Meteors trump Scorpions in a thriller; Queensland to take on Victoria in final

Gomesh Shanmugavelayutham
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Meteors trump Scorpions in a thriller; Queensland to take on Victoria in final

Katie Mack of the ACT Meteors in action. © Getty

Half-centuries from openers and some smart batting in the final overs by Carly Leeson and Nicola Hancock helped the ACT Meteors finish their Women's National Cricket League season with a win in a last-over thriller against South Australia Scorpions on Sunday (March 21). The other fixture between New South Wales Breakers and Queensland Fire was abandoned due to rain, and as a result, the Fire will be taking on Victoria in the final on March 27. It's the first time in the 25-year-old history of the competition that the Breakers didn't make the title-clash.

Chasing more than five runs an over, the Meteors openers Katie Mack and Erica Kershaw provided them with a perfect start. Right from ball one, they showed intent and made sure that the Meteors are on par with the required run-rate.

Together, they added 131 runs in 26 overs, with both Mack and Kershaw bringing up their half-centuries. Kershaw was the first to get out courtesy of a run-out by Amanda-Jade Wellington. She scored 52 from 77 balls. While Mack was going strong at one end, Erin Osborne and Angela Reakes fell shortly after.

She tried to build a partnership with Madeline Penna, but Brooke Harris had other ideas. The 23-year-old bowled the opener five runs short of her century. Olivia Porter followed Mack back to the pavilion in the very next over.

Penna joined hands with Leeson and tried to revive the chase. In the next 41 balls, they added 43 runs before the former was dismissed by Samantha Betts for a 25-ball 20. With eight runs required from eight balls, Leeson got out to Betts for a run-a-ball 28.

Coming in at number eight, Nicola Hancock smashed 14 from seven balls, including two massive sixes, to take the Meteors across the line with five balls to spare. Harris picked up three wickets for 53 runs in her quota of ten overs.

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Earlier, opting to bat first, the Scorpions lost their openers Bridget Patterson and Emma de Broughe cheaply. Though Josie Dooley tried to build a partnership with Courtney Webb, the latter got out to Chloe Rafferty for six runs from 16 balls. They were reduced to 41 for three after 15 overs.

With Tegan McPharlin, Dooley added 21 runs together before she was bowled by Leeson for 21 from 54 balls. McPharlin, however, held one end together and kept the scoreboard moving for the Scorpions along with Annie O'Neil and Wellington. While O'Neil made a 38-ball 37, Wellington smashed 30 runs from 21 balls.

McPharlin, at the other end, brought up her half-century. She scored 62 from 68 balls before getting out to Rafferty. Some later partnership from Eliza Doddridge and Alex Price took the Scorpions took the Scorpions past the 250-run mark. They were eventually all-out for 261 in 49.4 overs. Rafferty was the pick of the bowlers with three for 39 in her 8.4 overs.

Brief Scores: South Australia Scorpions 261 all out in 49.4 overs (Tegan McPharlin 62; Chloe Rafferty 3/39) lost to ACT Meteors 264/7 in 49.1 overs (Katie Mack 95; Brooke Harris 3/53) by three wickets.