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In the second game of the season, Sparks fall to a seven-wicket defeat to the Southern Vipers at Wormsley Cricket Club.

Losing the toss, Sparks were put into bat by the Vipers, and it was captain Eve Jones and Chloe Brewer who opened the batting.


England’s Charlie Dean opened the bowling, and it was young Mary Taylor from the other end. Sparks made a quick start, hitting three boundaries to put 20 runs on the board within three overs.


The first wicket fell when Jones was run out by Maia Bouchier’s direct hit. That was followed by Davina Perrin and Abbey Freeborn being dismissed.


Vipers’ left-arm bowler Linsey Smith put a dent in Sparks’ order after taking a couple of wickets, one being a caught & bowled. Lloyd Tennant’s side struggled to split the field but were showing great character to battle on to get towards a defendable total.


Katie George came in as the fifth wicket fell and certainly gave the Sparks a lift. She top-scored with a half-century and guided her side to a final score of 172/9.


Ria Fackrell came partnered George as Sparks went eight down and between the pair, a host of boundaries were scored to plough the visitors towards the 170 mark – when it looked like it’d be a smaller total.


Plenty of times, George would send the Vipers bowlers for four and with the assistance of Fackrell’s impressive (39), Sparks finished giving the hosts 173 to win.


As Em Arlott and Issy Wong opened the bowling before Grace Potts joined, Sparks had work to do and got to it right away. Between Arlott and Wong, they restricted Ella McCaughan and Maia Bouchier from the off.


Bouchier returned from the international winter to play for Vipers and scored (33), while McCaughan scored (43). After plugging away, it was George who took Sparks’ first wicket, as she trapped Vipers’ number 16 lbw.

For a while then, overseas for Vipers Charli Knott would stand firm at the crease top-scoring with (58), before Georgia Elwiss was bowled out by Fackrell who took a well-deserved wicket and finished with figures of (1-15).


A defeat incurred, but positives to take as Sparks face a trip to Beckenham to take on the South East Stars on Saturday.


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