Jensen in doubt for Sparks game

Haley Jensen. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Haley Jensen. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Otago Sparks all-rounder Hayley Jensen is unlikely to suit up for the team’s match against Canterbury this weekend.

The White Fern missed the Sparks’ big loss to Wellington in the Capital on Sunday.

She pulled out with a knee injury the day before the fixture.

The 28-year-old has been nursing the complaint for a few weeks and coach Craig Cumming said she got a scan in Christchurch yesterday.

Until the results are back it is unclear when she will return to playing.

Cumming said it was unlikely she would play on Saturday but there was a chance she could play in the final two Super Smash matches as a specialist batswoman.

"Hopefully, we will find out in the next day or two what the situation is [with the scan].

Jensen picked up the niggle while bowling in the nets and it gradually got worse.

"It does not hurt while she is batting, it is just bowling.

"Part of having the scan will be to find out what the damage is and there is still potential in the next week, week-and-a-half that she could play as a specialist batter, fingers crossed. But we won’t know until we get the results."

The Sparks are expected to name their side today but it is likely Saffron Wilson will replace her in the line-up.

Jensen’s absence will strip the side of some valuable experience and class.

She is one of just two players in the line-up to have scored more than 100 runs during the campaign. And despite struggling with a knee injury, she has still bowled some useful overs.

The Sparks are at the bottom of the competition standings. They have two wins from seven games and Canterbury will present another stern challenge for the young side.

Veteran wicketkeeper-batswoman Katey Martin has been out of touch during the tournament.

The Sparks have leaned on her a lot during the years to generate a decent total.

But Polly Inglis has picked up some of the slack. She is the team’s leading scorer with 184 runs at an average of 30.66.

Cumming felt the 122-run loss to Wellington was an example of two world-class players in Sophie Devine and Amelia Kerr getting hold of a young Otago attack.

But he was disappointed with the way the chase fell away. The Sparks were 59 for two after nine overs but crumbled to be all out of just 74 in the 16th over.

"That was not good enough and it was not at the level that the team should be at, even though we are still learning.

"The girls recognised that straight away and they are keen to turn that around."

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