Ami Campbell leads Northern Diamonds to their second RHF Trophy final

Women's CricZone Staff
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Ami Campbell leads Northern Diamonds to their second RHF Trophy final

Northern Diamonds © Getty Images

A fighting 74-run partnership between Ria Fackrell and Emily Arlott was not enough as Northen Diamonds beat Central Sparks by six wickets in the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Trophy eliminator on Wednesday (September 22). Ami Campbell’s 76 runs off 78 balls were instrumental in the Diamonds reaching the final of the RHF Trophy for the second year in a row.

Central Sparks were in the early spot of bother after winning the toss and opting to bat first as they lost two wickets in the first two overs. Marie Kelly was trapped in the front by Beth Langston while Davina Perrin was caught at square leg by Campbell off Rachel Slater. Captain Even Jones tried to put a partnership with Gwenan Davies but, she became Slater’s second victim when she was caught at point by Sterre Kalis for just nine runs.

From the precarious position of 35 for three by the end of the 10th over, Davies tried to free her arms, but could not get any help from the other end. When she was dismissed by Langston in the 29th over, it looked like Sparks may not even cross 150 runs in the first innings. Fackrell and Arlott then batted for 19 overs to take Sparks to 175 without losing any more wickets.

Also Read: Vipers make final; Diamonds, Sparks to clash in RHF Trophy play-off

In reply, Diamond’s captain showed her intentions by hitting the fours in the opening over bowled by Issy Wong. She followed it by hitting back-to-back boundaries in Arlott’s first over as she amassed 25 runs off just 14 balls. She tried to continue her aggression against off-spinner Davies but got caught at long-on by Arlott in the sixth over. Her opening partner Rachel Hopkins could not last longer as wicket-keeper Chloe Hill took a simple catch.

Kalis, who took 11 balls to get off the mark, then partnered with Campbell to steady the chase for Diamonds. Campbell hit the first six of the match off Clare Boycott over long-off. The pair put up a partnership of 116 runs to dismantle any hopes Sparks had to reach their first-ever RHF Trophy Final. Campbell was caught in the 31st over off Kelly in the deep, but by then, the Diamonds only needed 18 runs to a victory. Kalis remained unbeaten on 41 and sealed the place in the final for Diamonds in the 33rd over.

The final of the RHF Trophy will be played between Southern Vipers and Northern Diamonds on Saturday (September 25) at Northampton.

Brief Scores:

Central Spark 175/7 in 50 overs (Ria Fackrell 42*, Gwenan Davies 42; Linsey Smith 2/25) lost to Northern Diamonds 176/4 in 32.5 overs (Ami Campbell 76, Sterre Kalis 41*; Emily Arlott 2/35) by six wickets