The Diamonds’ slim hopes of reaching their first Finals Day in the competition’s final season were ended despite a dramatic final-ball win over Southern Vipers at York on Sunday.
Only a bonus-point victory would have kept alive their chances, with the Vipers securing their place at Hove on Sunday when they take on Loughborough Lightning in the semi-finals.
Yorkshire finish the campaign at group winners Western Storm – who have won all their matches to advance straight to the final – and Winfield has been pleased with the way her side has developed. “We have got better and better. If we had got over the line against Surrey Stars at home and Southern Vipers away, those are probably the two games that have ended up stinging us really,” said Winfield. “It’s now about finishing on a high. You are judged on performances and we haven’t made Finals Day and we haven’t won it. So from that side of things it has been disappointing,
“But what we have done is improve each year. The first couple of years were pretty poor, last year it was still disappointing but we still improved and this year to narrowly miss out on Finals Day is another step closer.
“So the main thing is that we keep moving forward. I think we are an exciting group. We have a good core group of players that have probably come together too late really and found our kind of method and what works.”
Their dramatic victory at York was thanks to Jemimah Rodrigues’s unbeaten 112 from 58 balls as they chased down 185.
Winfield says the India star has fitted beautifully into the dressing room.
“She has just got better and better this competition. She has really grown into the role and hit her straps. That was as good as I’ve seen.
“For her age (18) she has an unbelievable head on her shoulders. She is just keen to learn. She is always asking questions. She has a fantastic cricket brain and all the shots.”
The Diamonds’ campaign has included some key performances from their younger crop of players, with Hollie Armitage, Linsey Smith and Helen Fenby making impressive contributions.
Winfield is keen to keep the majority of the squad together to represent the Leeds-based team in next year’s inaugural edition of The Hundred – a competition the England player believes can be even “bigger and better” than the Women’s Super League.