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RESULT
35th Match, Leeds, June 16, 2024, Charlotte Edwards Cup
(20 ov, T:147) 118/7

Diamonds won by 28 runs

Report

Hollie Armitage makes her mark as Diamonds overwhelm Storm

Career-best 97 is ample to see off challenge despite Wilson's 42

Hollie Armitage led the way with a half-century, South East Stars vs Northern Diamonds, Charlotte Edwards Cup final, Ageas Bowl, September 5, 2021

Hollie Armitage made the highest score in this year's Charlotte Edwards Cup  •  Getty Images

Northern Diamonds 146 for 3 (Armitage 97, Wong 1-23) beat Western Storm 118 for 7 (Wilson 42) by 28 runs
England hopeful Hollie Armitage hit a fabulous 97 off 64 balls - the highest score in this season's Charlotte Edwards Cup - as the Northern Diamonds beat Western Storm by 28 runs in a dead-rubber clash at Headingley.
A penultimate round group fixture between two regions with only a win apiece in this season's T20 competition saw the hosts post 146 for three and defend it comfortably.
Former England batter Fran Wilson top-scored with 42 in Storm's 118 for seven, but Scotland international Rachel Slater, Sophia Turner and Katie Levick all impressed with two wickets.
Armitage hit 14 fours and two sixes in a career-best score in all T20 cricket. She dominated a 97 opening partnership inside 12 overs with Emma Marlow, who contributed only nine.
This game was watched by a number of former Yorkshire players who had been invited by the club as part of their ongoing Celebration of Women's sport.
England legend Katherine Sciver-Brunt, handed an OBE on Friday in the King's Birthday Honours list, was one.
The Diamonds innings was, in truth, all about Armitage, who drove the first ball of the match - from Issy Wong - to the cover boundary, her first of 10 in a 30-ball fifty.
The England fringe all-rounder took advantage of a true Headingley surface to pile the pressure on the Storm, especially their seamer Ellie Anderson, who she hit for five fours in the fifth over.
When Armitage reached her fifty in the sixth, Diamonds were 56 without loss, and opening partner Emma Marlow basically had the best spectator's seat in the house.
Marlow only contributed five off 11 balls to a 10-over score of 90 without loss, of which her skipper had 82.
Marlow fell caught behind for nine off a top-edge against Sophia Smale's left-arm spin in the 12th over.
Armitage raced into the nineties. But, as she got closer to a maiden T20 century, rain started to fall.
Whether it contributed to her dismissal - caught and bowled off Chloe Skelton's off-spin, at 124 for two in the 16th over - remains to be seen.
She may have been concerned that the heavens were going to open to deny her, hence shimmying down the pitch and miscueing a return catch.
And that was the start of an impressive Storm recovery in the last 10 overs, with loanee quick Wong bowling Sterre Kalis for 22 as Diamonds didn't make the most of Armitage's good work.
Smale and Wong returned one for 23 from their respective four overs. But it wasn't enough.
Just as Storm were under early fire with ball in hand, they were with the bat too.
Left-arm seamer Slater had Dani Gibson caught behind with the first ball of the chase before uprooting Nat Wraith's middle stump with a sumptuous in-swinging yorker to leave the Storm at one for two after one over.
Again, they recovered, with opener Emma Corney and Wilson sharing 50 for the third wicket. But the former holed out for 17 to long-on off Turner's seam at a crucial juncture - 51 for three in the ninth.
From there, Storm just couldn't get going quickly enough.
Miserly Scottish off-spinner Katherine Fraser had Wilson caught at long-on, leaving the score at 80 for four after 14 overs.
Leg-spinner Levick removed captain Sophie Luff stumped in the next over, and Diamonds were all but home and hosed. Turner and Levick, the latter defending 33 off the last over, both struck again.

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Charlotte Edwards Cup

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