Rachael Haynes, Heather Graham hog limelight as NSW-Tasmania clash ends in a tie

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Rachael Haynes, Heather Graham hog limelight as NSW-Tasmania clash ends in a tie

Rachael Haynes (L) and Heather Graham (R) scored centuries in Breakers - Tigers tied match © Getty Images/Women's CricZone

Rachael Haynes and Heather Graham grabbed the headlines with magnificent hundreds as New South Wales Breakers and Tasmanian Tigers played out a thrilling tie in the Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart on Thursday (February 25).

Chasing a revised of 252 from 47 overs, Tasmania got off to a terrible start when Lauren Cheatle trapped Rachel Priest in front of the wicket in the first ball of the chase. In-form Nicola Carey added 40 runs with Sasha Moloney before Cheatle struck again to dismiss Moloney for 12 in the 13th over.

That brought Heather Graham to the crease and she got going right away smashing the second ball she faced for four through point. Graham was severe on all the NSW bowlers as she hit 15 boundaries and six during her innings with Ashleigh Gardner getting some special punishment. The pair added 95 for the third wicket before Hannah Darlington castled Carey right after she brought up her fifty.

However, Graham found another able partner in Naomi Stalenberg and both of them found boundaries at regular intervals to eat into the target rapidly. Stalenberg took on Gardener and smashed three consecutive boundaries in the 39th over before Graham reached her third List A hundred from 101 balls. At this stage, Tigers needed 44 runs to win from the last seven overs.

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After a tight Lisa Griffith over, Cheatle took her third wicket to dismiss Stalenberg and Graham added a four and a six leaving Tigers needing 23 runs from the last three overs. But Tasmania soon lost Meg Philips and Graham in consecutive deliveries off Darlington with the former getting run out and the NSW skipper bowling Graham for 116.

Needing 14 to win in the last over, Belinda Vakarewa reduced the target to four from the last two balls as she smashed two consecutive fours in the over. But she couldn’t get the team over the line as she could find only a single that levelled the scores and was run out trying to get a non-existent second run. Tasmania innings finished at 251 for 7 from 47 overs.

For Breakers, Cheatle finished with figures of 3 for 37 and skipper Darlington took two wickets for 44 runs.

Earlier, put in to bat, NSW also didn’t have the greatest of starts as they lost Tahlia Wilson for a duck in the second ball off Samantha Bates. Haynes and Rachel Trenaman took the score to 83 for 1 after 22 overs before rain forced the players to go off.

Post rain, the match was reduced to 47 overs and Breakers soon lost Trenaman for 49 with Carey castling her to end the 105-run partnership. Haynes and Gardner put on another 85 runs and were looking for more as the Australia vice-captain launched Sarah Coyte for two consecutive sixes in the 39th over. But Vakarewa provided Tigers with the breakthrough in the next over to remove Gardner for 43.

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At the other end, Haynes got to her seventh List A century when she first swept Graham for a boundary and then glanced the next ball for a couple to fine-leg. Her 112-ball innings eventually came to an end when she played a Carey full toss to Amy Smith at the point. NSW scored 246 for 6 from the 47 overs to set Tasmania the revised DLS target of 252.

For Tigers, Carey was the most successful bowler with figures of 3 for 43 while Vakarewa chipped in with two.

Brief Scores:

NSW Breakers 246/6 in 47 overs (Rachael Haynes 109, Rachel Trenaman 49; Nicola Carey 3/43, Belinda Vakarewa 2/45) tied Tasmanian Tigers 251/7 in 47 overs (Heather Graham 116, Nicola Carey 50; Lauren Cheatle 3/37) via D/L method. POTM: Heather Graham