Central Sparks are set to face Western Storm away from home in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy. Off the back of a second loss in as many games, a win is needed for Lloyd Tennant’s side to get back in the race for a semi-final spot.
Fixture: Western Storm vs Central Sparks
Competition: Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy
Date: Wednesday 13th September 2023
Game start: 10:30am
Venue: The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton
The Sparks come into this game having lost back-to-back matches since the RHFT’s resumption. The Blaze was the team to hand the first defeat to Tennant’s side, then more recently it was Sunrisers. However, the Sparks were not far off from winning either. Having now lost four games in the competition, despite this, the team are still able to qualify for the semi-finals, which will require them winning their final two games. A big chance to bounce back in Taunton.
The Sparks had a tough outing on Sunday in their four-wicket loss to the Sunrisers. Abbey Freeborn scored a century and ended (107*), but that, along with a final score of 227 wasn’t enough for the Sparks who couldn’t take the game away from Sunrisers in the field.
With just the South East Stars to face once the Sparks have travelled to Taunton, they will have a clearer understanding of their semi-final fate at the close of play against the Storm. Win two games and the Sparks will progress.
The Western Storm come into the game off the back of a loss against the Diamonds, in a rain interrupted game. They have won three games in the competition so far, while the Sparks are looking for their sixth. Storm have been involved in some interesting 50 over games in 2023 but will be without a few key players. Danielle Gibson, Lauren Filer, and their captain Heather Knight are all away on international duty, which will bolster the hopes of Tennant’s side.
The two sides haven’t faced each other in this format so far this season, with the Sparks’ home fixture being abandoned due to the weather back in July. In the T20 game, Sparks were defeated at the Seat Unique Stadium in Bristol, at the back end of the Charlotte Edwards Cup. It will be an interesting matchup, especially with the Sparks needing a win to keep their semi-finals hopes alive.
Player to watch
Western Storm’s Fran Wilson is a player to watch for Wednesday’s hosts. So far in the competition she has 350 runs and scored (57) against the Northern Diamonds last time out. She will look to come out and take the game to the Sparks, with the Sparks needing a solid bowling performance.
Tickets for the game are available to purchase through Somerset County Cricket Club, and you can follow the Sparks on the road here!