SQUAD AND PREVIEW | SOUTHERN VIPERS v SUNRISERS (22 APRIL)
Sunrisers Head Coach Andy Tennant has named his first squad of thirteen to travel south for this weekend’s Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy opening fixture, at the Ageas Bowl, against Southern Vipers.
It’s been a promising pre-season for the Scot, who has overseen a team who have put in some magnificent performances throughout March and April, completing five consecutive victories in an unbeaten start.
Grace Scrivens seems to have been at the heart of everything good once more, continuing the fine form which saw her pick up numerous accolades last season. The young all-rounder took home both the club’s Batter and Bowler of the Year awards, Player of the Year, Supporters’ RHFT Player of the Year, and then led her England U19 side to the final of the World Cup winning the ICC Player of the Month for January.
She’s backed that up with two centuries in her last two games, which helped guide the team to important victories against Blaze and Stars, as well as taking six wickets in those games. Mady Villiers has been equally as successful with the ball, taking 3 for 35 and 3 for 38, and she will also be looking to star again having finished in the competition’s top five wicket takers last year.
Amara Carr also impressed with the bat last week, guiding the tail brilliantly in the chase with an unbeaten 52*, whilst Jodi Grewcock has found good form after hitting a classy 79 against Diamonds in Desert Springs.
Opening batter Cordelia Griffith sits this game out as a precaution, having picked up a minor injury in the field last week. She will continue to be monitored ahead of the Bank Holiday double-header weekend, as will Jess Olorenshaw, who is close to a return after suffering an ankle injury last month.
Kate Coppack and new signing Eva Gray will provide useful options with the new ball, and Sunrisers will be hoping for a repeat of Coppack’s performance at The Ageas Bowl last summer, where she single-handedly blew the Vipers top order away in a spell which saw her claim a career best 4/48.
Overseas signing Saskia Horley is also in line to make her Sunrisers debut, having come over from Australia for the first five games of the season. She will provide a solid option at the top of the order, and has settled into the group brilliantly. She is no stranger to playing alongside fellow Scottish international Abtaha Maqsood, and has spent plenty of time over the winter with Kelly Castle, with the Sunrisers captain spending the best part of three months playing for her club Manly CC in Sydney.
Jo Gardner, and Academy graduates Flo Miller and Scarlett Hughes, will be looking to add useful firepower to the middle order, alongside Lissy Macleod, who endured a tricky season last year battling injury throughout the campaign. All four have featured heavily in pre-season, and add valuable experience to the squad.
The Vipers come into the season with a point to prove, having seen their two year grip on the trophy taken away from them after defeat at Lord’s in last year’s final, and are likely to have their five England internationals, including Danni Wyatt, Charlie Dean, and Lauren Bell, available for the opening fixture. Whilst this will no doubt be a difficult opening fixture for Sunrisers, it offers the perfect platform for this team to gain a marker of where they are at, having lost by just ten runs in Southampton last July.
Having reduced the hosts to 38/5, the Vipers lower order put on some stubborn resistance to reach 233/9 from their fifty overs. Griffith (65) and Gardner (43*) then led the Sunrisers response, before the hosts’ bowling attack got them just about over the line, finishing on 222/8.
The game starts at 10.30am at the Ageas Bowl. We wish a safe journey to those who are making the journey down to Hampshire, or you can tune into the Live Stream in our Match Centre on the day.
Sunrisers have named the following squad:
Kelly Castle (captain)
The gates open at 9.30, with the toss and team news coming from 10. Tickets are still available to purchase here, at £7 for Adults and £3 for U17. Tickets can be bought on the day, but at the increased Adult price of £10, with U17 at £5.
If you cannot make it to the ground, you can watch every ball on the Vipers’ Live Stream – this link will be in our Match Centre or watch it direct on YouTube, and follow the game through updates on our Twitter page.