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EVE JONES: ‘We’re looking forward to taking the game to the Diamonds.’

In the second addition of ‘Captain’s column,’ Sparks number eleven Jones reflects on last weekend’s loss to the Blaze and how the side will look to bounce back against the Northern Diamonds this weekend.

With this Saturday’s game being against the reigning champions of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, Jones and co are hoping to come out on top but do it the right way. She said: “Diamonds have been a strong team over the past few years, so we’re looking forward to taking the game to them at home this Saturday.”

After a round one win for Saturday’s visitors to New Road, the Diamonds will be hoping to stay ahead of the chasing pack, but Jones thinks the Sparks have enough.

The captain added: “They’ve made a couple of changes to their squad but we’re looking forward to getting back out there.

“We have a really strong squad this year and I’m excited to see how we go this weekend at home.”

At the halfway stage of last weekend’s game at Trent Bridge, it seemed like the Sparks would have been chasing their second win of the season when they face the Diamonds. Jones gave a fair analysis of the result, though.

Jones said: “Of course we are all disappointed with the result, but we can take away some positives.

“Grace Potts, Georgia Davis, and Em Arlott all bowled well, picking up three wickets each. Katie George contributed with some runs down the order and the big thing is we have a long way to go in this competition.

“We changed things up with our order last week and gave Wongi [Issy Wong] a chance at the top to kickstart our innings.

“Whoever opens the batting wants to get the team off to a good start and lay the foundations for the rest of the innings so we want to make that partnership as big as possible to set the tone.

“It was a tough day to start our season, but we bowled well in parts and felt the total was chasable. We were on a used county championship track, which got worse as the day went on so there was a definite advantage of batting first.

“We had a good partnership to start us off, but it was difficult to score, and they bowled well and restricted us scoring.

“We have to play what’s in front of us, and on the day, we weren’t quite good enough.”

Of course, next up for the Sparks is the Diamonds, on Saturday at Worcestershire’s New Road. The game is a 10.30am start, then swiftly two days later, Lloyd Tennant’s side face the Southern Vipers, again at home.

So, Saturday’s game is crucial for a few reasons to get in the winner’s circle, and it’s something Jones is ready for, she said: “Hopefully we see a good Worcester crowd and we can get our first win on the board.”


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