Southern Vipers 231 (Adams 80, Windsor 37) beat Northern Diamonds 193 (Kalis 55, Taylor 6-34) by 38 runs
Charlotte Taylor’s game-changing six-wicket haul ensured the Southern Vipers defended 232 to beat Northern Diamonds by 38 runs and claim the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy title at Edgbaston.
An enthralling game which swung back and forth throughout saw the Diamonds well placed at 74 for 1 in the 15th over of their chase, only to slip to 96 for 6 in the 23rd as brilliant off-spinner Taylor struck the decisive blows.
She had opener Hollie Armitage caught at backward point for 26, Alex MacDonald out hit wicket, Jenny Gunn trapped lbw and Bess Heath caught at deep mid-wicket.
The Diamonds were later bowled out for 193 inside 43 overs, with 26-year-old Taylor also trapping Beth Langston lbw and having Netherlands international Sterre Kalis caught at mid-on for 55 on the way to a fabulous 6 for 34 from her 10 overs – the best return from any bowler in the competition.
Vipers’ captain Georgia Adams continued her stunning form with 80 off 102 balls, including eleven fours, at the top of the order as she underpinned 231 all out and moved to 500 competition runs in the process.
She shared a century opening partnership with Ella McCaughan, who posted 35, having been inserted, only for the Diamonds to drag things back impressively as leg-spinners Katie Levick and Armitage shared five wickets.
After Adams and McCaughan shared 100 inside 24 overs, their side’s fourth century opening stand in seven games, the South Coast side were in a dominant position at 150 for 1 in the 32nd over. Adams was particularly strong square of the wicket, reaching 50 for the fourth time in this competition off 68 balls.
Maia Bouchier, however, looked more fluent at the crease and was punishing through the covers and over the top on the way to 28. Together with Adams – they shared 50 inside eight overs after McCaughan had feathered left-arm spinner Linsey Smith behind – a total nearing 300 was not unrealistic on a pacy and true surface with a fast outfield.
But things changed in a flash. Diamonds captain Lauren Winfield-Hill, back from England’s T20 bubble, brought Armitage into the attack, and she struck first ball with a long hop which Bouchier pulled head high to mid-on, leaving the score at 150 for 2 in the 32nd.
Almost 12 overs later, the Vipers were 191 for 8, with Armitage striking again plus three wickets for Levick, who trapped Charlie Dean and Carla Rudd lbw and removed Adams, caught at deep mid-wicket. Levick’s first two overs had cost her 19 and she finished with 3 for 49 from eight.
Miserly former England seamers Langston and Gunn both contributed significantly in dragging things back and finished with a wicket apiece.
However, there was to be a late twist as the Vipers were boosted by an industrious 37 off 48 balls from Emily Windsor to ensure they went beyond 230.
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