2023 Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy: A Look Ahead

Southern Vipers’ 2023 fixtures have now been announced, and we take a look ahead to the bumper pack of Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy matches
View Fixtures
Full Fixture Information

Southern Vipers’ fixtures for next season are finally here, kicking off with the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy against Sunrisers at The Ageas Bowl on Saturday 22nd April, with the Charlotte Edwards Cup beginning a month later on Tuesday 23rd May against South East Stars.

With the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy being played home and away in 2023, there are now 14 fifty over fixtures, increasing the number of matches from 13 in 2022 to 21 in 2023.


Saturday 22nd April – The Ageas Bowl | Sunday 2nd July – Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford

The Southern Vipers begin their quest to regain the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy at The Ageas Bowl on Saturday 22nd April against Sunrisers.

The two sides have fought hammer and tong over the past three years, but the Vipers have came out on top in every match they have played.

The closest bout came in 2021 when the Vipers won by just one run in a high scoring thriller at Chelmsford.

2022 proved to be another close contest, as the Sunrisers first restricted the Vipers to 38-5 inside nine overs, as Kate Coppack claimed figures of 4-48.

Paige Scholfield and Chloe Hill rescued the Vipers as a 106-run partnership for the sixth wicket, as both players reached maiden fifties in orange and black.

The Vipers finished on a respectable 233-9, but the Sunrisers started well, despite the early loss of Grace Scrivens.

Cordelia Griffith recorded a half-century of her own, and Naomi Dattani reached 34 before she was bowled by Charlie Dean.

The Vipers spinner then claimed the wicket of Mady Villiers for nine on her way to figures of 3-31 in her ten overs.

A late assault from Jo Gardner wasn’t enough to get the Sunrisers over the line, as the Vipers came up trumps by just 11 runs.

South East Stars

Saturday 29th April – Beckenham | Wednesday 13th September – Venue TBC

Southern Vipers defeated the South East Stars twice on their way to the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy final in 2022.

The first was headlined by a century from Georgia Elwiss, her 115 being her highest score in a Vipers shirt to date, along with 90 from Emily Windsor, and a swift 40 off 23 from Freya Kemp.

Former Vipers Tara Norris and Paige Scholfield then did the damage with the ball as they took a combined 5-57 to help the Vipers to a 133-run victory.

The second came in the eliminator at Beckenham, and having chosen to bat first, the Stars were soon hoping they’d elected to do the opposite.

Norris struck early, removing Bryony Smith in the third over, before Maia Bouchier took a screamer of a catch, diving full stretch to her right at second slip.

Further wickets from debutant Mary Taylor and leg spinner Finty Trussler helped bowl the Stars out for just 139.

Bouchier and Ella McCaughan set about the chase in contrasting fashion, with the former clattering boundaries left right and centre, whilst the latter settled in.

The England batter reached her half-century before she fell for 51 whilst McCaughan made 47.

A couple of late wickets by the Stars meant that Emily Windsor strode to the crease, hit her first ball for four and walked back off having sent the Vipers to their third consecutive RHFT final.

Central Sparks

Monday 1st May – Wormsley | Saturday 6th May – 1st Central County Ground, Hove

The Vipers got their 2022 RHFT campaign off to a flying start with a rain-affected win against Central Sparks at Edgbaston Community Stadium.

The home side’s innings came to an end on 163-7 after 36 overs having been twice reduced, as wickets were shared around.

Further rain meant that the Vipers were up against the DLS method, requiring 70 runs to win from just 10 overs.

Having lost the captain for a third ball duck, Danni Wyatt and Maia Bouchier set about the tough target.

Wyatt smacked four fours and a six on her way to 36* off just 24 balls, but when Georgia Elwiss came in to bat with three balls left, six runs were still required for victory.

Rising to the occasion, Elwiss smashed her first, and only, delivery for six, and victory was secured with just two balls to spare.

Western Storm

Saturday 6th May – 1st Central County Ground, Hove | Saturday 15th July – Venue TBC

A side that the Vipers didn’t get to play in 2022, they will face Western Storm for the first time since June 2021 first at Hove, before the away leg on 15th July.

As a mark of respect, Vipers v Storm in 2022 was cancelled following the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

In 2021, the Vipers came up trumps by eight wickets, as Lauren Bell and Charlie Dean starred with the ball, taking 3-40 and 3-27 respectively, as Storm were bowled out for 177.

Georgia Adams and Danni Wyatt then put on 57 for the first wicket, before Adams and Bouchier put on 97.

Both batters passed fifty, and when Adams was dismissed for 77, just 24 more runs were required.

Bouchier and Ella McCaughan saw the Vipers through to victory, with the former ending on 57*.


Friday 7th July – Venue TBC | Sunday 10th September – Arundel Castle

Southern Vipers are yet to be beaten by Thunder across all competitions, and the Vipers dished up a triple dose of defeat to the north west side in 2022.

In this year’s Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, Thunder got off to a tricky start, as Tara Norris picked up three early wickets.

Seren Smale was the first to go, bowled for a golden duck, before Laura Marshall was trapped lbw and Deandra Dottin was caught behind by Carla Rudd.

Emma Lamb and captain Ellie Threlkeld rescued things for Thunder, but the spin trio of Charlotte Taylor, Charlie Dean, and Georgia Adams got stuck in, along with seamer Paige Scholfield, and the final seven wickets fell for just 64 runs, as Thunder were bowled out for 203.

Another shaky start for the Vipers saw the home side slip to 29-3 in the 11th over, and the game was still in the balance when Paige Scholfield fell for 31 with the score on 100-5.

Emily Windsor and Chloe Hill then steadied the innings, and a partnership of 89, which saw Windsor score her second fifty of the season, all but took the Vipers over the line, as the win was acquired with three overs to spare.

The Blaze

Tuesday 11th July – Newclose, Isle of Wight | Saturday 16th September – Venue TBC

In 2023, the Vipers will make the trip to the Isle of Wight for the first time in their history, as they take on the newly rebranded The Blaze.

The side, formerly known as Lightning, also succumbed to three defeats and the hands of the Vipers in 2022.

Derby played host when the two sides met in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy and, on World Snake Day, Georgia Adams elected to bat first.

She put on 153 for the first wicket with Ella McCaughan, as both players recorded their highest scores of the season.

McCaughan was the first to go for 72, with Adams following suit three balls later on 82, but the Vipers pushed on towards 300, thanks to 47* from Emily Windsor, and a rapid 23* off just 12 balls from Nancy Harman.

Spinner Harman soon got into the action with the ball as she dismissed Sarah Bryce for 49, and Josie Groves for 55, as Lightning wickets fell with regularity.

Fellow spin bowler Charlotte Taylor picked up 3-31 in ten overs, and Tara Norris finished the innings with 3-35 to seal victory by 66 runs.

Northern Diamonds

Saturday 22nd July – Venue TBC | Tuesday 5th September – York CC

The Vipers will face their sparring partners Northern Diamonds at York for the first time in September following a home leg on Saturday 22nd July.

For the first time since the regional teams were introduced, the Diamonds beat the Vipers in a Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy match not once, but twice in 2022.

Whilst the Vipers had the wood on the Diamonds in the Charlotte Edwards Cup, the team in orange and black couldn’t replicate their successes of 2020 and 2021 in the longer format.

Southern Vipers first made the trip to Headingley where they posted a competitive 226-9, with Georgia Elwiss top scoring with 61.

The Vipers started well in reply with the ball in hand, but it wasn’t to be for the Vipers as keepers Bess Heath (54) and Lauren Winfield-Hill (125*) took the game away from the visitors, wrapping up victory with seven overs to spare.

After a visit to Beckenham, the Vipers met the Diamonds again at Lord’s and chose to bowl first on a used pitch.

Charlotte Taylor got the first breakthrough in the 20th over before Paige Scholfield took two in two.

Captain Adams once again starred with the ball, as she had done the year before, and finished with 3-34 as the Diamonds closed their innings on 215-9.

A slow start from the Vipers meant that had some catching up to do as the game progressed.

Maia Bouchier made 48 at the top of the order, whilst Adams scored 70, but the run rate kept climbing.

A brisk 32 from Charlie Dean wasn’t enough, and with five runs to win off the final ball, it was all but complete.

Tara Norris and Charlotte Taylor scrambled through for two, but it was the Diamonds who were celebrating as they won their first Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy having been runners up the previous two years.

Tickets for next summer’s Vipers action go on sale in February next year, while a Hampshire Cricket Membership entitles free admission to all Southern Vipers matches hosted at The Ageas Bowl

Memberships for 2023 are now on sale, from £180 for a standard membership, whilst junior and young adult memberships start at £25.

A Hampshire Cricket Membership provides the chance to be part of the Hampshire family and incorporates a whole host of exciting benefits for 2023.

To see more about Hampshire Cricket’s membership offerings, please visit the link below.

Buy Hampshire Cricket Membership
All News