In the first round of Australia’s domestic 50-over tournament, the Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL), NSW Breakers, SA Scorpions and ACT Meteors emerged victorious.
Ellyse Perry’s all-round brilliance led NSW Breakers to an emphatic 186 run win over the Tasmania Tigers. After a surprising defeat to Queensland in the first round, the NSW Breakers bounced back. Openers Alyssa Healy (85 off 75) and Rachael Haynes (89 off 86) put on a big 180 run opening stand, both narrowly missing out on centuries they deserved. Perry then contributed with a half-century of her own, scoring 67 off 53. Some late hitting by Rachel Trenaman (38* off 26) lifted NSW total to a mammoth 344-5.
For Tasmania, Veronica Pyke and Sasha Maloney took two wickets each, finishing with figures of 2-59 and 2-62 respectively.
In reply, Tasmania could only manage 158 before being bundled out in the 39th over. Their New Zealand import Amy Satterthwaite top-scored with 39 off 70. Opener Georgia Redmayne (28 off 60) and Corinne Hall (23 off 20) were the only other players to cross the 20-run barrier.
With the ball, Player of the Match, Perry took 3-25 for NSW, while Nicola Carey took two wickets as the Breakers registered a convincing win over Tasmanian Tigers.
NSW Breakers 344-5 (R Haynes 89, V Pyke 2-59) beat Tasmanian Tigers 158-10 (A Satterthwaite 39, E Perry 3-25) by 186 runs.
Bridget Patterson scored a century as South Australia Scorpions beat Western Fury by 49 runs. Batting first, Patterson played a Player of the Match award-winning knock of 109 off 131 balls. As wickets fell around her, she kept the scoreboard ticking over. After her century, the next highest score for the Scorpions was Sarah Lowe’s 22* off 19 balls. However, a handy cameo of 20 off 10 by newly appointed skipper Megan Schutt helped guide the Scorpions to a competitive total of 250-8.
For the Fury, Emma King was especially impressive with the ball, claiming four wickets for just 48 runs. Heather Graham also contributed, taking two wickets for 48 runs, too.
In the second innings, the Scorpions made early breakthroughs, dismissing both Nicole Bolton and Chloe Piparo for six. From there, Graham stitched together partnerships with Sophie Devine (26 off 22), Bhavi Devchand (16 off 26), Mathilda Carmichael (17 0ff 27) and Amy Edgar (24 off 34) on her way to 70 off 102 balls. However, her efforts were not enough as the Scorpions took regular wickets to bowl Fury out for 205 in the 46th over.
Schutt finished with figures of 3-39 from eight overs, while Amanda-Jade Wellington also took three wickets for 43 runs off her 10 overs.
SA Scorpions 250-8 (B Patterson 109, E King 4-48) beat WA Fury 205-10 (H Graham 70, M Schutt 3-39) by 46 runs.
For ACT Meteors, Erin Osborne starred with the ball to help them win by four wickets. Batting first, Queensland Fire got off to a shaky start, losing Kirby Short for 11 in the sixth over. Beth Mooney then held together Fires’ innings on her way to 47 off 50 balls, as wickets fell around her. At the start of the 30th over, Fire looked to be in trouble at 106-8. A fighting 73-ball-31 by Haidee Birkett and a brisk 44 off 50 by Jemma Barsby provided some lower order resistance. Their 62-run eighth wicket stands guided Queensland to 184.
Osborne bowled economically and took wickets to finish with figures of 3-21 off her 10 overs, while Hayley Jensen claimed three scalps as well, for 54 runs. Samantha Bates also chipped in with two wickets.
Chasing, the Meteor openers laid down a solid foundation for their team with their 47 run opening partnership. Claire Koski scored 31 off 37, while her opening partner Katie Mack made 46 off 75. Once Koski and Osborne were dismissed through, a mini-collapse ensued as Meteors lost 3-30. Angela Reakes then saw her team over the line with an unbeaten 44 off 68 deliveries, to win by four wickets.
Birkett and Barsby contributed with the ball too, finishing with figures of 2-25 and 1-29 respectively, while Delissa Kimmince also took a wicket.
ACT Meteors 186-6 (K Mack 46, H Birkett 2-25) beat Queensland Fire 184-10 (B Mooney 47, E Osborne 3-21) by four wickets.
At the end of the first round, NSW Breakers are at the top of the table with six points, having earned double bonus points for their win. Beneath them with five points, is Victoria. The remaining five teams have four points each, however, based on an inferior run rate, Tasmania occupies the bottom spot. All teams have now played two matches and won one each. The next round of WNCL will be played in November without the internationals, who will be in the Caribbean for the World Twenty-20.