Central Sparks are set to face The Blaze in Leicestershire, in their third Charlotte Edwards Cup clash.
The game is to be a double header, where our game will be followed by the Leicestershire Foxes taking on the Birmingham Bears.
The Sparks were inches away from a second win in as many games last time out, but come into Friday’s game in good spirits with a 50/50 record from their T20 games so far.
Fixture: The Blaze v Central Sparks
Competition: Charlotte Edwards Cup
Date: Friday 26 May
Game Start: 1pm
Venue: Uptonsteel County Ground
After making a winning start to their Charlotte Edwards Cup campaign against the Sunrisers, a bitter pill was swallowed as Lloyd Tennant’s side were beat at the hands of the Northern Diamonds by three runs.
In the game though, the Sparks demonstrated another reason why they have the best bowling attack out of all regions, by bowling out another team. They did this by allowing the Diamonds just 135 runs from their 20 overs. Georgia Davis was the pick of the bowlers, while Emily Arlott also shone. The fielding was also on form, as both Eve Jones and Katie George were excellent on the Edgbaston turf.
However, after a narrow loss was handed to them, the Sparks go again in Leicestershire as they take on The Blaze.
The Blaze, captained by Kirstie Gordon, have a similar record to the Sparks in the Charlotte Edwards Cup so far. The East Midlands regional side have been a strong outfit so far this season, winning three of their five Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy games so far, while drawing the other two.
The Blaze have formed a good side, with some experienced players and former Sparks players such as, Marie Kelly and Sarah Glenn are ones Friday’s hosts have in their ranks.
At the start of the month, Blaze tore apart the Northern Diamonds in the 50 overs competition, bowling Danielle Hazel’s side out for just 62 runs. In that game, Nadine De Klerk took seven wickets, a sign of what’s to potentially come for teams later in the season.
With both sides having played two games in the 20 overs competition thus far, The Blaze will take to the field at the Uptonsteel County Ground, pursuing a win to strengthen their already good start to 2023.
The sides have faced off once already this season, in the opener for both sides back in April at Trent Bridge. That game, in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy was a 59-run win for Chris Guest’s side.
Prior to that, before the East Midlands side was known as The Blaze, they were also triumphant over the Sparks on one occasion in 2021.
Player to watch
After her performance against the Northern Diamonds almost a fortnight ago, Nadine De Klerk is the player to watch for the Sparks on Friday. She took seven wickets to tear down the Diamonds’ batting line-up and has so far taken 12 wickets in six games and will be hoping to add to that number.
The 23-year-old South African international has a few caps for her country already and is so far showing her quality as an overseas player for The Blaze.
De Klerk has also shown some steel with bat in hand, most notably when she scored 43 not out against the Western Storm a little over a week ago.
The game on Friday is a double header with Leicestershire’s men’s side, as they face the Birmingham Bears in the Vitality T20 Blast, after The Blaze play host to the Sparks.
Our game is set to start at 1pm, with the Foxes taking on the Bears at 6.30pm.
Tickets are priced at £15 for Adults and £5 for Juniors. Get your tickets here!