Director of cricket Laura MacLeod issues a season update and gives her thoughts on what has been a good campaign so far for the Sparks.
With just four games to go of the season, MacLeod speaks about what has been a good season for Sparks, seeing plenty of positive performances and gives a breakdown of her thoughts as domestic cricket takes a break due to The Hundred commencing.
After dropping out of the Charlotte Edwards Cup earlier this season, finishing seventh out of eight, they remain in a very commanding position in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy where they are second, just a few points behind The Blaze.
On the T20 campaign, MacLeod said: “It was a disappointing CEC [Charlotte Edwards Cup] run. Losing [Emily] Arlott and [Grace Potts] Pottsy midway through the competition was a big blow but it did mean our U19 World Cup players could get some game time.
“[Ellie] Anderson and [Charis] Pavely made debuts and performed well, which was good for not only them, but us as a group.”
Sparks won just two of their seven games in the CEC, which came against the Sunrisers and the Southern Vip
ers. They did however come close in many, losing by just three runs to the Northern Diamonds at Edgbaston in particular.
Moving to the 50 overs competition, is something that the Sparks have been strong in and something which has been a staple of their season, allowing them to grow and compete.
MacLeod added: “We’re in a really strong position in the RHFT [Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy]. Now, going into The Hundred break.
“We’ve had good wins over the Northern Diamonds and South East Stars, meaning that we’re in control of our own destiny in this competition going forward into the final four games.
“September will be huge for us, as we have the final games which then moves into a knockout period.
“The girls have played some considered cricket with plenty of our batters and bowlers putting in significant performances.”
Sparks captain Eve Jones, with the likes of Abbey Freeborn, Ami Campbell and also Katie George have produced some strong showings with the bat, which has seen the team to many a victory. Campbell and Freeborn hit (67) and (68) respectively to guide Sparks to a win over Thunder at New Road back in July. While Katie George hit a half-century in a game that Lloyd Tennant’s side narrowly fell short in.
Youngster Pavely, who hasn’t missed a squad selection since making her debut in June, has an average of (92) in the competition, and scored her maiden half-century at Guildford in a win over the Stars last month.
Director of cricket MacLeod pointed out a key performer for the Sparks, that being Erin Burns, who has now left the team after playing out her contract.
MacLeod said: “We unfortunately said goodbye to our overseas, Erin Burns. She was a brilliant addition to the team and set the standards with both bat and ball, and we saw plenty of dazzling moments in the field from her.”
With Sparks in a strong position going into the business end of the 50 overs competition, they’ll be hoping to add to what they have done so far and finish strong, with potentially a trophy to come.