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MATCH PREVIEW | Central Sparks v Northern Diamonds


Central Sparks take on the Northern Diamonds in their first home game of 2023, in game two of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy at Worcester’s New Road.


The Sparks’ season opener was a narrow defeat, on the road against The Blaze.






Overview


Fixture: Central Sparks v Northern Diamonds


Competition: Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy


Date: Saturday 29 April 2023


Game start: 10.30am


Venue: New Road


Central Sparks


In game one of 2023, Lloyd Tennant’s Sparks fell short, losing by 59 runs to the Blaze at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.


In a game that was in their control at one stage, the fixture got away from them after a tight affair. There were some strong performances in the match, especially from bowlers Emily Arlott, Grace Potts, and Georgia Davis, then Katie George with the bat.


It’s the first home game of the season against the Diamonds for Sparks, and in front of supporters at New Road, the side will want to write the wrongs from last weekend and put in a strong performance, to kick start their season in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.


Northern Diamonds


The RHFT reigning champions started their season off with a comprehensive win by 105 runs over the Western Storm last time out.


The Diamonds, led by Danielle Hazel, started like a house on fire and will be looking to reach the eight-point mark in the standings from just two games with a win in Worcester this weekend.


Diamonds ever-present Katie Levick reached a milestone of 300 career wickets in the win over Storm, and she will be looking to continue her form into the game against the Sparks.


Head-to-Head


In recent fixtures between the two sides going back to 2020, there has been a share of the points with the Sparks winning two, but Diamonds edging it with three victories.


The last time the two met was in July last year, where Saturday’s visitors won by five wickets in the 50 overs format.


The last time the Sparks were triumphant over the Northern side was in 2021 where Tennant’s side won by 2 wickets, again, in the RHFT.


Player to watch


Lauren Winfield-Hill is a player to watch for the Diamonds on Saturday. The England international batter, at 32 years of age has a wealth of experience that she has put on show for the Northern-based side since 2020, and even before that for the then Yorkshire Diamonds in 2016.


Winfield-Hill has played overseas for the likes of the Brisbane Heat, Adelaide Strikers, and Melbourne Stars, while also playing for the Northern Superchargers, and the Oval Invincibles in the Hundred.


The York-born batter and wicketkeeper has hopes of going back to back with the Diamonds and with her sheer confidence at the crease, and experience – it’ll be something for the Sparks to keep an eye out for this weekend as she will look to post a big number of runs.


Ticketing information:

Tickets for Saturday’s fixture can be purchased through the Worcestershire website, which you can find here.


Or, if you sign up to be a Sparks member, you can get in at a discounted price. That can be purchased through the Warwickshire website, here.


The game is a 10.30am start at New Road, in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.


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