Central Sparks host the Sunrisers in their final game until the break for The Hundred as Lloyd Tennant’s side will be hoping for their fourth consecutive win.
In their last outing, in a rain interrupted game, Sparks defeated the Northern Diamonds by five wickets (DLS method), to extend their unbeaten run to six games, but winning one to three.
Fixture: Central Sparks v Sunrisers
Competition: Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy
Date: Saturday 22 July
Game start: 10:30am
Venue: New Road, Worcester
The Sparks come into this game at New Road with a sixth win in their sights in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, as they host the Sunrisers in their first game against the side in this competition so far this season.
Since returning to action on Sunday 2 July, the Sparks haven’t lost a game with one abandoned due to the weather, beating Thunder, South East Stars and the Northern Diamonds respectively. However, before that, Sparks beat the Southern Vipers and tied Thunder before the Charlotte Edwards Cup commenced in May.
So far in the RHFT, Sparks sit second in the table after their series of wins lifted them from fifth to second. Having performed excellently in recent weeks, Tennant’s side will be hoping for another win to keep their run going in hope of giving them an even better chance of making finals day in September.
Sparks have been without a big batting presence of Amy Jones for the most part of this tournament, but in her absence, Sparks have batted very well, putting up some huge scores – most recently against the Thunder (233) & Stars (246/8). In the game against Thunder, Ami Campbell scored (68) while Abbey Freeborn made (67), followed by both Charis Pavely and Issy Wong scoring half-centuries in the game at Guildford five days later.
Last time out at Headingley, Katie George top-scored with (56), in a reduced run chase which the Sparks steamed through to win comprehensively.
There is plenty to be positive about now for the team, with their position a strong one heading into another important, but tough test against Sunrisers.
Sitting 7th in the RHFT table, Sunrisers will need a big push to make the final three of the competition. It hasn’t been the strongest showing from the side which represents London and the East region; however, they have picked up some crucial wins so far during it.
As the comp resumed after it’s break in June, Sunrisers defeated the Southern Vipers and also beat Charlotte Edwards’ side in this tournament back in April.
The Sunrisers have a host of good players in their side, including Dane van Niekerk, Grace Scrivens, Cordelia Griffith & Birmingham Phoenix’s Abtaha Maqsood. These players will be key for the Sunrisers who look to visit New Road to grab their third win in the competition in their ninth game.
Last time out the team coached by Andy Tennant were beaten by the South East Stars. That loss came by just 19 runs, in a match that the Sunrisers certainly played their part in. It was only nine days before that, when Tennant’s side defeated the Vipers by 28 runs.
The Sunrisers have the qualities to be a strong side, especially when batting with the performances that have been seen this season by Scrivens, Griffith and Eva Gray in particular. A win can lift Saturday’s visitors to fifth in the table if results go their way.
The two sides have met just once this season, in the Charlotte Edwards Cup and that ended in a win for the Sparks by 23 runs at Chelmsford. Emily Arlott took two wickets in the game at the death, ending Sunrisers’ chances of winning the game as the then home side were chasing the game.
This is the first meeting in the RHFT this season for the two, and Sparks were the winners when they last faced each other in the 50 over format, winning by 139 runs.
Player to Watch
Sunrisers’ captain Dane Van Niekerk is the player for the Sparks to watch on Saturday. The South African international has a wealth of experience at the age of 30, and stepping into the captaincy, she has been that leader and figure of guidance in the Sunrisers team.
Having played in The Hundred for the Oval Invincibles since 2021, Van Niekerk is a player that has seen it all and could change a game. For the Sunrisers she scored (44) in her last game, against the Stars but hasn’t been able to score any more runs than that in a Sunrisers shirt. Although, she is able to at any given moment.
Tickets for the game at New Road, the home of Worcestershire, are available online here!
They are priced at just £5 for Adults, so why not join us as we look to extend our unbeaten run.