Heather Knight in action. ©Getty Images

Match Preview: Yorkshire Diamonds v Western Storm

Date: 15 August 2019

Venue: Clifton Park, York

It is another quick turnaround for both Western Storm and Yorkshire Diamonds who played their previous match on Tuesday (August 13). Storm makes the long journey north on the back of a perfect record of four wins from four.  Diamonds have found it more difficult of late having won their only game of the season against Lancashire Thunder on Tuesday.

It was a morale-boosting win against their local rivals in a nerve-jangling clash. There is room for improvement,  but that first win was important.

What might not be so good for Diamonds is they have never beaten Western Storm. Having batted first the Diamonds have never been able to put up a total that was beyond their opponents. They have always come across at least one batter in the zone. Even more worrying is that the last time that Rachel Priest played at York, in 2017 she clubbed a 65 ball 106 not out.

The last game between the two at Scarborough was the closest in terms of the number of overs it took Western Storm to chase down the target. They got there with four balls to spare but still won by 7 wickets.

It is hard to believe that Thursday’s (August 15) game between the two teams at Clifton Park in York will be much different.

 

Key players:

Katie George

With the big-hitting opening pair of Priest and Smriti Mandhana, it will be important that Diamonds don’t let them get away quickly. Especially when Heather Knight at three is in a good spell of form.

George is a promising left-arm bowler who gets the ball to move. She has been in the England picture before and a string of performances could see her in the frame again.

George is averaging 16.00 with the ball so far in this year’s tournament and will be looking to add to her two wickets.

 

Heather Knight

The England captain is the leading run-scorer in the competition’s history. She was the second-highest run-scorer last season behind teammate Mandhana. She already has 174 runs in four innings so far and is leading the run-scoring charts this year.

Knight does enjoy playing against Yorkshire Diamonds with scores of 48 not out in 2017 and 97 and 45 not out in 2018.

 

Conditions:

Other than last year when Surrey Stars were skittled out of just 66 runs the scores at York have been high scoring. In Western Storm’s only game on this ground, they chased down 161 without losing a wicket.

Lauren Winfield has scored two fifties at York – the second coming in a total of 175 for 5 against Southern Vipers.

The weather forecast for the day of the game is positive with the chance of rain being slim. The day before though is one of rain and thunderstorms. Being an out ground there might not be the resources to clear up a deluge.

 

Squads:

Yorkshire Diamonds: Lauren Winfield (c), Katherine Brunt, Alice Davidson-Richards, Katie George, Linsey Smith, Hollie Armitage, Georgia Davis, Helen Fenby, Cordelia Griffith, Bess Heath, Beth Langston, Katie Levick, Alyssa Healy, Jemimah Rodrigues, Leigh Kasperek.

Western Storm: Heather Knight (c), Anya Shrubsole, Fran Wilson, Smriti Mandhana, Rachel Priest, Deepti Sharma, Freya Davies, Danielle Gibson, Ellie Mitchell, Claire Nicholas, Naomi Dattani, Sofie Luff, Amara Carr, Sonia Odedra, Alex Griffiths.

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