wins to their name which put them ahead of Storm in the table but with the latter having a game in hand.
Storm won the toss and elected to field and after the early loss of the feisty Sri Lankan, Chamari Atapattu, run out by a direct hit, Lauren Winfield and New Zealander Sophie Devine tucked into the Storm attack. The latter holds various records for fast scoring in T20 cricket and a couple of her sixes which left the ground were quite breathtaking in their height and carry. The pair rattled along at ten an over until Devine was bowled by Shrubsole and although Winfield went on to make 58 and Katherine Brunt added 22 the innings rather tailed off and our forecast of 170 proved optimistic as the innings closed on 160 for 7. Most economical of the bowlers was another Kiwi, Holly Huddlestone, whose four overs cost just 19.
Just time for a lap of the ground and a chance to say hello to a few familiar faces and we were off again with Rachel Priest and England captain Heather Knight opening the batting. After a steady start Priest in particular took the Diamonds' bowlers to the polishers as the powerfully built wicket keeper showed that she could hit just as cleanly as her fellow country woman Devine. peppering the gardens behind the mower shed with sixes. Devine suffered the most with 19 coming off her solitary over but Diamonds were let down by some poor fielding with catches going down and at times the fielders seemed slow to pick up the flight of the ball. One stunning catch was taken, very low down in the deep by Jenny Gunn, but a no ball had been called. Brunt and Gunn were the most economical of the bowlers, the latter's action presumably having satisfied more expert scrutiny than mine. 108 without loss was posted in the twelfth over and by the fifteenth 'start the car' was the order of the day. By the time I had walked to the other end of the ground four overthrows had finished the game: a ten wicket win for Storm, 106 not out off 65 balls for Priest and 48 not out for Knight.
Driving home I picked up commentary on Southern Vipers v Surrey Stars from Southampton which was being played in increasingly heavy rain and where a late flurry of runs, including four more 'buzzers' saw the Vipers to a position where when DLS was invoked they were in a winning position. In the third game of the day, played at Stanley Park, Blackpool, Lancashire's Thunder came second to Loughborough's Lightning. Surrey head the table with Southern second, Yorkshire third and Western fourth. More action on Wednesday when Surrey play Western and Lancashire take on Southern. Diamonds' last group match is at Arundel on Saturday against Southern.
Off to Todmorden tomorrow then MCC v Nidderdale League at North Stainley on Wednesday.