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Preview: The Blaze vs Central Sparks (Charlotte Edwards Cup Semi-Final)

Central Sparks will take on The Blaze in Finals Day of the Charlotte Edwards Cup at the Incora County Ground, Derby on Saturday 22 June.

Match Details:

Game: The Blaze vs Central Sparks

Competition: Charlotte Edwards Cup (Semi-Final)

Location: County Ground, Derby

Time: 11:00AM

Sparks come into this semi-final clash off the back of a 10 game run which saw them win six games to reach finals day, giving them a fourth placed finish in the competition.

A chase of 147 to beat Lancashire Thunder at Edgbaston spearheaded by Abbey Freeborn & Amy Jones was the finals day-clinching victory. Since then, Sparks continued their forward momentum to beat the Southern Vipers at New Road, that then followed a loss against Saturday's semi-final opponents.

Sparks have shown tremendous character and quality throughout the tournament so far, with some brilliant team and individual performances to boot. Abbey Freeborn is Sparks' leading runs scorer in the CEC, with 14.

Young duo of Davina Perrin and Charis Pavely have had strong comps, both in the runs and wickets respectively.

The second time Sparks have reached finals day of the Charlotte Edwards Cup, having got to the final in 2022 where they were beaten by the Vipers. In the final year of women's regional cricket, T20 finals day is set to be a historic day in the journey of the Sparks.

The Opposition:

The Blaze topped the Charlotte Edwards Cup group table, winning nine of their ten games. Chris Guest's side got to this stage last year, where they met the Vipers in the final and were beaten.

Captain Kirstie Gordon has been in fine form, so to has batter Kathryn Bryce. They've had key contributions from bowler Grace Ballinger and recent overseas signing Heather Graham too.

In their final group game, Blaze beat Sparks at Edgbaston, but were well defeated a game before by fellow semi-finalists, South East Stars. K. Bryce, the competition's top runs scorer will be ready to roll in Derby, but Sparks bowling unit will have other ideas.

Past Meetings:

As mentioned, the latest T20 game between the two sides ended in a win for the East Midlands outfit, but Sparks have beaten The Blaze this season. That, a game in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, ending in a win for the home team Sparks.

The sides have never met in this competition at Saturday's venue, with Blaze having played two home games there in the tournament thus far.

Team News:

The Blaze will be without England's Sarah Glenn due to injury, with Nat Sciver-Brunt also being unavailable.

Sparks squad news will be released closer to semi-final game time, where details can be found on the team's social channels.

How to Watch:

The game is being held at the County Ground, Derby as part of CEC Finals Day with it commencing at 11AM. Tickets can be purchased online, alternatively, the match will be live streamed on The Blaze's YouTube channel.


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