The Central Sparks play host to the Southern Vipers at Edgbaston tomorrow, in their fifth Charlotte Edwards Cup fixture.
The game is set to be a T20 double header with the Birmingham Bears, as the men face the Notts Outlaws upon conclusion of the Sparks’ visit of the Vipers.
Fixture: Central Sparks v Southern Vipers
Competition: Charlotte Edwards Cup
Date: Saturday 3 June 2023
Game start: 14:30pm
Venue: Edgbaston Stadium
Lloyd Tennant’s side come this game on the back of three consecutive defeats, needing a win to keep their Charlotte Edwards Cup finals day hopes alive. Their most recent loss was a narrow one to Thunder in Worcestershire, before defeats against The Blaze and Northern Diamonds before that.
Performances have been good from the Sparks, with the side falling short on a few too many occasions this season thus far, so the team, captained by Eve Jones will be hoping to make a change to their recent run of form this weekend.
The Sparks will be bolstered by the return of England batter Amy Jones, who missed the game against Thunder due to being involved in England’s red-ball training camp. The Sparks will still be without Issy Wong and Emily Arlott, with the afore mentioned Wong away on international duty, with Arlott injured.
Sparks’ batting order is strengthened with Amy Jones, but she will only add to a collective who have performed well on many an occasion so far in 2023. Skipper Jones has hit numerous half-centuries, with Abbey Freeborn and Davina Perrin also impressing with the bat.
There could be a return from injury for Grace Potts, with Katie George heading up the bowling attack for Tennant’s team.
Like the Sparks, Charlotte Edwards’ Vipers will be bolstered with the return of some of their England stars as Maia Bouchier, Danni Wyatt and Charlie Dean all come back to face the Sparks at Edgbaston.
So far in the competition, the CEC holders sit third with 13 points to their name, having lost just once from their four games.
The Vipers were on the losing side on bank holiday Monday, where they beaten by table toppers The Blaze, but bounced back with a four-wicket victory over Thunder just two days ago.
Ella McCaughan, a player who has been impressive for the Vipers this season shone with a top score of 42 runs on Wednesday and will be hoping to put in a similar performance as the Southern-based team look to cement their place at finals day with a win at Edgbaston tomorrow.
The sides last faced each other in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy at Hove back in May, in a game the Sparks won by six wickets, but the Vipers were the winners nine days before that by three wickets.
In the Charlotte Edwards Cup, the two last came up against one another in last year’s final where tomorrow’s visitors were winners by six wickets.
Player to Watch
With her return to the Vipers outfit for this T20 double header, Charlie Dean is the player to watch for the Sparks. Dean, who is a right arm off-break bowler, has performed strongly for Charlotte Edwards’ team so far this season with both bat and ball.
In the first meeting between the two back in May at Wormsley, Dean made a crucial contribution with the bat, in a partnership with captain Georgia Adams, which helped the Vipers towards victory. She has taken eight wickets in the six games she’s been a part of for the Vipers in 2023 and can change a game.
Double Header Look-out
Upon conclusion of the Sparks’ CEC game with the Southern Vipers, the unbeaten Birmingham Bears are set to face the Notts Outlaws in a 6.30pm start in the Vitality T20 Blast.
Mark Robinson’s side have so far won four from four and top the North Group. Their most recent win came against the Northamptonshire Steelbacks, in a game where Rob Yates hit 71 runs and Craig Miles took four wickets.
The Bears will be fielding an impressive line-up, which includes the likes of Glenn Maxwell, Sam Hain and the IPL-returning Moeen Ali, who will captain the side.
Notts will have the likes of Alex Hales and Pakistan’s Shaheen Afridi in the ranks, with the side who play out of Trent Bridge coming off the back of a mixed start to their T20 campaign.
Tickets are on sale for the T20 double header day, and a ticket for the Bears’ fixture also gains you access to the Sparks’ match.
Tickets for adults are £21, with a child ticket (5-15 years old) just £5.
You can purchase yours online, alternatively, the Edgbaston ticket office will be open on the day.