Round five and six of the Under 15 Female National Championships once again involved morning and afternoon T20 games.
ACT/NSW Country were determined to bounce back from their last start loss when they went up against Tasmania. Sending Tasmania into bat ACT/NSW Country made early breakthroughs to leave Tasmania in a lot of trouble. Kate Sherriff (30) was the main resistance to the bowlers before been bowled by Claire McGuirk who ended up with figures of 2/10. Chasing 97 for victory both openers Clare Levings and Clare Webber made 32 and 31 respectively to lead their team to a win.
Vic Country and South Australia looked to get back on the winners list when they met Sunday morning. Vic Country’s openers Tahlia Meier (38) and Rhys McKenna (40) put on 88 for the first wicket partnership to put their side in a good position. Abbie Cawse took 2/3 off two overs to restrict the total to 5/128. In reply, South Australia didn’t get off to the best of starts losing early wickets to be 4/34. Wickets were shared amongst the bowlers to help Vic Country win by nine runs.
NSW Metro so far have been the standout team so far in the Championships and were looking to continue that form against Western Australia. NSW Metro won the toss and elected to bowl first as many teams have done throughout the Championships. Poppy Stockwell’s 38 led Western Australia to 8/95 off their 20 overs with Ananaya Sharma’s 3/12 helping the score not getting out of hand. NSW Metro, in reply, successfully chase down the target with six wickets to spare mainly down to Frankie Nicklin’s 47.
The last of the morning games was between Vic Metro and Queensland who both were looking to pick up points to improve their ladder position. Contributions from their middle order allowed Queensland to a strong total of 5/120. Ashling O’Farrell had her best bowling day out with figures of 4/28. Vic Metro’s Ella Hayward 41 had her team in the perfect position to chase down 121 though regular wickets and a fantastic spell from Zoe Valencic (5/16) saw Vic Metro bowled out for 111.
The afternoon games were action packed with the results deciding whether some teams would still be able to make finals.
South Australia versed a potent ACT/NSW Country side in the first of the afternoon games. Sent into bat South Australia were exceptional in the way they went about constructing their innings with Kasey and Caitlin Wendland’s 37 and 41 leading their team to 2/112. ACT/NSW Country’s innings was very stop-start with partnerships been few and far between though Georgie Martin’s 31*led her team to victory by four wickets with two balls to spare.
Vic Country looked to continue its good form against Tasmania who were seeking to get back on the winners list. Jaide Anthony’s 66 and Tahlia Meier’s 47 were instrumental in their teams total of 3/159, the biggest of the T20 games so far. Tasmania began well in their pursuit of 160 with openers Maddison Brooks (52) and Kate Sherriff (44) putting Tasmania in good stead. However, Rhys McKenna’s 3/19 was crucial in Vic Country’s 22 run win.
Queensland and NSW Metro were two of the inform teams in the Championships so it made for a great match. Queensland batted first with Lucinda Bourke (32) and Holly Barr (32) top scoring and 32 extras from NSW Metro’s bowlers helped the total to finish on 4/142. NSW Metro faced their toughest test of the Championships with the Queensland bowlers been a handful to face. All of the top five for Metro made 14 or above to help lead them to victory with 3 wickets to spare.
The last game of the day was between Vic Metro and Western Australia. Both losing their morning games it was very important to get a win. Chloe Ainsworth (40) was the top scorer for Western Australia though with three run outs stunting their innings. Western Australia finished 4/103 off their 20 overs with 30 extras from the Vic Metro bowlers helping them get over 100 runs. The run chase came down to the last over with Grace Thompson and Maddie White holding their nerve and hitting the winning runs with one ball to spare.
The last round of the Championships began Monday morning in Canberra with the results of these games having finals implications.
High flying NSW Metro batted first against South Australia with a finals berth already secured. Claire Moore (47) was impressive in her best innings of the Championships along with Frankie Nicklin (74) who powered the team to 9/238 off 40 overs. Emmerson Filsell took 3/59 off eight overs though couldn’t stop NSW Metro from posting a competitive score. South Australia faced a massive challenge in chasing 239 and they never really got going as they were bowled out for 94. Ananaya Sharma was the pick of the bowlers with 4/12 off eight overs to lead NSW Metro to a 144 run win.
Third placed Queensland v second placed ACT/NSW Country was the matchup with the most on the line with the winner going into the final against NSW Metro. Lucinda Bourke (39) and Sianna Ginger (36) top scored for the Queenslanders before both been dismissed by Clare Levings who finished with figures of 5/38. Eventually, Queensland were bowled out for 147 in the 36th over. ACT/NSW Country got off to a shaky start with both openers been dismissed early. It all came down to the last over as Jessie Mudaliar and Amy Kreuzberger were at the crease with the pressure right on them. The level of pressure didn’t get to them as they hit the winning runs to win the game by two wickets.
Western Australia versus Vic Country was an intriguing matchup as Vic Country needed a win to jump ahead of Vic Metro on the ladder. Sending Vic Country into bat the Western Australians would like to take that decision back as Vic Country posted 5/268. Opener Tahlia Meier’s unbeaten 103 was the first hundred of the Championships and the first player to bat through the entire innings. Rhys McKenna’s 59 assisted in putting a huge total on the board. Western Australia’s Poppy Stockwell produced her best knock of the Championships to date with 53 though it wasn’t enough to get her team over the line, eventually falling 87 runs short.
The last game of the day was between Tasmania and Vic Metro. Vic Metro, like they’ve done a few times these Championships sent in the opposition after winning the toss. Maddison Brooks (34) and Melodie Armstrong (51) have been Tasmania’s best throughout and today was no different. Vic Metro’s 53 extras allowed Tasmania to finish on 178 after been bowled out in the 38th over. Ella Hayward took 3/22 to continue her good form with the ball. Vic Metro, in reply, sought the good form of Ella Hayward who continued her rich grain of form with 33 at the top of the order. Olivia Henry made a half century (53) before been run out. Kristy Arulrajah’s 37* led the team to victory four wickets down with six overs to spare.
1 v 2: NSW Metro v ACT/NSW Country @ Phillip Oval
3 v 4: Vic Country v Vic Metro @ Kippax
5 v 6: Queensland v South Australia @ Chisholm
7 v 8: Western Australia v Tasmania @ Kingston