Charlotte Edwards Cup 2021: Sunrisers 116/7 lost to Northern Diamonds 117/2 by eight wickets
Sarah Taylor proved her inimitable class with an impeccable 43 not out as Northern Diamonds got off the mark in the Charlotte Edwards Cup by beating Sunrisers by eight wickets.
Sunrisers 116/7 (20 ov)
Northern Diamonds 117/2 (16.2 ov)
Northern Diamonds won by 8 wickets
Three-time World Cup winner Taylor, who suffered a concussion in the defeat to North West Thunder last weekend, was brilliantly partnered by Leah Dobson’s unbeaten 44.
Having collapsed to 48 for six, Jo Gardner and Katherine Speed hauled Sunrisers to 116 for seven with a 64-run revival.
But Taylor and Leah Dobson eased the visitors to victory at the Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford, with an 87-run partnership leaving 22 balls to spare.
Hollie Armitage came out firing in the chase with a four-six-four combo before Mady Villiers got the last laugh by having her stumped by some impressive Amara Carr glovework.
Ami Campbell clothed a pull to mid-wicket but no collapse was forthcoming as Taylor and Dobson picked off the runs with relative simplicity.
Taylor’s five boundaries oozed beauty – including a full toss driven along the floor, a swivelled pull shot and a step outside off stump to sweep – but it was a trademarked reverse lap which left the longest impression.
Opener Dobson, 19, impressed herself with sixes over square-leg and wide long-on but it was her energetic running that defined her contribution. She finished it off the chase with a powerful drill down the ground.
Lissy Macleod struck three early boundaries, having been put in, but a double-wicket maiden and a maiden from Jenny Gunn and Phoebe Graham completely halted the hosts on a slow pitch with tennis ball bounce.
England legend Gunn bowled Naomi Dattani with an in-swinger with her second ball before picking up Grace Scrivens lbw two balls later. In the following over Macleod failed to commit and chipped back to a juggling Graham.
Sunrisers were 26 for four when Villiers leading edged back to Graham before Amara Carr and Kelly Castle fell soon after to Katie Levick – leg before sweeping and caught behind. The wicket of Castle was Levick’s 100th in the format.
But Gardner and Speed recovered the run rate with more regular boundaries paired with smart running, while stemming the flow of wickets.
Gardner provided the power, while Speed found gaps with expert precision. The former sweetly middled two sixes back over Levick and Linsey Smith’s heads to bring up the 100.
Gardner fell in the last over when hoisting into the leg side, which gave Gunn her 150th T20 wicket, as Sunrisers were always below par.
Sunrisers batter Jo Gardner, who scored 42:
“From the position we were in from the back end of the Powerplay to 10 overs onwards, the partnership me and Speedy had was really good in getting us up to the score we got.
“We played low risk and with the boundaries the size they were you just had to hold your shape and play through the line of the ball and you got your rewards.
“I thought they bowled well up top but I’m sure our batters would have liked to have batted for longer.
“The only way to win the game was to take wickets so to take two early was encouraging but after then they batted very sensibly with low risk cricket and accumulated well. They made it look easy out there.
“Last week’s win was really good and we were buzzing with that performance. We are disappointed not to get over the line tonight but we’ll try to got two out of three before the Hundred break.”
Northern Diamonds wicketkeeper-batter Sarah Taylor, who scored 43 not out:
“Leading into the Hundred I want to get as much batting as I can so I got the go-ahead to play last night [after the concussion].
“Don’t get me wrong I am rusty. That was one of the first proper running sessions I’ve done in a very long time but it is just nice to come back.
“It was a nice game to settle into. If it was a massive score it would have been hard to nestle in but it was nice to be there at the end.
“Leah is one of the most talented batters you will ever see. She is still learning her craft so I am very pleased for her. A youngster coming into the tournament is very daunting and I know she was nervous about all of this; it is about settling down.
“All the England girls love this ground and the wicket was perfect for Jenny [Gunn]. It did a little bit early doors. She is so experienced and knowledgeable and just so good.
“The score wasn’t too dissimilar to what we couldn’t chase down against Thunder. We have bounced back quite nicely.
“You get it in cricket where you have that one game you need as a rocket. We did so well in the 50-over stuff that you needed that one game to give us a step down.”
Sunrisers - Hayley Brown, Cordelia Griffith, Fran Wilson, Kelly Castle, Naomi Dattani, Jo Gardner, Katie Midwood, Alice MacLeod, Grace Scrivens, Amara Carr, Scarlett Hughes, Mia Rogers, Gayatri Gole, Sonali Patel, Emily Thorpe, Mady Villiers, Katie Wolfe
Northern Diamonds - Hollie Armitage (c), Katherine Brunt, Ami Campbell, Leah Dobson, Helen Fenby, Phoebe Graham, Jenny Gunn, Bess Heath, Rachel Hopkins, Sterre Kalis, Beth Langston, Katie Levick, Alex MacDonald, Nat Sciver, Rachel Slater, Linsey Smith, Ella Telford, Lauren Winfield-Hill
©Cricket World 2021