KATIE Levick can’t wait for her first final as a Diamond this weekend.

The experienced leg-spinner, closing in on 250 domestic career wickets, was an ever-present for the Yorkshire Diamonds in the four years of the T20 Kia Super League.

Unfortunately, they were unable to reach any of the Finals Days, though Levick believes that may have changed this year had the competition continued.

Instead, following a restructure in English women’s cricket, the Northern Diamonds - representing Yorkshire, Durham and Northumberland - have taken up the fight in the 50-over Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.

And immediate rewards have come through five wins in six North Group games, setting up a televised final with the Southern Vipers at Edgbaston tomorrow (10.30am).

“The (Yorkshire) Diamonds got better every year, and last year we were unfortunate not to qualify for Finals Day. We actually won more games than the Vipers, who qualified,” said Sheffield-born Levick.

“We kept saying, ‘We’re building every year’.

“If the Super League had carried on, we’d have backed ourselves to get there this year.

“We have, and had last year, a strong group of county players who have experience, and that’s really shown in this competition.”

In the final year of the KSL, Yorkshire Diamonds won five of 10 games, while the Southern Vipers won four. However, the Vipers still qualified for Finals Day with two more points.

Captain Hollie Armitage, who has opened the batting for both of Diamonds’ sides, agrees with Levick, saying: “We put our foot in the door and got taken seriously last year.”

Levick admits she never expected any cricket to be played this summer as she sat at home halfway through lockdown.

“I’d definitely got it into my head that I wasn’t going to be playing cricket until next year - I thought, ‘There’s no chance’,” she said.

“So to get this tournament turned around so quickly and to perform like we have, it has been a really nice bonus.

“To win five out of six in the group has given us great momentum to take into Sunday (tomorrow). I can’t wait.

“The Vipers will be a good test. Both teams have dominated their groups to get to the final, with them winning all six of their games. It will definitely be a good head to head.

“But we are confident we can beat them. We don’t rely on any one player, and everyone’s stepped up at different stages throughout the six games.

“Wickets have been shared out between everyone and a different batter each game has gone out and done it.

“We relied on our England players in the first two games, but since they’ve gone we’ve still been able to step up.”

The Diamonds will not request the release of Lauren Winfield-Hill from the England squad, despite her not playing in either of the first two T20 internationals against the West Indies in Derby.

While the Diamonds have played some excellent cricket over the last month, there is one obvious area for improvement. In their last four games, they have conceded a combined total of 95 wides.

“We’re not best pleased with those stats,” added Levick. “But we have bowled a number of wides and still restricted sides to some low scores.

“That’s a testament to the bowlers and fielders that we are doing some really good work.”

Armitage reasoned: “Some of it is down to being attacking and aggressive with our lines and sometimes you’ll get it wrong.

“If the ball is moving early on and we’re looking to hit middle stump, the odd one is naturally going to go down leg.”

While Armitage is the leading run-scorer for the Diamonds with 150 runs in six games, Vipers skipper and opener Georgia Adams is the competition’s leading run-scorer with 420.

The Vipers also have the competition’s second leading wicket-taker, left-arm seamer Tara Norris with 12. Diamonds seamer Beth Langston is one behind with 11. Levick has taken eight wickets.