Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy: Southern Vipers beat Northern Diamonds to win title

By Amy LofthouseBBC Sport at Edgbaston
Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy Final, Edgbaston
Southern Vipers 231 (49.5 overs): Adams 80, Windsor 37, Levick 3-49
Northern Diamonds 193 (42.4 overs): Kalis 55, Taylor 6-34
Vipers won by 38 runs

Southern Vipers won the inaugural Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy with an impressive 38-run victory over Northern Diamonds at Edgbaston.

Captain Georgia Adams made 80 as the Vipers posted 231, despite a collapse from 150-1 that saw them lose five wickets for 22 runs.

Off-spinner Charlotte Taylor claimed a career-best 6-34 as a stunned Diamonds slipped to 96-6.

Sterre Kalis made a battling 55 but the Diamonds were dismissed for 193.

This was a superb performance from Taylor, who went through a long rehabilitation after suffering a cruciate ligament injury in 2017.

The 26-year-old backed up the faith shown in her by coach Charlotte Edwards by finishing the tournament as the leading wicket-taker, with 15 wickets at 10.13.

The Vipers have been arguably the strongest side in the tournament, going unbeaten in the group stages, and leading run-scorer Adams once again led the way.

She weathered an accurate Diamonds bowling attack first up before hitting out to bring up a half-century from 68 balls to lay a solid platform.

Diamonds, however, were rewarded for their tenacity. Leg-spinner Katie Levick overcame a poor opening spell to claim 3-49, including the key wicket of Adams, caught in the deep, as Vipers collapsed.

Hollie Armitage also claimed two wickets in a spell that saw Vipers lose five wickets in the space of 32 balls.

Yet despite the return of England batter Lauren Winfield-Hill, the Diamonds line-up were unable to contend with Taylor, who found drift and turn from the Edgbaston pitch.

Netherlands international Kalis offered some firm resistance, striking seven fours, but once she whipped Taylor to mid-on, the game was gone for the Diamonds.

Southern Vipers receive the trophy at Edgbaston
Southern Vipers receive the trophy at Edgbaston

Southern Vipers skipper Georgia Adams told BBC Radio Solent:

"I'm just so proud of this team. Everyone stood up and showed loads of character throughout the competition.

"It was absolutely phenomenal from Charlotte Taylor today. An incredible performance from her.

"You feel like she's always a threat and always going to make something happen."

On her own batting form:

"l've been playing simple cricket, trying to hit the ball as straight as possible.

"Fifty overs is a lot longer than you think and I think I've been guilty in the past of not being patient enough in this format. I'm really pleased to have contributed the way I have.

"I've always had one eye on England. I've been close before but just never scored consistently enough. If it does happen, hopefully I can take my opportunity."

Northern Diamonds skipper Lauren Winfield-Hill told Sky Sports:

"Credit to the girls for sticking in at the end there. We got it close when it didn't look like we'd have a chance.

"We did really well to drag them back. At the start of their innings we thought it was a 260-pitch so we were really happy.

"But we just didn't bat well enough and Charlotte Taylor bowled really well."