By Graham Hardcastle
Lauren Winfield hailed the ‘three C’s’ and even added a fourth in her praise of the Yorkshire Diamonds as they got their Kia Super League campaign up and running with victory over Roses rivals Lancashire at Liverpool yesterday (TUESDAY).
The Diamonds skipper starred with a fine 56 to help set the Thunder a target of 152 which they failed to overhaul, losing by nine runs.
It was the White Rose’s first win in three games and owed much to a composed display with the ball and in the field – not that composed was one of the C’s!
“After the way we bowled and fielded in our game against Loughborough, we spoke about what’s going wrong when we’re under pressure,” Winfield explained.
“A lot of the bowlers felt we were really rushed, so we just slowed the game down.
“At half-time against Lancs, I said, ‘We have to be clear, clinical and calm – the three C’s’.
“We just about managed it, despite a few squeaky bum moments.”
And here’s the fourth, she continued: “We were pretty abysmal with the ball against Loughborough, so to turn it around was really encouraging.
“The girls bounced back and showed a lot of character.”
Next up for the Diamonds is a clash with current KSL leaders Western Storm in Winfield’s home city of York tomorrow. The clash at Clifton Park starts at 2.30pm.
“I’m really looking forward to it. I love playing there,” said England’s Winfield, who topped the 500-run mark in career KSL matches in the Lancashire win.
“Last year I felt we gave the Storm a good game when we played them in our home match at Scarborough.
“We know they’re a good side who are always up and about in the top few teams.
“We had some good plans to Smriti Mandhana, but we were just a bit unlucky with her chipping over the fielders and such. It could have been different.
“But on the back of this win, we’ll be tough to beat.”
Despite losing that Storm game at Scarborough, Yorkshire take heart from the fact they beat both 2018 finalists Loughborough Lightning and Surrey Stars at home last year, including champions Surrey by nine wickets at York.
If they are to finish in the top three places in the table and qualify for their maiden Finals Day at Hove in early September, they look set to have to do it without the services of Winfield’s England team-mate Katherine Brunt.
The 34-year-old star all-rounder is managing a long-standing back injury and has just played a near full part in the recent Ashes series defeat against Australia.
It was always known that Barnsley’s Brunt would miss some KSL matches upon request of the ECB, but Winfield has revealed: “We’ve been told she’s unlikely to feature at all.
“But unlikely is not a no I guess even though it’s not a yes either. She needs a bit of rest after the Ashes to let her body settle. We’ll just see.
“Whether she’s available for the last couple of games – if we make Finals Day, who knows?
“As far as we’re concerned we haven’t got her for the foreseeable future and will go in with what we’ve got. Should she become available, it would be a bonus.”
The Storm will field the KSL’s current two leading run-scorers and two leading wicket-takers.
England duo Heather Knight, their captain, and Fran Wilson have scored 174 and 130 runs from four innings respectively, while Claire Nicholas and Freya Davies have both taken seven wickets.
Tickets will be available to purchase from the cash turnstiles at Clifton Park from 1:00pm. They will cost:
Yorkshire County Cricket Club Full and One-day Members can gain access using their membership cards.