When Ellyse Perry retires from cricket she will look back at the games she played at the North Sydney Oval. While there are games she played better here, she will look at this ground with fondness. Today was Perry’s last game as a New South Wales Breakers player. Her side won their twentieth WNCL title beating Queensland Fire by 31 runs.
The home side would not take their opponents lightly; they had lost to Queensland Fire earlier in the season. They were not going to make the mistakes today although a series of dropped catches may have signalled differently.
The Breakers got off to a poor start. Alyssa Healy was adjudged lbw to Sammy-Jo Johnson to the third ball of the game. It was tough going early on as the ball was swinging and with a slow outfield, runs were at a premium.
A partnership between Perry and Rachael Haynes of 73 for the second wicket was watchful as Kirby Short the Queensland captain rotated her quicks before introducing the off-spin of Jess Jonassen and Jemma Barsby.
You would have been forgiven for thinking the game, the occasion and the ground that Perry would pull out a performance to match. Jess Jonassen had other ideas and with the first ball after the drinks break to have Perry trapped lbw.
Haynes who has had a good summer again looked in control; Haynes top-scored with 79. When she played attacking shots they were played with conviction and raced to the boundary. Along with Nicola Carey, the pair added 103 for the third wicket. It was the platform the Breakers needed.
Both Haynes and Carey completed their fifties; Haynes from 75 balls and Carey from 66 balls. It gave their lower order the opportunity to go in and look for quick runs. Ash Gardner, of course, needs no second invitation and after a slow start, she found her grove.
At one point it looked like the Breakers would not pass 250. It was Gardner along with Sarah Aley that found the impetus at the end of the innings to punch the Breakers to 7 for 259.
The Queensland batters made starts but no one could make significant innings to swing the game the way of the Fire. They lost wickets far too regularly.
Beth Mooney who was so crucial in helping Brisbane Heat to the WBBL victory couldn’t repeat those heroics as she was bowled by Carey for 34.
A rain delay did not help Queensland’s cause. The Breakers did, however, gift Queensland chances to get back into the game; Laura Harris was dropped twice before being caught by Haynes to give Carey a second wicket for 25.
Carey who had scored 50 finished with 3 for 39 as she took the winning wicket just as Barsby and Georgie Prestwidge were threating to take the game to a close finish.