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Charlotte Edwards Cup round-Up: Lauren Winfield-Hill stars for Northern Diamonds

Issy Wong bowling
England prospect Issy Wong took 2-28 in Central Sparks’ win over Western Storm

Lauren Winfield-Hill struck 96 from just 51 balls as Northern Diamonds cruised to victory over Lightning in their opening match of the Charlotte Edwards Cup.

Fellow England opener Tammy Beaumont made 59 in Lightning’s reply but they fell 39 runs short of Diamonds’ 177.

Beaumont added 79 for the first wicket with Marie Kelly, who made 46, but no other batter reached double figures.

Elsewhere, England players Amy Jones, Charlie Dean and Maia Bouchier starred in wins for Central Sparks and last year’s runners-up Southern Vipers, while South East Stars began their title defence with victory over Sunrisers.

In Cardiff, England wicketkeeper Jones hit 52 as Central Sparks batted first against Western Storm and was well supported by Abbey Freeborn who made the same score.

Some late hitting from Ami Campbell propelled Sparks to 156 from their 20 overs, having been struggling at 109-3 with just four overs to go.

Storm captain Sophie Luff looked in control of the chase before being dismissed by a spectacular one-handed catch at short fine leg by Gwen Davies for 42, and the home side failed to regain any momentum as they finished 20 runs short.

England prospect Issy Wong starred with 2-28.

At Hove, Thunder were restricted to just 102-7 after impressive bowling performances from Dean and Freya Kemp, who took two wickets apiece.

Anya Shrubsole took 1-18 on her Vipers debut, having signed as a player-coach after announcing her international retirement.

In reply, Maia Bouchier finished 48 not out as they wrapped up the win with just over six overs remaining.

Finally at Chelmsford, Sunrisers limped to 122-6 from their 20 overs and Aylish Cranstone finished 56 not out in Stars’ chase as they eased to a five-wicket win.

While many of England’s centrally contracted players were available for the opening round of fixtures, but other key players including Heather Knight (Western Storm), Sophie Ecclestone (Thunder) and Sophia Dunkley (Stars) were playing in the Fairbreak Invitational competition in Dubai.

But they should return for the remaining fixtures, while Nat Sciver and Katherine Brunt could also feature as their workloads have been carefully managed since the Ashes and World Cup over the winter.

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