Lisa Griffith, Katie Mack and Grace Harris star in WNCL wins

Grace Harris’ all-round performance help Queensland Fire claim an easy win

Grace Harris. ©Queensland Cricket

Lisa Griffith, Katie Mack and Grace Harris starred in New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and Queensland's respective victories over Tasmania, Western Australia and Victoria in the Women's National Cricket League on Tuesday (February 4). New South Wales victory ensured them of a finals place yet another time in WNCL.

New South Wales Breakers held their nerve and beat Tasmanian Tigers by one wicket at North Sydney Oval. Griffith starred with a bat with a fine knock of 65 runs. She was well supported by Phoebe Litchfield who chipped in a valuable 44 runs in what was an absolute thriller of a game.

Opting to bat first Tasmania had a horrible start as they lost Meg Phillips and Emma Thompson-Flint for ducks. Corrine Hall (23) Hollie Armitage (23) offered brief resistance, but they too departed leaving Tasmania reeling at five for 83. Sasha Maloney (59) and Maisy Gibson (48) brought much-needed stability to the innings. The duo stitched a partnership worth 88 runs that propelled Tasmania to 200.  Hannah Darlington, Hayley Silver-Holmes and Stella Campbell each picked up two wickets for New South Wales.

In pursuit of 201 New South Wales too didn't get the best possible start as they lost Rachel Trenaman (5), Maddy Darke (1) and Tahlia Wilson (7) cheaply. Litchfield (44) and Griffith brought New South Wales into the contest by adding 82-run stand for the fourth wicket. Litchfield departed missing her half-century by just six runs. Griffith then took over and formed a crucial 34-run stand with Sarah Aley before Griffith departed for 65. Aley through ensured the remaining runs were knocked off. She scored a vital 26 runs.

In the second match of the day in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (ACT) beat Western Australia by two wickets. Sent in to bat Western Australia started well as Chloe Piparo (33) and Heather Graham (20) added 43 runs for the second wicket. ACT came back by removing Piparo and Graham. Mathilda Carmichael and Megan Banting (45) brought Western Australia into the contest by adding 88 runs for the fifth wicket. Carmichael remained unbeaten on 84 runs and ensured Western Australia finish strongly at 240.

Chasing a competitive target, Mack's 72 runs was instrumental in taking ACT closer to the target. Mack's wicket brought Western Australia into the match. Soon after three wickets fell and it seemed as if Western Australia will just about win. That's when Maitlan Brown stepped up. She scored vital 32-ball 23 runs to help ACT emerge victorious by two wickets with two overs to spare.

In the final game of the day in Brisbane, Queensland Fire thumped Victoria by six wickets. Grace's three wickets and unbeaten 53 with the bat in hand helped Queensland to a comfortable victory.

Electing to bowl first Queensland bowlers were right on the money as Georgia Prestwidge sent Mackinley Blows and Amy Vine back in the hut for zero and 11 respectively. Elyse Villani though held one end up for Victoria with a vital 55 runs. She formed a 47-run stand with Molly Strano (22). Soon after Queensland struck by removing both the batters quickly. It was Rhiann O'Donnell's (29) and Elly Donald's unbeaten 29 that eventually took Victoria to a fighting total of 181. Harris was the pick of the bowler for Queensland with three wickets.

Chasing a tricky target, Queensland did not start well as they would have liked. Georgia Voll (3), Kirby Short (19) and Laura Harris (26) were back in the hut with the score reading 52. With time and hand and lot of overs to go Grace joined Mikayla Hinkley. The duo clinically went about their business. The pair formed a match-winning unbeaten 106-run stand for the fifth wicket and ensured an easy victory for Queensland with 13 overs to spare. Harris remained unbeaten on 53 and Hinkley remained unbeaten on 52 in the end.

Brief scores:

Tasmanian Tigers 200/10 in 46.4 overs (Sasha Maloney 59, Maisy Gibson 48; Stella Campbell 2-17, Hannah Darlington 2-29) lost to New South Wales Breakers 204/9 in 50 overs (Lisa Griffith 65, Phoebe Litchfield 44; Belinda Vakarewa 3-29, Samantha Bates 2-31) by one wicket. PoTM: Lisa Griffith.

Western Australia 240/7 in 50 overs (Mathilda Carmichael 84*, Megan Banting 45; Sarah Coyte 3-33, Claire Koski 1-7) lost to Australian Capital Territory Meteors 242/8 in 47.5 overs (Katie Mack 72, Anna Lanning 39; Heather Graham 4-35, Nicole Bolton 2-41) by two wickets. PoTM: Katie Mack.

Victoria 181/10 in 50 overs (Elyse Villani 55, Elly Donald 29*; Grace Harris 3-28, Holly Ferling 2-28) lost to Queensland Fire 183/4 in 37.1 overs (Grace Harris 53, Mikayla Hinkley 52; Makinley Blows 2-49, Tess Flintoff 1-25) by six wickets. PoTM: Grace Harris.