Fracture mechanisms of ferritic/pearlitic nodular cast iron are influenced by the heterogeneous matrix microstructure. This contribution is aimed at understanding the role of a heterogeneous matrix on the localization of damage due to mechanical loading. Therefore, bend specimens made of different nodular cast iron were plastically deformed and the degree of strain heterogeneity determined by comparison with a homogenized response. To address these observations elastic-plastic finite element models of local microstructures were developed. Computed strain maps are examined to understand the link between microstructural features and conditions for damage localization.