Hove Home Away From Home for Southern Vipers
Hove feels like a home from home for Southern Vipers, and Tash Farrant says they can not wait to be back there on Sunday for the last Kia Super League Finals Day.
It will be their third Finals Day appearance and although Western Storm, who won nine of their 10 games in the group stage, will be hot favourites Farrant believes Vipers are good enough to cause an upset.
“Finals Day is always a great occasion and we sort of feel like it is our home ground after playing quite a few games there, including a few weeks ago against Lancashire Thunder,” said the 23-year-old.
“We’ve had quite a few games this season which have been high pressure situations like a semi-final or final and that should stand also us in good stead. We know about the slope at Hove which is something bowlers have to get used to and we’ll have lots of home support as well.”
Vipers will have to get past Loughborough Lightning in the semi-final for the right to face Storm and in Wednesday’s dress rehearsal at the Ageas Bowl they were beaten by 36 runs after a brilliant 74 from Lightning opener Amy Jones set them up for a sixth successive win.
Lightning will start as favourites at the 1st Central County Ground, but Farrant does not think form counts for a great deal in a one-off match.
“We wanted to win on Wednesday. Every game you play for the Vipers is important,” she added. “But we will all dust ourselves off and come back stronger. It was good all the girls got a good hit and we will make sure new plans and go at them again on Sunday.”
Only one bowler has taken more wickets in the group stage than Farrant, who took 12 at an average of 14.45.
The left-armer’s spot in the side is guaranteed but having rested Lauren Bell on Wednesday, they could have a tricky selection dilemma after 17-year-old Issy Wong took her maiden KSL wicket.
Wong’s KSL debut came at Hove in the tied match with Thunder when her pace down the slope was impressive.
“We gave Lauren a rest on Wednesday, but we missed her up front,” said Farrant.
“It was great to see Issy get her first wicket. She has got raw pace so we asked her to bowl as quick as she could and we set a field for her. It is brilliant to see so much good fast bowling talent coming through and keeping us old girls on our toes!”
Farrant hopes a good performance on Sunday could help revive her England career. She made the last of her 15 appearances a year ago.
She added: “I feel like I am bowling well. If I keep on doing what I’m doing, then hopefully someone will notice me. My goal is to get back into the England set-up but I am quite chilled about it.”