Sunrisers failed to shine in last year’s Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy. In a difficult group, alongside more established teams, it was going to be a struggle for them. They are a new team that covers a larger area than most.
This year Sunrisers are playing at the historic Fenner’s and Chelmsford, which has become a popular place to watch women’s cricket. With a partisan crowd behind them, it could do wonders for the performances on the field.
With Trevor Griffin as head coach, they have someone who has developed players to play to their potential. Griffin has plenty of experience, and has had successful spells with Western Storm and a spell with Sydney Thunder.
Jo Gardner was the stand out player last season, scoring just shy of 200 runs and taking seven wickets. In a team that struggled to bowl sides out, Sunrisers will be hoping to see more of Mady Villiers to sure up the middle-order and bag loads of wickets.
Jo Gardner will need to be on top form again if Sunrisers are going to make an impact. Gardner batting in the lower middle-order rescued the Sunrisers on more than one occasion. If the players above her are more consistent, Gardner’s runs will be even more valuable.
A medium-pace bowler who bowls a tight line, she can be difficult to get away at times and batters who try to get her away more often than not pay the price.
One to watch
At only 17, Grace Scrivens is a highly thought of allrounder. She was Sunrisers’ second-highest run-scorer, a left-hand batter who scores at a decent rate, such as in her innings of 72 from 73 balls in the last game of the season from number eight. It may see her move up the order this season.
Scrivens is also an off-spin bowler who can be a good option for the Sunrisers’ bowling attack, if she can develop it and give more opportunities. In a side that struggled to bowl teams out last season, that would certainly help.
How will they fare?
It may be another difficult season for Sunrisers as they search for their first win. They have some decent players with some potential. There are some games they will feel they can win. Starting with games against South East Stars and Thunder will give them the perfect opportunity to do so.
With Mady Villiers and Fran Wilson available for the early games, they have two players that add depth to their line-up.
Opening fixture: 29 May, South East Stars, Chelmsford