Match Report – ND vs THDER 1st Match, April 20, 2024

Northern Diamonds Defeat 166 for 1 (Winfield-Hill 69*, Armitage 61*) thunder 165 for nine (Lewick 4-38).

Northern Diamonds cruised to a nine-wicket victory over Thunder on Day One at Chester-le-Street, thanks to a superb display from three of their experienced players.

Senior leg-spinner Katie Levick took 4 for 38 as the visitors were bowled out for 165 in 43.1 overs, with England internationals Lauren Winfield-Hill and Holly Armitage both scoring unbeaten fifties as the hosts reached a modest target in 34.3 overs.

Only opener Seren Small was second-best in all areas of the game on a disappointing day for Ellie Threlkeld's team as she smashed 32 runs at the top of the order for the Thunder.

The Thunder never really recovered from an early blow when they lost Emma Lamb not out to Jessica Woolston, her fellow opener Small then struggled to find partners of substance.

Australian debutant Katie Mack threatened to do her job with 19 before Abbie Glenn was caught in front and she then left the Thunder 40 for 3 off the first ball of Fay Morris.

Both Threlkeld and then Smale departed leg-before leg-pert, matching the latter's 32 as the highest score of the innings with the same number of extras.

Despite some opposition from Namoi Dattani, Danielle Collins and Tara Norris, Threlkeld was Levick's first victim as the leg-spinner crossed the 150 mark.

It was Lewick's day though, as the Diamonds' leading wicket-taker last season took the last three wickets, usually taking 4 for 38 in 9.1 overs.

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Winfield-Hill and Sterre Kallis struck from the start of the Diamonds' innings, and despite tight bowling from Phoebe Graham and Mahika Kaur, they were unable to make a crucial early breakthrough for the Thunder.

The last wicket came in the 14th over when the Diamonds reached 59 without dismissing the openers, and it was a gimmick when it did: Kallis somehow scooped a full toss from slow left-armer Hannah Jones. Tatini at midwicket for 28 runs.

Despite Threlkeld reshuffled his pack, Armitage joined Winfield-Hill at the crease and the pair of Norris and Morris suffered a second wicket loss with some powerful hitting.

Winfield-Hill eased to his half-century as the second-wicket partnership turned into a match-winning one, with the only real drama about whether Armitage would join him in achieving the milestone in the 34th over.

The century partnership left Winfield-Hill and Armitage unbeaten and just before scoring the winning runs, the bonus-point win ended a very satisfying day for the Northern Diamonds.

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