Defending Champions Southern Vipers have been crowned as the champions of Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy 2021 edition yet again. After finishing at top of the table with 1 loss and 27 points, Vipers met Northern Diamonds in a repeat of the 2020 Finals on 25th September at Northampton, England.
Batting first after winning the toss, Northern Diamonds put up 183 on board before being bowled out 4 balls before their quota of 50 overs. It was a decent start for the Diamonds with a 35 runs partnership for the first wicket and 37 for the second but the crumble after that, going from 72 for 1 to 73 for 4 cost them the game. Two of these quick wickets were taken by Viper’s captain Georgia Adams who ended her spell with a four-wicket haul recording her career-best figure. The 2020 edition’s star performer, Charlotte Taylor took the third wicket finishing with a spell of two wickets, giving away 26 runs in her 10 overs. Tara Norris also got two wickets to her name while Georgia Elwiss and Paige Scholfield took one each. The savior for the team was Ami Cambell who went on scoring 60 before being caught.
Defending a low target, the Diamonds came out very strongly with the bowl putting the defending champions into a tough fight to retain the title. It all started in the first over itself when Beth Langston bowled out Adams on the second ball of the innings and repeated the same with Ella McCaughan in her second over, taking the score to 6 for 2 and in a fraction of time, the Vipers were 109 for 7 with still 75 runs to victory. Jenny Gunn led the bowling attack with 3 wickets and Phoebe Graham and Katie Levick with one wicket each. That was the moment that made the Diamonds fans elated and brought a sense of relief for the team, but cricket is known for adding some extra thriller. Despite being 7 wickets down, the game-changing partnership between Emily Windsor and Tara Norris scoring unbeaten 47 and 40 respectively made Southern Vipers victorious once again and that too with 2 balls to spare. Windsor was adjudged as the player of the match.
It is said that nothing is over until it is actually over, and cricket brought several moments proving it. This final match was one such moment. Northern Diamonds were so very close to victory but ended up as the Runner-Up giving Southern Vipers their second consecutive title of Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.
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