Grace Harris' ton propels Queensland Fire; strong batting sees New South Wales Breakers triumph
Grace Harris (l), Alyssa Healy © Getty Images/Women's CricZone
A hundred and seven half centuries were hit in the Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) on Sunday (March 7) as New South Wales Breakers and Queensland Fire registered big wins over Australian Capital Territory Meteors and Tasmanian Tigers respectively.
At the Phillip Oval in Canberra, the Breakers won the toss, chose to bat first and were off to a flying start, thanks to Alyssa Healy and Rachael Haynes. The pair was severe on the opening bowlers, Nicola Hancock and Zoe Cooke. They added 80 for the opening wicket in 16 overs before Haynes (21) fell off Erin Osborne.
Healy, meanwhile, completed her second half century in the WNCL, and in the company of Rachel Trenaman added another 75 runs before being Gabrielle Sutcliffe’s first victim. The wicketkeeper-batter was unlucky to miss out on a ton, getting dismissed on 92 off just 97 balls with 12 fours.
There was no respite for the Meteors bowlers as Trenaman and Ashleigh Gardner then took over the mantle of scoring. Gardner was aggressive throughout her stay in the middle, scoring 62 off just 40 balls. She hit eight fours and a couple of sixes before being dismissed by Sutcliffe. Trenaman, meanwhile, completed her half century as well.
Sammy-Jo Johnson, walking in at five, used the long handle well and piled the misery on the Meteors bowlers. Trenaman then fell for 70 while Johnson was run out on the final ball of the innings.
Sutcliffe returned with three for 66 for Meteors.
Meteors’ reply began strongly with Katie Mack (44) and Erica Kershaw (29) adding 74 for the opening wicket. They fell in quick succession to Erin Burns’ off spin before Osborne and Madeline Penna staying put for about eight overs. But they then lost three wickets in quick time to be reduced to five for 134 from a comfortable two for 127.
A 69-run partnership between Angela Reakes (44) and Carly Leeson (54 not out) kept them in the hunt but the 338-run target was always a tall chase. Johnson and Burns picked two wickets each for the Breakers
Meanwhile, Grace Harris lit up the Bellerive Oval and helped Fire overhaul Tigers’ 226 with ease. Fire had lost Georgia Voll (four) and Charli Knott (six) pretty early and were two down for 17 when Harris joined forces with Georgia Redmayne. While Redmayne found the fence regularly, Harris took her time to get her eye in.
The right-hander was on 24 off 56 balls before going on a rampage and completing her half century in 72 balls. She then went into top gear and completed her next 50 in another 21 balls, hitting Heather Graham over cow corner for half a dozen to get to the triple-digit score. She eventually finished unbeaten on 109 off just 96 balls. At the other end, Redmayne remained unbeaten on 90.
ALSO READ: Familiar NZ batting collapse hands ENG third successive T20I whitewash
This was after the Fire bowlers, led by Holly Ferling’s three for 50, kept the Tigers to nine for 226. Sarah Coyte, batting at seven, top-scored for them with 66, while Amy Smith played a quickfire 26 not out off 22 balls coming in at ten.
New South Wales Breakers 337/5 in 50 overs (Alyssa Healy 92, Rachel Trenaman 70, Ashleigh Gardner 62, Sammy-Jo Johnson 52; Gabrielle Sutcliffe 3/66) beat Australian Capital Territory Meteors 259/8 in 50 overs (Carly Leeson 54*) by 78 runs
Tasmanian Tigers 226/9 in 50 overs (Sarah Coyte 66; Holly Ferling 3/50) lost to Queensland Fire 227/2 in 36.4 overs (Grace Harris 109*, Georgia Redmayne 90*) by eight wickets