2022 Southern Vipers Fixtures: A Look Ahead

Following the announcement of the Southern Vipers’ fixtures for the 2022 season, we’ve taken a look ahead to this summer's matches with a review of some previous meetings with our upcoming opponents

The full schedules for both the Charlotte Edwards Cup and the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy were released last Thursday, ahead of the upcoming 2022 season.

In the Charlotte Edwards Cup, the Southern Vipers will once again have the competition’s namesake as Head Coach. This season’s Charlotte Edwards Cup Finals Day – which was hosted at The Ageas Bowl in 2021 – will be held at the County Ground in Northampton on Saturday 11th June. Edwards will be hoping that her Vipers can build on their Finals Day appearance in 2021, but will first have six group games to deal with.

Meanwhile, having won the first two editions, the Vipers have a chance to complete a three-peat in the Rachel Heyhoe Flint Trophy. A league phase comes first, with the team finishing top of the league advancing directly to the final to play either the second or third placed team who compete in a play-off. This year’s semi-final play-off will take place on Wednesday 21st September, before the final on Sunday 25th September at Lord’s.

We have taken a look at the Vipers’ opposition across both competitions for the 2022 season and our recent history against these sides.

2022 Hampshire Cricket Memberships are now on sale - with Early Bird discounts available until 6th February - while individual match tickets for all Southern Vipers’ fixtures at the Ageas Bowl go on general sale on the 8th March.

Central Sparks: Saturday 2nd July (A) – RHFT

The Vipers will kick-start their defence of the Rachel Heyhoe Flint Trophy against Central Sparks on the competition’s opening weekend. The Sparks finished third in the competition last year, just missing out on a spot in the final as they were beaten by Northern Diamonds in the play-off.

Over the first two seasons of the 50-over competition, the sides have only ever met once – in last years clash at Hove. Having set a total of 224, the West Midlands based side were deadly with the ball and bowled the Vipers out for just 104. It remains the Vipers’ only blemish on an otherwise perfect record in the competition and they will be out to inflict revenge on the Sparks this summer.

Lightning: Wednesday 18th May (H), Sunday 29th May (A) – CEC | Saturday 16th July (A) – RHFT

Lightning are once again in the same group as Southern Vipers in the Charlotte Edwards Cup, meaning they will play them home and away in the group stage of the T20 competition. The two sides will then go head-to-head again in the 50-over competition later on in the season.

The Vipers won both contests between the two in the T20 format last year, with the most recent going right down to the wire. Lightning were restricted to 124/9 in Derby, as Georgia Elwiss and Tara Norris picked up three wickets each. However, it was not comfortable for the Vipers who, having needed nine from the final over, got over the line with the final ball of the innings. Paige Scholfield’s unbeaten 41 was vital in guiding her side to a victory and a spot in the Finals Day eliminator.

In the RHFT, The Ageas Bowl saw another Vipers win in last year’s opening day face-off. Danni Wyatt was instrumental, with 53 from 57 balls, as the home side claimed a four-wicket triumph, with nineteen balls remaining.

Northern Diamonds: Saturday 21st May (A), Saturday 4th June (H) – CEC | Saturday 17th September (A) – RHFT

Last years runners-up in both competitions will take on the Vipers three times this season. As another T20 group opponent, the Northern Diamonds host the first game in early May. The reverse fixture will be part of a T20 double-header at The Ageas Bowl on the Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday Saturday, combined with the ‘el clasicoast’ Vitality Blast derby between Hampshire Hawks and Sussex Sharks. Following that, the two sides will recreate the RHFT final in what looks to the group game of the season in the 50-over competition.

The last meeting in the Charlotte Edwards Cup came in last season’s semi-final play-off. It was to be the Diamonds’ day though, as a Lauren Winfield-Hill’s half century and Jenny Gunn’s four-fer saw the Vipers fall just short of a spot in the final. The Diamonds went on to lose that final, so both sides will be looking for redemption in the competition this time around.

If the Diamonds got the better of the Vipers in T20, then the 50-over competition once again belonged to Charlotte Edwards’ side. In what was a repeat of 2020’s first ever Rachel Heyhoe Flint Trophy final, with the Vipers retaining the trophy in a tense affair. Having eased past the Diamonds in the previous season’s title decider, the Vipers had to rely on a late Emily Windsor and Tara Norris rally with the bat.

Captain Georgia Adams took 4 for 35 as the Diamonds were all out for 183. The Vipers then struggled with the bat, and looked to be falling at the final hurdle. However, Windsor and Norris hit 47 and 40 both not out, whilst sharing a 78-run partnership that enabled the Vipers to win by three wickets with two balls to spare – confirming back-to-back titles.

In a 2020 RHFT fixture, Charlotte Taylor claimed figures of 6 for 34 against the Diamonds in a 38 run win – the Vipers best bowling performance in the competition to date.

North West Thunder: Saturday 14th May (H), Wednesday 1st June (A) – CEC | Sunday 11th September (H) – RHFT

The final team in the Vipers’ group for the Charlotte Edwards Cup is the North West Thunder. The Vipers will host the first group game of the season between the two, before travelling to Old Trafford at the start of June. In the RHFT, The Ageas Bowl will host a 50-over clash in September.

Last year’s 50-over match is the only prior fixture between the two and it ended in an emphatic Vipers victory. It was the bowling attack that did the damage, with Norris and Scholfield sharing seven wickets, confining the Thunder to just 110. The Vipers ended up winning by three wickets, with 97 balls left.

South East Stars: Saturday 9th July (H) – RHFT

Current Charlotte Edwards Cup holders, the Stars, take on the 50-over title holders, the Vipers, in the RHFT.

All three previous meetings between the two have seen the Vipers come out on top, with the most recent in May 2021. Charlotte Taylor took 4 for 21 with the ball, before Wyatt’s unbeaten 64 was backed up by Georgia Elwiss – who notched up 45. It gave the Vipers an impressive seven-wicket win, with 128 balls remaining.

Sunrisers: Saturday 23rd July (H) – RHFT

Another spectacle at The Ageas Bowl will be the visit of the Sunrisers as they take on the Vipers in a 50-over fixture towards the end of June. The Sunrisers have struggled in the RHFT across the two seasons since its first edition. However, the last match between these two sides was certainly very memorable.

A superb 112 not-out from Elwiss, supported by skipper Adams’ half century, steered the Vipers to a score of 309 runs – their record high in the competition. Many may have thought that would be enough for a comfortable away victory in Chelmsford, but the Sunrisers had other ideas. They set their own record score as they charged towards the target total, and very nearly got there. Some great death bowling by an inspired Elwiss was enough for the Vipers to hold on to a one-run win.

Western Storm: Friday 9th September (H) – RHFT

The final team that the Vipers will face this year is Western Storm. They represent Wales and the South West of England, and will travel to Hove for the RHFT game in September.

Taunton hosted the last meeting which saw the Vipers pull off a comprehensive win. Charlie Dean and Lauren Bell took three wickets each as the Storm were dismissed for 177. Leading from the front, Adams posted 77, before Maia Bouchier’s 57 not-out secured the one-sided run chase triumph.

It would seem that Adams has a habit of putting on dominant displays against the Storm. Her unbeaten 154 in September 2020 is the Vipers’ highest ever individual run total.

Make sure to catch all of the Vipers matches at the Ageas Bowl with a Hampshire Cricket Membership.

2022 Members also receive access to an exclusive allocation of tickets for this summer’s otherwise sold-out Vitality IT20s at The Ageas Bowl with England facing both India and South Africa at the venue this summer, alongside a whole host of other exciting benefits.

Hampshire Cricket Memberships are currently available at the cheaper Early Bird rate – but only until Sunday 6th February – with more information available online at https://www.ageasbowl.com/cricket/membership/

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