The first match of Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy 2021 will see last year’s finalist Northern Diamonds (ND) taking on Central Sparks (CS) at the Headingley Cricket Ground in Leeds on Saturday, May 29.

Captained by star all-rounder Hollie Armitage, the Diamonds will hope to go all the way this season. Central Sparks, on the other hand, had finished second in the group stage last year and will want to improve on their form as well. Despite finishing their group on second, they were 10 points off of the Diamonds.

ND vs CP Dream11 prediction

The two teams met twice last season and the honours were even with each team winning a game apiece. Given that it is only the first game of the season, there’s absolutely nothing to separate the two, and hence, the safe money will be on the Diamonds judging by the quality they possess.

ND vs CP best players for Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy fantasy cricket team

Top Tip: Best batter

Sterre Kalis of ND was an absolute revelation last year. The right-handed batter had scored 197 runs in seven matches at 39.40 and this included three consecutive half-centuries. Expect more of the same from the young 21-year-old.

For CP, 28-year-old Eve Jones scored 334 runs - most by any player from the team - and averaged an impressive 66.80 last season. Her last outing in the competition was an unbeaten 115. Considering that she is someone who can bowl as well, Jones should find a place in your fantasy team.

Top Tip: Best bowlers

Beth Langston broke loose last season. The 28-year-old picked 12 wickets and bowled at an excellent economy of 4.14. She is a must-have bowler in the team.

CP struggled with bowling last year but Clare Boycott managed to contribute and picked eight wickets in five innings at a brilliant economy of 4.32. This included one excellent four-wicket haul.

Top Tip: Best all-rounder and wicket-keeper

All-rounder Natalie Sciver is a player in form at the moment. She might have played just two matches last season, but scored 108 in that, going at a strike rate of 92.30. Unlike most of the players in the competition, Sciver has had international exposure this season, making her an outright choice as an all-rounder in your fantasy team.

As far as the wicket-keeper is concerned, Amy Jones of CS should be an obvious pick. Like Sciver, Jones was a part of the England women’s team which toured New Zealand recently. With enough match practise under her belt, she is your go-to wicket-keeper.

ND vs CS squads

Northern Diamonds - Hollie Armitage (captain), Katherine Brunt, Ami Campbell, Leah Dobson, Helen Fenby, Phoebe Graham, Jenny Gunn, Bess Heath (wicket-keeper), Rachel Hopkins, Sterre Kalis, Beth Langston, Katie Levick, Alex MacDonald, Nat Sciver, Rachel Slater, Linsey Smith, Ella Telford, Lauren Winfield-Hill

Central Sparks - Eve Jones (captain), Emily Arlott, Hannah Baker, Clare Boycott, Thea Brookes, Steph Butler, Gwen Davies, Poppy Davies, Georgia Davis, Ria Fackrell, Sarah Glenn, Chloe Hill, Milly Home, Amy Jones (wicket-keeper), Marie Kelly, Anisha Patel, Grace Potts, Liz Russell, Issy Wong

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Featured photo: Twitter / ICC