SQUAD AND PREVIEW | NORTHERN DIAMONDS v SUNRISERS (16 SEPTEMBER)
An unchanged squad of thirteen will make the trip north for the final Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy game of the season, as we face Northern Diamonds in Chester-le-Street, Durham.
Sunrisers have been in scintillating form since the return of competitive cricket in September, winning all three games in some style. They backed up two home victories with an outstanding display against table-topping The Blaze on Wednesday, with Ariana Dowse and Grace Scrivens both hitting their first ever competitive hundreds.
Scrivens and Dowse brought up numerous records as they shared an opening partnership of 200 on a sunny day in Loughborough. Firstly, they beat the previous competition record opening stand of 155, set in 2020 by Georgia Adams and Ella McCaughan for the Vipers, meaning that Grace has now been involved in three of the top six opening partnerships in the competition’s history. They are also the highest partnership of the season in the RHFT, and behind only Kathryn and Sarah Bryce’s 201 for Lightning in 2021.
The previous highest Sunrisers partnership was one that she shared with Cordelia Griffith in July last year, when they put on 148 for the first wicket at Chelmsford against Western Storm. Amara Carr held the highest personal score for the team, when she hit 99 against South East Stars in 2020, which was initially surpassed by Dowse (105) and then Scrivens (107) during Wednesday’s entertainment.
Once they were both dismissed, some innovative batting from Carr, Jo Gardner, and Flo Miller took our score up to 295/5, which is our second-highest total in the competition – behind when we hit 308/6 against Southern Vipers at Chelmsford in 2021.
With the ball, Eva Gray then took her best ever figures with an equally outstanding performance, finishing with 4 wickets for 31 runs from her ten overs. This ultimately decided the game, as Blaze came up thirty runs short of the target. The other bowlers all chipped in with a wicket each.
Northern Diamonds come into the game having beaten Thunder by 48 runs yesterday, to keep their own hopes of qualification alive. Lauren Winfield-Hill has excelled with the bat once again this season, and is clear at the top of the tournament’s run charts with 662 in 13 innings. She hit 89 on Wednesday, as wickets fell consistently around her. With the ball, Katie Levick (4 for 28) and Phoebe Turner (3 for 18) did the majority of the damage.
The game starts at 10.30am at Durham’s Chester-le-Street ground. Entry to the game is free for spectators, please enter via Gate Two. We wish a safe journey to those who are making the journey up to support the team, or you can tune into the Live Stream on Diamonds’ YouTube channel, and in our Match Centre, on the day.
Sunrisers have named the following squad:
Grace Scrivens (captain)
The Blaze v Southern Vipers
Central Sparks v South East Stars
Northern Diamonds v Sunrisers
Thunder v Western Storm
Blaze - 38 points (NRR 0.470)
Vipers - 33 points (NRR 0.265)
Stars - 31 points (NRR 0.350)
Sparks - 31 points (NRR 0.053)
Diamonds - 30 points (NRR -0.021)
Sunrisers - 28 points (NRR -0.011)
Thunder - 22 points (NRR -0.355)
Storm - 16 points (NRR -1.147)
Sunrisers still have a slim chance of qualifying for the eliminator next week, but rely heavily on dramatic results elsewhere. However, victory would guarantee at least a fifth-place finish in Andy Tennant’s first season in charge.
There are two possible scenarios which would see Sunrisers qualify:
A bonus point win (win by a run-rate of 1.25 higher than Diamonds) and Blaze to beat Vipers comprehensively enough to give us a chance of passing Vipers on net run rate into third (assuming the winner of Sparks v Stars would then get second spot).
A bonus point win, with Blaze beating Vipers comprehensively, alongside Sparks v Stars finishing either as a tie or a rain affected no result, four teams would be joint second on 33 points. The two teams with the highest net run rates would then qualify.
After the conclusion of the group stage, the teams in second and third place will play-off on Thursday 21 September. The winner of that will then face the winner of the group, in the RHFT final on Sunday 24 September, played at Northampton’s County Ground. Tickets are available on their website, at £10 an adult and £5 for children (free for Northamptonshire members).