Phoebe Litchfield. © Cricket New South Wales

New South Wales downed Australian Capital Territory by four wickets at Hurstville Oval on Tuesday (January 14) in the Women’s National Cricket League. In a low-scoring encounter, NSW chased a tricky target of 178 runs.

Phoebe Litchfield top-scored for the hosts with a valuable unbeaten 82. She was well supported by Rene Farrell who chipped in with an unbeaten 38 and also took three wickets to restrict ACT to a total of 177 in 49.2 overs. The duo put an unbroken 88-run stand for the seventh wicket which guided the defending champions over the finish line.

NSW won the toss and elected to bowl. The decision seemed justified, as their bowlers picked up three wickets upfront, Farrell accounting for two of those. ACT needed a partnership at the stage and their call was answered by Erin Osborne and Carly Leeson. The duo put on a stand worth 86 runs for the fourth wicket, which gave the innings some much-needed stability.

 

 

NSW’s bowlers came back into the match by removing the duo of Osborne and Leeson for 55 and 34 runs respectively. Saray Coyte then chipped in with a 27-ball 28 before ACT were bowled out for 177 in the final over of the innings. Farrell was the pick of the bowlers for NSW, finishing with figures of 3 for 12. She was well supported by Ashleigh Gardner who picked up two wickets.

Chasing 178 for victory, NSW got off to the worst possible start, losing five wickets for just 37 runs. Their top-order batters, comprising Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Tahlia Wilson, Naomi Stalenberg and Gardner were all back in the hut having registered scores of ten, zero, two, zero and 19 respectively.

With NSW reeling, in walked 16-year-old Litchfield. The left-hander showed great composure – just as she did all through the Women’s Big Bash League for Sydney Thunder – soaking in the pressure to lay the foundation to her team’s comeback. Litchfield first formed a vital 54-run stand with Lauren Smith for the sixth wicket before teaming up with Farrell to seal the deal in her team’s favour. The seventh wicket pair thus

Brief scores: Australian Capital Territory 177 in 49.2 overs (Erin Osborne 55, Carly Leeson 34; Rene Farrell 3-12, Ashleigh Gardner 2-26) lost to New South Wales 179/6 in 48 overs (Phoebe Litchfield 82*, Rene Farrell 38*) by four wickets. PoM: Phoebe Litchfield.